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Campbell Christmas Letter

Happy Holidays from the Campbells

            This was special year for our family as we were joined by our first child on July 21st.  Hulk, when feed and dry, is one of the happiest kids you’ll ever meet.  Until recently he
had the cutest gummy grin.  While still cute his lower front teeth have started to come in.  For Christmas, Hulk just wants his two front teeth.  Some of his favorite things to do include: putting things in his mouth, snuggling, laughing at faces, standing up and spinning in circles as he tries to teach himself to crawl.  He has just started tasting solids but hasn't decided that he wants to eat them yet.
            In the spring, EO and JC were assistant coaches on the High School track team.  JC worked with sprinters (1st year as coach) and EO with distance (2nd year).  In August we took our first trip with Hulk to the coast.  In September, we took a two week vacation visiting Utah to see family then headed up to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We camped and were able to go on several good hikes.  In November, we moved into a new apartment and became apartment managers. 
            In March, EO graduated with a degree in microbiology. She has been studying to take the GRE to go to graduate school in the future.  She has continued her position
tutoring student athletes at the university.  After having Hulk (piece of cake!), EO began training so that she can run in a 50K race this coming spring.  In the fall, EO was an assistant coach for the HS cross country team (3rd year as coach).
            JC has been taking science courses at the university the past year to apply to medical school.  He spent the summer studying for the MCAT and tutoring physics students.  He will be finishing his course work in March of next year and going through the application process starting at the beginning of the summer.  In November, he began as an assistant basketball coach at HS for the girls JV2 team.  With his father as head coach they form one of the best father and son coaching tandems at the JV level in the city.

JC, EO and Hulk


Winter Wonderland

Thursday night it started snowing in Corvallis and didn't stop until Friday night. The official report was 9 inches. JCstill had class Friday morning but by noon the University and shut down. 

Up to his armpits in snow

Church was canceled on Sunday and the Corvallis Nativity Festival is being held for limited hours. 
JC found out today that his Monday morning final (that he had been prepping for all weekend) was pushed back to 8:00pm Tuesday. He has two hard finals (Biochemistry and Cellular Molecular Biology) Wednesday so this does not make him a happy camper. He's going to try and contact the professor but it's not likely she'll let him take it any other time.

You could lose a baby in all that snow!

We tried making a snowman but the snow is too fluffy! Underneath that fluff is ice. I opted to do the majority of my long run Saturday on a treadmill and the short time I was outside could be compared to ice skating.

Someone asked how Hulk liked his first snow day. Well, he enjoyed watching it from the window but did not enjoy being cold while outside. We spent maybe 5 minutes in the snow before he demanded to be brought back in.

Stay safe and warm! 


Hulk's Firsts - Halloween

As Halloween approached this year I figured JC and I were a little old for trick-or-treating and taking a 3 month old would only be self serving. Despite this a friend talked me into going to downtown Corvallis. It was a neat experience. All of the downtown stores, from 5th to the water front participate in handing out candy to little kids (with special candy reserved for the parents) from 1-5pm. What a great and safe way to enjoy the holiday. 

After exploring downtown Hulk and I picked JC up from campus and we drove over to WinCo to pick out a pumpkin (they had ~10 left, it was slim pickings).

Hulk helping carve the pumpkin

Little giraffes like green flowers

Playing with Daddy while Mommy prepped the pumpkin

Final product!
JC carved the pumpkin. I think it turned out adorable! We weren't sure whether to buy candy or not. We ended up buying a bag of mixed chocolate, just in case. Good thing because we did end up with a few trick-or-treaters (including a cute fairy princess). 


New momma thoughts

I came across this blog a while ago (a friend had posted it on facebook - I think) and I immediately emailed it to JC. I wanted to share it with you too. 
To summarize: you have no personal life after your new baby, no personal time, and you get nothing done. All of which is true. Everything you once knew and enjoyed ends with the addition of that bouncing bundle. 
But that is also the beauty of it.  

All dressed for church
 Some days I'm lucky if I get a run AND a shower in. To be honest, running at this point is a bit excessive; I should be happy just to get the dishes done, or cook dinner, or make the bed in the morning (or even get out of bed). 

But you deal with the crying, the screaming, the refusal to go to sleep when he's so tired he doesn't even know what to do (he thrashes and screams against your chest until hours later he eventually crashes) because everyone says it's worth it.
And it is. 

Little Giraffe 
 When he smiles for the first time and then you and your spouse do every silly thing you can think of just to see that smile again. Or when he first laughs. And it was the neighbor girl that got him to laugh. And you have NO IDEA how she did it. So you spend the next week and a half doing everything your friends tell you that babies think is funny until you finally get a half giggle that was probably more out of pity (if babies even feel pity).

At times (ok, most of the time) it's hard and frustrating because he cries and fusses more than anything else. You get depressed and feel alone (especially when your spouse leaves to spend the night at his parents because the internet at your place is crap) but then your baby gets excited because you laid him down to change his diaper and play with him and he thinks that you're best thing in the world. 

First time at the park
Overall, parenting is what I expected it to be (aside from the PPD - I hate that). It's challenging and exciting. He was a lot easier to take care of inside but he's more fun outside. 


Gigantor (aka Bear Bait)

Our *dare I say it?* little baby is starting to show personality. 
He no longer resembles a large bag of potatoes. 
The neighbor girl got him to laugh last Saturday - no idea how. He's just a sucker for the little ladies. I'm in trouble.

ps. I tried to upload a video of him, no luck. You're all doomed to miss out.


