Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pumpkin Carving

Yesterday Eliana and I finally cut into her pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern for Halloween. I had just returned from the gym, so I figured it was as good of a time as any, before I took a shower, to carve and clean out the pumpkin.

Ellie was a good helper and really got a kick out of seeing it lit up.

Just as we were finishing she got on the swing in the back yard and asked to be pushed. And just as soon as she did the sprinklers came on. Vickey and I found that pretty amusing. Eliana didn’t though. It was another opportunity for her to cry. It seems she can turn on and off the cry switch at the drop of a hat. What a cute little actress we’ve got!

Dominic was asleep during the carving experience, but woke up at the sound of Eliana’s crying. He too seemed enthralled to see the pumpkin lit up.

We’re looking forward to Halloween tomorrow evening and to our annual neighborhood pot luck at Gary and Vickie Dickover’s (our neighbors across the street).

Friday, October 28, 2005

Pumpkin Patch with Grandma C

We took the kids and grandma to the pumpkin patch today. Eliana has been asking to go for about a month. It’s a fun, albeit expensive, little trip for us.

Ellie loves to ride the carnival rides, especially the pony ride. She was pretty cute on the spinning ride with Vickey. You could tell she was trying to be a good sport but she was feeling sick to her stomach.

Eliana got to ride and slide and play for about an hour before we went to my favorite pizza joint on the planet, Pier 49 Pizza.

It was our fun night out with Grandma Codella.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Trunk or Treat

Our church holds an annual trunk or treat party where the kids get to dress up and get candy in a safe environment (if you consider car trunks decorated for Halloween and getting candy from disguised adults safe).

There’s a chili and cornbread cook-off and awards given for best costume in different age groups, as well as for the best decorated trunk.

In year’s past we have participated in the cook-off but didn’t have the time or energy to do so this year. And we haven’t taken the time to plan a scary trunk any year … just too much work for us busy folk I guess.

But we had fun sampling the different chili recipes and watching Eliana in her Snow White get-up with her brand new ruby red shoes. Dominic was pretty cute in his pea in a pod outfit as well. And it was fun having Grandma Codella there with us. Last year Grandma and Grandpa Snow were with us.

It’s a fun family tradition.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cute Lit’l Punkin

This photo was so cute, I had to share.

Dominic seems to grow each day. He’s wearing six month clothes now.

Eliana’s super excited tonight to go with me to pick up Grandma Codella at the airport. She’s in her pajamas, her room’s picked up and she’s ready to talk Grandma’s ear off.

Me, I’m just about ready for bed. But isn’t that just how it goes?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Almost a Ten

Vickey and I continue to make small strides on our Weight Watchers diet plan. I’m down nine-and-a-half pounds and she’s down eight. I’m sure that before long her weight loss will be greater than mine.

As long as we continue to make progress or stay the same, we’re doin’ good.

I miss cooking. I miss eating lots of baked goods. Sometimes I get a serious craving to bite into a nice moist piece of chocolate cake, or a delicious cheesecake.

For now I have to settle for Great Harvest breads, which are certainly tasty and good for you.

So far I’ve been able to resist and stay pretty close to my daily allotment of 26 points worth of food.

I will admit I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas foods. I’ll just have to be careful not to eat as much as I normally do during those times.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Back in the Spotlight

Tonight I performed with a former BYU Young Ambassadors friend of mine, Doug Bean, at his stake’s Night at Carnegie Hall (their chapel is off of a street named Carnegie). We sang In Lily’s Eyes from The Secret Garden.

It was fun to once again sing with someone who can hold their own. We were a good match for the duet and the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

I also sang on Thursday evening in front of a scrutinizing group of production staff for our stake’s March musical production of an original script called Into the Light, the story of Alma the younger (from the Book of Mormon).

My good friend Max Zurflueh is stage managing the show (he worked as stage manager for EFX at the MGM Grand throughout its run and most recently as stage manager at the New York New York Cirque du Soleil production of Zoomanity). This is Max’s first church gig. I told him not to have any expectations and occasionally he may be surprised.

At any rate, according to our inside information (from Max and our friend Reggie Sommer, the stake activities director), the panel was speechless after my audition. We’ll see what role they offer me, if they do at all.

Regardless of what, if any role I get in the stake production, I’m enjoying renewed activity in the performing arts.

Friday, October 21, 2005

AJ’s Day

Well, the stars are aligned for my brother and sister-in-law. Their family birthdays fall consecutively on the 20th, 21st and 22nd calendar days. And all three boys were born on the 21st of a month (April, February and October).

Anthony Jack Codella was born this morning in Salt Lake City at 9:49 a.m. Melissa was at the hospital for just over two hours before he was born … she was close.

We’re excited for them to have three boys, and glad it’s not us. There will be lots of testosterone in their home in a few years.

Just having three children I’m sure must feel so overwhelming.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

D-O-M, D-O-M-I-N-I-C

That title is to the tune of Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, in case you missed the connection.

Isn’t he a cutie? Dominic’s putting on a few pounds and preparing his pudgy cheeks for the pinching that’s sure to occur when his grandmas get their hands on him in the next couple of weeks.

