Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dragging BIG time

I can't seem to get myself in gear this week for some reason. I'm getting things done and all, but my "git up and go" has..."got up and went", I guess. Anyway...here's a little dose of what keeps me going. :)

Superman! (and Jimmy)

Never dust angry


He stacked ALL of these himself!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Memorial

The memorial for Jonathan Buquet, my good friend Jaimey's baby boy was on Saturday. They had it as an open house, which was very nice, and I thought that seeing their house full of their friends, who were all there to honor Jonathan was a beautiful tribute to his sweet life. There are a couple of things in this photo that I didn't make, but otherwise, here's how the food turned out. LOTS of other people brought things later, so I think we got the Buquets good and fed, which is a good feeling :).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Howloweenie

I'll be honest - I don't really "get" Halloween. The spooky stuff, the gross stuff, the bugs and spiders and witches and ghosties. It's just not my thing. We didn't celebrate it when I was a kid, so I don't have warm, fuzzy memories about it (though we did go to the Harvest Festival and dressed as Bible characters, which was fun - my mom made totally awesome costumes), so while I think it's fun and all, I could kind of go either way on the whole holiday. James, on the other hand is a HUUUUUUUGE Halloween fan. Other than Christmas, it's his favorite holiday, and I know that he'd have our house decked out like a haunted mansion for the entire month of October if I'd allow it. So, since he's so into it, I try to meet him in the middle. No gravestones in the front yard, but Jack-o-lanterns and some Halloween decor and, this year, a "haunted" gingerbread house. I think it's gross, but here's what we came up with.




We'll be taking Jimmy trick or treating to a few houses on our block this year too - he'll be the cutest little dinosaur/dragon you ever saw! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baking Frenzy

I'm putting together the food for a memorial this weekend, so I'm in full-on bake mode today and tomorrow. I LOVE cooking and baking! That's probably partially because I have a deep seated need to feed people. I'm not sure where that comes from, but I've gotta tellya - It's a real deal. Yesterday was bread and cookies. Today is more bread, more cookies, muffins and banana chocolate chip bread. Tomorrow - cake! Fun, fun, fun and more fun!

In other news, Jimmy spit out almost all of the antibiotic he was supposed to take this morning. Not sure what to do about that, because a)I don't know exactly how much he spit out and b)I'm not totally sure how to give it to him so he doesn't do the same thing again. This antibiotic is for the little staph infection he has AND it wasn't cheap. Any thoughts?

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's a knock sensor?

The "check engine" light in my trusty Subaru (practically obligatory if you live in Oregon) came on today, so I called and took it over to our fantastic mechanic shop, Jim's Automotive, here in the F.G. Of COURSE, it couldn't be one of those, "Gee, I don't think there's anything at all wrong. You must just have a schizy light." kind of things. It had to be a "That'll be about $200 to fix" kind of thing. This is after having to take Jimmy to the doctor this morning for what started as a tiny scratch on his little bottom that turned into a staph infection (I've been agonizing over it for days, doing everything I could think of to get rid of it. Dr. said it isn't that uncommon and that I brought him in at the right time, which made me feel like a less horrible mother), holding him down for a flu shot, then spending almost an hour in Safeway, wheeling J up and down every aisle several times in the cart with the kid car on the front while we waited for his antibiotic at the pharmacy. Sigh. Gotta go make dinner.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Genna Lee

A few years ago, our friends, Nicole and Richy asked James and I to be godparents to the baby they were expecting, and we, of course, said yes. They had a gorgeous baby girl and named her Geneva (a fine name any baby would be thrilled to have :) ) and call her Genna. They live several hours away, so we don't get to see them or Genna nearly often enough, but they were up for the day yesterday - with new baby, Ella, no less! and Jimmy and I got to hang with some of our favorite girls at the zoo. We got there in the later afternoon, so there wasn't really much to see, but the company was lovely. Afterward, we met up with the husbands for dinner before parting ways. Amazingly, time has, in fact passed, and Genna is almost THREE stinkin' years old. She's a hilarious, curly haired little naughty bird (I say that with admiration and affection), and I miss her so much. Here's some photographic evidence of her adorableness. I won't post pics of Ella, because she's so little, but trust me when I say that she is also utterly gorgeous.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Numero Dos

