Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year of the Parent

Last year (2012) was definitely the year of the baby.  We were figuring out how to function with a new little person in our house.  This year, however, the "function" part was old news... suddenly what took precedence was the parenting aspect of the arrangement.  What would she eat, when would she go to bed, what activities were free expression and what would lead to a firm "no"?  Just how much whining could we ignore before we went absolutely batty?  I can definitely say that we made it out of this year alive... but the battle is not over yet. lol

Amongst all of the questions about our growing parenting styles, we also had so so SO much enjoyment watching Emily grow, learn, express and explore.  From walking to kicking to running to dancing to jumping to climbing... she's all over the place.  From crying to showing to words that we can understanding... she's communicating.  She's getting herself "dressed" (socks, shoes and hats) and, with that, comes her own sense of style.  She has a favorite TV show, a favorite blanket, favorite books.  She FINALLY likes to cuddle and will give hugs and kisses unprompted.  How much love I feel for my small little person is unreal.

2013 has been a good year.  And I am very excited to see what 2014 has to bring!

Christmas Wrap Up

I know.  Christmas is old news by now... but, I figured that I should at least say something about the holiday before I get my blog printed out for the year!  Surprisingly, this will not be a picture heavy post... as i didn't really take any photos.  I have noticed that, over the last 20 months of my daughter's life, I have really been more "in the moment" with her, and not stuck behind a camera.  Every now and then I'll put out my camera phone and snap a shot of her doing something cute, but I don't live back there like I did for years (maybe to avoid social interaction? lol).

Christmas Eve... Jacob had to work, so Emily and I spent the day together.  We went to OMSI and played in the kids area until she was pooped, and then headed home and (she) took a nap... her last nap in her crib... ever.

Playing in the sand at OMSI
Last nap in her crib  =(
While she was napping, I hauled her toddler bed out of our closet.  Her Nana and Papa got it for her at a garage sale a few months back, and I was waiting for Christmas to switch it in... not because of "Christmas" but because a) I had taken the entire week off of work, so new that, if the transition went poorly, I wouldn't have to worry about getting up early for work the following day(s) and b) I knew we'd be out late both Christmas even and Christmas day, so she'd fall asleep in the car anyway.  ;)  So, I pulled out the bed, and, when she woke up, made the switch.

She was thrilled.  The moment that I got the mattress on the bed with a new sheet and pillow, she grabbed her blanket, crawled in and laid down. lol.  She was very happy about it... and still is... it was a super easy transition.  We are so lucky with her!

After Jacob got home from work, we packed up the car and drove up to his parents place (about a half hour from our house) for Christmas Eve dinner and a white elephant gift exchange with his extended family.  Lots of good food, good fun and fun presents.  Emily was up WAY too late... and we suffered for it all night long (she kept waking up and crying until one of us would go in there... she never left her bed though!).

First night in her new bed!
The next morning we packed up the car again and headed down to my parent's place (about a 2 hour drive).  Thankfully, the drive was good--Emily slept the whole way, and there was (surprisingly) very little traffic.  We opened presents at my parents house, and then went to my grandma's place for Christmas dinner and more gift opening.  After Christmas Eve, Emily had the unwrapping thing DOWN and we had to protect everyone else's presents from her... which she was really  not a happy camper about!  Last year she didn't really get it... this year it was "watch out". lol

We left at a little after 6:00 to drive home... two hours before Emily's bedtime.  She fell asleep in the car and didn't wake up until the next morning.  The whirlwind of present opening wore her out!  ;)

Jacob and I didn't bother to buy any gifts from Emily this year (or last year) because we knew that "Christmas" doesn't mean anything to her right now (and that her grandparents/aunts/uncles would get her plenty of stuff), but, next year I don't know if we'll be able to avoid it again!  I'm just hoping that she'll be a little nicer to Santa next December.  ;)

Playing Twister with her cousins after Christmas dinner.

Checking out her new blocks!

Monday, December 30, 2013

20 Months!

(About a week late... oops!)

Weight/Length- No idea.  I'm not that great about remembering to weigh/measure you while you're awake, and and the only time I have to write these posts are when you're asleep.  So... this category may have to wait until your 2-year appointment!

Eating- I am having a really hard time getting you to eat fruits and veggies (unless it's apple sauce or bananas).  I need to try some more "healthy" types of things.  You like breads (crackers, etc.) but not much else.  I think I need to experiment a bit.  Last month your favorite word was "snack", this month it's "cook".  You continuously are telling me to "cook" when you're hungry.  Which is, like, every 2 hours.  You snack a LOT!

Teeth- Still have 16!  We were thinking that one of your 2-year molars were coming in, but I don't know that it ever did.

Sleep- Down to one nap!  Sometimes it's hard for you to stay awake long enough to eat lunch.  I try not to put you down before noon, because I know that you won't take another nap and be super cranky if you go down to early, but this week it was a bit difficult some days!  One day I actually asked you if you wanted to take a nap and you crawled into bed and laid down.  =)  Speaking of beds, you have a brand new toddler bed now!  We switched it out on Christmas Eve.

 Clothes-24 month/2T clothes, size 4 diapers and size 8 shoes (girl... 7 in boys).  I swear that you skipped a shoe size. I think you went straight from 6s to 8s!

Personality- We're starting to see a bit more of the "Terrible Twos" more regularly now... and, honestly, it's hard not to laugh at you sometimes when you're throwing a tantrum.  You were pitching a fit in a restaurant the other day and a noticed some of the other patrons laughing at you, too.  You are just so obviously dramatic with your fits.  Not to say I'm wanting to laugh ALL the time!  That's for sure.  You have also started to be quite "shy" and will hide your face around new people and/or shut your eyes REALLY tight like, if you can't see them, they can't see you.  Also, you are a bit of a neat freak.  You are quick to point out a "mess" and you get a little upset every time you get food or something on your hands.  You MUST wipe them off.  =)  You also love to sweep and wipe things up.

