Every day life and occasional adventures of Emily Snow and Family

Friday, June 27, 2008

Going on Vacation!

Tomorrow, we are going on vacation within our vacation. We will be reunited with James for a week. I am also taking a vacation from the blogging until I get back.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July! I know for me, I have a new appreciation for the US and the holiday will mean even more than before!

Until later,


Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Got My Nails Done!

Today, I got my nails done. No, not just a regular manicure...I got fake acrylic nails put back on. When I moved to Germany, I kept my nails "on" for about four months and then decided to let them fall off, I was never happy with the way they turned out, I had a lot of problems with them, and it costs a lot more to get a fill there. I always intended to go somewhere new and get a new set in a couple months, but the months came and went and I never got my nails put back on.

So, now, I have a beautiful set of square, french-manicured nails. I had to come home and file them shorter, but that's OK. I can never seem to communicate well enough that I really do like them super-short. In fact, my "nail-girl" back in MD once said to me, "Why do you have your nails done when you wear them this short? Why don't you just get manicures?" I'll wear them with a french manicure probably for the remainder of my trip and then I'll start having them painted a color. Because, that's really why I have my nails done, with the acrylic, because the polish will stay on and I don't have to worry much about them and they look good. When they are "natural" I am painting them all of the time even though I wear gloves to do dishes, and gloves to garden, etc.

Until later,


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thomas Gets His First Stitches!

First of all, James and Grandma Sherry, he's fine. Thomas had an appointment with the dermatologist today. He was born with a mole in the inside of his left arm, kind of up by the armpit. Over the past year, it has nearly doubled in size and the color has concerned me. The dermatologist said it was most likely OK, but then again, it could be one of those that wasn't and to be on the safe side, he should have it removed.

Let's just say the crying began when the doctor mentioned the word shot (I wish he wouldn't have said that!), and then the entire wing of the medical office heard what was going on as the shot was administered and the mole was removed. The chunk of skin that was removed was alarming to me (I was physically holding him down on my lap as this was being done)...it was a much bigger deal than I expected. Blood was everywhere and then it was time for the stitches. I was expecting a criss-cross, not the five stitches that he got. Now he's supposed to keep his arm out of water for a week...but then I explained to the doctor that we'll be swimming by the weekend, so he said to do the best that we can.

As a side note, since he received some sort of novacaine-like shot last week while getting his cavities filled and then another today for the removal of the mole, my mom and I have noticed that Thomas has a noticible side effect as the medication is coming out of his system. He is the crankiest child ever...I mean beyond anything that we've ever seen in him! It's awful!

Until later,


Monday, June 23, 2008

Teething Bites!

Toby's getting another tooth. This time, it's the top right-hand "dog-tooth", and boy, it must hurt! Toby's drooling like crazy and is absolutely M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E! I have him on the Tylenol/Motrin regimen along with Orajel, but he's still cranky. And sleepy, that part isn't all that bad... Let's hope this tooth pops out quickly...we have a vacation (within our vacation!) coming up very soon!

Until later,


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Testing the Walking Waters Again!

Toby's walking again. Both my mom and James have suggested that maybe his little legs just got sore from all the walking on Wednesday. I don't know, perhaps. He's literally taking this walking thing one day at a time!

Until later,


Friday, June 20, 2008

Or Maybe Not...

Well, after one day of fabulous walking, Toby has decided to go back to his beloved crawling. Toby, Toby, Toby! He is quite the mystery. I know he can walk...I even have quite a few witnesses! He's good, not that wobbly, he even does corners but crawling is still so comfortable for him, I guess. He had that day of walking on Wednesday and for the past two days has refused to walk again. There was no fall, no scare, like I said, he's a mystery! But, we love him!

Until later,


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Up and Running!

For the past couple of weeks, Toby has been getting a lot of walking practice in, but his "preferred method of transportation" has still been crawling. I don't know how many times I have looked at him and said, "Kid, you can walk!" Well, today was the day.