Jimmy and I go (sporadically) to a baby sign language group, and today was our "day out". We went to the Lake View Farms pumpkin patch in North Plains and had a lot of fun. Jimmy got to try out his pumpkin hat that we got at the Hillsboro Farmer's Market this summer - and he actually kept it on his head! We only got one little mini pumpkin, since we already bought several when we went to the Roloff Farm a couple of weeks ago. We really just went for the company ;). In the hay-bale maze


With his pal, Grayson.


Hat!

My friend, Jaimey commandeered my camera and took a few photos of Jimmy and I together. If you can excuse my failure to wear any makeup for the day....







Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TV is the devil?

I read a study the other day involving very young children and the effects of a constantly playing television. According to this study, kids in a room with a TV that's playing even shows they have no interest in and aren't watching play less, are more listless and are less able to play independently for any significant periods of time. The children they studied in rooms without a TV playing or with just music on were calmer and more able to entertain themselves. These children also actually did more playing, particularly imaginative play. I wasn't sure I bought it. We're relatively careful what we expose Jimmy to, but when I thought about it, I often have the TV on in the background, or I watch for awhile while Jimmy plays, if I'm not doing something else. So I've been running my own little experiment the last couple of days. Instead of having the TV on, I play music. I alternate between playing with him and just letting him play on his own. Then, after awhile, I try turning on the TV for a little while. I hate to say it, but so far Jimmy is supporting the study I read 100%. When the TV's off, he's calmer and far less demanding. He plays and "talks" to himself and sings and finds things to do. When I turn the TV on, he's almost immediately more demanding and more likely to throw fits and cling to me and pull at me so I'll pay attention to him. I've never wanted to put him in front of much TV, though I let him watch some toddler shows (with no commercials, thank you TiVo), but I guess I should have listened to my uneasy instincts about having the TV on in the background. The other thing about having it turned off is this: I'm getting more done during the day. Things I've been putting off are actually getting accomplished. I'm snacking less throughout the day (definitely good), and our whole dynamic (Jimmy's and mine) is calmer and more connected. Now, NONE of this is to say I hate TV or will be throwing it out the window. I like TV, and there are tons of shows that we TiVo and that I love to watch with James, but I think that watching less during my day with Jimmy is a change I definitely need to make permanent. Sorry there, Dr. Phil! You're now relegated to Jimmy's naptime ! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Love my kiddo


Flirting with some of his female fans :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday morning fun


Playing race car/fort with Daddy :) this morning in the box from my amazing anniversary gift from James (I meant to mention it earlier) - a scanner that will turn my old photos and negatives - like from our wedding! - into digital photos!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

EBF - on a tear

In this case: extended breast feeding. And I'll tell you why - for so many years, I longed for a baby - for everything about being a mother, including the experience of nursing my child. When Jimmy arrived, though it took a few days to get started, he took right to nursing, and so did I. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with him and I haven't had any supply issues, so we just never got around to using bottles. I was always as discreet as possible in public - I've nursed him in bathrooms and in my car, something my more "militant" friends absolutely sneer at, or I'd plan outings around his schedule. I have zero issue with women nursing their babies in public, but I absolutely fear confrontation - I'm a total wimp. Anyway, before I knew it, he was old enough for a sippy cup and we were introducing solid foods. He's always nursed too though, and that's been okay with me, because I've always gloried in this amazing, bonding time that no one else can have with my son. Don't get me wrong, the older he gets, the easier it is to share him, but I love that time we still have a couple of times a day. I never expected to feel so strongly about this, but when people tell me things like, "Oh, you're going to need to quit that soon", or "That's weird" or my personal favorite, "Nursing is so gross!" and so on, I always wonder what makes them feel so repulsed, not to mention what makes them feel so compelled to tell me about it - especially because I'm generally not actually nursing in front of them. I'd never presume to tell the mother of a bottle fed baby what's she "should" be doing. Nursing, pumping, formula, soy or rice milk - I think that different things work for different families. This is what has worked for us with Jimmy.

