Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snopocalypse in Seattle



Seattle's weather is making national news. We just aren't equipped to deal with this much snow in the city. Typically, when it snows here, it melts within a day or two. Not this time. And, they're predicting more snow tonight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our flight isn't cancelled on Thursday. Many, many people have been stranded at the airport due to cancelled flights.

Patti reminded me that I never reported the results on the quinoa recipe. It was tasty! I halved the recipe and we had leftovers for days. I'd only make the full portion if I was taking it to a potluck with lots of people. I didn't have any of the vegetables on hand that the recipe called for, so I omitted those and added fire-roasted green peppers instead and it gave it a great kick. Now I think I must make it again soon...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let it Snow...Some More

It's been snowing all day long. Fortunately, the wind the news was warning us about never came to our area. We still have power and plenty of food. I'm planning on measuring the total snowfall in our yard tomorrow. Fun stuff!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it Snow



We got between 4-6 inches of snow yesterday. I am so happy that it waited until after Malcolm and I got home from San Diego. Another storm is expected to hit on Sunday bringing more snow and high winds. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't lose power.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sickies

Jenn & Dad are now sick with the tummy bug. So sad.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Reporting from San Diego

Me & Malcolm are in San Diego. He's asleep on the bed beside me. Poor kid has a tummy bug. He started getting sick on Thursday. Fortunately, he didn't get sick on the plane ride but did get sick in bed last night. Pieter, bless his heart, cleaned up the bedding and stuff while I cleaned up Malcolm. He's in a relatively good mood but hasn't had much to eat the past couple of days.

I am also sick but not with the same thing. I have mastitis. Yesterday was definitely the worst with the fever and chills. I haven't had any fever today but the muscle aches are sticking around. Dad & Carolyn came back from their cruise today and were totally OK with having a mellow day. I still feel a little guilty having my sister who is 7 months pregnant and her partner take care of me and my kid.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Onion

Malcolm's memory catches me off-guard all the time. For example: last week, while at the grocery store, I bought an Onion. Mal kept calling it an Apple. While going through the check-out, the cashier told him that it was an Onion. Mal said Onion.

This week, while leaving the grocery store, we walk by the cashier from the previous week. Malcolm points to him and says, "Onion".

Another odd tidbit - the employees at this grocery (it's a co-op so it's small) have taken to calling Malcolm, "Famous" because they say he looks like Macaulay Culkin. I actually get people telling me that often. I think "Famous" is an odd nickname whether he looks like an actor or not.

As you can see, the daily posting for a month didn't keep me posting daily after the end of November. I've been busy, you see. I created a very long 'To-Do' list and my free time has been dedicated to crossing things off the list. Couple that with getting ready for our trip to San Diego and trying to put up Christmas decorations, i don't have much time on the computer.

Now that I've checked the forecast for San Diego, I can pack the suitcase. It'll be nice not to have to pack a coat, but I'm kinda sad that we're going to miss the first snow in Seattle this weekend (if it actually happens).

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Electrical Problem

I found a great electrician to come out to our house Monday afternoon. He found an extremely disturbing problem: the 'hot' wire going into our electrical panel for the dryer was loose and melted. Every time we used the dryer, it was shorting out. This scenario was a prime candidate for a house fire. I cannot tell you how lucky we feel that the panel never set fire.

He fixed the damaged wire, tightened 3 other loose wires and replaced a blown fuse. Problem solved for less than $200 (or so we thought).

I attempted to do a load of laundry on Tuesday. About 20 minutes into the dry cycle, the power goes out. Crap.

Jim the Electrician comes out again this morning. He checks the dryer (Tony pulled it out from the laundry closet. No easy feat) and makes sure that everything at the panel is a-okay. He then checks our main breaker and found that it was very loose and not bolted down. Therefore, it would flip if you breathed on it funny. Just to be on the safe side, we had him replace the main breaker. I haven't attempted to do laundry yet, but he assures me that the problem has been fixed. He didn't think to check the main breaker before because the melted wire seemed to be the obvious problem and our main breaker should have never passed inspection.

Whoever did the electrical work on our place did a shoddy job. Whoever did the final inspection to make sure it was up to code did an even shoddier job. We will be letting all of our neighbors know about this and strongly urge them to have an electrician check out their panels.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blog Changes

So as you can see, I changed the look of my blog out of necessity. There are a lot of templates that are unfriendly to photos :( I do not know Html well enough to create my own template, so my pickings were slim.

I also changed the title of my blog (again). The previous title was just too long and rarely do I actually write about our 'adventures'. We'll see how long I keep this current title.

Malcolm's sleep has been wonked ever since daylight savings time ended. I thought it would fix itself eventually, but he's showing no end of his 5 AM waking. I'm often able to get him back to sleep, but on mornings where I am not, I have a really hard time functioning throughout the day.

I can't seem to find an available electrician to come out and fix our problem. So lame.

Peruvian Baked Quinoa

I think I'm going to try this recipe tonight (I'm going to make half the portion). I'll let you know how it is.

From Vegetarian Times:

Think of this recipe as a protein-packed, gluten-free alternative to mac ’n’ cheese.

Ingredient List

Serves 8

2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts halved and sliced (1 cup)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 large eggs
1 cup nonfat milk
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (4 oz.), plus more for sprinkling, optional

Directions

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and bell peppers; cover, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3 to 4 minutes, or until quinoa grains turn opaque.
Add 3 cups water, and season with salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 3 to 4 minutes more, or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Transfer to prepared baking dish, and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until browned around the edges and on top.

Nutritional Information

Per SERVING: Calories: 241, Protein: 12g, Total fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 4.5g, Carbs: 27g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 295mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 3g

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Last Day

I feel like I should do some monumental post for the last day of NaBloPoMo, but that's not happening at this time of night. Sorry, folks. I am tired. I have thoroughly enjoyed this long weekend with my dearest husband. We relaxed and enjoyed each other's company. I have also been eating lots of pie. Mmm...pie.

I have gone over to Julie's the past two nights to dry clothes because every time we try to run our clothes dryer, our main circuit breaker flips. I'll be calling around tomorrow to find an electrician who can come out ASAP. It's super frustrating that we are having this problem in new construction.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Goodwill Score



With breakfast remnants in it. I love it!

I think I'm going to have to change the layout of the blog again. This cutting-off of pictures is no good!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cuteness



Sometimes I am amazed at how much I love this little guy. He's pretty awesome. Thanks to Auntie Manda for the cute picture!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Folks!

I hope everyone celebrated Thanksgiving the way they like. I am too pooped to write a real post. See you tomorrow.

xoxo,
Kris

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Center of the Universe

I enjoy reading the blogs of people I do not know. That's why many blogs exist. They are outlets for the many writers who we would never get exposed to otherwise. A group of 'mommy bloggers' started doing videos focusing on specific topics. I love it! It's called Momversation. All of the topics are valid to every mom out there. A quote from Alice Bradley of Finslippy really hit home for me. She said, "Since when did our children become the center of our universe?" I easily let Malcolm be the center of my universe and her saying that was a good reminder to me that I need to make a point to not do that.

That little center of my universe has been sleeping for over three hours now. This nice, long nap allowed me to eat lunch, fold laundry, sort through the pile of clothes in the bedroom clutter and write this post. I feel bad, though. He fell asleep on the car ride home from the Y and hasn't had lunch yet. It's now 3:30 - waaaaay past lunch time. Poor guy must've been so tired.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

List Revisited

I made the banana muffins yesterday. They are, by far, the best banana muffins I have ever made. I made a couple of changes. I replaced 4 Tbsp of whole wheat flour with 2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed and 2 Tbsp of wheat germ. The muffins came out super moist and fluffy. Since I make them with whole wheat flour, they tend to be pretty dense. Not these! I believe I found my new baking trick.

