Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hiking in the hills

Tate, Cashus and I went hiking in the hills around Yuma for about 2 hours to give Sachiyo a break. We had a good time and the kids got worn out but Tate only slowed down for one picture. I think Sachiyo enjoyed the time off more than anyone else.

Tate's Christmas Party

Just like his Dad did, Tate has a new girl following him at every turn. (OK, no sarcastic comments please...)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She's not crazy....she's pregnant

One of our "Winter Visitors" (read Snowbird) stopped me at Church last week to ask about Sachiyo. He had been sitting behind us in Sacrament meeting and had seen and heard Sachiyo as she leaned on the bench in front of us and groaned as she moved from side to side searching unsuccessfully for a comfortable position.

He looked at me with a very concerned expression and asked, "Is your wife OK?"

"Yes" I told him. "As OK as you get when you are 34 weeks pregnant with twins."

He looked relieved and said, "Oh good, I thought she might have some sort of emotional or mental problem from the way she was acting in the meeting."

You just gotta love old tact whatsoever...

So just to clear up any confusion, Sachiyo is not mental, she's pregnant.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some pictures from the Christmas Party

Well, my work Christmas party was today. Tate and I went and had a good time. There was games and cookies and presents from Santa. Tate really enjoyed the games. He has got a good arm on him. He really liked the game where you had to throw the football through the hole. The three step drop the hole. (Tate got it in the hole about 8 times, I think I got it in there once.) Tate focused on the top hole and he was doing really well until he got distracted by Santa's arrival.

This one's for Amie

A picture of the "baby bump" for Amie

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gracie, we'll miss you...

In an unfortunate beginning to our Thanksgiving weekend, Gracie (our female boxer) passed away during our ride from Yuma to Taft. She did not suffer as far as we can tell. Gracie brought countless moments of joy and laughter into our family. We are unsure of the reasons behind her passing but we are sure that she will be missed.

Good Girl Gracie.
Goodbye Baby Girl.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tate said the prayer tonight

Normally I help Tate say his nighttime prayers which we do as a family. Tonight he decided that he wanted to help me say the prayer. So he said it then I repeated after him. Everything was going very well until we got to the "please bless" portion.

After blessing Grandpa and Grandma and Baba (Sachiyo's mom) and Sion and Hana and Grandpa and Grandma and Grandpa and Cashus and Gracie and mommy and Grandpa and Grandma and Baba and the school and his books and Cashus and Gracie and Grandma and Grandpa and Baba and Sachiyo's sister and Sachiyo's sister's husband and the lights and flashlights and balls and Grandpa and Grandma (By this time I was trying somewhat unsuccessfully to supress my laughter) he said "Please bless my sunscreen." I lost it. I had to bury my face in the pillow to laugh because I looked over at him and he had his eyes open staring at me with that face he does when he is trying to see how far he can push Sachiyo and I.

Speaking of Sachiyo, where was she during all this? Right behind him trying not to burst out laughing as well. All I needed was for her to prompt him with "And we say these thing in the name........." Nothing. So I just had to end the prayer myself. Tate immediately responded with "I'M STILL PRAYING!" This did nothing for my ability to hold myself together. So by the end of the night we are all laughing together and Tate is now too hyper to sleep. Good memories....but it's going to be a long night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tate's Christmas Wish List

When asked today what he thought that he wanted for Christmas, Tate immediately replied "Toilet Paper!" There you have it, Tate's wish list. Cheap and useful. Oh, don't get him any 1-ply stuff either. Only the good stuff.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Marines!

233 Years of protecting Americans...

whether they wanted it or not.

Semper Fidelis

The Great Pregnancy Weight Challenge

After reading a bunch of pregnancy literature that invariably talks about husbands gaining "sympathy" weight, I have decided to try and match Sachiyo pound for pound as her belly swells to contain the two extremely active girls (Really, it is kind of weird to sit there and watch Sion and Hana roll around in that movie Alien. I am just waiting for one to rip its way out....anyways....).

Instead of normal "sympathy" weight, I am trying for "sympathy weight-loss." I started my diet about 14 weeks ago which is about 14 weeks after Sachiyo got pregnant, but she was unable to keep any food down for the first 3 months, so we are about equal as far as a starting point.

After 14 weeks, we are just about equal: Sachiyo at +22lbs and Dan at -21lbs. Sachiyo's doctor wants her to put on about 40+ lbs by the delivery date so we will see if I can keep up. If I can keep pace with Sachiyo that will put me at about 205lbs by the due date. I think the last time I was that weight was most likely 6th grade.