In lots of countries, babies nurse past age two, and the World Health Organization recommends nursing to at least age two. Of course, that makes me sound like Jimmy nurses for nutritional reasons, which isn't really so. It also makes me sound a little defensive, which is silly, right? He has a pretty varied diet, and, though he's as picky as your average toddler, he eats a wide range of foods. The truth is that Jimmy nurses for enjoyment, and I continue to nurse him because he enjoys it. He's a very busy kid all day long, then, before his nap and before bedtime, we calm down with cuddles and stories and songs, and he nurses - he gets warmth and comfort and my total, undivided attention, then he lays his sweet head on my shoulder while we rock for a few minutes before he gives me kisses and snuggles into his bed and to sleep. I just can't see the bad in that.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today

Alright, I woke up this morning barking like a seal (coughing) and talking like a bass, so I went to the doctor. I don't have bronchitis, thankfully, so I don't have to worry about passing anything on to James or Jimmy. Inhaling 50 year old varnish and paint when I sanded down the potty seat just irritated everything, and that irritation led to more irritation. I'm definitely relieved it isn't bronchitis, because THAT is a humongous drag.

On a much more important note, my friend Jaimey had her baby, Jonathan at 2:45 or so this morning. Jaimey and Zach found out a couple of months ago that their baby had anencephaly, so they knew he wouldn't survive long after birth. They were worried that they wouldn't get any time with him at all, but he stayed for three hours before slipping away to be with God again. Jaimey's husband periodically posts updates on Jaimey's weblog at www.jaimeystarkeybuquet@blogspot.com, if you're interested in their story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Feelin' poorly

So here's another dumb thing I did: when I sanded down the seat of Jimmy's potty chair on Saturday, I used an orbital sander in the garage. Not only did I fail to use a mask, but I didn't even open the garage door. Might not be a big deal, if I didn't have asthma. Four days later, I'm still coughing. Since we moved to Oregon, my asthma has been really well controlled. I've been able to drastically decrease the amount of medication I take, I don't have to see a specialist anymore, and I don't even remember the last time I needed a breathing treatment. I get a lovely little reminder once or twice a year though, in the form of my old pal, bronchitis. This time, of course, I don't have any kind of horribly contagious cold or flu to start it out - I just did it to myself. Classic.

Please Pray

My friend, Jaimey is giving birth today to a little boy with anencephaly. The baby, Jonathan, will not survive long after birth. Jaimey and her husband, Zach are wonderful people who also have another son just two months older than Jimmy, and they're approaching today as a celebration of Jonathan's life. If you're interested in their story, you can check out her blog (www.jaimeystarkeybuquet@blogspot.com if my link doesn't work), which is open to the public. I met Jaimey at the breastfeeding group Jimmy and I used to go to, and when we got kicked out after the kiddos' first birthdays (because no one nurses past a year, right?) we stayed in touch and became friends. Though my heart aches that their "hello" must also be "goodbye", I'm inspired and touched by the way they've chosen to focus completely on the love they have for their son as they welcome him into their arms for as many moments as they are given. Please pray for them as they rejoice and, in time, mourn.

19 months

(moved from my old blog. original post 10/7/2008)

Jimmy is 19 months old today! In the last year and seven months, I've learned more about unconditional love, joy in small moments, patience, consistency and what I'm capable of (even on NO sleep) than I ever thought possible. With our seventh wedding anniversary yesterday and Jimmy's little "month-iversary" today, I'm reflecting a lot on how extremely fortunate and blessed I am. I have two Jameses - a tall and a small - who light my soul (to quote my darling husband) brighter than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. I love you both so much!