I dealt with a little bit of the clutter in the bedroom. I listened to the advice of my Aunt Sally and just focused on tackling one pile instead of feeling like I had to clean up the whole mess at once. I still have quite a bit to do, but at least I've started. It can be so difficult keeping this house clean because my little toddler is constantly making messes for me to clean up. Fortunately, he's at the age where he can learn to pick up after himself. We play the clean-up game every day and he thinks it's fun. I'll have him scrubbing toilets by Christmastime.

I often like to look at pictures of Malcolm when he was a newborn and marvel at how much he has changed. Here's a picture of him when he's about 4 weeks old:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast

I don't know about you, but my mouth is already salivating in preparation for all of the food I plan to consume on Thursday. Julie & Jeremiah will be hosting this year. Because I love food and my own cooking (is that pompous to say?), I have volunteered to bring a sweet potato dish, a green bean dish, cranberry relish and an apple pie. Everyone else is bringing 1-2 dishes. I got stuck with 4 because I want to eat all of these things and no one else volunteered to make them :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Day 23. I'm Due For a List

- I cooked carrots and butternut squash for Mal today (cook it, mush it, portion it into ice trays, freeze it). I also had plans to make banana muffins but ran out of time.
- I cooked halibut for dinner tonight. I honestly can't recall the last time I made fish. It's been a few years.
- Mal has been refusing to eat dinner the past few nights. I've been offering a wide variety of foods and he just turns his nose up. Don't know what's up with that.
- It was a lovely sunny day in Seattle but I didn't manage to get Mal out of the house to enjoy it. Bad Mommy!
- I intended to tackle some of the clutter in the bedroom. Didn't happen.

As a matter of fact, this weekend flew by and I wasn't nearly as productive as I hoped. This seems to happen every weekend. Yet, I seem to constantly be busy doing something. I don't get it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And Here is My Underbelly

*the landscape pictures are not showing fully due to the new format of my blog. LAME.

There has been something that has been weighing on me heavily and it continues to get worse. Aunt Sally, if you're reading this, you may want to stop now.

I have something to admit. I have a clutter problem and it seems to be getting worse. Today, I will be showing you my bedroom. Why I am doing this? I'm hoping that by doing this I will be embarrassed enough to actually do something about it.
Here is my side of the room:

*hangs head in shame*
clutter I hide behind the mirror:

Old tape cassettes that I'm not sure what to do with, a ribbon from a gift, a gift bag Mal pulled from the closet and other crap:

Mal's old clothes that need to be sorted and the co-sleeper that I'm not sure where to store long-term:

On top of the dresser (with a nice layer of dust):

This stuff used to be in a bag until Mal pulled it out to play with. Still, I was hiding it in a bag beside the dresser:


I could blame this on being a mom to a toddler, but the truth is is that I've always had a slight clutter problem. And I've always hated it. I have the Hanna gene that is getting severely ignored. I need to figure out how to tend to my need to clean.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Call at 3 AM

Remember those commercials when Hillary Clinton was campaigning? Hated them! So why did I make that reference in the title of this post? Because it was around 3 AM this morning that I remembered that I forgot to post something. I considered getting up and writing something real quick, but then realized that Thursday was already over and it was the wee hours of the morning on Friday.

Am I usually up in the wee hours of the morning? Why yes. Typically, once a night when Mal wakes up. I don't mind him waking up once a night. It's much better than what it used to be.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hit and Miss Recipes

First, the hit: Vanilla-Scented Tofu Oatmeal. I know it sounds kinda weird, but it's good! I've been looking for a way to add more protein to our breakfast in the morning and this is perfect. I've only made it once (this morning) and it got me through yoga. The real test will be tomorrow morning when I do cardio and weights. I've been having difficulties with crashing before I'm done with my workout.

The miss: Gnocci & Spinach Bake. I was hoping this would be a hit with the boys, but Mal wouldn't even try it and Tony said, "It's not my favorite" which translates to "I don't really like it but I'll eat it." Mal usually will try everything so I was thrown off by him not even willing to take one bite.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sometimes I Miss It

I love being a SAHM. I do! But lately, I kinda miss going to work outside of the home. I miss using my brain for things other than parenting. I miss going to the office. I miss eating my lunch at my desk as I work. I miss chatting with my fellow coworkers.

Does all of this missin' mean that we're going to put Malcolm in daycare and I'm going to go back to work? Not at all! It may mean that I may try and find some part-time work that I can do from home if such a thing exists. There are plenty of SAHPs that work from home by making stuff like cloth diapers and stuff. That's not me. I considered trying to get into the eBay thing, but I just wasn't feeling it. I have friends who are freelance editors, graphic designers and web developers who work from home, but I am none of those. I've pondered going into bookkeeping but I don't think I'd like doing that for very long.

Maybe this missin' thing will pass soon. Or, maybe I'll find something to do with Mal that isn't about making money (or spending it, for that matter).

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Walk Through the Trees

On Sunday, we went to the Arboretum with Amanda. Malcolm loved running around.

Go to my Flickr page for more pictures.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Fish or Not To Fish, That is the Question

I've been seriously reconsidering adding fish back into my regular diet. It's more for Mal's benefit plus I know Tony would love it if I started cooking it again. Buying it is the overwhelming part. In order to do it with a clear conscious, I have to know that the fish was either raised on a farm with high standards or wild-caught in a sustainable fashion. And here is where I turn to the Monterey Bay Aquarium guide. I'm bookmarking it for easy reference. I feel fortunate that one of the best places to buy fish in Seattle is within walking distance of the house: Mutual Fish.

In other food-related news, I've read multiple reports that the Safeway down the street from us has a rodent problem. Gross and gross! I do very little shopping there and am planning to stop all-together until I read reports that they got their act together. Now if Tony would only do the same...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

CryCryCry...Obama



Tony worked very hard to teach Mal how to say Obama. When this movie was taken, it was before his bedtime and was a little overtired (hence, the crying).

The Jamaican Pumpkin soup is just okay. I won't be making it again because...Tony doesn't like pumpkin soup. Maybe I should ask him these things first. Heh.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Food Love on the Internet

I often wonder how I lived without the Internet. Well, I know how I did, but I also know that it was much harder to find Answers. The Internet has all of the Answers. One of the things I love most about the Internet is finding recipes. I really enjoy cooking and trying out new foods & recipes. Before the Internet, I would say, "I want to cook something with kale in it" and then look at the handful of recipes in my short stack of cookbooks. It was limiting. Now, if I want to cook something with kale, I just type it into Google and have thousands of recipes to choose from. Typically, though, I start my recipe search at my favorite recipe websites. I *love* the fact that there are recipe websites. My newest obsession is reading people's cooking blogs. I find them so inspiring.

Right now, I have Jamaican Pumpkin Soup cookin' up in my crockpot. Earlier this week, I made Apple-Chard Quiche which is always a hit in this house. As a matter of fact, said recipe was the one that convinced me that onions are not evil. Before making this quiche, I never, ever cooked with onions. I hated them! It wasn't until after I ate them in this quiche that I realized onions are lovely when cooked. I still hate raw onions. I also hate cutting onions. They make me cry terribly.

Last night, as I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep, I was thinking about our upcoming trips next month to visit family (San Diego AND Naples!) I then remembered that my mom has never had fresh cranberry sauce. I never had fresh cranberry sauce until 5 years ago. For reals! I grew up thinking cranberry sauce came out of a can. I think the canned shtick is a southern thing. Now I am really excited to make my mom cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner. I'm thinking of trying out this recipe. I'll test the tastiness of it first at Thanksgiving. My mouth is drooling already.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How To Avoid Raising an Entitled Child

Last night, PEPS held a special event with a speaker who discussed how to avoid raising a child who feels entitled to whatever s/he wants. When they first sent out the email, I thought, "Hmmm...this could be interesting." so I signed up. I've heard the numerous reports of how young adults nowadays have to be treated differently when they go into the work force because of they way they were raised. You have to 'pamper' them and talk to them differently. I'm not sure what has changed in the past 30 years with how people are raising their kids and was hoping to find out more last night.