  • You LOVE Elmo... commercialism at work!
  • You love swimming and the big water slide at the community center.
  • You like using the potty... even though you don't use it all the time, you still get pretty excited about using it.
  • You like your new bed and pillows.  I think you like the freedom of putting yourself to bed... though you don't ever really get out of it on your own (after waking up, that is).
  • You like wearing hats.  You have a couple of stocking caps that you like to put on your head and walk around the house with... even if it's the only thing you're wearing.
  •  You dislike being told "no"... I have a feeling that this is going to be a big one for the next year or so.
  • You pooped in the potty!  Woo hoo!!!  =)
  • You really got into opening presents for the first time.  You opened all of your own, and then got mad when I wouldn't let you open everyone else's, too!
  • You got a new toddler bed.  The transition was a lot easier than I was expecting.
  • You are learning a lot of new words and can repeat the alphabet letter by letter.  You are starting to recognize a few colors, and can count 2/3rds of the way to 3... (I saw one, you say two and three).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Number 2!


I had to share with the world because I was sooo happy/excited.  She TOLD me that she needed to go, and she DID... and it was a big one.  Her uncle Dustin would have been proud. lol

I was going to take a picture (to share with her dad, not with you all, I promise), but she flushed before I got back with the camera.  =( 

OK.  That is all (for now).  I have a couple of other posts coming up, just need to take a moment to write them.  =)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- I'm ready for Friday. Not for the shopping (I try to stay away from the malls as much as possible during the holiday season), but because I enjoy Christmas lights and the whole city lights up on Friday. :)

- I'm ready for the holidays to be over. As much as I love the actual celebrations, there is just too much stress leading up to the main event.

- I'm taking the week of Christmas off work... Just because. We're staying home for the holiday this year, but I've really been feeling like I need a break, so, I'm doing it.

- I'm still taking Emily to daycare one of those days so I can have some " me time" and maybe get some stuff done around the house.

- I'm super excited to see Catching Fire this weekend... I've been waiting for it since I saw the first one back in March 21012!

Monday, November 25, 2013

19 Months!

Weight/Length- Haven't weight/measured you since your 18 month appointment... but several pairs of pants that used to fit are getting too short and we need to buy you some new shoes... so, you are definitely growing!

Eating- Your new favorite word is "snack".  You will lead my by the finger to the cupboard with your snacks in it, point, look at me and say "snack".  Yesterday I accidentally left the lock* off of the cupboard and you came strolling into the office carting this huge canister of gold fish.  I was VERY thankful that you didn't drop them on your way!

Teeth- Still have 16!

Sleep-I'm not sure what you're doing at day care, but as far as home with us on the weekends go, you are down to one nap... however it's not as long as I would like, only about 90 minutes or so.  You are still sleeping great at night though (down at 8, up between 7 and 8), so I'm not complaining too much.  =)

 Clothes-We moved you up to a size 4 diaper this month, and we need to get you some more size 6 shoes.  Your fives aren't really fitting anymore.  You are still wearing 18-24 month clothes, but the 18 month pants are starting to get pretty short.  Problem is, you aren't big enough around yet for the 24 month pants!

Personality- You are amazing.  You are so loving and have such a sense of humor.  Even now you can tell when you're joking with Mom and Dad.  Like offering us a gold fish and then pulling it away, shoving it in your own mouth, and grinning this big-tooth smile with that mischievous look in your eyes!  =)

  • You LOVE buckling things... your high chair, your stroller, your old swing that is still hanging out in the living room.  You will buckle them over and over again, and then grab our fingers and say "help" so that we will come unbuckle for you and you can do it again... and again and again!
  • You love Sesame Street!  I don't think you actually blink when you watch it as you tend to have tears running down your cheeks.  Or maybe you are just so moved by Ruben Stoddard's ABCs... lol
  •  You dislike being ignored.  You want to be the center of attention at all times and through a bit of a tantrum when we need to focus on something else (i.e. cook dinner, eat dinner, go to the bathroom, etc. etc.).  I think the "Terrible Twos" are looming.  =)
  • You pooped on the floor for the first time.  You were practicing on the potty, and next thing I new you got off, pooped on the floor, and then stepped in it.  lol  Your dad did a mad dash to clean you up, and I cleaned the carpet.  We make a good team.  ;)
  • You informed us that you needed to go "pee-pee" and then went when we took your diaper/pants off.  Potty training is starting!  =)
  • You went trick-or-treating for the first time!  You loved it!  And you loved the candy that you got afterward!
  • You went to your first hockey game.  You weren't overly impressed.  We went home early.

*Our "lock" on our cabinet doors are hair-ties wrapped from one handle to the other.  It works pretty well and was cheap/easy to install.  ;)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- It's Thursday... At least I'm doing it! :)

- I haven't done one of these in over a month. But hey, I've been writing other stuff. That's a pretty big win!

- I'm a little sad that I haven't gotten a blog post comment in awhile. I write this for me and my kids for historical purposes, but the comments/knowing someone is still out there is still nice.

- I've been thinking lately about taking my nose ring out... But I'm a little nervous about looking weird without it. It's been a part of me for over 6 years.

- I'm thinking about getting a tattoo... Especially if I choose to ditch the piercing. Getting my nose done was my real only rebellious expression... I feel like without that, I need to do something else to prove to myself that I'm not a total goodie-goodie.

- I'm extra thinking about the tattoo because Jacob doesn't think I'd do it. I feel challenged. ;)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Starting My Life Over

Starting my life over... kind of how I've felt the last week and a half.  You see, two weekends ago some one stole our diaper bag from a community play space near our house.  A stolen diaper bag may not sound like a big deal to most, however not many moms I know carry BOTH a diaper bag AND a purse.  Which means that the punk thief got away with my wallet, cell phone and keys.

I was upset and felt pretty violated.  I called the police, filed a report, canceled my credit cards/cell phone, etc.  But then I started to think about what being without those three items meant:

Keys:  House keys, car keys, work keys, bike lock keys... as they had my ID, too, they had my home address... so they knew which house and car the keys would open.  Thankfully Jacob had the car at the time (he had dropped us off to do some errands), so I wasn't stranded with a car and no keys, nor were they able to swipe the car from the parking lot. 

