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December 21, 2013 7:41 pm

Naughty List

Wesley’s Nana and Papa took him on this boat ride “to the North Pole” extravaganza the other day. Santa was there, and he started the boat ride by reading out a list of names of kids on his nice list. (Names of the kids on the boat.)

Except… He didn’t say Wesley’s name! Nana and Papa started to try to explain this away when Santa cried out, “Ho ho ho! Santa has made a mistake! There’s a page two to my list!” and went on to call Wesley’s name.

Later at dinner, Wesley piped up:

“Did you know? I was kind of surprised to be on Santa’s nice list. I have been very naughty at my home.”

Nana said, “Well, you’re probably trying to turn it around, right? And be very nice?”

To which Wesley replied, “Not really?”

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November 29, 2013 9:39 pm

Christmas Tree

We put up some Christmas decorations today and I seriously love the atmosphere it creates in our apartment. It’s so much more cheerful and exciting in here now.

I told Wesley what to do if he’s under the mistletoe (we have the felt one from West Elm) and he thought was really funny. Three and a half is a great age for understanding Christmas stuff.

20131129-213203.jpg

We discovered this year that not only were our normal string of lights burnt out, so were the ones that came with the tree when we bought it. I sent Daniel to the store to get some more lights and he saved the day! I even tried out the Martha Stewart / Rockefeller Center method of lighting a tree (up and down stripes vs back and forth horizontally around the tree) and it seemed to work nicely.

Our tree is seriously so ridiculous. It’s basically become a contest of how many ornaments we can fit on it before it either falls over or you can’t see the tree. We totally have enough ornaments for a tree twice the size, but we’ve never lived in a place big enough to fit a full-sized tree. Maybe someday!

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November 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Thanksgiving 2013

This year, we only had one Thanksgiving to attend! It was a nice change. Daniel and I volunteered to bring pumpkin pies and then Daniel got a wild idea and decided to also attempt sweet potato pies. So we made four pies, which was about two and a half pies too many for the number of people attending.

Wesley really liked my grandma’s sweet potatoes, probably because they had a bunch of marshmallows on top. He claimed he didn’t like the turkey but I am pretty sure he didn’t actually try it.

We let Wesley skip his nap, and he did so well that I couldn’t figure out at first why he had fallen asleep on the drive home at like 7pm. Usually it’s pretty obvious through his behavior that he’s missed a nap!

Right as we were leaving, we discovered that my brother’s horrible ancient old cat had peed on Daniel’s scarf! The scarf must have fallen on the floor when someone grabbed their coat earlier, and the cat thought it looked like a nice spot to pee. Ugh. The worst! That smell never really goes away.

My grandma gave me two books for Wesley and was thrilled that he knew some letters in sign language. Other than the scarf incident, it was a nice mellow afternoon.

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November 10, 2013 5:38 pm

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Ed

We’re headed to my grandparents’ house to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday!

Not much happened today; more later when there’s actually something to talk about.

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March 25, 2013 1:00 am

Wesley Turns Three

For Wesley’s third birthday, I got really excited about doing a lumberjack-themed party. It’s not a super common theme so it doesn’t feel overdone, but it was easy to find decorations and I thought it’d be fun to have everybody dress like lumberjacks. We held the party at my parents’ house.

I found some plastic axes online that I used for decoration outside and attached balloons to the mailbox:

Plastic Axe Balloons

My brother made fun of my pathetic attempt to build a log cabin centerpiece with Lincoln Logs and took over:

Lincoln Log houses

A table was set up with cups, plates, napkins, and some of the dirt cup desserts. I found the tablecloth as well as the buffalo-plaid napkins at some birthday party website for cheap and they did a LOT for the theme:

Cups and plates

Black party cups from the dollar store with birch-bark print paper straws:

Birch Straws

I made “dirt cups” out of chocolate pudding, Oreos, and gummy worms. These were a big hit!

Dirt Cups

I made chocolate cupcakes (Wacky cake recipe) with cream cheese frosting and got the deer and evergreen tree toppers and red gingham cupcake wrappers from Bake It Pretty:

Cupcakes

My mom found suspenders (that used to be shared by my brothers!) that say “Grandpa’s Helper” so Wesley wore those all evening:

Whooooo!

His party was around dinnertime, so for actual food we had mini-smokies with BBQ sauce, coleslaw, dinner rolls, and veggies. All the partygoers dressed as lumberjacks and that was honestly one of the best parts of the party. I’m already thinking about what theme to do next year, haha!