The event was being held at the home of a family that lives in the same zip code as we do. Our 'neighbors', you could say. The house was about a mile and a half from our house with a view of the lake. Yeah - one of those multi-million dollar houses that could easily accommodate 50 people in the living room. Oh yeah, these people totally felt like my neighbors (is the sarcasm coming through?) I showed up in the clothes I had been wearing all day - very casual. Wow did I feel underdressed and underlabeled. Someone actually asked me if I was there for the PEPS event. I joked and said that, "No, I just wandered in off the street to see what was going on" and quickly added that yes, I was there for the event after it looked liked she believed me. It was pretty apparent that I didn't fit in. The event was catered and I did enjoy the fancy snacks and tasty wine. I didn't enjoy the funny looks I got. I was outside of my comfort zone. Needless to say, I was the only one there with bright, red hair.

The mingling part seemed to last forever. The guest speaker finally talked...for 30 minutes. She focused on how to avoid making your child feel entitled to whatever s/he wants by not buying them every toy they ask for, not buying them a new car when they turn 16 and not taking them to Hawaii every year. Yes, I am serious. And then, they asked for donations starting at $150. If I would have known that this was a fundraising event, I would have stayed home. I appreciate what I have gotten out of PEPS and, in turn, have volunteered with the organization, but that's all we can really afford. My debit card stayed in my pocket.

My experience last night reminded me just how diverse Seattle can be. I'm not used to rubbing shoulders with the upper class. In fact, I often forget that people live in those huge houses on the top of the hill. I am much more comfortable around my direct neighbors even if we don't take walks around the neighborhood together. I hope that one day soon, even my wealthy neighbors will be comfortable with talking to a lady with brightly colored hair and tattoos.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

15 Months Old

Malcolm turned 15 months old on the 7th. He had his well-baby visit last Monday. I'm posting his stats here for record-keeping purposes. He's now 30.75 Inches tall (they now call it "Height" on the paper instead of "Length". This amuses me.) and 19lbs,5oz. Yep, he's a lightweight. Could you imagine the back problems I would have if he was a heavy tike? Yikes! I assured the doc that he does indeed eat. Anyone that's spent time with us knows he's a good eater. I've talked to many other parents with kids Malcolm's age and the amount of food he eats is above average - especially when it comes to vegetables. I also feed him food high in fats 3+ times a day. The kid's just skinny. My mom confirms that I was also a petite kid so it's no surprise that Mal is, too.

Get Up and Boogie

Last night, I went to The Showbox to see The Faint. Who are they? Take a listen:



I can't sit still when I listen to their music. I danced a lot last night. I was surrounded by people who just stood there. Seattle is weird like that. People will go to shows and just stand there. I don't get it. The only people who get down are those that are close to the stage. When I was younger, I'd be smooshed in the middle of all of those sweaty people, dancing right along. I'm too old for that now. I am not, however, too old to shake my booty when at a live show. And I could care less if I'm surrounded by people who think I'm the 'crazy dancing lady'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sick Kid + Heroes = Fail

A sick kid equals a grumpy kid which equals less computer time. Normally, I'd post after Mal's in bed, but last night I had to watch Heroes. And then after Heroes, I went to bed. So yeah, totally missed yesterday's post for NaBloPoMo.

I watch TV and I love it which is why we do not have cable. If we had cable, HGTV would be on all the time and it's not OK to have TV on all the time with a toddler around who is developing his language skills.

Compared to the statistics I've seen for the average amount of TV viewing of Americans, I don't watch a lot of TV. Monday night is Heroes, Tuesday is The Biggest Loser, Wednesday is Pushing Daisies (if I remember), Thursday is The Office and Sunday is Nature. Those are my shows! I'd be lying if I said the TV was only on for those 5.5 hours a week. Tony's a big news & movie addict and he gets a constant stream via podcasts. He's pretty good about not turning it on until after Mal's in bed during the week but will have the TV on all weekend long. I don't really like it but I also understand his need to wind down from a stressful week at work.

I do have two other shows that I love that aren't on right now: Lost and Battlestar Galactica. I don't really *love* Lost, but I like it enough to watch it each week. I do love BSG. That's good stuff.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Vaporizer = Victory

The sleep deprivation that I mentioned a few days ago was caused by a cold. After two sleepless nights due to a congested baby, we were seriously mourning the loss of our humidifier. After less than a year of use, it stopped working. This makes me grumble under my breath a lot. I really didn't want to toss our old one and buy a new one; it just seems so wasteful. But, there was no way I could do another night of waking up every 30-45 minutes to comfort a sick baby.

Yesterday, I started doing some research on humidifiers and decided to go with a vaporizer instead. I headed down to Walgreens and picked one up along with the smelly stuff to go inside. The vaporizer kicked the humidifier's ASS. Mal only woke up once last night which is completely normal. I am a vaporizer convert!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

For Piet

Here's one article that discusses the issue of people being turned away at the polls in Georgia

My Newest Reading Obsession

I love to cook and I love to eat. I love cooking in my crock pot because I can start dinner during Malcolm's nap and it's ready by the time Tony gets home. I also love using the crock pot because I never know when Tony's going to be home and he always wants to eat *right away*. How can you time a meal to be done at moment's notice? Use a crock pot.

A tip from a reader has created my newest reading obsession: A Year of CrockPotting. I am going to try her sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving this year (sorry, Mom!) and have also decided that I need a mini crock pot. I make oatmeal for breakfast at least 5 days a week and have started doing steel-cut oats. Thing is, those take 30 minutes to cook and Mal gets cranky from hunger on those mornings. I would love to be able to start breakfast before bed and come downstairs in the morning to a yummy-smelling kitchen.

The one thing I dislike about the crock pot: cleaning it. It's heavy and big and I just can't seem to get the inside perfectly clean. There is bean residue that will just not come off. Yuck.

I'm going to be breaking out the crock pot tomorrow to start on the soup I'm going to make for the soup swap I'm hosting next weekend. I'm drooling just thinking about all of the yummy soups!

Friday, November 07, 2008

No Sleep for the Weary

The little guy slept terribly last night which means that I slept terribly last night. Hi.

We spent a good part of the day at Angie & Jessie's house for a playdate. The kids had fun and so did I.

I am tired. This is all you get today. Early bedtime for me, folks.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Happy Kid

Mal has really enjoyed his playtime at the YMCA's 'Kid's Korner'. It is a great morning activity that helps stave off toddler boredom. Diane, the main caretaker, comments daily about how happy and independent he is. Honestly, I thought all little kids are happy. Many people have remarked to us that Mal is a happy kid. To have a caregiver who watches kids daily make the same remark made me realize that it's not a trait shared by all kids.

From day one, we walked into the toy-filled room and he takes off to play without looking back. He doesn't seem to mind that I'm not around. The only time he fusses is when we leave because he doesn't want to stop playing :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pride and Hope

I have been having to fight back tears since the election was called at 8 PM PST last night. I have never been this emotional when it comes to politics. And I am far from alone on this. Far from alone.

Four years ago, there were riots in the streets around the world when the election was called. People getting together to protest out of anger. Last night, there were gatherings AROUND THE WORLD of people celebrating. I am amazed that the rest of the world is celebrating with us.

I am Proud of the people of America.
I am Hopeful of the possibilities of changes to come.
I'm also a little Angry at the reports of many people getting turned away at the polls in the South. That's disappointing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Every Vote Counts

It is such an exciting day today! I have hope for the first time in 8 years. Our country needs to be taken in a new direction.