The BIG Trip

JC spent the summer studying for the MCAT - which he took on the 7th. He decided that with his last few weeks before the term started we should take a family trip (something we've never done before). We were a bit nervous taking Hulk. Aside from getting bored on the way to Salt Lake, he traveled well.

We stopped first in Salt Lake to see JC's Grandmother: Karen Campbell. We spent a week there and were able to attend a session at the Salt Lake Temple and visit the Zoo and Thanksgiving Point.
Meeting Great Grandma Karen for the first time

Momma and baby and Momma and baby

Eternal Family <3

Hulk did not enjoy meeting Joseph Smith
Thanksgiving Point
After a week we headed north towards the Tetons. We made a brief detour to visit the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island.

The Great Salt Lake
Daddy's little co-pilot
 We spent two days camping and hiking in the Tetons. We did not see any wildlife but did enjoy the views and beautiful mountains.

Hulk slept through most of it
After the Tetons we kept heading north through Yellowstone. We saw several buffalo, antelope, and deer. We also saw a moose, coyote, and a bear. One day, while driving down the road we came across a herd of buffalo moseying their way down the road. JC stopped the car for them to pass by us. As they did the bull stopped and stared us down, even lowering his head to the hood of the car.  

Buffalo enjoying a meal while the Grand Geyser explodes in the background
ps. the Grand Geyser is 109284893890x's cooler than Old Faithful
 We came across a brown bear enjoying the meal on the side of the road. Because its head was down we could not get a good picture of it - that is until Hulk started screaming and the bear raised its head in response. Hence Hulk = bear bait

We went on several hikes to view the beautiful halls

Hulk did not mind the tent life

Davy Crockett Jr. in the making


Survived Week 1

Bottom line: our child is perfect.
Be jealous, that's ok.

JC did a photo shoot with the offspring. We've decided we're never doing a photo shoot of a newborn by ourselves again. Never.

The other day JC commented on why he had suddenly started locking the front door when we are home. He doesn't want someone walking in and taking our baby. <3

I love having Hulk around. It does not bother me that it's a 24/7 job. If anything, I have an irrational fear that someone will show up on our doorstep and say, "Thanks for babysitting, we'll take our baby back now."
But then I realized, I have been hired as a full time babysitter. I will have this position for the rest of my life. While I created the body Hulk uses, he's a son of God. I am a stand-in. I have been hired to teach Hulk of his heavenly parentage and how to get back to Heaven. And I have only 18 years to instill such a knowledge that he's prepared to teach others.



We would like the blogging world to know that our little family has grown

21 July 2013
8lbs 4.4oz
19.75 in

EO's water broke Thursday night and Friday afternoon she was induced because labor had not started on its own. 39 hours later Hulk decided to join us.

We are no longer forever roommates. We are a forever family =)

He's absolutely perfect. We'll keep him.


Ken's Kar Shoppe

Last week when I went to fill up the car with gas, the station attendant told me it looked like my radiator was leaking. I smiled, thanked him, and went on my way. When I got home I told JC of my interaction but we didn't see any leakage and continued on with our lives. On Tuesday JC picked me up from campus and on our way home the car started beeping and the temperature gauge spiked. We checked under the hood - believe it our not the coolant reservoir was empty (despite having recently filled it). I called Dad's Car Talk and was reprimanded and given different scenarios of what could be wrong with the car. 

A few days later JC filled the coolant reservoir and drove around for two miles to check how it held up. The temperature gauge started to go up and when he got back half the coolant dumped. 
interpretation = we had a problem

So I called Ken's Car Talk and gave the above story. He offered to stop by with a pit crew to diagnose the situation. 
prognosis = hole in the lower hose

Ken came over early the next day, we filled the reservoir up with water and limped our way over to his car shop. It was decided that we (as in Ken and JC - I mainly watched) would get under the hood to make sure that the hose was the problem. But there was a road block. Apparently, somewhere along the car's +102,000 miles the front part of the body had been bent in, shifting the radiator back a few inches. This made it difficult to get to the hose. It was also noted that the lower hose, due to the shift in the radiator, was rubbing against a metal piece (thus creating a hole). In order to prevent any future problems after inserting a new hose (and mainly to get the old one out) some auto-body maintenance was ordered.

We pulled the car up behind the West Fala, hooked it up to the hitch and cranked away.
result = radiator back in place, access to the hose, and no more rubbing

Proving the many practical uses of a Westy
 The hose proved difficult to get out. Partly due to it's positioning, partly due to the clamps securing the hose in place. In the end, several different wrenches were used, a dremel that sent sparks flying, and a pocket knife.
Here are some of my favorite Ken quotes that occurred during this time:
Not only am I not ASC certified, I don't know what ASC means.
Fun, fun, fun until my daddy took my neon away.
Ken: You get what you paid for.
Me: Well, I paid in brownies...
Ken: So you'll get something tasty.

Happy boys are dirty boys
 The hole was big enough to stick a finger through.
The culprit
After we got the hose out we stopped by AutoZone, they didn't have the part in stock, so we headed over to Napa where we got a new hose and clamps to secure it (because the old clamps were sawed in half by the dremel). We went back to Ken's car shop to put the hose back in.

For roughly $18.50 and 3 hours of manual labor (never mind it being cold) we got our car fixed. We had expected to do all the work ourselves with slight supervision from Ken. However, he did most of the work, teaching us as he went, and didn't even make us clean up. I highly recommend his car shop for any way-laid and naive driver.

Now here's hoping we'll make it to Medford on Monday.