Thomas, Toby and I drove down to James' parents and we weren't here for more than 30 minutes and he was walking all around and has been ever since. If he loses his balance, he'll revert to crawling until you take him by the hand and help him stand up again but then, he's off and sometimes running (OK, speed-walking trying to keep up with Thomas who thinks it's the coolest thing to have his little brother walking like him now).

Until later,


Farewell Flowers

My beautiful flowers that I spent so much time, energy and money on. I had the best-looking American yard in the neighborhood and even beat out a lot of my German neighbors in "getting our yard in". I left James in charge of watering the flowers when I left...

James, bless his heart, I know he came down with Strep Throat the day we left Germany and suffered for an entire week before seeking medical help, has had to work a lot of long days, including weekends this month, and recently returned from a 4-day work assignment to Berlin--but all the same, he neglected (as in NEVER watered!) them and now they are gone. Grrr. Grrr.

Oh, well, not much I can do except plan to plant mums when I get back.

And, I'll admit, I'd rather have the ugly ol' dead yard and spend two months in the States than have the beautiful yard and be stuck there!

Until later,


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The cat food that Toby got into the other day was not from a dish that my mom had left out. She's been around far too many kids Toby's age to know that that would not be a wise idea. In fact, the dish is only left out for a small amount of time when she lets the cat in (he stays mostly in the garage because he is too hairy) to eat. The cat food that Toby found was only a few morsels that had made their way onto the rug that is of similar color. In other words, no one even realized it was there, or of course we would have cleaned it up because Toby puts everything he can in his mouth.

Until later,


Day at the Dentist

Thomas and I went to the dentist yesterday. Actually, my mom and Toby came along, too, although they weren't seen by the dentist. Earlier this spring, I asked my mom to make check-up appointments for the two of us and to see if the office would go ahead and schedule some time to fill a cavity for me, since I knew I had at least one. I had had it since I was pregnant with Toby but the dentist I saw at the time didn't want to fill it while I was pregnant. I know, I know, that was over a year and a half ago, but it was one of those things that I kept putting off and then we moved. There are dentists in Germany, but because we are Americans, we get to pay full price (it's essentially free for the Germans), and it's in euros and, from what I've been told, they are not as thorough, especially with their cleanings.

Thomas and I had our cleanings at the same time. We were in adjacent rooms. I was so proud of him. This was his first real visit to the dentist. When he was younger, he had a heightened fear of anything new, so I never made him go the dentist. At three, they would have had to tie him down, probably sedate him for any kind of work and at four there still would have been a lot of crying and hollering...but at five he was very brave and did very well. Unfortunately, he had three small cavities and one large one, all in the back molars. I was surprised when the dentist offered to fill half of them yesterday. I really didn't know how that would go, especially when he whipped out the drill. The dentist gave him the laughing gas, and turned on the TV on the ceiling. He changed his mind and said if Thomas would tolerate having them all filled today, then he'd just go ahead and do them all. The first three were pretty easy and then he started drilling into the fourth. At that point, Thomas jerked his knee a little and we knew it was time to give him a shot. The dentist was so discreet about it that Thomas still doesn't know he had a shot. Once the shot took effect, the dentist was able to work away.

Then, it was my turn. I had a small one and a large one. One on the top left and the other on the bottom right. I had four shots, and was quite numb when I was done. (Which took about six hours to go away). My mouth, my face and my tongue were numb. The only part of my mouth that wasn't numb was a small strip down the center of my tongue and the center of my lips! I found out yesterday that the bones in the top of my mouth are rather large. I've never been told that one before!

We spent a total of four hours at the dentist's office. I was so glad my mom came along and entertained Toby and Thomas too, when he wasn't being worked on. It was a long day for all of us, but I'm so glad it's all done now!

Until later,


Friday, June 13, 2008

Taste-Testing by Toby

Apparently, the dry food that my mom feeds her indoor cat, Porter, tastes so bad that it makes your eyes water a whole lot and then you throw up. At least that's what happened to Toby.

