Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ho Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee

I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays. We have! Our celebrations started off with me and Malcolm going to San Diego for a few days to visit Jenn & her clan before Christmas. The boys had lots of fun as always (and the adults did, too!) Jenn was ill with a cold that had turned into an infection, but it was still much better than last December where everyone had the stomach flu. We celebrated Christmas morning very mellow-like. Tony's brother, Greg, and his girlfriend, Kara, arrived at our house around noon. I spend the day preparing for our Christmas potluck dinner. I think we had about 20 people over which was, by far, the most people we've ever had in this house for a meal. Good food was consumed and conversations were had. It was an enjoyable evening.

We took down the holiday decorations & tree the next day because our poor tree was drooping terribly and the lights and ornaments were falling off. Plus, I was so done dealing with the falling needles. On Monday, I went snowboarding at Crystal Mountain with Julie & Jeremiah. The snow wasn't great, but we still had a good time. Today, me and Mal are headed over to a friend's house for a playdate. He's missed his friends. Right now, he's choosing to eat his oatmeal with his fingers instead of his spoon. Toddlers!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Super Pancake

Malcolm is on a bit of an eating strike. He doesn't want to seem to eat anything. The only thing he will consistently eat is pancakes. So, I make him super pancakes. I put spinach, blueberries, wheat farina, wheat germ, flaxseed meal, whole wheat flour and Brewer's Yeast in them. Yes, I go there. He gobbles them up. In fact, he turns his nose up to pancakes made with white flour. That's my kid!

Monday, December 07, 2009


You know it's cold when your toddler asks you to put a blanket on him at 10 AM. The heat is on yet my feet and hands are freezing! In actuality, I don't think it's that cold outside (mid-30's) but I think the insulation around the doors where I'm sitting could be better.

We put up our live holiday tree last night. It's the first one I ever remember having. The past couple of years, we've gotten small living trees. This year, we set out to get a 5' tree and came home with a 7' tree. The smell is glorious but I think the dropping needles might drive me insane!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dreaming of Eating

Well, not actually dreaming. Just looking forward to it. Thanksgiving! Thursday! We're going over to Jill & William's house for eating festivities. We'll be bringing the non-meat 'roast' (as always) and, of course, sweet potato casserole. This year, though, I need to make it vegan since one of the eaters cannot eat dairy and egg. I think it will still turn out delish.

Last night, we were meant to host a PEPS get-together, but Malcolm has a full-force cold with congestion and coughing. He still has all the energy in the world so now I have to keep the kid entertained while avoiding play dates. His school is closed this week for the holiday. I've got activities for Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and was planning on filling the rest of the days with play dates but now I'll have to figure something else out until he gets better.

Vaishali is having her baby today! Now everyone in our PEPS group has 2 kidlets except us. And they all are singing the same song - it is really, really hard having two small children! Some say they think it's insane to have two children. It's easy for me to tell them that it gets easier :p

Friday, November 20, 2009

Time for a Weekend

Today was a typical Friday - preschool in the morning and then a play date in the afternoon. It was a very fun day for Malcolm. This weekend, it's time for Momma to get stuff done. I get a bit of 'me' time tomorrow: haircut and then book club meeting. Sunday, I'm meeting with the other grant writer for Malcolm's preschool to hopefully make some progress and then we're hosting a PEPS get-together in the evening. Busy weekend, y'all!

And, I'd also like to wish a very happy birthday to Carolyn! I'm guessing that her and Dad are celebrating properly right now on their cruise.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Malcolm's pronunciation of words continues to improve. In many ways, we wish he'd slow down. The way he used to say 'motorcycle', 'bicycle' and 'popsicle' would kill us. But now he pronounces them correctly. There are a few words that he says that just kill me. 'Yogurt' is pronounced 'Ogurt'. 'Stool' is 'Stoon'. 'Lemonade' is 'Wummywade'. If there are any more, I'm going to have to write them down right away before they are gone.