Ride a Painted Potty Let the Spinnin' Wheel Spin


(moved from my old blog. original post 10/5/2008)


We got Jimmy a very cool old potty chair with a tray on Ebay, and I LOVE it. It had been painted (sloppily) with several shades of brown paint though and had some structural issues, so I took it apart, painted it (other than the little bear decals, which I think are so cool) and fixed the seat (it had a big crack in it - and had been painted over black) by sanding it down to the wood, fixing the cracked part and then staining it. The whole thing still needs a coat of polyurethane, but I'm VERY happy with the result.

In other news, James and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary a day early today. We left Jimmy with a sitter - something we honestly NEVER do - and went to a movie and dinner. We always have fun together, and it was nice to have conversation that included complete sentences :). James took tomorrow off, so we'll be finding something fun to do as a family, but it was wonderful to get out just the two of us and to take a little time to remember the last seven wonderful years. Happy Anniversary Babe!



Pumpkin Patch Kid



(moved from my old blog. original post 10/4/2008)

We took Jimmy to the pumpkin patch today and had a great time. It was raining when we set out, but by the time we finished a couple of errands and got to the patch, the rain had cleared off, and it was just gorgeous! We went to the Roloff Farm - the place they film "Little People Big World", and since we got there right at opening, we went on the wagon tour of their place before picking out our pumpkins. I've watched the show a few times, and it was neat to see the pirate ship and the western town they've built (or had built) for their kids. There was a lady sitting across from us who'd come from out of state for the umpteenth year in a row just to go to the Roloff farm and who spoke to every worker as though she knew them and the family personally...which was a little off-putting, but the tour was fun, and we got some nice pumpkins after. Jimmy seemed to take it all in and MOST enjoyed riding in the wagon with the pumpkins - that's our boy.



Feeling Domestic

I love the rain in Oregon. There's just nothing like a good, gray, rainy day. So comforting and nice and close. Today, I packed Jimmy into the car to run errands (super secret anniversary shopping for James and a Goodwill run for more books for Jimmy, who is book crazy these days), then came home, fed him and James lunch and spent most of the afternoon cooking and baking and cleaning and mommy-ing. I made two lasagnas and a pizza and some cookies and some bread, I cleaned and organized the kitchen and my desk area. After his nap, Jimmy and I read tons of books, put on music and danced all around (one of our favorite things to do), worked (futilely) on potty training and just generally had a great day. I love rainy days.

Goodbye Friend

(moved from my old blog. original post 10/2/2008)

My very good friend and neighbor is moving today - leaving the state, leaving the region, heading back to Texas with her husband and kids to live nearer to family. I'm so happy for her, and so sad for me. When we moved to Oregon and I didn't know anyone, she made it a point to be my first friend here. She's been there for me through thick and thin, and I can't imagine the neighborhood or my life without her. So to Carrie: Thank you for everything. I love you and will miss you terribly.

Um...owie

(moved from my old blog. original post 9/30/2008)
A couple of months ago, after a year or so of wearing glasses with baby handprints always smeared across the lenses, I decided it was time for contacts. Thus began my saga. I went to a fantastic eye doctor who gave me one to try out (apparently, I only need correction in one eye - pretty sweet) and headed home. That one was okay, but there was this arc of blurriness on one side, so he sent me home, saying he'd order a couple more for me to try. They arrived, I tried them, they didn't work either. Blast. So, lather, rinse, repeat with two more. one of those worked fairly well comfort wise but was still blurry, so he ordered two MORE of the same brand with slightly different prescriptions. That brings us to this morning. One of the two seemed better than the other, but he needed me to come back in for a final check. I took both lenses with me, thrilled at the prospect of finally being done with the testing phase. He checked the one I had in my eye, then asked me to pop in the other one. I got out my case, took out the one in my eye, put in the other one, and filled the case with new solution - Clear Care solution to be exact. We checked the second one, decided the first was better, and he started writing out the prescription as I went to put the first contact back in...which was a huge mistake. Clear Care solution is fantastic - it makes it like you're putting in a new contact every time. Once you put it in the solution though, you have to wait at least six hours before putting the contact back in your eye, because Clear Care is basically hydrogen peroxide. I, being a total moron, took the contact out of the very fresh solution, stuck it in my eye and was immediately blinded by an agonizing burning sensation. The doctor immediately realized what had happened and leapt into action. He had to remove the lens, because my eyelid had slammed shut, vowing never to open for me again, then he rinsed and rinsed and rinsed my eye (my hero). He put some dye in and checked to be sure I hadn't burned my RETINA (I hadn't) then gave me some drops, reassured me that most people who use Clear Care do this...once...in spite of the clear warning on the bottle. Anyway, I packed up Jimmy and we went grocery shopping. I'm sure everyone I saw wondered why a)I kept winking at them and b)I looked like I'd been seriously poked in the eye. If you know me, you're most likely sitting there, saying to yourself, "I am SO not surprised she did that"....and, well...me neither.

