Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Survivor Style Return

Well Monday was NOT an uneventful travel day... before we even left my parent's house Todd started to feel funny and by the time we hit our layover in Minneapolis he had the full blown stomach full. We pondered taking a bump on our flight for free airline credit and a chance for Todd to rest but thought it would be best if we got home as fast as possible. Turns out that was a good decision because sometime during the flight to LAX I too got the stomach flu. I didn't have the heart to tell Todd because he was so miserable so I struggled through until we pulled into our house late Monday night and then I just hit the floor. Good thing Uncle Ry was travelling with us and was in good form. Veda found a lot of humor in Todd's misery on the plane - mistaking his uncontrollable shakes for some type of game;)

We are all feeling better now. I drove Ryan to the airport late last night so that he could catch a red-eye back home to Japan. It's now back to reality... Veda is exploring all of her toys she hasn't seen for three weeks and I'm sure she will be bored with them by tomorrow. I'm enjoying the quiet time to catch up on work and Todd is taking the week off and laying low - it's nice to have him at home...
Side note... Nana Sayre also fell ill Monday night so whatever we all got was clearly contagious... if you spent time with us recently you might be in trouble!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Heading Home

We are headed back to California tomorrow and hoping and praying for an uneventful travel day. We had a great holiday with family. Veda got the hang of unwrapping presents, playing with them for 10 minutes, and then completely ignoring them for the remainder of the trip. I plan to take toys home and hide them and reintroduce them when I'm in need of a serious break.

Christmas Wrap-up

Here are some pics from Xmas Eve in Clear Lake. Veda and I spent some time in the nursery during the service at church but most of the time Veda was enjoying the "sing-a-long" and clapping enthusiastically for all the performances. She was especially excited about the open flame for "Silent Night". I can not hold a burning candle and a 16 month old at the same time.
We opened presents after the traditional duck and cornish hen feast (Chris got his own this year). The pic of Veda in the box was the result of her spinning herself dizzy in circles and losing her balance... a true Elf moment.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Snowmen in Clear Lake

Veda got to build her first snowman yesterday in Clear Lake. The jury is still out as to who had more fun building it...her or Grandpa Gary.

Puking Elf

We finally arrived for the Sayre Family Christmas in Iowa City. We braved the winter elements and every one made it safely from Clear Lake to Iowa City. Veda had a great time playing with her toys that she hadn't seen for about a week. She then took a short snooze at about 5pm and didn't seem quite right when she woke up. She still ate a big meal (which we later discovered) and proceeded to play for a while longer. Then, right before bedtime (and after her bath)...the puking began. When all was said and done, she went through 3 sets of pajamas and 2 showers with mom. Surprisingly she was in good spirits and smiled through most all of it, as seen by the photos below. For the last round, Grandma Sayre gave Veda a bowl to puke in, but she decided it was better as a hat...

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowball Dance


We kept Veda busy with a snowball and some xmas tunes this morning...

Just Cute!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cyclone for a Night

The boys headed to Ames for the night for the basketball game. Veda showed her support for the team today in honor of the road trip. The girls are eating pizza, chatting, and watching movies... and the guys aren't controlling the remote... heaven.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tamborine Please

More pictures from the Laabs' musical. She was getting friendly with her cousin Garrett.

Laabs Family Xmas at the Collison's

We drove two hours to Marshalltown for Xmas at Aunt Janet and Uncle John's. Janet directed the first family musical with adults on the PVC pipes with ping pong paddles (let it be known that Chris got excited and thought there was a ping pong table), Kids playing the maraccas, and Gary on the triangle. Janet and Jackie played piano songs while Veda accompanied on every instrument she could get her hands on. Then all the kids performed xmas songs on the piano and sax.
Veda read comics on the way there.

Bucket Sledding

Shovel Sledding


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Uthof Family Xmas

Ahhhh... I love it when there are other kids and animals to entertain V. There were 31 people at Gary and Diane's for xmas dinner on Sat. Veda had loads of fun with her second cousins Emma and Landen. One of Todd's cousin's brought his new puppy which was obviously a big hit - I can't believe "Sammy" made it out alive. At one point she was swinging him around by his neck... note to self... wait 10 years to get a puppy.

Today we head to Marshalltown for the Laabs side of the family... more kids and more fun to be had.

Sayre Family Xmas Take I

We had the family Christmas dinner this past Friday with the Baldes family. A few Sayre family traditions stayed true... everyone found a gift at their plate, inside everyone found their party hat as well as another small item that Carson and Rylie eventually swiped from our plates. We convinced Dad to make his pig again... a fan favorite. Of course Ryan had Tofu, Brad had pork loin, and the kids got Mac 'n Cheese. Special orders for all. Here is also a shot of V on the carousel at the mall - this was right before the run in with Old Saint Nick.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

He Looks like Santa but he smells like Beef and Cheese

I told Mom and Dad they were welcome to take Veda to see Santa while I was in Chicago. I was pretty sure I knew what the outcome would be and turns out I was right.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby Jesus

Veda spent the day getting familiar with Nana and Bull's house all over again. Surprisingly she has little interest in the tree, ornaments, or the presents. She did find the navity scene and was quick to snatch up baby Jesus and run around declaring baby baby baby! Must be her way of telling us she understands the significance of the upcoming holiday;)
I leave for a conference in Chicago tomorrow so good luck to Mom, Dad and Ryan. We had a good day today though so I'm sure they will do just fine.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hi Five Kind of Night

Veda and I ventured over to the Mall of America and left poor sick Ryan to sleep it off in the hotel room last night. It didn't occur to me how much fun this would be for a little one. She loved to watch the roller-coaster and other rides. Lucky for us a VERY pregnant Betsi, Matt and Cade ventured out in the cold to join us for dinner. Cade was playing hard to get but was happy to show Veda his high-five moves. I even bought Veda the Handy Manny hammer (Pat) and wrench (Rusty) at the amusement park gift store. I really bought these for Todd because he knows all the tools by name. Veda played with the rather expensive gift for a few minutes and then threw them asside. This is why I shop at garage sales.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Good thing I'm an organization freak. I had a hotel room all ready for us in Minneapolis. Ryan came down sick and has been little help. He even suffered his first migraine as we got off the plane. We figured out our connecting flight was cancelled before we got off the plane so a quick stop to stock up on eats for the room and then we were in the shuttle on the way to rest and relaxation. We are across the street from the Mall of America and I plan to take Veda over to see Legoland this evening to keep her entertained. Hopefully by this time tomorrow we'll have made it to Iowa City.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ride A Long

It was quiet around here on Sunday - Ryan spent the night and day with BJ at the fire station and Todd left for Switzerland. I think the highlight of Ry's time was all the fireman food. Veda and I have been busy packing and organizing for the big three week trip to the MidWest. OF COURSE we have to fly during the storms. I went ahead and reserved a hotel room for all of us at the Minneapolis Airport for tomorrow night just in case we get stuck. Normally I would impose on Betsi but since she's going to give birth any day now I didn't think that would be very fun for her.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


We celebrated Savannah's second birthday yesterday. The girls are pretty cute together. Todd played out back with the girls while the rest of us ate. I went outside and found Veda trying to fight Norman the dog for the stuffed toy he was humping. Um gross.