Until later,


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Here, There, and Back Again!

We have already been in Utah for a week and a half! My how time flies when you're having fun! We have had lots of family time with both sides of the family. We just returned last night from spending about five days with James' family. Thomas got in some "cousin time" and Toby got to know everyone. The last time he was with them was a year ago, so of course he doesn't remember anyone. He was a little overwhelmed the first few days, but he's fine now. I got to eat at Cafe Rio one time before they pulled tomatoes out of the restaurants. I sure hope they solve this problem soon because I have my Cafe Rio quota to reach and I'm going to California in two weeks where I hope to eat Mexican food at least daily! Mexican food without fresh tomatoes, i.e. Mexican food with out fresh pico? Tragic! Ah, I'll still eat it, but it won't be the same!

I have also been getting some "Retail Therapy" in. Can I just say that I love Old Navy and American Eagle? And, I can't wait to go to Ann Taylor Loft, oh, how I miss that store being less than five minutes away from my home! I've been picking up some new summer clothes for myself and the kids. Naturally, my kids have more new duds than I do.

Speaking of summer...it is summer, right? While I know my East Coast friends have been dying in the heat, my mom actually had to turn on the furnace for a few minutes this morning because it was too chilly in the house! The weather report calls for 90 degree weather by the weekend though so we, too, will be complaining of the heat within days!

Until later,


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Worth Mentioning...

About two months ago, our property manager did the annual walk-thru of our townhouse. We were pleased to hear that our renter appears to be taking excellent care of our place. His original contract was up this month so it was time to renegotiate if we wanted or get the place ready to go back on the rental market hoping to find another renter quickly. Since we know that the rental market is saturated right now because nothing is selling, we offered our current renter another year contract and without raising the rent. We were glad to hear that he took the offer and he has signed on for another year. It's kind of nice having someone else make your mortgage payment for a while!

Until later,


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Toby Walks!

We knew it would be "any day now". Toby has been walking really well as long as he is holding a hand, or really just the tip of your index finger, but he hasn't been brave enough to walk on his own. I have been practicing a lot with him, but could only get two independent steps out of him. Until last night, when my mom and dad sat down with him and he worked his way up to twelve steps! He's on his way now!

Until later,


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Good Read: Stolen Innocence

A friend of mine recently asked what book I was reading or what was the last book I've read. I told her, honestly, I have not sat down and read a book since I had Toby. To me, life has been too crazy and busy to sit down and take the time like that. When I got to Utah, my mom told me she had a book for me to read. One that Kate, my sister, had recently finished and it was one that once she picked it up she almost couldn't put it down!

So, yesterday, I picked up the heavy, hard-back, over 400-page, book and I finished it today! Of course, I've had my mom, dad, Kate and brother Kurt entertaining my children so I could keep my nose in the book but it was absolutely wonderful! Here's a little summary:

Stolen Innocence

My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

By ,

In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women.

Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells the incredible and inspirational story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice. Offering a child's perspective on life in the FLDS, Wall discusses her tumultuous youth, explaining how her family's turbulent past intersected with her strong will and identified her as a girl who needed to be controlled through marriage. Detailing how Warren Jeffs's influence over the church twisted its already rigid beliefs in dangerous new directions, Wall portrays the inescapable mind-set and unrelenting pressure that forced her to wed despite her repeated protests that she was too young.

Once she was married, Wall's childhood shattered as she was obligated to follow Jeffs's directives and submit to her husband in "mind, body, and soul." With little money and no knowledge of the outside world, she was trapped and forced to endure the pain and abuse of her loveless relationship, which eventually pushed her to spend nights sleeping in her truck rather than face the tormentor in her bed.

Yet even in those bleak times, she retained a sliver of hope that one day she would find a way out, and one snowy night that came in the form of a rugged stranger named Lamont Barlow. Their chance encounter set in motion a friendship and eventual romance that gave her the strength she needed to break free from her past and sever the chains of the church.