We’re looking forward to a visit from Grandma Codella next week and a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Snow the first weekend of November.

Dominic’s still on the medication to remove the thrush from his mouth, but it’s much better now than it was before.

Eliana is really enjoying preschool and learns about a new letter each week. This week she got to take the treat basket to her class for the letter “J.” She took Jell-O jigglers, junior mints, jelly beans, jolly ranchers and Kool-Aid jammers.

Ellie’s getting excited for Halloween and has a couple pumpkins waiting to be carved. We decorated the house a week or so ago and Ellie loves seeing the decorations around the neighborhood, especially at night.

We’ve found that Halloween receives as much attention in Vegas as Christmas does. Sad, but true. Many neighbors go all out with cobwebs, orange and black lights and huge blow-up Halloween sculptures.

The front of our house has an orange piece of paper that says “Boo!” And that piece of decoration was given to us by an anonymous treat-giver. We have since passed on the favor. It’s kind of a fun Halloween tradition in our neighborhood, to knock and run and leave behind some seasonal goodies with a Halloween poem.

We got word today that my sister-in-law is dilated to a 6 and her doctor told her she could deliver any second, and that most likely she’ll deliver in the car if she doesn’t get to a hospital within 10 to 15 minutes after her water breaks.

Since they’re about 20 minutes from the hospital, that’s not good news. I guess he made an appointment to induce her on Friday. If she holds out that long, this will be the third of three children born on the 21st of the month. Tomorrow’s her birthday, and Brian’s birthday is on the 22nd. Those guys are all about the third week of the month.

And our family is all about the second week, 7, 8, 10 and 11 are our birthdays. We’ll have to see if we can’t have another one in a few years on the 9th of a month.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Neighbors Are Changing

This week our good friends David and Teresa Arnold moved out of the neighborhood. They had trouble with their neighbor and felt like it was time to move on and get a one-story home with about the same square footage.

Also, the home two doors down, the one where the meth lab was, has been completely gutted and renovated. We’ve had workers on our street for a couple weeks now. The homeowner must have dumped $50k into it to fix it up and make it livable again.

And today, we helped our good friends Christian and Ellen Nelson move into a home just around the corner. They’re moving out of their apartment and into a nice one-story home. Eliana loves to play with their daughter, Olympia, so now they’re walking distance from each other.

A couple weeks ago another family that lived around the corner moved to another part of our neighborhood.

So, there are neighbor changes all around.

I’ve even considered looking for a new place. We’d like two more rooms: one for my office and another for Vickey’s office and scrapbooking. We’re thinking about adding on to the house, but certainly wouldn’t do that unless we're sure we’ll be staying here for several years. A move may be in our future ... who knows when.

We’re waiting for news on two births: my brother and sister-in-law in South Jordan, and our kiddy corner neighbor, Rick and Monica Royce. It’ll be fun to see the two new little ones. I’m sure You Don’t Know Jack is anxious to get here and receive a real name, one more permanent than YDKJ.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

I’ve been accused by Vickey of having a telephone headset fetish. I admit I’m particular, but I’m no headset freak.

Today, in my normal course of shredding paper (which many of you know is an activity I truly enjoy) I inadvertently got my new phone headset cord caught in the papers I was shredding. The next thing I knew, the cord was all cut up and cut apart, separating my headset from the phone, and the headset was headed for the shredder.

I was able to yank on the headset and pull the cord out of the shredder before it damaged the shredder. I’m sure you’re amused just considering what it must have looked like and my reaction.

I don’t think it’s fair to claim this is a fetish! Certainly logic demands when something’s broken, you fix it or replace it. Time after time the headsets I’ve purchased stop functioning and continued use proves they’re not as comfortable as they were when they were purchased.

True, I’ll need to purchase another headset, probably only the second or third this year, despite what Vickey says. But such purchases do not a fetish make.

Of course, that’s not counting the couple I have purchased for Vickey who doesn’t get the same enjoyment I do out of using a headset. I keep trying to tell her how much more productive she could be with both hands free, but she doesn’t buy-in to it.

All I have to say is I’m frustrated I can’t find the right headset. If I ever do, I’ll be sure to let ya’ll know so you can run right out and get one of your own. They all have their flaws, the most recent flaw being a cord that’s too long and in too close a proximity to the shredder.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

You Don’t Know Jack

In talking with Brian and Melissa, my brother and sister-in-law, they’re expecting their third son in a couple weeks, and they haven’t yet decided on a name.

They have decided they want his middle name to be Jack, after Melissa’s mom Jackie.

They want to call him something J, like TJ or AJ or BJ. Something like that.

But they can’t come up with a good first name to go with Jack. They just don’t know and haven’t settled on a good first name choice.

So, I took the liberty of naming him for them. My name for the newest little Codella: You Don’t Know Jack.

I think it’s clever!

Movin’ On Out

Well, the neighborhood just took an unexpected, but much hoped for, turn for the better.

Our troubled neighbors are moved out. It didn’t take long.

There were signs of movement yesterday, then today a moving truck pulled up and finished the deed.

I believe the owners were at the property as well.

