Friday, July 30, 2010

Here's a silly survey I stole from my pal, Robin. Thanks Robin!

1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. How do you like your steak?
medium rare. I want a steak

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
"At the cinema?" Seriously? James took me to see that movie with the blue aliens in it right before V was born. That'll be the last one I see "at the cinema" for awhile, as I don't leave the baby and I don't want to take a baby to the movies. Happily, we have a wonderful home theater, so I genuinely don't miss the theater experience.

4. What is your favorite tv show?
Supernatural. I also love So You Think You Can Dance. And I've been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix Streaming.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
New Zealand maybe

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Toast, orange juice and coffee

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
pasta pasta pasta.

8. What foods do you dislike?
I have yet to try Thai food or sushi that I enjoy.

9. Favorite Place to Eat?
my kitchen table ;)

10. Favorite dressing?
Ranch or Caesar

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?
an awesome Kia Rondo

12. What are your favorite clothes?
sweatpants and t-shirts. I don't particularly like my clothes to touch me.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, the Caribbean...

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
I'd say 3/4 full most of the time.

15. Where would you want to retire?
I'd like to travel in our retirement. Maybe based in Oregon and Kansas

16. Favorite time of day?

17. Where were you born?
Wichita, KS

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
KU basketball

19. Bird watcher?
Sure. We get lots of pretty ones in our back yard.

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
I'm most definitely a night person, but I have small children, so I have to be up in the morning whether I want to be or not.

24. Pets?
No, thank you.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
I just got an ice cream machine, and it is the bombs.

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
A Holderman lady

27. What is your best childhood memory?
I have so many great childhood memories - building tent cities in the basement with my brother, family vacations, playing with my cousins, time with my grandparents, lots of playing outside in the play house, the sandpile, on the swingset, riding my bike so fast that it felt like I was flying, the excitement of the births of my 3 much younger sisters...

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
Neither. I'm more of a fish person (?)

29. Always wear your seat belt?

30. Ever been in a car accident?
More than once. I hope never to experience that again.

31. Any pet peeves?
Condescension - especially when people say "Oh, you have NO idea" or "FYI" (for some reason), rudeness, children who swear, superfluous apostrophes, when people spell "of course" "of coarse". I have no idea why that last one bugs me.

32. Favorite pizza topping?

33. Favorite Flower?
depends on the time of year - peonies, lilies, roses, honeysuckle

34. Favorite ice cream?

35. Favorite fast food restaurant?
Wendy's or Qdoba

36. How many times did you fail your driver's test?

37. From whom did you get your last email?
James - he needed my shopping list for Costco, because he's wonderful and is going to shop for me

38. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
I don't carry a credit card. After an embarrassing debacle between college graduation and our wedding, in which I worked up quite a debt, I quit cold turkey. Now, I do not spend money I don't have.

39. Do anything spontaneous lately?
It's difficult to be spontaneous with a three year old and a three month old. I did burst into uncontrollable peals of laughter at something James said a few nights ago, as we were chatting before bed...spontaneously.

40. Like your job?
I love my job. It's the best thing I've ever done.

41. Broccoli?

42. What was your favorite vacation?
Disneyworld with James back before we had children. Just the two of us for four days, hitting all the parks until our feet just about fell off.

3. Last person you went out to dinner with?
James, the kids and my parents

44. What are you listening to right now?
The J-bird, playing upstairs and V's little baby sounds as she sits here in my arms

45. What is your favorite color?

46. How many tattoos do you have?

48. What time did you finish this quiz?

49. Coffee Drinker?
Oh Lord yes

50. Favorite Soda?
Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi or Diet Dr. Pepper.
Actually though, my very favorite is a diet cherry limeade from Sonic. Mmmmm.....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Craaaaaazy Glasses

My mom sent us a copy of this book called "Make These Toys" with great descriptions and pictures of how to make toys and crafts from stuff around the house. None of them are meant to last forever, but they're fun to make and mostly made of stuff that will recycle. The J-bird and I tried our hand last night at these glasses made from sections of toilet paper tube, bendy straws, plastic wrap, googly eyes and some craft feathers I had. Fun!

Getting Rid Of The Hospital Smell!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Breathe

My sister, Olivia is arriving home in Kansas this evening from college, and the kids and I were supposed to be there with everyone to greet her. Instead, we're still home in Oregon, and to prepare for V's upcoming surgery, I took her this morning for an MRI. We left the house at 6:00, arrived at the hospital, navigated the maze of hallways (getting lost a couple of times) and checked in at Pediatric Sedation at 7:00.

The first thing they did was put numbing cream on her hands and one foot so that when they found the best vein for the IV, she wouldn't feel it,
She obligingly fell asleep while we waited, which was good, because I know she was really hungry - I wasn't allowed to feed her after 4am.