We're having friends over tonight to watch the election coverage. Much to do before people start to arrive!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mal's First Bus Ride

We have a car and live in a city where it's a convenience instead of a necessity. I am very thankful that Seattle has a good public transportation system. I am also very thankful that neither Tony nor I are dependent on the car to commute to and from work as we have been in the past. This allows us to be a one-car-family. I used poor judgement recently and took my car to Firestone to get an oil leak fixed since it's within walking distance of the house. A few months ago, I took it in for the initial leak and they had the car for 4 days and it cost more than they originally quoted. Grrr. About a month ago, I stopped by the Volvo dealership to get a bulb changed. They noticed smoke coming from the hood so they took a peek and noticed the car was leaking oil. Grrr. I took the car back to Firestone and they had the car for 4 days again to 'replace a faulty part'. Last Friday, the car shows a message that there is no oil pressure. I dropped the car off Saturday morning and they still have it. There's another 'faulty part'. *sigh*

My point of the above complaining story is to brag about how good Malcolm was on the 1 hour bus ride to the pediatrician today. It can take months to get an appointment with Dr. Springer so I wasn't going to cancel it just because we didn't have the car. After lunch, Mal and I hopped on a bus in south Seattle and enjoyed the ride to Wallingford. He didn't fuss or get antsy at all. I'm so proud of my little guy! On the 1-hour bus ride home, he took a nap.

If the car isn't ready by morning, we're going to take the bus to the YMCA. I've been itching to get back since becoming a member last week.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Banana

Malcolm LOVES bananas. It was his first table food and since that first bite, he eats banana almost every day. Therefore, it was important to him to learn how to say 'banana' so he could tell me that he wants it. Here's a little video of him saying it while also trying to reach the banana on the table.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Adventures

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I'm pretty nonchalant when it comes to all holidays so I think it's kind-of funny that I declare that I have a favorite. Malcolm seemed to really enjoy it this year - even as a one-year-old. It started out with Grandma Sherry buying window decorations. They put them up together and she taught him to say, "Boo!" I then put up a few more decorations including a bat. He then learned how to say "Bat!"

I thought about taking him to a pumpkin patch for weeks but never got around to it until Julie called me up the weekend before Halloween. We went to a U-Pick farm a few minutes from her house. Her main objective was to get some cute photos of Eliska, but the set-up and bright sunshine didn't allow for it. Malcolm loved the pumpkin patch and wanted to take home every pumpkin.

I love carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns but could not find the time to do it this year since we got our pumpkins so late. Thank goodness Grandma Sherry sent Malcolm a decorating kit! Mal picked out which eyes, nose, mouth and ears he wanted:

I decorated my pumpkin with the other set.

Next year, I'm going to be more on top of things (like not waiting until the day before Halloween to get Mal's costume) and put up more decorations and get our pumpkins earlier so we can carve them.

Oh yeah - we got a total of ONE trick-or-treater this year at 10 PM. Tony gave her all of the candy, dammit!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


Mal dressed up as a bat. We went to The Skellington's annual Halloween party this afternoon. I was going to take him to do more stuff in the early evening, but the car is acting up :(

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Sammich is still a Sammich

Mal will gladly eat cheese and bread, but will not eat a cheese sammich. I am ready to add variety to our lunches (sammiches!) but he is apparently not.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Make it Routine



So I joined Nablopomo for November in hopes that it would help motivate me to post regularly. Let's see if it works!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Picky Eater Update

I've been experimenting with food combinations with Malcolm to see what food it is that he decided he no longer likes. At first, I assumed it was collards and kale, but it's not. I thought maybe it was rice, but it's not. He'll eat all of those happily. It took me a little while to figure it out - it's the egg yolk I would add to his dinner a few days a week. I've been doing it for months now to add good fat into his diet. Who'd a thunk?

Kitchen Gadgets

I love kitchen gadgets, but only if I use them. I use my crock pot weekly year-round to cook beans (I buy dried) and multiple times a week during fall & winter to make soup. My veggie steamer / rice cooker also gets used regularly. My waffle maker was used weekly until it stopped working recently :(

Since Malcolm was around 8 months old, I started feeding him yogurt daily. I buy the 1-quart tub of organic whole milk plain yogurt from Trader Joe's on a weekly basis and it's come to the point where we are going through it in less than a week. I've been told by multiple people that making your own yogurt is really easy, but it seems like too much of a pain to me. However, after reading this post over at Crunchy Chicken, I am convinced that it's definitely doable with a yogurt maker. Making yogurt with a machine seems so simple, produces no waste and is cost-effective.

I'm going to ask Santa for this yogurt maker this year.

I have two kitchen appliances that I'd like to get in the habit of using more often. One: the juicer that Sherry gave us for Christmas. I need to get a container to store the juice in. I would love to break out the juicer daily for fresh juice, but the clean-up is very time consuming. Two: the bread maker that was a hand-me-down from Sunny. The recipes in the book call for a special yeast that I haven't been able to locate. Granted, I haven't looked too hard, but I should. I honestly just need to do a bit more reading on how to make good bread in a bread maker - especially with the continual rise on the price of bread.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cold Feet

And I mean literally. My feet are cold. I need new slippers as my old ones are worn out.

Fall in Seattle is just gorgeous. Definitely one of my favorite seasons. I love the crisp air and changing leaves. We've been having nice weather - sunny most days with rainy days here and there to keep everything green. The temperature requires a light jacket most days.

I have my good days and my bad days with my back. Lately, it's been mostly bad. I went to the YMCA earlier this week to check it out and we'll give it a trial run next week. I want to see how Mal does with the provided childcare before I sign up. I would have gone this week, but the car's been in the shop since Wednesday (oil leak) and my back's been to hurty to ride my bike there.

Oh yeah. I got a bike a few months ago. I love it. Unfortunately, Malcolm is not fond of the bike trailer. At all. Last time I put him in it, he screamed his little head off. Sad face. I've been wanting to give it a go again but, again, The Back Thing.

More Toddler Speak:

plane
plant
down
up
yes
please
thank you
done
bat
banana
woof
socks
shoes
fishie
birdie
bread

Many of these words and the prior words I listed out are understandable to anyone. However, there are quite a few that we only know what he's saying because he's pointing at the object (like fishie). The way he says 'Thank You' is just so cute and when he says it is even cuter; he says it after he gives you something since that is what we say when he hands us an object.

The kid loves to learn new words. He'll bring us a book, point to a picture so we'll say what it is and then he'll try to repeat it. His favorite books are those with pictures of things that he already knows the names of.

You may have noticed a very important word that is missing from the list: Mommy. He will say Mommy when he hears another kid say it and if Tony prompts him over and over again. He knows I'm Mommy but, for some reason, hasn't felt the need to call out to me by name. Banana also sounds a lot like Mommy.

Time for me to go find another pair of socks before my toes fall off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Note

Operation Picky Eater is in full effect. I tried to avoid it, but everyone told me it was inevitable. The frequency increases threefold when the little person is tired.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Words

ahchoo
apple
ball
balloon
bath
boo
bye
cheese
daddy
doggie
hi
kitty
no
row
'side (outside)

These are the words Mal can say. I believe there are more, but I just can't think of them off the top of my head. We've been surprised with how quickly he's picked up language. Our little baby's becoming a toddler. It's happening so quickly!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Blame Heredity

I inherited chronic back pain from both of my parents. What? You didn't know that you could inherit that? Just ask them! They both suffer from it just as I do. My dad gets weekly massages to combat his pain. If only I could do that.

I mention this because the pain has been pretty significant for me for the last 6 weeks or so. On Friday, I went to the chiropractor and on Saturday, the massage therapist. Yesterday, I woke up in pain, but nothing debilitating. That is, until I took a shower. After my shower, my muscles started spasming and seizing up from the bottom of my shoulder blades up through my neck. I couldn't even change Malcolm's diaper without screaming and crying in pain. And folks, let me tell you, it's got to be pretty painful to get that kind of reaction out of me. When you deal with chronic pain, you tend to build up your pain tolerance. I was pretty f*cked yesterday so I called Tony and he came home to take care of Mal. I could barely move. It scared Malcolm quite a bit. It broke my heart to see him crying and I couldn't do anything to comfort him. Once Tony got home, I laid in bed and took the serious pain killers that were prescribed to me after labor.

I'm still in quite a bit of pain today but at least I can change Malcolm's diaper and carry him down the stairs.