If anyone is interested on my methodology, here it is...

I got my RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) tested. If you don't have a place to get it tested, there are quite a few RMR calculators online. I use my RMR as my calorie goal for the day, (Not the calorie goal after daily activities - given by most RMR calculators as well. That calorie level is to sustain your current weight). I picked up a "Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate counter" book and a "Food and Exercise Journal" book. Both books are by The Calorie King and are $8 and $3 respectively and both found at Barnes and Noble or online. Both are 4" x 6" books and easy to carry around.

I have tracked my eating for 14 weeks now and after about 3 weeks it is no longer annoying. I eat exactly the same way I did before my "diet," I have just adjusted portions and timing so that I hit my goals. Sachiyo and I have not had to prepare any special meals or shop fifteen days ahead of time of a set menu. I have just started eating the amount I am supposed to instead of the "American" portion. I eat three meals and have three snacks during the day (granola bars, crackers, chocolate, etc.) and I find that I do not get hungry during the day. I ignore fat, protien and carb levels and just track calories. Just writing stuff down has kept me from making bad decisions throughout the day on many occasions. I have not increased my physical activity by any appreciable amount during this period either. You will be surprised at how easy it is to eat more than your daily calorie level at one sitting in a be prepared.

One thing I did notice when I started tracking my calories was that I was regularly eating 2 times as much as I should in a single day. That was a shock. I also got my metabolism tested and was told that I have a pretty fast metabolism...there goes that excuse. I get tested (free on base) every ten weeks and my metabolism has actually gone up since starting this diet. That means I am now eating more and still losing weight. Which is nice. I have more energy, my clothes fit better, the physical activity that I do leaves me invigorated instead of tired now and overall, I am happier. I do splurge every once in a while and I haven't seen any negative affects. In N Out is good for the soul, if not the waistline.

It really just required me to look in the mirror and DECIDE to be healthier. Giving up my excuses and telling myself every time that "If you don't want to lose weight more that you want______, you don't really want to lose weight" was what it finally took. I still tell myself that when confronted by Ho-Ho's at the gas station. It even works sometimes. (Not being able to keep up with a three year old helped too.)

Time will tell whether I will be able to keep this up, but after 14 weeks, it is no longer a pain so I think that I will. Once I get to where I want to be, I will be able to relax a bit as well.

Time will also tell whether or not Sachiyo or I will win the Great Pregnancy Weight Challenge. Stay Tuned

We've decided on the names for our girls...

Sachiyo and I have decided, with help from the Grandmas on both sides what the girls names will be. *

One of the girls will be named Sion (pronounced "she-on") - The Japanese word for a Tatarian Aster (That is a flower-pictured below- for those of you that are horticulturally challenged). It is also the Japanese pronunciation of "Zion."

The other girl will be named Hana (not Hannah, pronounced "Hah nah"..OK, that doesn't make it much me and I'll tell you how to pronounce it OK?) - Japanese for flower

These names give the girls a little bit of a connection without saddling them with rhyming names and are pretty and pronounceable in both languages.

We are not planning on giving the girls middle names.

*The author of this blog reserves the rights to change his mind and/or the names of his future daughters, at any time with or without reason and with no regard to the feelings or opinions of anyone (except maybe his wife who makes all the decisions anyways)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Fun Cont.

After the Jack O'Lantern was finished we went to the Church for Trunk or Treat. Tate was dressed up as a cowboy. We let him take the hat off during the event because it was over 90 degrees. Costume designers make costumes assuming it will be cold and Tate's was a little warm. Tate had a great time and really got into the Trick or Treating spirit. He was even nice enough, when he finished, to hand out all of the candy that he had collected that night to other kids. He did keep a few pieces for himself of course, but got rid of all the cheap stuff. There was nothing but chocolate stuff left by the end. Dad was so proud.

Halloween Fun

Tate and Dad made a Jack O'Lantern for Halloween. Mommy and Tate drew the face for the creation while Dad was at work but Dad got to carve it. Tate promised to help, but once he had felt the insides of the pumpkin, he decided it would be more fun to watch Dad make faces as he gutted Jack.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Passport to Safety

These are so much cooler than Mom's minivan...

I had the opportunity to fly one of our birds out to a public safety fair on Friday. Tate and Sachiyo came out to visit and we got to go see a bunch of the different displays.

Enjoying the few weeks of nice weather...

Well, the weather has finally cooled down enough that we can enjoy being outside, while staying warm enough to play in the water so we had a family pool party in the back yard last week.