We changed our locks on the house that evening, and I was able to get my work keys copies/replaced (though I couldn't actually get into the building last Monday, so had to go in late to make sure someone would be there to let me in), but we're still not quite sure what to do with the car.  For a week after the theft we "hid" the car (so you wouldn't be able to see the headlights go off with the "convenient" remote on the key), but now we're trying to determine if we want to a) re-key the car ($500-$600), b) get a new key copy for the same locks ($80), or c) get a new key copy (which would only unlock the driver's door) and a new remote device ($150) so that I can actually unlock the passenger doors/trunk without having to first go around to the driver's side (busy mom... lots of stuff/kid in your arms... think about it).  I have no idea what to do here.  Car insurance doesn't cover the re-keying... but does cover theft of the vehicle... we have considered this... is that wrong?

Last note about getting keys stolen... you also get your key CHAIN stolen.  Which meant that I had to go shopping for a new key chain.  Surprisingly difficult if you don't want a weird souvenir thingy.   Also, my keys are really "small" now... making them more difficult to find in my bag.

Cell Phone:  Both Jacob and I work and commute... and we carpool, so need to be in communication with each other regarding traffic/transit issues/travel plan changes, etc.  Plus, we have just gotten so accustomed to having a phone handy for emergencies (we don't have a landline).  And, while my work doesn't "require" one, it's how we tend to do so much of our communication when someone is out of the office.  So, being without a phone was not an option.  So I ended up having to activate a prepaid Verizon phone (with an old phone that I had lying around) so that I would have some kind of communication while sorting out the insurance/new phone order stuff... and it wasn't a smart phone.  Even though I was pretty opposed to getting a smart phone, I have gotten spoiled by it.

Wallet: The biggies in this category are pretty obvious: ID, credit card, debit card... but, let me tell you, there are things in your wallet that you won't even think about until you suddenly need it and it's not there.  For example, other things that I've realized I needed to replace that were not at the top of my "oh shit" list:
  • Insurance cards... medical for both Emily and myself, dental, and car.  I still need to get the dental one replaced... just thought about that one yesterday.
  • Membership cards (zoo, OMSI, gym).  Some of these charge to replace... this jerk is costing me more and more money...
  • Stamps
  • Library cards (I got in trouble with the librarian for not reporting this right away... it was NOT my top priority, lady!)
  • Bus tickets for my work commute
  • Papa Murphy's discount sticker card (if anyone knows a boy scout selling these things, send him my way!)
  • And I'm sure the list will go on for the next year... at least.
Also, I had to buy a new wallet... I JUST both myself a new wallet 6 weeks ago for my birthday.  I ended up going back to DSW and getting the exact same one.  I had to do SOMETHING to make myself feel better.  Also, bought a new weekend diaper bag and travel wipes.  But lost a set of clothes and a snack pouch.

I am slowly getting things replaced and moving on from all this, but I have definitely started to rethink my method of carrying those important items with me (don't put everything in one place).  I have also noticed that I have become a little more paranoid/cautious in public situation... which I'm actually not ok with.  I've always been a pretty trusting person and, while it may have been a fault in this situation, I also feel like it's been one of my greatest strengths. 

I had a teacher in high school who always used to carry his HUGE wallet in his back pocket.  It stuck out a good half an inch.  I made a comment to him one day about how easy it would be for someone to grab.  He looked at me, smiled, and said, 'Yes, but I'm trusting that you won't".  That comment has stuck with me for 15 years and, I believe, has really shaped me.

I wonder if that wallet was ever stolen...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bad Momma

I saw a post that someone in one of my Facebook groups posted today and thought it would be an excellent blog post/link up.  I've never hosted a link up before, so this is brand new to me... but I would LOVE to see what others have to say to this.

OK, here's the deal... the prompt is "I'm a bad mom because..." and you fill in the blanks.  =)

 I am very, very familiar with "mom guilt" and really appreciated reading what other moms do that are "against the rules" and recognizing that I'm not "alone" in some of my parenting decisions.  So... I'll go first, then you join in and don't forget to add your link at the bottom!  =)

I'm a bad mom because...
  • I turned Emily's car seat to front facing when she was a year old.  I couldn't wait until she hit the 1 year/20 lbs marker.  She really disliked being rear facing and it was horrible trying to maneuver her into the car seat when it was rear facing.
  • I let her eat off the floor... I feel like the 5 second rule is extended slightly for toddlers since it takes them a while to grip the lost food item.  Sticky or slimy food items fall out of this category.  =)
  • I gave her a brownie before dinner tonight and told her not to tell her dad... lol.  I really wanted one and I knew that she wouldn't let me eat it unless she had one, too.  ;)
  • Sometimes I let her play with trash.  A crinkly paper bag or milk jug is sometimes the most sought after item in the house/car.
  • I discovered that she LOVES Sesame Street... so I turned on an episode this weekend, sat her on the couch and said, "I'll be RIGHT back"... and then left for about 10 minutes so that I could pee/eat/change over the laundry
  • I let her sit on the counter when I'm in the kitchen.  She likes to watch me cook.  She has fallen off... once.  And only once.  Now she knows better. 
  • Sometimes I skip pages when reading a book to her because I am super tired of reading the same book over and over again.  So far she hasn't called me on it.  =)
  • I encourage her to play on "the big bed" and let her bounce around on our king size bed... because it means that I get to lay down for a few minutes and rest.
  • She eats breakfast in the car Monday through Friday.
I'm sure I'll probably add more to this as time goes on.. lol, but now, it's your turn... GO!  =)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

To See, to Say

I don't have very many of my own "firsts" anymore.  The firsts in my life are now taken up but a cute little curly-haired blonde girl.  But, today I had an all-me-for-real new experience... jury duty. 