This most recent bought has proven that I really need to start taking care of myself. The only thing that has prevented the serious pain is regular weight-bearing exercise. I walk all the time, but that's just not cutting it. Now I'm on the hunt for a gym that provides daycare and isn't too far from home.

Sherry's arriving tomorrow and I can't clean the house. Lame. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I feel well enough to at least vacuum tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Constant Mess



I spend a lot of my day picking up after Malcolm. Above is just a sample of the mess on the floor after a typical meal. It's a good thing that I don't mind cleaning so much. If I were working outside of the home, I'd likely hire someone to come in and clean every couple of weeks. It's seriously a full-time job taking care of the kid and the house and the house is rarely in the condition I would like it to be.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How I Have Missed Thee!

The issue with renewing my Flickr Pro account: trying to do it with Safari browser. Stupid incompatibility. Anyhoo, I finally did it using Firefox and I am very happy to see that all of the pictures I have uploaded over the past 3 years are still there. Sweet!

Family Times = Good Times

Make that great times! Our trip to Utah was fun as always. Malcolm loved playing with his cousins. Brenda came over every day and brought Jordan and Collin. When Hannah and Casey were over, Hannah did such a good job of watching/playing with Malcolm and made sure he didn't get into any trouble.

Utah gets pretty hot in the summer. Here's a little video of Jordan and Malcolm playing outside. To keep the porch cool, Jordan was spraying it with water while doing his best not to get Malcolm wet. Mal had other ideas.


Malcolm was constantly amused by Jordan. Here he is laughing his little butt off at Jordan playing with markers:


Here's a picture of half of the cousins (there are 12 total). Tony's step siblings' kids aren't in the picture.


Check out my Flickr page to see the rest of the pictures from our trip.

A week and a half after our return, Jenn, Piet and Cameron came up to Seattle for a long weekend. The boys had a lot of fun playing together (of course!) and we enjoyed hanging out with Jenn & Piet. Their trip was too short as always. I haven't put up the pictures to Flickr because I ran out of room :( I tried signing up for a paid account but it just wouldn't work for me. I'll give it a try again soon. Promise!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

As Local As It Gets

I am seriously enjoying our little urban garden. We were a little late in planting things so pretty much the only things we've harvested are peas, lettuce, chard and collards. Our tomatoes have started to turn red which is so exciting to us. I had to thin out the chard and kale because it was too crowded. We also lost our pea plants for some reason.

Today, I thought to myself, "I need to eat some veggies for lunch" (we have minimal produce since I missed the Farmer's Market last week). So, I went out and cut enough collard greens for my meal. I didn't have to figure out what to do with a whole bunch; I could just get what I needed. Love it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Utah Trip

We're off to Utah today to visit Tony's family. Believe it or not, I can pack all of the clothes including toiletries for the 3 of us in one suitcase (at least for summer weather).

I'm most nervous about keeping Mal entertained on the flight. Fortunately, there will be two of us for this trip. It should make traveling much easier.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Favorite

Malcolm cracks us up a lot. He's a big goofball. Here's a picture of Tony & Mal taken at the beginning of August. I love it!

Malcolm's First Birthday Party

We threw Malcolm a birthday party on the 9th (what? yes I'm behind on posting this. at least I'm making the effort now!) Since he's one and we knew he wasn't going to remember it, we left it very casual. Our close friends came over as did his little playdate friends. Here's a shot of a good portion of the guests:

We cooked burgers on the bbq and hung out for a bit while the kids played. Here's a cute one of Rowan collecting balloons:

I made carrot cupcakes w/o refined sugar & eggs so all of the kids could eat them:

It wasn't until after the party that I put Malcolm in his booster seat and let him eat one unassisted. He enjoyed it muchly:

Everyone seemed to have a good time. First birthday party = success!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stand up! Sit down.

Mal's already figured out how to stand up from a sitting position unassisted already. I posted pictures from his birthday party to Flickr. Gotta make this quick cause I need to get lunch on the table!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

12-month letter

Hey Little Man!

You turned a year old lasts Thursday. The whole day I kept thinking back to the day you were born. This year has been amazing for both me and your dad and it's hard for us to remember what life was like before you came along.



This past month, you figured out how to walk without holding on to something to keep you upright. Now you are walking around while drinking out of your sippy cup. The other night, you had your worst walking accident. While carrying a balloon that was leftover from your birthday party, you fell and landed on your face which resulted in a bloody, swollen lip. Ow! I'm just relieved that you didn't also chip a tooth.



You love food and you love to eat. I am thankful for this but await the day when you start to protest food. I would have to say that your favorite food right now is cheese and whatever your daddy is eating (still). You are a sweet, gregarious, happy baby and every day me and your dad talk about how lucky we are to have you in our lives. We love witnessing you discover who you are and take joy in being a part of your life and are excited to see who you become. Having you has made us realize what is really important in our lives and brought us a serene happiness that we couldn't have understood without you.

I love you,
Mommy

Monday, July 28, 2008

Forgot to Note

One month ago (June 28th) was my 5-year blogiversary. I started this blog the day before I left Los Angeles. It's so hard for me to believe that I moved away 5 years ago.

Tomorrow is Cameron's birthday. He's going to be 4!

Malcolm's birthday is in a week. Next week is also the 5-year anniversary of when Tony & I met. Next week is also my dad's birthday.

I also moved to Seattle for the first time 10 years ago sometime in August I think. i don't remember the exact date.

Sorry for the lack of substance in the blog. I come up with beefy blog posts in my head, but they never seem to make it out. I need to figure out how to resolve this issue.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Everyone's Vacationing

I just put Malcolm down for a nap. When I came downstairs, I thought to myself, "I should call my mom/dad/sister" and then I remembered that they are all on vacation. Jenn & Mom are on a cruise together and Dad & Carolyn are in Pennsylvania at the annual family reunion. It made me a little sad.

Speaking of sleep, I started working on teaching Malcolm to fall asleep on his own a couple of weeks ago. When he learned how to crawl, our evening routine changed a bit. He started to cry when I would put him to sleep. I thought that maybe it was a phase, but 2 months later it was still happening. I figure if he's already crying while in my arms, I might as well see if he can fall asleep in his crib. The first night, there was lots of crying, but he fell asleep in his crib and only woke up once during the night. I thought that after 2 weeks, we'd be in a routine and he'd be accustomed to me putting him down in his crib to go to sleep. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Every night is different. Some nights, I put him down in his crib and he plays for 30 minutes and falls asleep. Other nights, I put him down and he fusses for an hour and a half. I stay with him in his room until he falls asleep, so the 1.5 hour nights pretty much use up my evening hours. Anyhoo, since we started doing this, he sleeps through the night. Sometimes he'll wake up after 8.5 hours of sleep but I can usually get him back to sleep for a couple more hours. Most nights he wakes up after 10.5/11 hours of sleep. I would have no complaints if this was the only change, but it's not. His naps are really wonky now and rarely does he take 2 naps a day. I never know what to expect. This would be no big deal except that it makes planning things difficult (like a little party for him for his birthday).

Malcolm turns 1 in 3 weeks. Craziness!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Walking Bug

We knew this day was coming, but it doesn't make it any less exciting when it happens!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Oh yeah!

And that news that I was referring to in a post at the end of May? My wonderful sister is now engaged to be married to Piet! He makes her very happy and treats her really well. I am very excited for both of them.

11-month letter

My darling Malcolm,

I sometimes think your Daddy and I procreated so we could have an excuse to laugh and play all the time. You love to laugh and play and explore and it's reminded us how much joy those things can bring into our lives. Sometimes grown-ups forget to laugh every day. It's really hard not to laugh with you around!