Two-year-olds are so much fun to have around. Seriously.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Outside Time at Preschool

At the end of Malcolm's preschool day, the kids get to go outside after snack time if it's not raining. Malcolm takes *maybe* two bites of his snack and then proclaims that he is done. He is always the first kid with his shoes and coat on. A few weeks ago, when telling us about his day, he started talking about crashing trucks with Daniel & Yoni. I always thought that he was talking about the cars & trucks that they play with inside until I witness their play routine today. The three boys each have their favorite big truck and they never try to take each other's truck. Malcolm's truck is the big, yellow dump truck. They then proceed to stoop over their trucks and drive them back and forth on the sidewalk for the majority of the outside play time (20-30 minutes). They pause at one end of the 'road' and laugh together and then they start driving down the road again in a line. It is the cutest thing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nap Post

It's nap time for my sweet boy, Malcolm. So, I thought I'd take a minute and pop out my daily post instead of waiting until right before my bedtime. I'm also taking a break from straightening up the house - we're hosting a play date today. I chose to skip exercising today so the house would be more presentable. Jillian's 30-Day Shred really does kick your ass in less than 30 minutes. I worked out on Thursday and Friday during nap time and still had time to eat my lunch and do some other things. Perfect!

All of the ski resorts around here have already opened up. Our friend, Chris, went to Baker this weekend and was blown away by the deepness of the powder. Three years ago, we would have been up there with him. I miss the days of snowboarding every weekend. I am very eager to get back out on the slopes and really want to make it happen more than once this season.

I have a very strong urge to attempt daily to-do lists again. First item on the list: write daily to-do list. Second item: menu planning. I think about doing it but never actually do it. I've made a couple of attempts at starting to do it, but have yet to follow through. Third item: follow through on things.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sitting in the Balcony

Friday evening, our dear friend, Natalie, came over to hang out with Malcolm while Tony and I went to see the Pixies show. We discovered that he will go to bed for other people (yay!) When I purchased the tickets oh-so-many-months ago, we decided to buy assigned balcony seats instead of general admission on the floor because, well, I was meant to be 7.5 months pregnant right now. Not only was the show a reminder of my high school and college days, but it was also a reminder that I am no longer pregnant. It was an awesome show, but there was a sadness to the evening.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm Getting Old(er)

I just can't hang like I used to. We went to the Pixies show last night. Great show. Super fun. But I've been working on 2 cylinders today. I'll do a real post tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Biggest Loser

The tv show. That's my excuse. I watched it last night and then also watched the Jay Leno Show and I completely spaced on posting yesterday. It happens. Happened a couple of times last year (yes, I checked).

Sherry left today. The house always seem so empty after guests leave. I neglected to take any pictures save one with my camera phone today. I really need to remember to take photos when guests are here.

My bed is calling me and I need to answer it.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Exercise? What's that?

I've fallen off of the exercise bandwagon. It happened officially when I cancelled my membership to the gym. Unfortunately, my body is getting its revenge. I'm so achy! I have this idea that I will work out at home but I haven't been able to find the time. All of the workout videos I have are around an hour long or longer. These days, Malcolm typically naps for just over an hour. Unfortunately, his nap time is the only opportunity I have to work out.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day and she mentioned Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout. I had heard of this before, but had never heard that it is under half an hour. Just what I need, right? A workout that I can do during nap time and still have time to do other things. So, I signed back up from Netflix (there are other DVDs that I've been wanting to see) and the DVD arrived the other day. I'm currently ripping it and will give it a go on Thursday since I'm pretty sure Sherry has no interest in watching me work out in our living room :p

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Force Against Me

Otherwise known as a fried power supply. I have no way to charge my laptop. LAME! It will make posting a lot more difficult until we get a new one. Argh.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


We have been getting some crazy WEATHER! here for the past few days. Wednesday was a lovely day. We went to the park in the morning and to a play date in the afternoon. Thursday was met with heavy rain. We may have gotten a little wet getting to and from the aquarium, but it kept the crowds away. Thursday evening/Friday morning brought us crazy hail storms that made for little sleep that night. The noise from the pounding hail woke Malcolm and scared him...multiple times. Poor kid. We saw a little bit of sunshine on Friday during the day but then the rain started pouring again in the late afternoon. Today, more heavy rain.


Friday, November 06, 2009

I Like Art

Tonight, Tony and I went to the opening of an art show of a friend of ours. Sharon Arnold makes the kind of art that makes some people crazy even when they love it. I suppose you have to see it to understand what I mean. Me, I see it and want to touch it. I want to go home and make repetitive cuts in paper/sew paper/etc.