I've never been called for jury duty before and I was actually kind of excited about it.  With my background in criminology, I get a little geeked out with all things crime/court related.  I got to see a jury selection one time as a class assignment when I was in college, and I think it would be kind of cool to be on a jury.  Let me tell you though, after today, I'm not AS excited about it.  In fact, a little foreshadowing for you, this MAY become a series of posts on this blog. lol

About a month ago I got letter letting me know that I had been selected for a jury pool for a "special panel" for a single case that could last up to (or more than) 4 weeks.  I later learned that this is not the norm... apparently the norm is going in and sitting around for 2 days to see if you get selected for one of several different cases being held that day (?).  Nope, not me.  Not this one.  I was a *little* freaked about the idea of having to be on a jury and away from work for a month, but also, still, a little excited at being able to have the experience.

So, yesterdayI headed over there a little nervous, but mostly curious at the process.  Here's the timeline of my day:

8:25 am - Arrive at the court house.  Was told to give plenty of time to get through security, and I was supposed to check into the jury room by 9:00.

8:35 am - Through security AND have a hot chocolate from the coffee cart inside.

8:40 am - Check into the jury room, get myself comfortable, eat my muffin and drink my hot chocolate.

9:15 am - Watch jurors still filtering in.  Seriously people.  You were supposed to be here BY 9:00!

9:30 am - Juror room attendants try to set up video... can't get their laptop to work.  I look around at the MANY people in the room and estimate about 200-300 people in attendance... for ONE jury.

9:45 am - Finally get the lap top working, start the court/jury orientation video.

10:00 am - Video over, no one says anything, nothing happens.

10:10 am - Trial judge comes in, introduces herself, identifies the case/charges and talks about the time frame of the trial.  Explains that it will start at the beginning of the year, and that a questionnaire will be passed out to all of us to fill out so that the jury selection process can go more quickly.  After we are done, we are to take our questions to the front and get our photo taken.

10:15 am - Get my 10-page questionnaire, start working on it.  Answer a variety of questions that are going to make me look really bad, but, when you work in social services you can't really get away from answering "yes" to questions like, "Do you know anyone with a substance abuse problem?" or "Have you ever known someone in a gang?". lol

10:30 am - Finish my questions, get in line for the photo.

11:00 am - Continue to wait in line.

11:15 am - One of the juror room attendant comes down the line with a list of our names (in completely random order) to tell us which "group" we're in.  We learn that after we get our photos taken we are done for the day and need to come back again at the beginning of January for the ACTUAL jury selection.  We come back in groups of 40... there were at least 5 groups.  We find our names (again, in completely random order on this sheet of paper), and write down our group number.

11:45 am - I FINALLY make my way to the ONE woman taking photos.  As I sit down the trial judge comes back in and they have a conversation about when this woman is going to go to lunch (I was, MAYBE at the 40-50% mark of the people remaining waiting to be photographed).  The photographer said that she would go in 15 minutes.  I told her that I was REALLY glad that I was on this side of that 15 minutes.

12:00 pm - Leave the jury room and think about all of things that I would change/re-organize if I was in charge of the process.  This was a giant waste of my time and energy.  I just hope that my second round in a couple of months is more interesting/worthwhile!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five Questions

I've recently started following the blog "Five Kids is a Lot of Kids".  She's a mom blogger who also lives in the Portland metro area.  As you can tell by her URL (http://putdowntheurinalcake.com), she's got a sense of humor on top of some great stories and insight.  The other day she posted these questions for her followers to answer.  I wanted to share my answers and see what you all out there may have to say for yours:  

(P.S.  Yes, I know that the numbers below are all "1" I can't figure out how to get Blogger to fix it... so... I'm dealing).

5 Quick Questions on Parenting

  1. If you could go back in time and whisper one thing to yourself when you were a parent of young ones, what would it be?
My daughter is only 18 months, so still quite little, but, if I was going back to when she was REALLY little, I think I would tell myself, "You're doing a good job."  I constantly felt like I had no idea what I was doing.  It's scary being a first time parent who hasn't been around babies in YEARS, and is suddenly (without any sort of formal training), in charge of a very little, fragile little thing that depends on you for EVERYTHING... including to know when something is wrong and to be able to fix it.  I would definitely tell myself that things are going to be ok, and that I'm an amazing mom.  =)
  1. What’s one change you’ve made in your parenting or your house or yourself that’s allowed you to breathe easier? 
We hired a house cleaner. lol.  I work full-time outside of the home, then I come home, make dinner, spend time with my kid, but 9:00 I want to rest... not clean.  So, once a month, we have someone come in to do a full-house cleaning.  Sure, we still pick up/wipe down/put away throughout the month (especially when we know visitors are coming over!) but to have someone to come and mop the floors and scrub out the bathtubs has been amazing.  
  1. Comparison. Blerg. What’s your strategy for not comparing yourself to other moms or your kids to theirs? 
I don't have one.  Because I do it.  Guilty as charged.  But, I don't *think* that I do it in a negative way... more out of curiosity/information seeking.  If we don't recognize the differences, and question the motives, how can we be sure that we're making the best decisions on our end?
  1. What’s one of the funniest things your children ever did?
I don't know if I can answer this... she's hilarious like, all the time!  Today, for instance, we were playing on the "big bed" (mom and dad's bed, she things it's fun to run around and plop on our king-sized tempurpedic)Her dad and I were laying on our sides, and she kept walk behind us and swan diving (face first) over us in the mattress/pile of pillows.  She thought it was HILARIOUS. 

She also has recently learned what a cow says... and she MOOOs with such force and commitment that she has, literally, bent herself in half to get the most power behind it as possible. lol
  1. But how do you keep your sense of humor during the tough patches of parenting?
I laugh at my kid.  Not to her face.  But I have definitely had to turn my back/put my hand over my mouth a few times when she's throwing a temper tantrum or tossing food everywhere.  She just looks so pathetic sometimes I can't help but find it funny (because I know that she's just throwing a tantrum, and nothing is actually, seriously wrong).  Thankfully, she has yet to REALLY through a tantrum in a public place, so I haven't had to deal with finding the humor in that one yet... 