Oh my...

(moved from my old blog. original post 9/29/2008)

It's been a very very long time since I posted - and what a summer it's been! Jimmy and I have flown to and from Kansas three times, we all went on tons of adventures during James's 8 week Intel sabbatical, we've grown and bonded as a family - it's been great!

In May, Jimmy and I flew to Kansas for the first of our three trips to be there for my sister, Olivia's high school graduation. We stayed for about three weeks and had a fantastic time seeing family and friends and just being there. Olivia is 12 years younger than I am, so seeing her graduate made me feel...well, a little old, actually, but so, so proud. As soon as we got back (in early June), James began his sabbatical, an eight week paid vacation granted to Intel employees for every seven years of work. We were home for a day or two, then we headed to Newport and spent four days going to the aquarium, the wax museum, the Ripley's Believe it or Not! and the Yaquina Head lighthouse. In the weeks after that, we visited Seaside, had a Goony adventure in Astoria, toured the Oregon Garden and went camping and hiking at Silver Falls. In July, the three of us flew to Kansas for trip number 2 to be with James's side of the family at a Houx family reunion. James's grandmother, Doris turned 90 earlier this year, and it was her wish that everyone be together to celebrate. We enjoyed seeing all the cousins, aunts and uncles, and it was fun showing our Jimmy around. While there, we flew up to Chicago for a couple of days and toured Shedd Aquarium, the art museum and the natural history museum - all amazing. When we arrived back in Kansas, we shifted the operation to my parents' farm and spent a few days there. The whole trip made us really miss Kansas, the Midwest and all our friends and family there.

At the beginning of September, Jimmy and I flew out once again to be in Kansas for my brother, Joe's wedding to a lovely woman named Denny. The weather threatened (it rained until about 5 hours before the wedding and the tornado sirens were actually going off the night before!), but it cleared off and held for a lovely ceremony, dinner and their first dance. There was a gorgeous sunset and one of the most fantastic rainbows I've ever seen - pretty awesome! When it started to rain again, the music, drinks and some of the food were moved to the barn, specially cleaned out and decorated for this very contingency, and we had a rip roarin' party. It was great. I was fortunate to be asked to do all the photography, and I couldn't have asked for a more idyllic setting. I think I got some good ones ;). So now my sweet little brother is a married man - hard to believe. I look forward to really getting to know my new sister in law in the coming years!

Now, we're back to normal. Somewhere in there, between trips to Kansas, I did finally teach Jimmy how to sleep. I won't lie to you, there was some crying, but now he sleeps through the night (12-13 hours) and takes pretty good naps. It's a whole new world for both Jimmy and I, after about 18 months of getting up several times a night. Now, we're working on some potty training. I'm trying to be realistic about my expectations - he is only 18 months old, after all. We have ups and downs - one day, he'll go in the potty three times, the next day, he'll sit on the potty for 10 minutes then get up and pee pee on the floor - ah! I know he'll get it eventually. I think I hold myself to an impossible standard sometimes - I feel as though I should have him potty trained and perfectly behaved and speaking three or four languages fluently and working the stock market by now...ha. Actually, it'd just be good to figure out how to get him to stop throwing his food on the floor. Sigh. Motherhood - I can't pretend it doesn't have its trials, but I love every second!