It's way past my bedtime and that's all I'm up for writing tonight. Must sleep now.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Preschool Meeting

Tonight was the first monthly parent meeting at Malcolm's preschool. Since Sherry is in town, she hung out with Malcolm so both Tony and I could go. I expected something different, but not really sure what. I suppose I thought we were going to talk about specific details on what the kids are doing in the classroom. It was the first meeting, so maybe future meetings will go differently. There were lots of laughs as parents told stories about their kids, though. Kids sure are funny. I also got to hold baby Gregory (one of Chandra's twin boys) for almost the whole time. Now my upper back and arms hurt. I'm out of practice!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Wow, there is a lot of bad television out there. Why do they still use canned laughter? There is one comedy that I really enjoy - The Office. That show never fails. It has always been funny, entertaining and often uncomfortable. And no canned laughter!

*this post brought to you by "New Adventures of the Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried". I know there are some of you out there that may find these shows entertaining, but they just aren't my cup of funny tea.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Vote! Vote!

Did you get your vote in today? We had a big referendum on our ballots - to keep the domestic partnership law. It looks like it will pass without question. I'm for equal rights for everyone.

My battery is about to die and my bed is calling my name. I need to remember to write my posts earlier in the day :/

Monday, November 02, 2009


I've been busily getting the house ready for Sherry. She'll be arriving for a week to hang with the Johnston clan. We're excited! We don't have anything major planned - just our usual goings on. Preschool, play dates, parks, you know. Tony and I will probably try to sneak out for a date or two.

This post is being cut short by tiredness brought on by cleaning and the time change.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Malcolm Watching Football

Malcolm is really into things 'crashing'. We had no idea this would transfer to football until the other night. I took video of only a short portion of his reaction and Tony added to it. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do I Dare?

Last year, I thought this would get me posting more regularly. It didn't. But I'm going to do it again this year anyway.

Oh Wait...

Did you want a real update? Well, OK.

Malcolm is loving preschool. At first, he was a little apprehensive, but now he asks to go every day. I love the teachers and the other parents are really nice. We've noticed a huge increase in Malcolm's pretend play; I'm not sure if school is the influence or if it's just developmental.

We've been staying busy as usual. Yesterday afternoon, I took Malcolm to a Halloween party at Ari's house. The kids were so cute. Here's a picture of Malcolm the Monkey:

This afternoon, we're going down to the neighborhood shops for their Halloween Festivities. Malcolm is very excited to go trick-or-treating for the first time. We've been having a lot of cloudy & rainy days lately but today it's sunny and gorgeous. Perfect weather for being outside!


I'm posting these here so I don't forget the recipes. I like to bake and keep these kinds of breads around to snack on.

I'm going to give you the recipes exactly how I make them. However, you can omit the nutritional boosters and the bread will still taste great. I'll put asterisks next to the ingredients that are optional. If you are interested in cutting down on fat, use unsweetened applesauce in place of the oil - equal portions. And, you can always use 100% all-purpose flour or 100% whole wheat flour instead of both. I use a mix because the bread will turn out really dense when using 100% whole wheat flour. I use 'Super Flour' from the book Super Baby Food.

Super Flour
Combine following ingredients into a 1c measuring cup
1 Tbsp wheat germ
1 Tbsp soy flour
Fill rest with whole wheat flour

Zucchini Bread

1 cup Super Flour
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp Brewer's Yeast*
2 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal*
2 eggs
1/2 cup refined sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups grated zucchini (small to medium zucchini)
1/2 cup chocolate chips or raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
2. Beat together eggs, sugar, and oil. Blend in the grated zucchini, and then the sour cream. Mix in the flour, brewer's yeast, flaxseed meal, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 70 - 80 minutes.

Sweet Potato Bread

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup Super Flour
1/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp Brewer's Yeast*
2 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal*
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground all-spice
1/3 cup water
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 large to 4 small potatoes, steamed or baked. If you have a little more than 1 cup, that's OK! You can used canned, too)
1 cup raisins

1. Combine sugar and oil; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, brewer's yeast, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, and spices in separate bowl. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes and raisins.
2. Pour batter into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about one hour.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Welcome to the House of Illness. I'd invite you in, but that would be a bit rude since you'd be exposed to our unsightly germs. There's no sight of H1N1 or seasonal flu, but plenty of mucus to go around. Malcolm and Tony have been fighting the snot monster for a couple of weeks now and my lungs are trying to escape my chest cavity. Last week, I had a lovely head cold with slight cough, sore throat and ear ache that developed into bronchitis and a sinus infection. I went to the doctor's office yesterday to acquire prescription strength cough medicine with dreams of sleep that night. Even the codeine-laced Robitussin couldn't keep my cough at bay.