One Adorable Little Girl Eating a Sucker

So, before I go into a recap of our Halloween and some ADORABLE photos, I have to state my utter disdain for this women.  You may have heard about her, the one who, for Halloween gave out candy to some of the children, and notes to those that she thought were obese urging their parents to make better dietary decisions for their children... just thinking about this again makes me want to cry.  This woman is doing SOO MUCH MORE damage to these poor (probably already self-conscious) children than any "good" that she thinks may come from these letters.  I am all for promoting healthy eating, but do NOT single out children like that!  Hand out fruit snacks instead of tootsie rolls.  Hell, give all the kids a damn granola bar... even that is better on Halloween than placing blame on parents, and judgement and embarrassment on young children.  I'm really curious if that woman got "tricked" this year...

OK, rant over.... on to more happy things.  Particularly, pictures of my adorable little pirate.  =)

We weren't planning on taking Emily trick-or-treating this year.  We didn't really think that she'd "get it".  Plus, we don't really give her candy to eat, and she can't actually SAY "trick or treat".  So, our plan was to take her to the golf course down the street that was having a Halloween event.  I didn't realize that the indoor spooky trail (or whatever they called it) was actually a trick-or-treat loop where local businesses handed out candy to the kids and coupons/advertisements to the parents.  It was a nice little intro to trick or treating (and she actually really did get into it!), and Jacob and I both walked away with some free chiropractic care and half off massages... so.. it was win-win.  (Plus, we get to eat the majority of her candy... so... there's that, too).  =)

And now, the photos... there's lots of them.  She's cute.  Deal.  =)


Saturday, October 26, 2013

18 Months!

Emily's 18-month mark was 3 days ago, but I held off on this post until we finished up her 18 month appointment with her doctor.  I wanted to have all of the stats for the post.  =)  I can't believe that we're going to be celebrating 2 years soon!  I'm already planning the party.  ;)

Weight/Length- 24 lbs, 8 oz and 33.25" tall... which means that you grew THREE inches in the last 6 months and you are now in the 90th percentile for height (75th for weight, and between 50-75th for head... meaning that, at the very least, you can fit in normal sized hats. lol.  Your doctor pointed that one out!).  I love that you're growing so well and are so healthy, but I'm still crossing my fingers that you even out at about 5'7"... I don't want you to have the same kind of problem finding clothes that fit, dates who are intimidated by your height (or who you feel uncomfortable dating because of theirs), or are pushed in playing basketball.  =)

*Side note: the doctor also found a heart murmur.  I asked if it was hereditary, as I have one, too (it's been checked out and it's innocent).  She said that it may be.  So, we'll keep our eyes on that.  We also discovered that you have a little eczema... but we've been able to keep it under control without any sort of medications.  Your Eucerin lotion seems to work great, but we bought some Vaseline, too.

Eating- You're getting a little more picky with foods.  Case in point.  Today for dinner you only wanted to eat apple sauce and frozen corn.  Read that correctly: frozen corn.  Not corn that WAS frozen.  No, the heated stuff apparently was horrible.  But, cold and frozen?  Yes please!

Teeth-16!  You now have ALL of your first set of teeth.  Now we're just looking forward  to the 2nd year molars (sarcasm).  =)

Sleep-Still sleeping about 11-12 hours per night.  I think that you're starting to transition to one nap a day.  Your two naps are getting shorter, and you're usually ok skipping one of them.  We've been pushing your morning nap back later and later to see what happens.

 Clothes-You're still wearing 18-24 month sizes and size 5-6 shoes.  Still in size 3 diapers, but I have a feeling that we may have to go up a size the next time that we buy diapers.

Personality- You're a very independent, curious, observant young lady.  At the doctor yesterday you were so curious at everything that they were doing.  The doc commented on how calm you were (as other 18 month-appointments are full of tears and panic due to remembering shots, etc.).  But you just wanted to check every out.  You even let the docs medical student check you out!  =)

  • You LOVE books!  "Book" has become your new favorite word.  We read to you constantly.  
  • You also LOVE to point out different things in the books that we read.  You're getting really good and being able to identify a lot of different objects and animals.  We need to start working on colors next!
  • You like to play dress up.  You'll grab any available shirt, pair of pants, even clean underwear out of the laundry and put it over your head.  =)  You will also put on mom and dad's shoes and try to walk around.  You're also quite intrigued with Mom's bras. I actually had to pull you out of a bra rack today at Target when you refused to come out of it and wanted to touch them all! lol
  •  You don't like when Mom/Dad don't want to do something that you want them to do.  Now that you've gotten good and communicating to us what you want by pushing/pulling us around, you get really annoyed when the answer is "no".  Most of the time it's when I'm cooking and I can't pick you up because I'm busy.
  • You went to Bend for the first time!  Long car ride, but you had fun when we got there.  =)  You played with your new friend, Jaxon (dad's friend, AJ's little boy) and had a blast.
  • That's all we can think of!  Stay tuned for next month.  =) 
  • **One last note: at your doctor's visit we had to fill out this check list of developmental milestones to see how you were doing.  I fear that you may be a little behind in your verbal development, but the doctor said that you are WAY ahead in your motor skills!  One of the questions asked if you could copy of the motion of kicking a ball... I wanted to tell her that you've been dribbling a ball across the backyard since you were a year old!  =)
 Words you can say:  I'm taking this category out... the list is getting too long.  At this point you are pretty much able to repeat back sounds that we make, so you can pretty much say any monosyllabic word that we ask you to repeat... you don't always know what you're saying, but you can make the sounds.  =)  Consonant sounds are challenging, but the vowels come out no problem.  =)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- I've written more "So What?"s recently than anything else... maybe I should just call my blog "So What?"  =)