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November 27, 2012 10:34 pm

Ornament Nostalgia

I really wanted to decorate for Christmas today, but when Daniel picked up our decorations from my parents’ basement the other day, he sort of… forgot the tree. I have all the other decorations and a box of ornaments, but no tree. I think this is the latest I’ll have put up Christmas decorations in a looong time – I almost always do it the day after Thanksgiving.

Piggy Ornament

I find decorating the Christmas tree very special, primarily because nearly all the ornaments on it hold some meaning for me. I mentioned when my grandma passed away that when I was growing up, she made me and my cousins an ornament every year so that when we moved out and started our own trees, we’d have an ornament collection to trim it with. Every time I pull out those ornaments, I can remember my grandma and how much she loved crafting. Or I can find the ornaments I made myself, or the ones Daniel got from his family, or the ones I bought because they were so ridiculous (silver glitter French Horn? CHECK.) and remember why I made them, or who gave them to Daniel, or why I wanted to get that particular ornament.

Winter Wonderland

I know that a lot of people choose a theme for their tree each year (“this year we will do neons and white!” or “this year will be purple and gold”), but good grief. That is a lot of buying and re-buying ornaments every year! Those trees look AMAZING, don’t get me wrong, but I love my hodge-podge of weirdo ornaments.

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November 26, 2012 11:34 pm

Ate the taxi?

My mom had minor surgery on her foot today and Daniel got nominated to drive her home from the hospital because he has Mondays off. We had joked earlier about hoping she didn’t say anything inappropriate while coming out of anesthesia, and fortunately she didn’t, but she did send Daniel this text:

Hi. Not ready yet but will be soon! Did you remember you ate the taxi?9

…which he proceeded to forward to me at work. Cue me, shaking at my desk trying not to audibly laugh in a quiet room.

Turns out it was a mere typo (“ate” instead of “are”) but it still made me giggle.

Apparently, while she was under anesthesia, she vaguely knew people were bustling around her and she was “so happy that all those people were helping clean her house.” I laughed at that too, mostly the idea that there would be a team of professionals all cleaning the house together while she slept.

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November 25, 2012 11:27 am

Thanksgiving #3

Tonight was spent at Daniel’s mom’s house eating falafels, and then coming home and watching Once Upon a Time. Nothing else to report!

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November 22, 2012 10:19 pm

Truffula Trees

Today during Thanksgiving dinner, my grandma informed us all that she is offended by The Lorax, because we live in a logging community.

I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. This quote encompasses practically everything you ever need to know about my grandma.

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November 3, 2012 6:34 pm

My Saturday

This morning, Daniel’s mom invited Wesley and I over for brunch. When she called, I was actually JUST ABOUT to have a bowl of cereal for breakfast – I set the milk on the counter to answer the phone and everything – so it was perfect timing. We had a veggie scramble and some herbed potatoes. It was yummy!

I wore a black Old Navy fold-over waistband skirt, some evergreen/pine/very dark teal tights, a dark pink 3/4 sleeve knit top, and my new boots, because I finally found a decent pair of brown leather wide-calf boots and I’ve been wearing them at every opportunity. Seriously, I am not sure how I lived so long without them.

Then we went to the grocery store whereupon Wesley totally lost his shit in the car and started shrieking “DON’T UNBUCKLE ME” and “I TOO TIRED GO IN STORE” and “TAKE ME HOOOOOME.” Unfortunately for him, we needed groceries so in we went. (Perhaps if we did not need milk and yogurt quite so desperately I might have acquiesced, but… eh.) I spent the whole shopping trip panicked that he would be the screaming kid in the grocery store, but luck worked in my favor and there was ALREADY a screaming kid there so Wesley decided to be concerned about that kid versus screaming himself.

Except he did cry “DON’T PUSH ME” (meaning “don’t push the cart”) a few times so I had to explain that if I didn’t push him, he’d be left in the produce aisle all by himself. He wasn’t so sure he wanted that and allowed me to continue pushing the cart.

I had a hell of a time trying to get him to go down for his nap. I feel like he’s having some kind of separation anxiety thing? Or some crazy 2.5-year-old phase? Daniel had to lay on the floor of his room last night until he fell asleep because he kept shrieking “DON’T LEAVE ME! DON’T GO IN LIVIN’ ROOM!”, and today I had to put him in bed repeatedly while threatening to take away his binky if he got out again. He still needs naps – no question about that – but UGHHH THIS WEEK.

While he napped I spent way too much time on Tumblr looking at cute boys, then watched some Buffy, and intended to sort and/or fold laundry but did neither. Daniel got home from work, I made homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner, and we watched Guy on a Buffalo on YouTube.