Autumn is in full-swing in Seattle and the changing leaves take my breath away. Cold season is also in full-swing and also takes my breath away.

Cold season, you can kiss my butt!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Trials of Sleep

Ever since our trip to San Diego, Malcolm has been having a hard time with sleeping. Previous and during our trip, he slept through the night. Now, he wakes up 2-3 times a night, comes into our room and crawls into bed with us. Last night, he was up every 45 minutes from the time he went to bed until around 2 AM. We have no idea how to encourage him to stay in bed all night since we never had to do it before.

Thank goodness for coffee.

And here's some cuteness from San Diego:

To see all of the pictures I took during our trip, go here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


One or two of you may be wondering why I haven't been updating my neglected blog. Yes, we've been busy, but we always are. We recently traveled to Utah, San Diego and Dad & Carolyn were in Seattle for a short visit. Malcolm also started preschool. These are all blogworthy events, but I haven't written a word. Why, might you ask? Well, it's because I spend much of my internet time farming.

What? Farming?

Yes. Farming.

On Facebook, they have a few farming games. I get to be a virtual farmer and grow crops. I sell my crops for coins, plow my land and sow more seeds. I earn enough coins to buy a little farm cottage. I tend to my animals. I pull weeds and scare crows away from my neighbors' farms.

If only I could make actual money from being a virtual farmer...

p.s. I'm trying to wean myself from farming so much so I can be productive in other areas of my life. Maybe.

Monday, September 07, 2009

It's Raining Babies

It's time for me to give belated shout-outs to my friends who have had babies recently!

Congratulations to Olya & Pierro! They welcomed their son, Nichola, into this world on August 14th.

Kristin & Todd now have a beautiful, red-headed daughter, Caterina. She was born on September 3rd.

Chandra & Kevin have their hands full with two healthy boys, Cedric & Gregory. They were born on September 4th.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Reality of HLHS

When we first received the news that baby-to-be had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, I was in an exam room with a screaming toddler. Tony had left to go to work and I was there to have my monthly check-up. A doctor (not my own) came in and gave me the news. I was taken off-guard and had no clue what to ask. So, like every person who has access to the internet, I went home and started to do my own research.

The information out there only gave us an idea of what HLHS entailed. The scientific papers & studies were, well, really scientific. The 'personal stories' were vague. We wanted details. It wasn't until we met with the pediatric cardiologist that we received realistic statistics. A lot of what I had read on the internet had given me false hope.

In most of the scientific papers that discussed the surgeries, they gave a survival rate of 75-80%. The cardiologist let us know that those statistics only take into account the babies that have the first surgery and are released from the hospital. Those numbers do not take into account the newborns who die before surgery and those who pass away before the second surgery. When you look at it that way, the survival rate is more like 50%. And then, 10% of those children do not survive the second surgery and then many do not make it to the 'final' surgery.

A child with HLHS is put through 3 open-heart surgeries in the first few years of their lives - at a minimum. The possibility of complications is high. Since this is considered such a new procedure, cardiologists aren't really sure how long the rewired two-chambered heart will last. Many of these children will need a heart transplant sometime in their teens; some might make it to their early twenties.

I think it's pretty amazing that doctors have figured out how to make a 2-chambered heart work well enough to keep a person alive. But, it's really important to take into consideration how having half of a heart will effect the rest of the body's organs.

I wanted to write about what we were told by the pediatric cardiologist (and there was lots more) in hopes that it would help other parents who have just found out that their baby-in-utero has HLHS. For a week, we thought Baby Bee had a better chance of survival and had no idea the kind of pain he would go through once he was born. We had to make the most difficult and painful decision once we had all of this new information.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Playing in the Rain

Last week, we received some glorious rain. Of course, it started raining shortly after I promised Malcolm we'd go outside and play in the garden which is one of his favorite things to do. We found out that a little cold rain doesn't deter the determined tike.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Current Reality

This is not going to be an uplifting post. Far from it. Consider yourself warned.

On Monday, we had our 20-week ultrasound. We found out that Baby Bee is a boy. We also found out that he has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Essentially, the left side of his heart is not developing and is not functioning. You can get more details by doing a Google search.