- I got a little emotional talking about getting rid of my old couches last night.  We just bought a new (to us) sectional and I had someone via Craigslist and come and take my old couches tonight.  Those couches were a college graduation/first grownup job partial gift from my parents.  They were a pretty good buy and have treated me well these last 8.5 years.  They even went to Canada with me.  We have moved those things SIX times... and you could start to tell.  Plus, the cat got to it after the last move and totally destroyed one of the arms.  We've been talking about getting a sectional, and this was kind of an impulse buy (someone nearby was selling their old one).  The price was right and we decided to get it as an "interim" sectional, until we can save up some money to get the style that we (read: Jacob) really wants.  =)

- Emily's dinner consisted of gluten-free/vegan brownies.  I didn't intend for it to be that way, but she wanted a snack while we cooked dinner (which, tonight, was hurried grilled-cheese).  She liked them so much she ended up eating a pretty decent sized piece.  In all actuality though, that "brownie" with it's bananas, black beans, and oatmeal was a lot better for her than the grilled cheese. lol

- Today my daughter is 18 months old.  In 6 months she'll be two... and I already know where we're having the birthday party. lol  It's not weird that I started planning before she was halfway through the year, right?

- I'm getting a little sick of my daughter's love for books.  "Book" has become her new favorite word, and her new favorite past-time.  I LOVE that she loves books.  But I'm really tired of reading the same three or four books over and over again... and over again.  Sometimes I just want to sit there, cuddle, and watch some TV! lol

- I bought Emily's Halloween costume (no pinterest crafty-shit for me), and I got a "boys" costume.  All of the girls costumes were princess-y, flower-y, girl-y.  We do we need to ultra-feminize our little girls?  My daughter can be a fireman or a sailor or a baseball player, too!  She doesn't need to be a damsel in distress.  And she's gonna be damn cute.  =)  Halloween this year starts on Saturday for us with our first kiddie party.  =)  Pictures sure to come!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- I didn't post last week. I was using my "bus time" to read the last 50 Shades book (I think that's a "so what" too lol). I feel like the second book had a short reprieve from the crappy writing, but it was back for the third. After reading the trilogy, and having seen that they are recasting the role of Christian, I feel like I can now comment on their choice not to offer the role to Ian Somerhalder... I agree with it. I think he COULD do it, but I don't want him to. It would ruin Damon for me! :)

- I got a little excited when I got a jury duty summons last week. I've never been called for duty and the Criminology nerd in me has wanted to. I'm a little concerned that I was called for a "special jury" for a case that could last weeks,  but that also kind of excites me a bit. :)

- I had to ask my toddler for help opening the pour spout on the salt the other day. I have a nail biting problem and just couldn't get a grip on the thing. Her sharp little toddler-nails did the trick perfectly!

- I hate being called "ma'am". It makes me feel old. Just say "thank you" and leave it at that!

- I get kind of mad when I clean my house. There is so much crap to put away (mostly laundry). I know that I have mostly myself to blame, but I still get really agitated. You all have any tips for keeping the laundry in check? I have NEVER been good about it... ask my mom.  I think it's time to do some ruthless donation/consignment sorting.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- After spending 4 days in Central Oregon I am starting to weigh the benefits of moving to a smaller community... and maybe even more toward that part of the state.  Though, I have been thinking about moving for about a month now (since Jacob said something about moving to the coast).  We have been in our house for almost 3 years now... which is longer than I've been in any one place since I was 18 and went to college.  I'm worried that I'm getting a little stir crazy.  I partially wonder if it has to do with moving around so much when I was a kid (the longest I was in one place was... 6 years, maybe?)... maybe I'd be perfectly satisfied staying in one place if I'd been raised in the same house all my life... hmm... now I'm curious about the psychology of it all.  =)

- I got a little geek-ed out excited to go to a conference out of town for work this week.  It was actually trainings on WHAT I DO.  This may sound like a "duh", but, working in a small program of a larger social service agency I don't usually get the opportunity to learn/share ideas on my actual job (workforce development), but rather receive trainings on trauma, crisis intervention, cultural competency, etc., etc.  It was SOO nice to spend 3 days actually talking about, and getting fresh ideas, to help with my day to day job.

- I'm having a really hard time deciding what to do with Emily's hair.  It's starting to get a bit long in the front and I can't decide if I want to trim "bangs" or start training a side part.  It's a lot of pressure to decide on your kids hair style!  And Jacob just doesn't understand. lol

- Speaking of hair, I'm at a loss at what to do with Emily's in terms of her curls.  I have straight hair, I have no idea what to do with hers... I'm actually thinking I need to research it a bit.

- I'm secretly happy for the fall-ish weather.  I was getting tired of my summer clothes and really wanted to pull out the boots, scarves and cozy sweaters.  =)  Give it about a month or two though, and then I'll just be sick and tired of the rainy, dreary, grossness.

- SWWs seem to be my only blogging as of late... but, the benefit of this is that it's a quick, easy way to get some of the little thoughts off my mind and on to paper.  Since starting this blog back in 2009, it has morphed from somewhere to share/discuss/get ideas for wedding planning on to a record of my life for my children to be able to review in years to come.  This little thoughts are just as important (if not more so) than the posts about family vacations and holidays. 

- On that note, I look forward to the end of each year because it means that it's time to get my blog posts for the year printed up and bound.  =)  I have several "books" now thanks to Blog2Print.  I don't trust the internet, so am more than happy to pay a few books to get it published into a hard copy for safe keeping.

Friday, September 27, 2013

17 Months!

(Four days late.... oops!)

Weight/Length- Not sure... will probably wait until your Dr. appointment next month.

Eating- You would live off of goldfish crackers if you could. lol  You are getting a bit picky with food and how you eat it.  For example, you'll throw a little fit if you don't have a fork in your hand (even though you still eat most of your food with your hands).  And sometimes you won't eat dinner when you're sitting in your booster seat... but you will if you're kneeling in the chair next to me instead.  Dinner time is getting interesting.

Teeth-15!  One lower canine FINALLY broke through!  Waiting for the next one now.