We had a very busy month of visiting with family and friends. You and I flew all the way across the country to Florida to visit your JoJo and PopPop. You also got to meet a lot of other family and friends. We first spent the weekend hanging out with friends in Tampa where you got to swim in a pool for the first time. You loved it! Here is your auntie Betsy eating your face:

We then drove down to Naples where we spent a week with JoJo and PopPop:

You went to the beach for the very first time, too:

On the day that we left, your Aunt Rachel brought over your cousins Aiden and Ally so you guys could play together:

The day before we flew home, we hung out with family in St. Pete:


Although our trip was a lot of fun, it was waay too long to be away from your Daddy. We both missed him a lot.

Shortly after our return, your Granpa and Nana arrived for a visit. We spent the days hanging out and taking care of house stuff. Before we knew it, it was time for them to head back home. They got you a cute outfit from their trip to Switzerland:


I missed writing you a letter last month because I got so busy getting ready for our trip. Now we're back home and we're getting settled into our routine again. You've sprouted a total of 4 teeth and enjoy grinding them. It makes my skin crawl to hear that noise. With a bit of prompting and guidance, you can now take a couple of steps on your own. I don't count it as walking yet, but I know that day will be coming soon. Your most recent word is 'row' which is something you say when we read the book, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or you say it when you want us to read the book to you. You actually say, 'row, row, row' and it's just the cutest thing. It also kinda sounds like you've started saying, 'mama', but that just might be wishful thinking.

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back Home

Hi All! Malcolm and I made it back to Seattle from our trip to Florida. We got in late last night and now I'm trying to get the house ready for Dad & Carolyn's visit. I hope to write a much-delayed update soon, but my plate's pretty full for the next week. The PEPS group that I'm leading meets for the first time next Tuesday and there is much I need to do to prepare for that. Gotta run!

Friday, June 06, 2008

And then I said 'Ouch'

A couple of days ago, I was walking. I do that. And then, for some reason, I decided to kick a hard thing. It wasn't on purpose. We all do it. It hurt. It still does. It is quite likely that I broke my toe. See?

This picture does not do justice to the actual color of my toe. I noticed today that the bruising has extended to the top of my foot.

Wednesdays is Farmer's Market day. There was no way I was going to miss it this week since I didn't go last week. I taped my toes together and walked to the market. This was at the point where I thought I probably just stubbed my toe. It actually didn't start feeling worse until Wednesday night. I'm sure all of the walking didn't help. But, I scored some great stuff at the market, consignment store and used book store!

Mal's been sleeping much better the past couple of nights. His bottom left tooth has broken through the gums and he's drooling up a storm. We had a rough day yesterday because he refused to take his morning nap and then fought me a long time when I went to put him down for his afternoon nap. Fortunately, he has not repeated this behavior today.

One week until our trip to Florida! There is much we want to get done around the house this weekend since Dad & Carolyn will be arriving a couple of days after our return from our trip. We need to convert the office into the guest bedroom since Mal is sleeping in his room now and we'd have to take apart the crib in order to move it into our bedroom.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Another Step in Becoming a Domestic Goddess

In an effort to eat locally for longer than the growing season, I've decided to take up canning. On a whim, I bought a few extra pounds of asparagus at the Farmer's Market with the intentions of pickling it. It would have been wise of me to actually read up on how to can before I bought the asparagus. I knew I needed mason jars and lids, but a special rack to put in the pot? Huh? So anyways, I decided to work with what I had in my cupboards which meant putting the jars on their sides during the hot water bath because my largest pot was not tall enough. For those of you that have canned before, you probably know what happened. Out of the 4 jars, only one didn't leak brine. I'm thinking it's no big deal. However...

When I cook, I often eye measurements of dried ingredients. I read today that it's a big no-no when it comes to canning. You need to have the proper ratio of sugar/acid/etc to avoid botulism. Oops. It looks like we're going to be eating a lot of pickled asparagus in the next week.

Now I'm on the lookout for the proper equipment to do hot bath canning. I'm hoping to pick it up second-hand. I'm also going to pick up a book on food preservation because I also want to learn how to properly freeze greens & fruits so they last a long time. I'll freeze soup and occasionally fruit right now in a food storage container, but the fruit gets consumed pretty quickly. I'm looking to keep fruit in the freezer so I can enjoy plums in the middle of winter without feeling guilty that they've been transported from a far-away place.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Drainbrainnotfunction

I love my son. I do. But two nights of waking up ever 1.5 hours (and then some) is KILLING ME. The joys of teething. I gave him teething tablets all last night and they did nuffin. Baby Tylenol = nuffin. I know this will pass soon so I just need to whine about it for right now.

I asked Tony to get up with Malcolm at 7 this morning so I could get a little bit of sleep. Tony likes to give Mal a bottle of watered-down juice in the mornings. Since we were all out of juice, Tony gave him SODA. Granted, it was caffeine free, no HFCS stuff, but still! I really wanted to put off giving the kid junk food for several more years.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy June!

Wait? Is it really June already? Where did May go? Seriously!

Tony got a new job about a month ago and it's going well so far. He's working for a small publishing company doing web development and random IT stuff. He's in L.A. today for a business meeting - it was so odd not having him here last night.

Several months ago, I planned a trip to Florida and made it a long trip because it takes a day to fly there and a day to fly back. The plan was to have Tony come out for part of the time. It has become apparent that he won't be able to come out at all because (1) the cost of the plane ticket has doubled (that's conservative) since I bought my ticket, and (2) his boss is going to be out of town the whole time so he can't take any time off. Now I feel bad for taking such a long trip (11 days) because I hate to think of Tony and Malcolm being apart for so long :( What can you do?

Sleep is a precious, rare thing around here lately. Malcolm has another tooth coming in - his top right one. Isn't that odd? I thought his bottom left one would be next. We're going to have a little snaggled-tooth boy running around here! His teeth are slow to come in and wouldn't be obvious in photos yet. Once they are, I'll be sure to post some.

We think he's really close to walking. He's able to stand up w/o support for quite a long time and he can walk around with the support of just one hand. I've been meaning to take a little video but keep forgetting.

Speaking of videos, here's a couple of Malcolm & Screech "playing":


Screech is an incredibly tolerant kitty to say the least.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

There is News!

But I'm not sure if it's OK to share it yet. It's not my news, but Jenn's news. If you are saying to yourself right now, "What news could Kris be talking about?" and you know my beautiful sister, then you need to get in touch with her. That's all I'm sayin'...for right now. To Jenn & Piet: I wouldn't mind paying a visit to Tallahassee in the future (hint, hint).

Last weekend, I had a training session for volunteer work that I will be doing with PEPS. Tony took care of Malcolm the whole time. Here is the feeding adventure:


Please note that this is not a normal occurrence. Malcolm does not get this messy when I feed him :p

Monday, May 19, 2008

Eliska Has Arrived!


Please give a warm welcome to Eliska Belle! She arrived into this world on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 9:10 PM weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and measuring 19 1/4 inches. After Julie's body showed no signs of being ready for labor, she was checked into the hospital on Saturday since her amniotic fluid was very low. They administered Picodin in the afternoon to help things along and it did it's job. She woke up to contractions around 1 AM and the epidural was administered around 11 AM. I was able to be there for the birth and it was amazing. I'm still pretty flabbergasted at the difference between a natural birth and labor with an epidural. The difference is pretty extreme! Julie did a fantastic job and pushed like a pro when it came time. Everyone is doing great except Eliska's having a hard time figuring out how to latch on to her mommy's boobie. I'm going to head down to the hospital to pay a visit after Mal wakes up from his nap.

I am very thankful to Tony for watching Malcolm for the 9 hours I was gone :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Facts 5.11.08

In no particular order...