They’ll be doing quite a bit of cleaning up in there, I’m sure.

Let’s hope the next neighbor doesn’t decide to open another meth lab.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Why You Shouldn’t Park on the Street

A couple weeks ago my cousin, Lisa, had her Grand Am parked outside her Henderson home next to the curb. Her car was parked legally, just like her highway patrol neighbor’s squad car. And her husband was out of town, visiting family up in Richfield.

In one moment her car went from minding its own business to being shoved, at around 40 miles an hour, up the side of the street and into the parked patrol car by some crazy man driver who wasn’t paying any attention while he drove on a residential street.

Lisa’s car was totaled; totally smashed-up in front and back. They’re waiting now on the insurance company to decide how much they’ll give them for it. And they’re working on finding a decent used Grand Am to replace hers.

So, I guess our street isn’t the only crazy street in Henderson. In fact, from what I hear people say, it’s happening everywhere.

Several of our troubled neighbor’s teenage residents have been seen packing up their cars with their things. Whether or not that means some of them are moving out, who knows. At least things have been pretty quite this week. Then again, it’s only Monday.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Large, Jumbo and Italian

Poor Dominic has been struggling with thrush (candidiasis of the mouth and throat; a fungal infection that occurs when there is overgrowth of candida fungu) this week. He has lots of white sores around his mouth.

Yesterday Vickey took him to the doctor to get a prescription. Our usual pediatrician wasn’t there, so one of his partners tended to Dominic.

He was examining Dominic and when he pulled his diaper down exclaimed, “Holy moley! Won’t he be the pride of the locker room?” (or something to that effect).

According to Vickey the doctor went on to say that Dominic is better endowed than most four and five year-old boys. Aren’t we proud parents.

And the doctor went on to say, “You know what they say, there’s large, jumbo and Italian.”

Now that’s funny!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Morning Paper and the Metro SWAT Team

Ever wonder what it would feel like to be in a war zone? This morning I stepped outside to pick-up our morning paper only to be surrounded by a half-dozen armored vehicles with about eight SWAT team members on each vehicle. There were also a half-dozen or so unmarked police vehicles and armed officers parked alongside the street.

It was surreal being out there and watching the SWAT team, wearing bullet proof vests and helmets and toting machine guns, bust open the neighbor’s door (two doors down to the east) and enter their home.

If this was the first experience our neighborhood has had with the police and this particular neighbor, that would be one thing. But this is at least the third time an entire entourage of policemen have descended upon their home.

A single woman and several teenagers live there. Needless to say, they really don’t have their act together. Rumor has it that the last time the cops were there, and a do not cross police line was draped across their front yard for a couple days, a teenager was hauled out on a stretcher, headed for an autopsy, after overdosing on drugs. Before that there was a fire and part of the house burned.

So, even though we live in a nice neighborhood in Henderson, we’re feeling a bit like we’re living in a war zone. I’m sure those people could use some help. I’m just not sure how I feel about extending myself in this situation.

I am certain however, that I’m not fond of the environment they’re creating in our neighborhood...a place so many good families call home and in which so many young children are being raised.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Getting Old

You know you’re getting old when you start collecting health conditions.

Recently we dropped our Cobra insurance (hello expensive!) for a plan of our own.

After completing our health questionnaires, really just red flag tools for the insurance companies, we went through underwriting and received our new health insurance.

For several reasons, we decided to split-up the family’s coverage. Vickey and the kiddies are on one plan, and I’m on another.

For my coverage, no company would take me unless they charged way more than was reasonable or put a rider on my policy exempting them from covering either of my recurring prescriptions (did I mention how the health questionnaire was just a red flag generator?).

So, although we’ve got health insurance, I’m left to fend for myself for my acid reflux and cold sore symptoms. How cruel is that?

Still, we figured it out and we’ll be paying less by going 100% out-of-pocket on those meds than we would to secure complete coverage. Go figure!

Anyone interested in a career in the insurance industry? You can set your own hours and your own rules.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Weight Watchers Anonymous

I suppose by posting this blog, the title is really an oxymoron.

Regardless, I like the allusion to a group of overweight losers sitting around reciting, “My name is ________ (fill-in the blank), and I’m overweight.”

This is my first personal experience with the publicly traded Weight Watchers International, Inc. (I watched from the sidelines a couple years ago as Vickey succeeded in dropping her pregnancy weight after Eliana was born.) I’m the supportive husband and willing participant after gaining a few too many pounds with my poor eating and exercise habits over the past few years.

If I can get back to my college glory days (that would mean losing about 35 pounds) that’s fine by me. In fact, if I can drop 25 pounds I’ll consider this endeavor a success.

At any rate, today was our first weigh-in after the initial shock of paying up for the first 12 weeks (not too much of a shock to the pocketbook, about $115). Vickey got in free because she already met her lifetime goal and she’s excused because of the baby. I think she has a few more weeks to shed some pounds before she’s back on the pay-up treadmill.

I’m happy to report, for both of us, that we each lost about 3 pounds. I’d say that’s a pretty good start to this little program. Now we’ll see how we do next week with this new point driven diet.