Sleep-Sleeping about 8pm-8am.  Taking 1-3 naps a day. lol.  You've been ditching your morning nap on the weekends but still seem to be taking 2 (short ones) at day care.  Every now and then you'll take a little cat nap in the evening before dinner.

 Clothes-You're wearing 18-24 month sizes now.  I had to make a late night run to the consignment store the other night to get you some more long pants.  All we had in your size were shorts/capris and it's getting too cold out for those.

Personality- You're a pretty awesome, independent, loving, adventurous little girl.  You're showing physical expressions of love a lot more now.  Giving us unsolicited hugs and kisses, holding our hands when we're walking, cuddling on the couch... LOVE IT!

  • You like playing "dress up" with mom and dad's clothes and shoes... but don't like when you get stuck in them. lol
  • You LOVE watermelon!  You got SUPER excited the other night when you saw we were having some with our dinner.
  • "Talking" on the phone.  =)  Super cute when you hold a cell phone up to your ear and look like you're trying to have a conversation.
  • You love strawberries and will run to our strawberry plant to see if there are any ripe ones ready for you.
  • You like "brushing" your hair.  I'm getting a bit worried about the hair thing... it's curly... I don't know what to do with curly.  I may need to read up on that soon. lol
  •  Your dad and I are having a really hard time coming up with dislikes this month!
  • For the most part, you can put your own shoes and socks on now!
  • You're getting a lot better at using a spoon.  You were able to eat peas the other day without spilling them in your lap.  =)
  • You are understanding SO MUCH now!  You nod your head for "yes" and you seem to understand most things that we ask you.
  • You understanding that you are meant to sit on a potty.  You "went" in the potty once... but it was kind of a fluke.  =)
 Words you can say:
  • "Dad" (Sometimes "Da", sometimes "Dad", sometimes "Dada"... but I'm pretty sure that you're talking to him now, so I'm counting it).
  • "Kitty" (sounds more like "key")
  • "Bye" (you've said it a couple of times, but not regularly).
  • "Shoe" (Sounds like a high pitched "shoooo")
  • "Mama" (others have report that she says this... I've yet to hear it.  Go figure).
  • "Two" (we say one, you say "two!")
  • "Hi"  (gotten this one a couple of times)
  • "Ball" (at least, we think that's what you're saying! lol) 
  • While you aren't saying "yes" or "no" yet, you are making your opinion known with affirmative sounds and/or head nods.
  • "Thank You"  (sometimes)
  • Grandma says that you can say "bird" and "book"  =) 
  • "Yeah"
  • You're starting to get the "p" sound down and we're working on "help" and "up"
  • I have FINALLY heard "Mama"!  =)
  • You make the "L" sound when you try to say "Llama" (we read the Llama Llama books at bedtime a LOT. lol)
  • "Eye" 
  • "Nose" (sounds like "oh")
  • "Nana"
  • "Papa"
  • "Food" (sounds like "foo")
  • You are saying "Foof" when you see a dog... lol  Maybe intended for "woof"?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- I haven't posted anything since last Wednesday... I haven't had much too say or time to say it. :)

- It's been three days since Emily's 17-month mark and I haven't posted my monthly update... I'm getting there. :)

- I dropped my kid off at day care this morning all stuffed up. She was in good spirits, and I was expected to go to school with worse as a kid (ok, honestly, I actually feel like crap about not being home to take care of her, and am trying to make myself feel better).

- I went out for drinks and dancing yesterday, a Tuesday night (a WORK night!)  Jacob wanted to go to a charity event sponsored by his favorite radio station that featured the Plain White T's. Jacob rarely plans/wants to go to events, so I was in. Plus the charity was raising money to support women with breast cancer (something near and dear), so that was even better.

- I got a little over-excited about seeing the band last night. I'm not really a huge fan... but I've never really been to a concert (of a non-local band) before, so I was excited for the experience. (Plus, one dude was super cute!) ;)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- I get really annoyed with poor customer service.  Two examples in the last week:  1)  Went through a drive-thru Starbucks the other day and ordered their new Chocolate Chai Latte.  I was given a regular coffee, but didn't notice it until I was several blocks away (I don't do coffee).  So, I turned around, went back through the drive-thru, explained that I got the wrong drink.  Their response "Yeah, we have that right here".  No, "Oh I'm sorry!" no "oh, here's a gift card for next time since we screwed up and made you drive back".  Argh.

Example number 2... about 3 weeks ago I sent a check into the community center to sign Emily up for swim lessons starting in late October.  The class is for 18 months - 3 year olds.  The class starts THREE DAYS before Emily hits the 18 month mark.  I didn't think it would be a big deal.  Well, a couple of days after I sent the check I got a call saying that she wasn't old enough and giving me the option to take the lower class (for the third time).  I explained the 3 day situation, they said that they would take care of it.  I thought we were good to go.  Yesterday (about THREE WEEKS LATER) I got a call from the community center again saying that they had found my check in the safe and that Emily wasn't old enough for the class.  Again I explained the situation.  However, this time I was told that they couldn't 'make the exception and that I'd had to talk to the aquatics staff.  They transferred me, I talked to the staff member, he said "no problem" however, the class I wanted to sign her up for (THREE WEEKS AGO) is now full and I'll have to go on a wait list.  SO FREAKING MAD!  Put one more kid in there!  What's the f'in big deal?  You all (and by you all I mean someone who works there that dropped the ball and the entire center's behalf), screwed me and my kid over.  My check has been sitting in your safe for THREE WEEKS.  FIX IT. 

OK... rant over.

- The above situation, which happened yesterday, on my birthday, ended with me being a giant, weeping mess.  It's been a rough few days, I was feeling well, and this was just the straw.

- I skipped dinner and crawled into bed at about 8:30 last night.  I was feeling well, the thought of food was not appealing, and, in addition to physical aches and pains, I was feeling pretty down in the dumps and wanted to craw into a little hole. 

- I stayed in my little hole until about 2 AM when I (thought) I had to use the bathroom.  Turns out the (very few) contents of my stomach decided that they no longer wanted anything to do with me.  Happy Freakin' Birthday.