This entry doesn’t really have a point, unless you have some advice on the TOTALLY CRAZY 2.5-YEAR OLD thing? I am sure it is a phase (as is everything with children) but the top-of-the-lungs freakouts about weird stuff are not very charming, which sucks because he is hilarious and pretty fun to hang out with in all other respects.

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July 30, 2012 9:16 pm

More Buffy, HP Birthday, Hi-Kid, Computer, Life

More Buffy

(Follow-up to my Buffy post)

I’ve now read through Season 8 and (what’s been released of) Season 9 of the comics (though… I read S9 first and want to go back and re-read now that I’ve finished S8) and if you are a Buffy fan, I’d recommend them. They’re totally outlandish but it’s outlandish in a quirky, fun, comic-y way. I am glad I was warned it was crazy, for sure, but I felt like they stayed true to the spirit of the show and I really enjoyed them.

Plus, the artwork is so great – they resemble the actors without being portraits of them, and some of the panels are downright beautiful. (The “I miss my mom” dusk-sunset page!)

I’ve also been reaaaally half-assedly watching Angel, and ye gods. I cannot get into it. I am still set on giving it a chance (mostly to get to the bits with Spike) but it is pretty tortuous. I am just not that big of a fan of Angel, I guess?

My birthday

I turned 27 on June 21 and I had a Harry Potter-themed birthday party! My mom came as Molly Weasley, my dad as Neville Longbottom, my brother as Sirius Black, Daniel’s mom as Pomona Sprout, her man-friend as Hagrid, and Daniel was Harry Potter, I was Luna Lovegood, and Wesley was Dobby. Whew! There were several other guests that came as Muggles. :) I made a Platform 9 3/4 “brick wall” out of a sheet to hang over the door – it was a big hit. All the food was HP-themed as well; I even made pumpkin juice! I think the butterbeer was the big winner though – cream soda + butterscotch schnapps. YUM!

Hi-Kid

Daniel’s grandpa, whom we called “Hi-Kid,” passed away on June 20.

Wesley and Hi-Kid

My favorite Hi-Kid story revolves around him discovering I did web development, and then telling me he had Adobe CS already and wasn’t sure if he should upgrade to CS2 since what he was doing with Photoshop seemed to work fine for him, and could I tell him if it was worth the extra cost? I remember being appalled that someone in their eighties even knew what Photoshop was, let alone used it and had an opinion about upgrading it.

Hee!

Another favorite memory involves the first time I had dinner at Nana and Hi-Kid’s house, and Hi-Kid was serving mashed potatoes. I asked for one scoop, and he gave me that plus two more. I soon came to find out this was a thing, and the chronic over-purchasing and over-serving of food is sort of a running joke. This was further underscored during Hi-Kid’s memorial service when the family purchased WAY too many boxes of cookies for guests to eat and were trying to pawn them off on guests.

He was an incredibly sharp, witty man and I’m a better person for having known him. We’ll miss him a lot.

Computer

We’ve had some crazy lightning storms recently, and I am a dunce and did not think to unplug my computer during a particularly flashy one, and the next morning my computer wouldn’t turn on and the monitor smelled like burning. We took it in, it was diagnosed with a burnt-out power supply and we had to wait for a special one to come in the mail (I have a tiny computer and it needed a tiny power supply) and get installed. TWO WEEKS LATER, I have my computer back and am able to resume my normal computery activities. We do have a tiny netbook and a broken-but-repaired iPod Touch that got us by in the meantime, but man. I do not want to do that again.

Life

August is going to be a busy month for us! My brother is getting married on the 18th, and then we have friends coming to stay with us, and then my cousin is getting married near Boise, ID on September 1st so we’ll take a trip down there.

Wesley and his cousin were in the 4th of July baby parade again this year. Riley has one of those motorized kid cars, except it’s a John Deere tractor, so he drove and pulled Wesley behind in the trailer. They had loads of fun.

4th of July Baby Parade

My mom, Wesley, and I went cherry picking at my grandparents’ house. I am making a weird face but we had a good time:

Cherry picking

My dad took Wesley on a (low speed! very safe!) ride on his ATV. Wesley calls it a motorcycle (pronounced “moley-lyco”) and was THRILLED he got to wear a moley-lyco helmet.

Moley-lyco

My mom had gallbladder surgery recently (non-emergency, thankfully) and is recovering well. I was nervous when my dad didn’t text me for a few hours but then again I forgot to ask how long the surgery would take.
She’s also organizing a local Big Latch On event that I’m helping with. Should be fun! If you’re a breastfeeding mom see if there’s one near you – you can help break the record of the most women breastfeeding simultaneously.