1. Today is Mother's Day. Happy Mom's Day!
2. Malcolm's first tooth sprouted this week. The bottom right was the first to appear.
3. Mal turned nine months old on 5.7.08
4. My cousin, Steve, had a birthday on 5.7
5. 5.7 was also the anniversary of my grandma's passing
6. My beautiful sister celebrated her birthday on 5.9
7. Malcolm now weighs 16 pounds, 10 ounces. He has moved up to the 5% curve from 3%
8. He is now 27 1/2 inches tall. I can now refer to it as his height instead of his length since he can stand up (with a little help).
9. My cousin, Colleen, celebrated her birthday on 5.1
10. Julie's estimated due date was 5.5.08. She's still pregnant and is not pleased about this.
11. My upper back hurts.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

9-month letter

My Favorite Malcolm,

You've been out of my womb for as long as you were in it. The thing that amazes me most is how quickly you have changed in nine short months. I realize that this is something that I will be saying for pretty much all of your childhood, but it's true. Nine months ago, you were a tiny, little thing that was as helpless as could be. Today, you are crawling and creeping all over the house, exploring every nook and piece of dirt.

This month, you and I went down to San Diego to visit your Auntie Jenn and Cousin Cameron. We had a lot of fun with them; you were just fascinated by your big cousin. He would come over to you and say, "Baby Malcolm! Hug?" and would then lean into you so you could give him a hug. Being that you aren't really sure what a hug is and have little baby arms, you would reach out and grab onto the hair on his head. Cameron would sometimes say "Ow" in a little voice, but he didn't seem to mind that you were pulling his hair. He was also quite fond of holding you, but you weren't too sure about it. Your Auntie Jenn is, of course, enamored by you, but that is no surprise.

As your personality blossoms, the one trait that everyone comments on is how happy you are. I often hear, "He is such a happy baby!" When we are out in public, you smile and babble at anyone who will look at you. You just love to absorb every activity that is going on around you. Anyone that loves babies REALLY love you and you love the attention.

Your favorite things this month are bread, chasing Screech, playing in the kitties' water bowl and licking the faces of me and your Daddy (we like to think you are giving us kisses. Wet, slobbery kisses). Nine months is such a short period of time, but my life has been changed in ways that I never could have imagine in this brief period of time.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, May 05, 2008

Today's Firsts

It took him just a day to figure out how to crawl 'properly'. I have spent my afternoon chasing him around. I finally put him in his playpen so I could eat dinner (he wouldn't tolerate his high chair). While playing in his playpen, he actually made himself laugh. That's the first time I've ever heard him do that (he was throwing around a ball).

Julie & Jeremiah's house was broken into yesterday in the middle of the day while Julie was out shopping and Jeremiah was at work. Sunny's house was broken into about a month ago while she was at work. Robbery is so wrong.

Nose Eating

He likes to eat my nose, lick and suck on my face. It's very slobbery!

Almost Crawling

We took this movie last night. He's already improved his crawl technique today. He's going to be zooming around before we know it! I think I should go buy gates today or tomorrow.

Giggling

Malcolm laughs at Tony bouncing a ball

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Trip to San Diego

Malcolm and I recently visited Jenn & Cameron in San Diego. Needless to say, it was so great spending time with them. Cameron grew up so much in the last year. He was so excited to see us and constantly said, "Auntie Kris and Baby Malcolm!" The cousins are fascinated with each other; I can't wait to see them grow up together. Why oh why does San Diego have to be so far away?

Here's a picture of Jenn, Cameron and Malcolm. Doesn't Mal look like a doll?


We went to the zoo on Sunday. Cameron insisted on pushing his little cousin in the stroller:


I love this picture of Cameron:


Mal loved riding around on Cameron's little plane. Jenn took this picture of me and Mal:


Cameron loved holding Malcolm (with help from Mom):


I miss them terribly.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Little Milestones

Mal's holding his own bottle consistently, lifting himself up to a standing position and then cruising around the table and he just figured out how to get himself into a sitting position from a laying position today. He's going to be crawling before we know it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Dreaded Thump

There are things that you never want to hear as a parent. One of them is a very loud THUMP which usually means your child has fallen hard onto something. This morning, as I was flushing Mal's diaper, there was a THUMP. I had placed Mal in his usual spot - the crib. I've always felt it was a safe place to put him when I wasn't in the room. (you know where this is going) I really didn't expect to have to worry about him getting out of his crib at 8 months because he hasn't figured out how to lift up his leg to climb things. Needless to say, I was very surprised to hear the THUMP and then find my poor baby laying face down on the floor, screaming his little head off. The trauma! He's fine - no blood, no broken bones, no concussion. I can only figure that he was reaching for something outside of his crib and he flipped over the side. Poor little guy! I feel like a bad mommy, but I know that these things happen. The mattress will be lowered today and if he's able to fall out after that, his nickname will be Houdini.

In less traumatic news, I turned 34 last Wednesday. Tony and I went out to dinner Wed. night to 22 Doors thanks to Mom & Paul (Christmas gift) while Manda babysat for us. Yesterday, Julie had a bbq at her new house so we could celebrate my birthday with friends. We had an unusual summer-like day in Seattle - it was very sunny and 77 degrees. Seriously! Julie and Jeremiah have a fabulous deck and yard - perfect for bbq's with friends. It was great fun to hang out with everyone.

Speaking of Julie, Mal and I spent Friday afternoon with her at the hospital. She was experiencing pain in her lower abdomen and back. Although it wasn't labor, the doc told her to go to the hospital so they could check it out. It was determined that she had a kidney stone. Poor thing! We went there to keep her company and make sure everything was OK. She's officially full-term tomorrow so we were all happy that nothing was wrong with the little one and that she hadn't gone into labor.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

8-month letter

Little Squirt,

You turned 8 months old a few days ago and your adorableness increases by the minute. Currently, your favorite food is peas and you still like to make a mess when you eat. You are getting better and better at pulling yourself up to a standing position from a sitting position, but you have no idea how to get into a sitting position. You cannot wait until you can crawl or walk. I now have to keep all eyes on you all the time because you are lookin' to get into trouble!

Here you are, standing in your crib and looking pretty proud of yourself:


You love to make a mess when you eat, but you hate for me to clean you up. I try explaining to you that I wouldn't have to clean you up if you weren't so messy, but you haven't caught on yet:


Here's you, me and your Daddy at a party we went to at your uncle chris' house. You loved it when all of the pretty ladies held you because unlike me, they had long hair for you to pull on.


This month, you started sleeping in your own bed and seem to really like it. We occasionally have our rough nights and you are still waking up a few times each night, but we can definitely see an improvement in your sleep habits. Most nights, you do not want to go to bed because that would mean no more play time with Daddy. I would have to say your most favorite thing this month is playing with your Daddy. Your face lights up every time he comes into the room and it's the sweetest thing.

Love,
Mommy

Friday, April 04, 2008

Going to give it a shot...

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008

I've been buying little things here and there for Mal like books and stuff. They are things that we could easily do without. I tend to be pretty frugal with spending as it is, so the challenge shouldn't be too difficult for me. I'm wondering if I could get Tony to join in...

How about you? Think you are up for the challenge to buy nothing (excluding food, medications and other essentials) for the month of April? Consider it a birthday present to me!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sleep Deprived = Me

There were some really good nights at first which made me very hopeful. Lately, the squirt's been waking up frequently during the night and getting up too early in the mornings. Ah, the woes of being parents to a babe.

Our weather here has been funky! In the last week and a half, it has snowed, hailed, and thunderstormed. Right now, it's sunny and fifty-something degrees.

My 34th birthday is in a week. I suppose this means I will officially be in my mid-thirties. If you would have told me that I'd be a SAHM 10 years ago, I would have guffawed at you. Me? Children? Wha? Hee.

Speaking of children, sounds like the little guy just woke up from his far-too-short nap. Must run!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

So Unpredictable

Thursday night: up every two hours and then up for the day around 6 AM. Ugh. Yes, I was sleep deprived yesterday.
Friday night: we met up with a few of the other PEPS families at a kid-friendly bar in Madrona (what? yes - you heard me right) for dinner and beer. They have toys and a play area in the place along with a wall of sippy cups behind the bar. Since we got home shortly before 8, I skipped giving Malcolm a bath. He didn't go to bed until 10 PM. The boy is set in his routine! He woke up around 10:45 and we were able to get him back to sleep pretty quickly. He woke up around 2:30 and then around 6. I brought him to bed with me at 6 because I wanted to avoid a repeat of Friday morning and it worked. He didn't wake up for the day until around 8:30.