I will be going in for further testing in the very near future to see if there are more birth defects. If Baby Bee only has HLHS, the hope is he will be able to have open heart surgery shortly after he is born. He will either have a series of 3 surgeries to allow his 2-chamber heart to function or he will have a heart transplant. There is a 25% chance that he will not survive his first surgery.

We were completely taken off-guard by this news. The last thing we expected to hear was that our baby-to-be has a very serious and rare heart defect. We are filled with a deep sadness. This has been the hardest thing either of us has ever been through and it's only going to get harder.

Friday, August 07, 2009

A Birthday Shout-Out


Happy 2nd Birthday to my adorable, funny, nutty little boy. We can't believe you are two already! Your Daddy and I love you a million tons of love. It's so much fun to see you grow up.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Update on Being a Parent

And having a parent - Happy Birthday to my dad! He's 30 years older than me today!

18 week belly picture:

I started feeling Bee move around at 17 weeks. I'm now 19 weeks pregnant - almost halfway there! Next ultrasound is coming up on Monday.

This past weekend, we went over to Julie & Jeremiah's house so the kids could play. Here's one of my favorite pictures:

To see the rest, go to my Flickr page. Eliska and Malcolm play well together; she's pretty enamored by him and follows him around everywhere.

The little guy has finally started saying his name properly. We've known that he's known how for some time now because sometimes he'd slip up and say, "Malcolm" instead of, "MahMoh". He hasn't called himself MahMoh in a few days.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Happy 5th Birthday, Cameron! We'll have to celebrate when Malcolm and I come and visit you in San Diego in September :D

Aaaahhhh...Brief Relief

For those of you that watch the news, you've probably heard that Seattle experienced a record high in temperatures this week. Since many of you live in areas of the country that get hot like this every summer, you may be thinking, "When it gets into the 100's around here, I just stay inside." Well, that only works if you have air conditioning which few places in the PNW have. Our good friend, Julie, recently had central AC installed in her house. She just so happened to have a portable AC unit that was going unused that she is letting us borrow. We thought about buying a couple of window units but not until there were no AC units to be found. Thanks to the generosity of Julie, we've been able to sleep.

This morning, I awoke to temperatures in the low 60's. I opened every window and currently have goosebumps from being chilled. It is glorious. The temperatures are expected to be in the high 80's/low 90's later today, so we're enjoying this while we can.

Sunday, July 26, 2009




Monday, July 20, 2009

Mal's First Camping Trip

This past weekend, we went on a much anticipated camping trip. It had been 3 years since we had camped last and I've missed it. I found a great deal on a huge tent that Tony thinks is too big. Our other tent was fine for the 2 of us but would have been too crowded for 3 (soon to be 4). We also got Malcolm his own sleeping bag and camping chair that he loves.

I packed up our car Friday afternoon and we picked Tony up from work and headed north. We decided to camp at a campground that we'd been to previously and also try a hike that Tony & friends had done but I missed out on due to my back seizing up. Our trip there took quite a bit longer due to our first car sickness incident (yuck!) and me missing our turn and driving waaaay too long before realizing it. But, we made it there and our friend, Eric, had already arrived and started a fire. Adrianne & Natalie showed up an hour or so after us and we settled in for the night. Although Malcolm loved playing in the tents at REI, he wasn't so sure about sleeping in one that night. After finally falling asleep, he only woke up once during the night.

On Saturday, we headed up to the North Cascade Trail a bit before lunchtime:

We have a backpack carrier for Malcolm that Tony carried him in for most of the way. Mal loved going 'up up in the air' as we climbed. After about 2 miles, Malcolm decided that he'd had enough so The Johnstons headed back down while the rest continued on the trail. We now know the limit for hiking distances with Malcolm at this age. Tony also discovered that it's a lot more work carrying a toddler on your back.

Back at camp, Malcolm spent most of his time throwing rocks which is one of his favorite things to do. We had a tough time keeping him out of the fire pit (when there was no fire going, of course). In the early evening, a fellow camper was walking around with his 3.5 year-old son and he and Malcolm ended up playing for a couple of hours. I think that might of been the highlight of the trip for Mal. He had a much easier time going to sleep that night but had a hard time staying asleep due to the cold and his insistence of not sleeping with covers. He ended up sleeping with us which meant I slept really poorly that night.

We spend Sunday morning having a leisurely breakfast and took our time packing up camp. It was really great to get out in the mountains and spend time together as a family and get to hang out with good friends. We can't wait to do it again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Welcome, Trekell Boys!