They showed us back and put a tiny little hospital gown on her, then they put in her IV. That part really wasn't fun. She didn't feel the needle stick, but I and two nurses had to hold her still, and that upset her a. lot. When the call came down from MRI that they were ready for her, the sedation nurse put the medicine in her IV, and she went to sleep.

I'm not sure how to talk about that part, or to convey how it felt to watch them wheel her tiny, still form away from me.

The test took about an hour and a half, but I wasn't allowed to go with her, so I just waited. It was a long hour and a half.

Once the test was done, I was allowed to sit with her as she slowly woke up. She was groggy, confused and upset, but she eventually opened those sweet eyes all the way and I got to nurse her. We left for home when the nurses were confident that she was going to be alright. she slept in the car and took a good nap this afternoon. She's still a little groggy, but she seems okay.
I know I don't have much right to complain about this. As I am often reminded, "it could be so much worse". I'm grateful for medical science and what it can do, and I'm glad that V's hemangioma will be a non-issue soon. I will also never, ever forget whispering how much I love her in her ear as the anesthesia took her, helplessly watching strangers wheel my baby away with no clue what to do with myself, the relief as the tension drained out of both of us when she could finally snuggle into my arms and nurse in our rocking chair at home when it was over.

I'm so glad it's over.

Thank you to my pastor, Jennifer who called first thing this morning and then throughout the day to check on us. Thank you to James, my mom and Laura for texting and distracting me while I was waiting. Thank you to the Pediatric Sedation unit at OHSU for being so kind and so gentle. Thank you to my friends who emailed or tagged me on Facebook with love, concern and prayers today. And THANK YOU to my neighbor, Becky for taking the J-bird for me. This was the first big hurdle. One more big one, and we'll be done with this for good. And what a relief that will be.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Here's an interesting and funny take on homeschooling from The Pioneer Woman

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Family Day

James works for a very large company, and one of the things they are proud of is being a "great place to work". They try to do nice things for their employees and their employees' families. Today was such an event. The company, in conjunction with Radio Disney filled up PGE park with employees, families, bounce houses, crafts, face painting, free food, Disney music artists and lots of other fun stuff.

James and the J-bird, picking the nose of some art in front of the Park.

On the precipice of fun.

Bounce house joy

Miss V, in her sling.

My son, getting his first tattoo...

A zebra, but of course.

Even Miss V had a bracelet to signify that she was allowed in the party ;)

Quite exclusive.

The middle of the field was full of kickballs and bouncy balls and hula hoops

When we got tired of playing, we got some lunch and perched in the stands to watch some impossibly young Disney singers perform.

Sharing the J-bird's first sno-cone.

Jasmine somebody. She sang after Savannah somebody. They were both really singing and did a nice job, and I felt like I should have known who they were. I'll bet my sister, Tassi would have!

Am I almost old enough to be a Disney star?

How about me?

The J-bird was fascinated, so I took him down by the stage to watch up close.

This is some Disney group called "Savvy". They made me feel terribly, terribly old as I tried very hard not to giggle at their serious faces and "sexy" moves. One of them was wearing a powder blue Members Only jacket. Are those retro enough to be cool again? Please say no...feeling even older now...

What a fun day!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Whenever I bring up the subject of homeschool, I inevitably hear the word "socialization"- generally in protest. I would never argue that social interaction is unimportant for a child. I would only humbly posit that there are many ways to achieve it.

But that's not the point today.

After a lot of deliberation, I decided to preschool the J-bird at home and supplement with social activities. He's taken to it really well and is learning up a storm. In addition to workbooks and flashcards, I make a lot of his materials. It's fun for me, and J likes to help. Here's some of what we're doing.

Math with Pez! Addition and subtraction. He gets to eat the pieces at the end of the lesson.

Sorting, comparing and spatial reasoning with puzzles. (Plus, they're fun).

The parts of the body. I traced him on a big paper, then gave him labels to tape to the various parts (elbow, shin, calf, heel, forehead, etc...). We're still working on getting them all completely learned, but this was a good visual for him.

Sounding out short words, beginning writing letters, memorization with Bible verses, nursery rhymes and songs....

And following lists. I sent him out in the back yard one morning with his magnifying glass, a bag and a list of things to find.

Another day, I set up a "store" with all his play food, gave him a list on which I had drawn pictures of the things he was to "buy" with numbers of how many.

He did a pretty great job and enjoyed it tremendously. I love to help him learn and to watch him blossom as he does!

Precious In (Many Shades Of) Pink

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hide And Seek

The J-bird loves hide n seek above all other games. He tells his daddy where to hide, then he quickly counts to ten, looks everywhere ("Is the sink?? Noooooo....Is the baby's bed? Nooooo....") before going to the hiding place to which he ordered James and expressing utter delight to have "found" him. When it's his own turn to hide, he gets so excited that he has to giggle and peek and giggle some more. Whoever is "seeking" knows exactly where little man is hiding within two seconds, so we have to pretend we don't hear him.