Tonight is a dinner party at Chris' house so it will be another night out of his routine. I'm looking forward to hanging out with our friends - both Tony and I miss them a lot. I'm hoping that the little guy will fall asleep around his normal time (8pm) and that he'll sleep happily in his car seat until we get home.

I finally got around to filing our taxes and we actually get a refund this year which is nice. We're going to use a bit of it as 'fun money' but the majority of it is going into our savings account to replace the $$ we took out while Tony was out of work. The money that we'll be receiving in May from the government will be going back into the economy. We're going to do as this administration wishes and buy stuff with it. There is a long list of things for the house that we'd like including proper window treatments. We've been in this house for almost a year and a half and still have the temporary window treatments up on many of the windows. I hate it! It's going to be so nice to have quality window treatments; it's really going to help finish off the look of many of the rooms.

My book is calling out to me - I have to take advantage of Mal's naptime while I can!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Transition

After another episode of being awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night, we came to the conclusion that Malcolm may be ready to move out of the family bed and into his crib. I tried having him in his co-sleeper, but he never liked it. The sleep deprivation has been wearing on all of us and I just couldn't let it continue without trying something new.

So, last night, I put him to bed in his crib. I made up the hide-away bed in his room so I could be close by. I put him to bed at 8, he woke up around 9 - 9:30 and wouldn't go back to sleep until around 10:30 (this isn't uncommon), he woke up again a bit before midnight and I was able to get him back to sleep within 15 minutes and then he woke up again around 4. A 4 hour stretch of sleep for him is pretty good - especially when he wasn't sleeping next to me! I tried putting him back down in his crib for the next hour but then gave up around 5 and brought him to bed with me. It was during that time that I realized that I didn't dress him warm enough for sleeping by himself. We then slept until 8. The night went much better than expected. I was sure he'd be waking more frequently, but he didn't. Let's see how things go from here!

When Mal started the new pattern of staying awake for a period of time in the middle of the night, Tony and I talked about the need to move him to his crib. We were resistant because we both really like the practice of bed sharing. But, we always said that we'd move him to his crib when he was ready. In all honesty, we didn't expect him to be ready before we were.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Remember When?

When he was a few days old, Tony took this picture of Malcolm:

Here he is, 7 months later:

Our little guy is growing up!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Other Stuff

Malcolm started pulling my hair, so I got my hair cut:

I also had my 'permanent' earrings put back in because I always forgot to put in earrings. Plus, I only have one pair that Malcolm doesn't like to play with (play = pull). He hasn't tried to play with these yet, but it's only been a day. If he does, I'll be switching to posts.

Please Sleep Now

K? Thx. Bye.

Daylight Savings Time has not been kind to Malcolm's sleep schedule. He's been going to bed anywhere between 8pm and 12am. The past couple of nights, he's gone to bed between 8 and 9, but then will wake up sometime in the night and not go back to sleep for a couple of hours. This makes for a sleep deprived, very grumpy baby. I spend a good portion of my day attempting to help him get to sleep for a nap. In the past week or so, he's been resistant to naps. Who knows why!

Here's the typical day of this SAHM:

- We wake up between 7 and 8 AM and play in bed for a little while.
- We get up and and dress him.
- He then plays in his exersaucer while I get showered, dressed and make the bed.
- We head downstairs where he plays with toys on the floor while I make myself breakfast.
- If he didn't get a good night's sleep, I will then focus on trying to get him to nap. When he's tired, he wants to be held constantly.
- If he's not grumpy, I'll then make his breakfast.
- After he's eaten, he'll take his morning nap.
- Nap time = computer time for me. Nap time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- When he wakes up, we play upstairs in his room. I will often do laundry at this time.
- Then he gets breakfast if he didn't eat before his nap.
- More play time!
- I make myself lunch.
- If he's showing signs of being tired, get him down for a nap. If he's not tired, it's lunch time and then nap.
- If he doesn't go down for an early afternoon nap (this is a new thing), we'll go for a long walk if the weather permits. He'll pretty much always nap this way. If it's raining or too cold, we'll run errands with the car instead. This will also promote a nap.
- Play!
- Make dinner.
- Tony gets home and spends a bit of time playing with Malcolm while I finish preparing dinner.
- We eat. Sometimes I'll feed Malcolm at this time if he doesn't eat lunch. This often doesn't work out - he doesn't eat very much in the evenings. I've read this is quite common with infants.
- Clean up dinner dishes while Tony & Malcolm play.
- Give Malcolm a bath and do bedtime ritual of bath, stories, quiet play, bottle. He used to fall right asleep after the bottle, but things have been wonky lately.
- Baby's in bed and Tony & I hang out, talk about our day, watch a movie/tv/play Guitar Hero.

The end.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

7-month letter

Hey squeaker!

What a fun month this has been. You remember what has made it so fun? You now eat table foods every day AND you are sitting up like a pro. You have really taken to eating everything I feed you with a spoon. Sometimes, though, if I try to feed you when you are tired, you cry the whole time. It seems that eating is torture when you want to take a nap. You also tend to be much messier when you are sleepy.

Now that you are able to sit up, it's all you want to do. Before a few weeks ago, I could put you in your bouncy seat while I took a shower but now you contort your little body so the half of you that isn't strapped in is falling out. How unfortunate for me.

It's a good thing that you love hanging out in your exersaucer. It may be a pain to carry around the house (makes me wish we had two), but it allows me a bit of time to shower, cook, use the toilet, etc.

Your favorite things this month: making a clicking noise with your tongue, saying 'dadadada', bouncing in your exersaucer, the kitties, bananas, holding onto my fingers and pulling yourself up to a standing position, playing catch with your Daddy, the remote controls and getting tickled.
Your least favorite thing is when you are sitting and you fall over. The falling over part isn't the bad part. You haven't figured out how to get yourself into a sitting position yet and it frustrates you to no end. You also don't like spinach very much, but you'll still eat it.

Since you've been learning new things, your sleeping habits have been off. The change to daylight savings time hasn't helped one bit. Me and your Dad try to explain to you that you like to sleep a lot and you are much happier when you do, but you don't want to seem to listen. I've started doing interpretive dances to explain things to you and you seem to respond to it, even if it is with lots of laughing.

Love,
Mommy

Friday, March 07, 2008

Dear Blog

I think about you often. I do, I swear! I think about how I should update progress (or lack thereof) on my goals, talk about the baby shower for Julie & Jeremiah, post some of the pictures and movies of Mal, share stories about the get-together of longtime internet friends that we threw on Wednesday...you know, the usual babble. But, when I think, "I should post something!", I get taken away from my computer.

Right now I'm thinking about how I should be composing a 7-month letter to Malcolm and how I need to take a picture of him today with his Ugly Dolls. He's taking a much-needed, very long nap right now but could wake up any moment. Plus, I just got done writing a long post at tonyloveskris.com because I've recently got the idea in my head that I should upkeep two blogs again. We'll see how that goes.

And now my brain is telling me that I should really be using this time to write down my very long to-do list. This means that my brain is telling me that writing this is a Waste of Time even though my heart tells me differently. Ha. Silly heart.

pictures
movies

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clock watching

I hate this part of the morning. The part where I have to wait to eat and I'm really hungry. I have to take my thyroid medication on an empty stomach and then wait an hour to eat after I take it. I can have water, but that's it. I also have to wait 4 hours to take anything else like multivitamins and Tylenol. Even though I've been on this medication for 4 years now, I still hate this part.

What will happen if I do eat before the hour is up? I imagine that the medication won't work as well and I'll end up feeling like my veins are filled with cement instead of blood. Therefore, the most I'll risk is 10 minutes. I admit, sometimes I just can't wait the full hour and I'll eat food 50 minutes after taking the medication.

The clock is getting close to the magic hour so I'm going to go make some coffee and pour myself a bowl of cereal.