But though she was out of the FLDS, Wall would still have to face Jeffs—this time in court. In Stolen Innocence, she delves into the difficult months on the outside that led her to come forward against him, working with prosecutors on one of the biggest criminal cases in Utah's history, so that other girls still inside the church might be spared her cruel fate.

More than a tale of survival and freedom, Stolen Innocence is the story of one heroic woman who stood up for what was right and reclaimed her life.

Until later,


Monday, June 2, 2008

Worth Every Penny!

Flying from Germany to Utah with Toby...

Well, I expected the worst...and that's what we got!

As we were in the boarding/getting settled process, I got the pleasure of sitting behind a man (I will not even go as far as calling him a "gentleman") who when he noticed Toby said, "Oh my God, a baby!" then he started grumbling about how he doesn't know why he always gets to sit next to the babies... at that moment, Toby was sitting on my mom's lap and he was kind of trying to engage in a conversation with me, but he didn't even flinch when I told him that the "baby" was actually mine. A few minutes later, the brilliant man started yet another conversation with me telling me that recently he took a flight from New York to somewhere and the baby sitting next to him cried for six hours straight. I looked right at him, with a somewhat raised voice and said, "Well, I'm hoping my baby doesn't cry for six hours straight!" he replied, "Well, ME too!" That was the last time we spoke or had eye contact with one another.

The flight actually started out good, Toby was exhausted and fell asleep before we even took off. He slept for just about an hour. For that hour, I was hopeful that maybe things would be better than I had been anticipating. I had been second-guessing my decision to have my mom fly out for a while. Would it be a big waste of money? A waste of her time? Then, Toby woke up and it was all downhill from there!

He woke up and was in one of those mad/delirious/screaming moods. I quickly got him to the back of the plane where I tried to calm him down, but nothing would. Looking back, I can now say that his ears were most likely hurting him at this point. Since nothing would snap him out of it. After a while, he did calm down but then he'd go into those screaming fits again. When he was happy, he was content walking (keeping a hold of an index finger) around the little area by the bathrooms and where they keep the food. He never wanted to stay in his seat...he'd only last about five minutes and we'd be up again. My mom and I spent approximately seven hours walking/holding Toby. He had numerous screaming fits that would come out of the blue. He'd scream, arch his back, scream, push his head against ours, scream some more and then he'd be fine again. The only nap Toby got the entire day (including before we arrived at the Frankfurt airport) was that one hour at the beginning of the trip. He was exhausted, you could see it, but he would not give up!

Luckily, we had a very smooth flight and the only time we had to be in our seats was when we were descending. The flight attendants were absolutely wonderful. We flew with American Airlines.

Thomas was really, really good on the flight. It was long for him but he was no problem. He played a lot of Old Maid with my mom and the new Matchbox cars were also a hit! He barely used the DVD player or his Nintendo DS...go figure!

Our layover was in Chicago. We had about two hours which I would say is the minimum amount of time that you need if you are coming off of an international flight and you have kids. We got off the plane and had to get our checked bags and then re-check them. Then, we had to go through customs, get on the train to go to another terminal and go through security all over again. Since I had had hardly anything to eat, since Toby woke up when our lunches were served and I was in the back with him when they served pizza at the end, I was starving so I had just enough time to grab a bagel with cream cheese and then it was time to board again.

The short flight from Chicago was only 3 1/2 hours long. My mom and I were already physically exhausted, but we figured we could endure another 3 1/2 hours of "fun" with Toby. I mean, what choice did we have, really? With this flight, however, we didn't ascend very high and Toby was perfectly content sitting on his seat or on the floor, in other words, he was a completely different child! Finally, at what would have been 3 AM Germany time, he got a little fussy, I took him to the back of the plane where I kind of rocked him and he fell asleep and stayed asleep for the remaining hour+ of our flight.

I'm glad it's over and I'm truly glad that my mom was there to help!

Until later,