Under the covers on our bed is his absolute favorite hiding place!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just Like Granny And Papa

When my folks were here, the J-bird was very excited to try on my Mom's motorcycle helmet. He was so entranced with it, in fact that I had to get him a helmet of his own, so he could be "like Granny and Papa". He'll eventually need a bike helmet anyhow, so I let him pick the one he wanted. He chose Lightning McQueen, of course, and he's taken to wearing it at all times.

On Sunday evenings, we let J eat his supper on a tray, and we have movie night. He loves the whole thing. This evening's selection was "Polar Express" - kind of a Christmas in July thing, and he wore that helmet pretty much the whole time ;)

Trying To...

...Roll over!! Already!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Boob Group" Round Two

When the J-bird was a baby - maybe four months old or so - I started going to a weekly group for nursing mothers. It was a great experience. There was a lactation consultant at each meeting, and I met several lovely women with babies around J's age. We all talked about nursing and compared notes on who was sleeping and who wasn't. James called it my "boob group", a name that sort of stuck. The group was only for those with babies under the age of 1, so when we all got the boot, we stayed in touch and have gotten together periodically ever since. It's always fun when there's a group of us - seeing what all the kids are doing and how they've grown. Funny thing is though...

...most of us have gone and had another one! My friend, Jaimey had a 3rd birthday party for her little boy today, and several of the old crowd were there with all our new babes in tow. Are they cute, or what?

The party had a superhero theme, so J decided to wear his cape, his crown, his sunglasses and his Jayhawk t-shirt. The birthday boy wore a spiderman costume. I love toddlers!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Has It Been Six Years Yet?

Jimmy was very sad yesterday morning to find that my parents were gone. I told him that we would be getting on an airplane to go see them soon, so he asked if we could go right after breakfast. When I told him it would be awhile, he said, "Weeelll...maybe after lunch." I told him it would be more like six weeks (I was wrong - it's actually seven). He seemed to accept that. About half an hour later, he asked me, "Has it been six years yet?" And when nap time rolled around, he wondered if he couldn't just take his nap on the airplane on his way to Granny and Papa's house. The same thing happened at bedtime, when he was VERY distressed that we were not on our way to the airport. To help him understand the passage of time a little better, I made him a countdown chart. Each day, he'll cross off the day before, and he'll see us moving one day closer to our trip.

He was delighted to make his first X this morning, and I think some of his sadness is ebbing. It breaks my heart to see him missing his grandparents so, but it also makes me so happy to know how much he loves them!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Born To Be Wild

Each year, while my youngest sister is at church camp for a week, my parents take a several-days-long road trip on their Harley. My dad just couldn't wait another minute to meet his granddaughter (and who can blame him? ;) ), so this year, they decided to make the long haul out here on their vacation. Needless to say, we were thrilled!

It was love at first sight.

My mom was here when V was born and spent enough time with the J-bird to know that a slingshot would make a spot-on perfect gift for she brought him one and taught him how to shoot Goldfish crackers with it!

Mom also bought J a tee-ball set, which is getting a ton of use. Papa took a turn at teaching...

...and then Granny gave it a whirl.

J really, REALLY likes to knock that tee clean over.

"I don't think you're going to catch that there, Granny."

"Here, Papa!"

The three of them played like this for over an hour, trading around who had the bat and who had to run and get the ball every SINGLE time it went flying into the street...or the yard...or under the neighbor's car... Every so often, Mom would take the baby for me, and I'd get to play as well.

Did you know...

It's hard to get a good picture of two children at once?

Mom and Dad were here for two glorious days, and on day 2, we took the kids to the park. V slept sweetly in her stroller, while the J-bird played on the slides, the climbing net, the teeter totter, the merry-go-round...

...and the swings!

On the walk home, he got Papa to run around the bases of the baseball diamond with him.

They also made good use of J's new slingshot (seen here, in my Dad's back pocket), shooting rocks into an empty field of grass and weeds near our development.

These two definitely love being together.

The Harley made J pretty nervous, but he did consent to sit on it a few times.

Papa and Granny fitted his tricycle with some leather streamers though, and THAT was just about his speed.

He even got to try on Granny's helmet!

These two? Also GREAT pals.

My dad rode halfway down the street and back to show J how it works.

And Granny, Harley babe that she most definitely is, jumped on the back. Don't worry, they do wear helmets when riding more than a hundred feet. :)

Biker gang of two.
With a biker babe in training!

And I got to spend lots of time with my Mom, which was wonderful. The last time she was here, I was still awash in the post-baby boo-hoos, hobbling around from my c-section and taking everything very seriously. Now that I'm back to myself, all was easy-going and fun, and we had a great time.

I love both my parents so very, very much.

And I miss them all the time. I'm so thankful that they decided to make the trip. We made some awesome memories that will last a lifetime.