This morning, my fabulous friend, Jill, gave birth to her twin boys; one naturally and the other via c-section. We're glad you are finally here, Max and Alex! I hope to meet them later this afternoon.

My 'friends who are pregnant' list is dwindling quickly. No one else has announced a pregnancy since me. Right now, I have 6 local friends who are pregnant (not including me). I have three friends who are trying to conceive so I'm hoping they'll have news soon.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Quick Hello

All is well in Johnston Land. Not much new to report. I've been plagued with daily headaches and try to avoid taking Tylenol too often since it can be bad for your liver. We've been busy going to play dates and whatnot. Today, my goal is to clean & pull out our camping gear to take inventory. It's now 1:15 PM and I have yet to lift a finger. I blame the headache.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Comparison at 13 Weeks

Here is my belly at 13 weeks:

Looks very similar to this, no?

Guess how far along I am in that second picture when I was pregnant with Malcolm...21 weeks.


I broke out the maternity clothes this weekend. Sad face.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Father's Day

A few weekends ago, we went on a family bike ride. The city closes the street by Lake Washington on Sundays during the summer so bike riders can ride without worry of cars to and from Seward Park. I bought a new bike last summer but haven't ridden it often because Malcolm hated the trailer. I finally got around to selling it and I bought an iBert bike seat to replace it. He LOVES the seat. Tony had bought Chris' old bike from him a few years ago and had yet to ride it before that day.

We had a great time on the bike ride but Tony hated his bike. So, for Father's Day, I got him a new bike (he picked it out). We went on a bike ride to Seward Park; it's this gorgeous park that is just a few miles away from our house. Malcolm loves to sit by the shore and throw rocks into the water. He loves it so much that he throws a big fit every time it's time to leave. Here are a couple of pictures:

We'll be doing the family bike rides for as long as I can manage. Tony is loving his bike so much that he's planning on father/son rides once biking becomes too much for me. He's also eager to get out without me because apparently I ride too slow. Can you blame me? I'm freaking pregnant and carting around a toddler on my bike!

I've also been taking Malcolm out on the bike a few times during the week. We'll bike to the park and to the Farmer's Market. I get stopped constantly by other parents asking me about his seat :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


It seems almost silly posting about our trip to Atlanta 3 weeks after the fact, but I said I would and I'm not one to go back on her word. I'm going to do a short recap.

My awesome friend, Betsy, got married to her awesome girlfriend, Sarah, in Costa Rica a couple of months ago. We could not attend the ceremony for a variety of reasons. They decided to celebrate with all of their friends and family who could not attend the wedding during the last weekend of May in Atlanta. We packed up our bags and got on a plane and went.

We spent our trip hanging out with a bunch of really great people. Kik and Amy came up from Tampa and I actually got to see some peeps from Tallahassee for like, 10 minutes. We also got to hang out with my old friend, Keely, and her 2 daughters. Malcolm still talks about Tuesday (Keely's 4-year-old).

It was a lovely family vacation. Every time I get to hang out with my southern friends, I want to move back just so I can do it a lot more often. Here are some pictures:

After dinner on our last night there:

Malcolm and Tuesday walking in the park:

To see the rest of the pictures, go here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Results - Thumbs Up!

We got the results from the tests run earlier this week and everything came back negative which is a Very Good Thing. There is no indication of Down's Syndrome or Spina Bifida. For those of you that don't know, the risks of these two things increases an enormous amount once you reach the age 35.

We've been keeping busy with play dates galore. I purposely didn't schedule anything today so I could have a bit of downtime and a few minutes to clean up the house in preparation for tomorrow morning's play date. It's raining on and off today which is wonderful - we needed it very much! Our garden has been a little neglected - there is much to harvest. I harvested the broccoli last night since it looked like it was about to bloom. We'll be noshing on that all weekend. I hope to get out in the garden this afternoon to pull up the broccoli stumps and make room for the zucchini. I also have a ton of kale that needs to be harvested.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Bee

Here's a little profile of the occupant in my uterus. And no, the technician wasn't even going to try and tell the sex of the baby. Everything looks good so far. At one point during the ultrasound, Malcolm pointed to the monitor and said, "Bee!" We were going to call the occupant 'Jellybean', but now I think it must be 'Bee'.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Checking In

Hi. I'm here. A little tired from lack of sleep. OK, maybe a lot tired. We went to Atlanta last weekend for a little family vacation to visit friends and had good times. I will post pictures sometime in the future.