- While I certainly didn't like the act of throwing up, I was glad for it, as it made my stomach feel much better... though left me feeling really weak and needing to stay home from work (who am I kidding, that may have actually been the silver lining. lol)  I can't even remember the last time that happened.  I wasn't nauseous at all during pregnancy.  It's probably been close to a decade. 

-This post really should have been titled "How My Birthday Blew Chunks".  lol

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pictures for Mom

My Mom is, for some reason, completely anti-Facebook.  She doesn't want to admit that she uses a computer (although, she has slowly inched from occasionally ordering clothes online to now Googling recipes and craft projects... I wonder if anyone has showed her Pinterest yet... lol).  One thing that she DOES do online is read my blog... and occasionally I get guff for not posting enough pictures of her granddaughter (which are, consequently, all on Facebook).  So, for my mom, and as a recap of the last few months, here are some of my favorite photos from the summer.

You're welcome, Mom.  =)

Memorial Day at the beach

With her friend Tim

With Aunt Brittney and Cousin Jordan

No better view than atop daddy's shoulders!

Learning the climb!

Robinhood Festival in Sherwood

Sportin' some cool shades!

We totally look alike. lol

Feeding Daddy goldfish

At the splash park

Such a happy water baby!

So What?

Linking up with Shannon for So What Wednesday!

So What Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO What if:

- I spent the weekend reading (and finished last night) Fifty Shades of Grey... or that I'm now on the waitlist for the next one (damn cliff hangers).

- I completely forgot that my birthday is next week until my boss mentioned it yesterday. I'm not a big birthday celebrater. It may be different if I was counting down the days until a midweek day off,  but no, I'm working.

- Consequently, I don't really have any plans for my birthday. Jacob's bday is 3 days later, so we are going to drop Em off with her grandparents and spend some time together... and alone.  :) I hope to get a pedicure and take a barre3 class. Woo! PARTY! Lol

- It took me 2 months to watch my last Netflix movie... I was enjoying my summer instead. :)

- I finally relented and bought another pair of post-pregnancy work pants. I've been living in skirts, dresses, and the one pair of pants that I bought last year because I "knew" that I'd be back down to my pre-prego size soon and didn't want to waste a bunch of money. 17 months later I've gotten tired of my skirts and am seriously wondering if I will ever get down to that size again. I think my whole stature has changed (like my feet... which grew a size.)

Monday, September 9, 2013


I have a confession to make.  I spent the entire weekend (and by "entire weekend" I meant during naps and after 8 o'clock bedtimes) reading "Fifty Shades of Grey".  At this point, I'm about half-way through.

I never planned to read the book.  I don't tend to jump on the band wagon when it comes to "literature" (I've yet to read a Harry Potter novel), and the book didn't really seem that interesting to me.

It all started when I saw an entertainment news article that they had made casting decisions for who would play Anastasia and Christian in the movie.  I had seen previously that Ian Somerhalder had wanted the role but hadn't gotten it.  Being a big Team Damen supporter I was pretty shocked.  From what I had heard about the book, and what I had seen of Ian's smoldering on-screen performances, I would have thought that he was a shoe-in.  So, I googled images of the actor that they DID choose (Charlie Hunnam) and was a bit surprised.  He looked too "nice" and not the bad-boy that I was picturing from what I had heard about the book.  Nor did Dakota Johnson look as mousy as I pictured Anastasia.  Again, just from what I heard/assumed about her character in the book.

The old "assume" adage came to me then and I realized that the only way to be truly justified in my belief that Ian should have gotten the role, was to READ THE BOOK.  So, I looked the e-book up in my library's digital collection and put it on hold.  I was told that I was patron number 138 on the waitlist, so I didn't expect to get it for awhile.

Two days later.  BAM!  There was a notice in my inbox that a copy was waiting for me to check out.  But, that I only had 7 days in which to read it.  So, that meant that the weekend would have to have some hard-core reading involved (pun intended).

The first quarter of the book was just BAD.  The writing was no good.  I mean, c'mon, lines like (not a direct quote): "'I'm going to make supper," I said, while I opened the cupboard to see what I could make for supper" are just hideous.  I was seriously hoping for a sex scene... not for the thrill of it, but because I was getting excessively bored with the rest of the narrative.  (Additionally, it seemed pretty obvious to me that the author didn't do a whole lot of research into the geography and culture of the Pacific Northwest...)

And then something happened.  The more and more that I read, the more sad that I got.  Last night I actually found myself crying.  Surprisingly, I wasn't crying at how bad the book is... but that I realized that once, just a few short years ago, I had been Anastasia and had had a Christian of my own. 

Not in the kinky bedroom manner.  I would not got there in a blog post that I suspect my mother to read. lol

The way that Christian speaks and presents himself... and the way that Anastasia feels about herself... these hit very close to home. Her insecurities, doubt in herself, belief that she wasn't good enough for a man... that was me.   I remembered all of my old feelings and insecurities as they came rushing back from somewhere deep down and hidden away... feelings that I haven't had in years since I "found myself".

Several years ago I was in a "relationship" with someone who came across very much like Christian Grey.  Arrogant, mysterious, smart, with a little something "off"... who I found very attractive and was shocked when he seemed to want to be in my company.  However, in his company I found myself feeling inferior, with the desire to please him so that he would continue to allow me in his presence.

And then, I started to wonder... is THIS why the book is so popular?  Not exclusively due to the sexual encounters described within and the mass amounts of publicity that the book has gotten, but rather because LOTS of women have once been Anastasia.  Am I not alone?  Are there many other Christian Grey's out there?  Do women relate?  Is that why they read?  Are they rooting for Anastasia to come into her own, as they did or hope to do one day? (I'm only half way through the book, so don't know what happens with their relationship)

OK.  That is all.  I was just so surprised by the effect that the book had on me, I felt the need to process and, perhaps, hear from others?

Now, I had a book to try to finish...