I’m still working part-time, three days a week, and Wesley still cries at every daycare dropoff. Thank goodness it’s only once a week!

Our county fair is coming up later this month and I am ridiculously excited about it. I used to make all my summer money at the fair when I was younger (you get $3 for a blue ribbon!) and I want to enter some embroidery stuff this year. I have this Badbird Beaver pattern already and I’m dying to use it – I really want to make it sort of oversized and prettily colorful, and then maybe the judges will be overcome with love for my efforts and I will get a purple Grand Champion ribbon for it. A girl can dream.

That about brings us up to date, I think. What have you been up to?

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May 4, 2012 2:44 pm

Ache

Some backstory, since I’ve only posted about this on Twitter: I got a part-time job! I will be working Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays doing web development for a local company. Wesley will be in daycare Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for the month of May so I can work on a fast-paced freelance job on my days off from the new part-time job, and then the plan is to drop him down to just Wednesdays at daycare once that project is completed.

My heart hurts today. It’s day three of daycare for Wesley, and this morning’s dropoff was horrible. He’s normally really easy-going and happy to play with toys and other babies, and we tried to talk it up to him beforehand (“You get to play with babies all day!”) but dropoffs got progressively worse this week, culminating in this morning whereby the teacher had to hold him on her lap while he scream-cried for me as I tried to back out the door.

I got in the car and cried.

I’ve felt so, so guilty and awful and on the verge of tears all day today. He’s fine, I know he’s fine, but it’s still so hard to leave him. He’s never really been… sentient? when I’ve had to use daycare in the past. Now he understands that Daddy goes to work (AKA The Place With The Muffins) and Mommy stays home with Wecky, and this new “Mommy work” with “pooters” (computers) means he doesn’t see either of his parents all day and he is not pleased.

I thought in some ways it’d be easier now that he’s older and not a helpless infant, but in many ways I am realizing it is FAR WORSE.

Day one, he started bawling “MOMMY DADDY! MOMMY DADDY!” when I picked him up, and it took several minutes to calm him down and reassure him that Mommy and Daddy didn’t leave forever, and Mommy was taking him home so we’d be there when Daddy got home. Day two, when I came to get him he was snotty and covered in tears and they said he did great up until the last ten-ish minutes, when several parents started showing up and he was looking around for his mommy and daddy and didn’t see them.

KNIFE, MEET HEART.

Plus, he doesn’t seem to nap very well there (maybe an hour, vs the two+ we get at home) so he comes home super cranky. They also don’t have daily sheets like I thought they would, the ones that say what he ate and when he napped and for how long. So when I get him in the afternoons, I do not have the faintest idea what he did all day and since he can’t talk super well, I can’t ask him what he did either. It just makes things that much harder than they need to be.

——

In addition to this, my paternal grandma passed away on Wednesday night, at the age of 87. She’s the one who taught me embroidery when I was ten, and always encouraged my craft projects. I have extremely fond memories of being ten or eleven years old, eating homemade bread with butter and jam at her kitchen table, while talking to her about life.

She always tried to get me to be less messy, telling me “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” She was the sort of lady who had her Christmas shopping finished in July, and never sent her Christmas cards out later than the first week of December. She handmade all of her grandchildren a Christmas ornament every year, so when we moved out and began our own lives, we’d have a whole collection of our own ornaments to use on our tree. She loved owls and hummingbirds.

This has been a hard week.

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November 24, 2011 1:52 pm

Thankful Thursday (Week 4)

This is the last installment of Thankful Thursday! Big thanks to B for the idea/inspiration.

  • I’m thankful that I made up my own chili recipe on Friday and it worked wonderfully. It basically consisted of me looking at the recipe I printed out, mostly ignoring it, and adapting it to what we had in the pantry. I NEVER DO THIS. I am a strict Recipe Follower since I don’t trust myself not to ruin whatever it is I am trying to make. But it turned out! And it was really, really good!
  • I’m thankful that the Pioneer Woman mashed potato recipe Daniel and I made this morning turned out. (How could it not be good, really?) I’ve never made mashed potatoes not from a box (embarrassing, yes) so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but these are amazing. You will not be disappointed.
  • I’m thankful for Pinterest. It’s given me so many ideas and helped me refine the sort of aesthetic I like.
  • I’m thankful that my dad was able to fix our car tire after it repeatedly kept going flat. This was a huge annoyance and it’s awesome that he knows how to fix things like that. (Daniel was excited to use the ZHOOP-ZHOOP hubcap bolt unscrewer thingy.)
  • I’m thankful for all the lovely people in my life. Daniel, Wesley, our extended families, and all our wonderful friends.
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June 29, 2011 11:21 am