Pregnancy update: Haven't really had any nausea and my food aversions are pretty much gone. I've started cooking again and buying food which has been nice. My energy is up a little bit but I'm still not pushing myself too hard. Some days it's very difficult not to because, well, the house is not going to clean itself. I have my first doctor's appointment next Thursday and have genetic counseling and ultrasound on the 15th.

Only 30 more weeks to go! Ha.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Here's my belly when I was around 7 weeks pregnant with Malcolm:

And now, here's my belly around 8 weeks pregnant with #2:

I already can't fit into most of my pants & skirts and my t-shirts ride up my belly.

Could it be twins?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dear Energy, I Miss You

Malcolm loves going to the Kid's Corner at the YMCA. He asks for it. Unfortunately, I have had a very hard time mustering up the motivation to work out. When people are usually low on energy, exercise helps except when you are low on energy due to pregnancy. I took him to the gym a couple of times this week and totally took it easy; all I did was bike & walk on the treadmill. It killed my energy for the rest of the day.

I think it's time for me to start doing some menu planning. I've had a terrible time figuring out what to cook for dinner the past couple of weeks because the thought of all food nauseates me. I talked to some of my other pregnant friends to see what they do since this seems to be a problem for every woman when pregnant - they make the standard favorites of the family and *try* to eat it but if they can't, no big deal. Now I need to get off my butt and start the planning.

What did pregnant women eat before cereal was invented?

Monday, May 11, 2009

What I'm Reading

I am fully aware that by the end of the year, I will have very little time to myself. One thing I'm going to do my best not to give up is reading. Right now, I go to bed a little early so I can read in bed for 30 minutes (rarely do I make it that long). I'm currently engrossed in Under The Banner of Heaven and In Defense of Food. I've also started reading Eat, Pray, Love, but it's not grabbed my interest very much. I've been a bigger fan of non-fiction lately; I just haven't read any great fiction recently.

So hey! Happy Belated Mother's Day! Mine kinda sucked. I spent most of it in bed feeling exhausted and nauseous. Bland food is my only friend. Tony gave me the best gift - he took care of Malcolm all day so I could rest. He also got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

First Trimester Blues

Gestation is wearing me out, folks. I am TIRED. I don't have the energy to do all of the cleaning that needs to be done. I don't have the energy to take Malcolm out as often as I should. I drink more caffeine than I probably should. I don't remember it being this bad when I was pregnant with Malcolm, but I have a feeling that it was.

The one difference between my first pregnancy and this pregnancy is the nausea. With Mal, I experienced more food aversions than nausea. Very few foods appealed to me. As of right now, I'm having no problem eating, but I am experiencing a lot more nausea. I'm not actually throwing up thank goodness. Also, when I got pregnant with Malcolm, I lost 7 pounds. This time, I've already gained 5. I should admit that my starting weight this time around was 10 pounds less than the first time around, so I'm sure that makes a difference.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Updated Pregnancy List

One of the Ericas had her baby a couple of weeks ago, so she's off the list. Instead of just adding one more person to the list, there are two to add:


For those of you that don't already know, I'm pregnant! Tony & I just started trying and it happened right away. If all goes well, we'll have a new little one shortly after Christmas. I guess we know where we'll be spending this winter holiday this year...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chirp! Chirp!

Our lovely spring weather is about to turn into our typical spring weather...the day Dad & Carolyn arrive. My back is giving me much grief and I cannot clean the house properly before they get here. I know they don't really mind, but I do. Tony stayed home from work today to help me out with Malcolm & to drive me to the chiropractor's office later this afternoon. Let's hope she's able to adjust something to help me mend. My back has been messed up for a week now :(

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Box

My mom sent me a waffle maker for my birthday (thanks again, Mom!) and Malcolm had a blast playing in the box. It reminded me of stories my parents would tell of me and Jenn playing in boxes as kids. Here's a little clip:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

There is a long list of things I should be doing right now during Mal's nap time, but instead I'm posting here. Procrastination!

I took Malcolm to the aquarium this morning; it was the first time he'd been since he was way little. He loves fishies. The crowds of school kids on field trips was overwhelming. Tony bought us a membership for my Christmas present. I'm going to try and take Mal there at least once a month.