As you can see a good time was had by all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The results are in....

The doctor confirms's still two girls. They are still growing on track and are doing well. Make sure to get your vote in for when the babies will actually show up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend in San Diego

We were lucky to be able to go to San Diego for the weekend over the 20th to be a part of my brother's wedding. I thought that I would post some of the pictures that were taken. San Diego was wonderful. Cool and sunny....unlike Yuma which is deathly hot and sunny. The weekend's activities (outside of the wedding, of course) involved large amount of Japanese food, a visit from Tate's favorite baby-sitter, playing at Balboa park, Japanese food, my brother's wedding, Japanese food and time with family (and some more Japanese food on the way home). We finally got to meet Tate's cousin Cooper (actually Benjamin Cooper Arnell, but I call him Coop). Tate likes to call him "Benjamin Ben-Ben" for some reason. They seemed to enjoy one another's company.

It was great to be with family and we only wish more of them could have made it. I am sorry, but I don't really have any pictures of the wedding....hopefully, we will get some from someone else. I was busy chasing Tate around and taking him for walks so that he didn't destroy the very nice house the wedding took place in and Sachiyo was busy trying to breathe, so we didn't get as many pictures as we would have liked. I don't know why but the girls are doing their best to choke Sachiyo from the inside.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Today's score: Girls - 2, Boys 0

Ladies and gentlemen,

I believe that the title of the post says it all. The ultrasound tech assures us that he is 100% positive of his determination. We are now referring to the girls as Girl A and Girl B instead of "the parasites." Sachiyo is very happy, I am still in a bit of shock (but still very happy). 99% of the name suggestions we recieved were for boys. Now we need girl names. Jeez, now we have to decide on first names and middle names (Maybe). Your help will be appreciated. I hope to hear from you all soon......I have to go buy some pink paint.....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tate is moving on to harder stuff...

This was made by Tate with pretty minimal coaching. He is getting very good at following the picture instructions. This doesn't mean that Tate needs 1 million piece Lego sets for Christmas though. Like Father, like son (though he is more intelligent than I am)

Tate's first Scorpions' Game

Well, Tate and dad went to Mormon Night at the local minor League baseball game: the Yuma Scorpions. We got matching baseball hats and Tate lasted for about 6 innings. He mostly amused himself by chasing the mascot "Stinger the Scorpion" around. He hates Santa Claus but doesn't mind a human sized scorpion. His only complaint is that he wanted to know when he got to go on the field and play. He was a little disappointed that he wasn't allowed on the field. So the next day we went home and broke out the T-ball gear and Tate got to play some baseball. He has a really funny "Happy Gilmore" style approach to the ball.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Just some pictures to show Grandma and Grandpa what Tate is doing with the magnets that they bought him for Christmas. He loves them and yes, he did these all himself.

The dangers of reading.....

Tate learned a hard lesson last night about reading in the nude. After his bath he ran into his room and grabbed a book and was reading to himself while I cleaned up the bathroom. As his mom and I were walking into the room, he finished the book and snapped it shut. Let's just say that it snapped back and he found himself caught by get the idea. He just sat there for a moment looking confused before he started crying. Mommy and Daddy's laughter probably didn't help.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Some pictures from work

Just thought I would send some pictures of what I am doing at work now. For those of you who don't know, I am now working as a Search and Rescue pilot in Yuma, Az. What we do when not actually rescuing anyone is train to rescue people. That is what is going on in the pictures. We are repelling a Corpsman (like an EMT) down to a simulated patient and the either hoisting (pulling him back into the helo) or short-hauling (simulated hoist failure where the Corpsman stays at the end of the rope and we move him to safety and then set him back down again). I will try to get some more dramatic pictures when I start working harder areas. The most difficult part is taking the pictures while flying....

Monday, August 4, 2008

Always Ally of the Justice

Wonder Space can be found at "58 Wonder Earth"

Back from Vegas....but no pictures

Well Tate is back from Vegas and our heartfelt thanks go out to the Harwoods who watched him for 3 weeks while Sachiyo was throwing up. About 1 hour into our 5 hour drive up to Vegas, we realized we had forgot the camera. We bought a disposable camera but you are all going to have to wait until we get it developed. On the way home we stopped a few times in the desert to show Tate the different types of plants and cactus and to just let him run around a bit.

When we got home we found a package waiting for Tate from Grandpa and Grandma with some puzzles and a few cars. They were also nice enough to send a bunch of tennis balls, which explained why Cashus was so interested in the package.