15 Months

Wesley turned 15 months old on the 25th, and a few days later came down with some kind of horrible virus. He has a low-grade fever (100-101°F) and a full-body rash that’s the worst on his thighs and bumcheeks. He’s refusing to nurse and won’t nap for more than an hour. Night before last, he slept for a grand total of one hour between 9pm and 3:30am. You’d rock him to sleep, get up to transfer him, and as soon as you neared his crib he would wake up and you’d have to do it all over again except it wouldn’t work and he’d just scream and scream. Fun times!

*****

Wesley learned to walk on Father’s Day! We were messing around and set him up to walk, not expecting him to actually do it, and then he did! And then he did it some more that evening! He is not very excited about walking and still vastly prefers crawling as a means of transportation, but he can make it about eight feet by himself.

*****

I found him a baby-sized rocking chair at an antiques warehouse sale last week and he LOVES IT. He likes climbing, sitting, rocking, and playing in it. I had considered purchasing it, so I let him sit in it and then every time I tried to remove it from his grasp he SQUEEEEEALED in horror so I was sort of forced to buy it. It’s adorable and I am going to paint it a beautiful shade of aqua called “aged agean.”

*****

He can do all sorts of tricks now. He knows:
Superbaby (arms forward like Superman)
Earmuffs (hands over ears)
Hands up / How big is the baby?
Body parts: teeth, nose, tummy, tongue, leg, bellybutton
Freak out (close eyes, scrunch face, wave arms back and forth)

*****

I think he might have some words now too, but it’s hard to tell. He understands SO MUCH of what we say but he is not particularly keen on repeating anything or saying his own words. For heaven’s sake, he understands “pterodactyl” but won’t say “mama.” I think he knows dog (“dah!”) and duck (“dat!”) and possibly fan (“daph!”). Sometimes he says “DA!” for Dada, too. He will point to the light, our wok, a clock, etc. if you ask him where it is. I think he also understands that a cow says moo, but instead of saying moo he makes a raspberry-like buzzing noise with his lips.

*****

Box lunch

Being back in town with family around has been great – I’m able to call my mother-in-law and say “Wesley is splashing around in the baby pool – he wants to know if you can come hang out?” and she can ride her bike over within a few minutes. (We live two blocks away.) I love being able to call a friend (who lives a block away) to go on walks with the babies. My mom can stop by after work to check out Wesley’s weird viral pox problem if I need her to. That said, I miss my Portland friends terribly and can’t wait to visit. But things are good.

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March 10, 2011 7:08 pm

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I have some exciting news!

Ready?

I have given my notice at my job, and we are moving back home to Idaho.

This is one of those times I wish I felt comfortable talking about my workplace on my blog, but I do not. Suffice to say, things got weird, people I admire and respect either have left or are leaving, and it became increasingly obvious to me that it was time for me to move on. My last day is next Friday, March 18, and I will be a stay-at-home-mom to Wesley for the next few weeks or month or however long it takes us to put a deposit on a place in our hometown and give our notice at our place here in Portland.

I am so, so excited. It sounds weird, but living in a much smaller town with family nearby actually gives me infinitely more options than what I’m doing now. I might not have to work! If I do, I can work part-time! I don’t necessarily have to put Wesley in daycare! I could open an Etsy shop! Daniel is finishing up writing a business plan to open his own coffeeshop, so we might be small business owners! It is all very new and different.

I expect there to be a pretty hefty learning curve – I haven’t had any extended time alone with Wesley for nine months. I will shamefully admit that I don’t actually know what to do with him every day beyond feeding him and playing with him, but hey! I will learn.

I also need to learn to cook. I can bake just fine, and there are a few meals I can reliably make myself, but Daniel does the vast majority of cooking in our household. If he is bringing home the bacon (metaphorically, of course – he is vegetarian!) then by all means, I can figure out how to make dinner. Plus, Wesley needs to eat during the day, and while I am more than happy to exist on cold cereal I expect that he needs more balanced meals. We have a crock pot I’ve never used because I was scared to leave it on all day while I was at work, and I am going to experiment with it. (If you know of any “Vegetarian Recipes for Dummies,” crockpot-friendly or not, I am all ears.)

I am incredibly bummed about leaving the place I’ve worked for the last four and a half years, especially since I truly liked what I did (web development) and loved my co-workers, but here’s to new beginnings!

Hurrah!

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