To celebrate my birthday, we're going out to dinner tonight and having a few friends over later. I should be cleaning and getting the house ready for guests. It's very hard to clean house with a toddler constantly messing it up :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Tease

We've been having gorgeous weather here the past few days. I love the rain and cool weather, but warm, dry, sunny weather is much more conducive to planting vegetable gardens and playing in the sun. Today is the last day of the spring tease so I'm going to be sure to take full advantage of it with Malcolm after his nap.

My friend, Sandi, got laid off from her job today. That makes 4 friends now (Lorian got laid off a couple of weeks ago).

In other random news:
-loan closed, house is refinanced. We'll be saving over $300 month
-just found out last night that Malcolm got into our 1st choice preschool. Hooray! He'll be starting in September.
-Malcolm is no longer enamored by blueberries. Now he's all about the strawberries. He's decided that he doesn't want to eat all of his previous favorite foods. Eating time has become a guessing game...AGAIN. Oh, the joys of toddlerhood.
-I'm turning 35 in two days and am kind-of ambivalent about celebrating my birthday.

And a very big congratulations to my dear friend, Betsy. She got hitched this weekend to the lovely Sarah in Costa Rica. I wanted to be there so badly but we just couldn't afford it. Fortunately, they are having a reception in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend for all of those that could not attend the wedding. Our tickets are purchased!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I Stand Corrected

Sunny gave birth to little Spencer at 10:59 PM last Friday after being in labor for 22 hours. 22 hours, People! I visited them in the hospital last Sunday before meeting up with my book club. The new parents are totally in love with their little man.

On Monday, we had a play date with a mom/daughter duo that we hadn't seen in some time. The mom is 22 weeks pregnant.
On Tuesday, it was very apparent that I caught Tony's head cold. I felt too poor to do anything for the next two days. Malcolm got pretty bored.
On Thursday, we went swimming at one of the local indoor pools with Angie & Rowan. Since then, Mal's been talking about 'splashin' in the water' nonstop. I think I need to take him swimming more often.
On Friday, we met up with a high school friend of mine who lives in the area (Tacoma) with her husband and two boys. I find out she's 22 weeks pregnant. We took the boys to the zoo. Mal's favorite exhibit was the Arctic marine animals...where he wanted to get in the water and go splashin' with the whale/seals/walrus/otters.

I'm going to write this down because I keep leaving pregnant friends out. These are my friends who live in the area that are pregnant:


That's 9 people, y'all! So please ignore my previous post where I said I thought this baby boom was slowing down. I was completely wrong.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Almost the End of March

I meant to wish Mom & Paul a happy anniversary earlier this month but, obviously, I didn't. The days slipped past me as they often do.

My plan was to do some yoga while the little man napped today but, obviously, I'm not. Instead, I'm drinking a cup of coffee and farting around on the internet. There is a long list of other things that I could be doing and I'll likely get some of them done before he wakes up.

Our good friend, Sunny, is currently in labor. I'm thinking the little guy will be showing up any minute now. Last update I got was early this morning and she was 3cm dilated. After today, I will only have 6 friends in Seattle who are pregnant. I think the baby boom is slowing down and will be surprised if someone else tells me she's pregnant.

Malcolm has been a bit of a grump this week. Tony thinks the cause is from the hours of separation from me over the weekend. I'm not so sure of that. He's started counting to 10 pretty consistently. He was skipping 9 for a couple of days but found it somewhere. He's also singing and it is the cutest thing. His newest is, "Do, a deer, a fee..." and that's as far as he gets in that song. He sings all the time. Probably because I'm always singing to him :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Neighbors

In December, our old neighbors moved out. Since then, the unit next door has been blissfully empty until this weekend. While we were enjoying the snow in Whistler, people moved in next door. I realized this fact this morning as I heard lots of running up and down the stairs. However, we should have been clued in last night when we came home and our main floor had the aroma of fried food.

The joys of living in a townhouse. I honestly thought the soundproofing and smellproofing would be better.

Whistler Weekend - Wahoo!

My dear Mom reminded me that it had been awhile since I posted an update. Although I have been keeping this blog for over 5 years now, I still forget to write in it often. How long does it take to establish a habit, anyway?

So! We went to Whistler this past weekend! Months ago, Julie told me that they were planning a trip to Whistler in March. We had a long list of reasons why we couldn't commit at the time. As the trip got closer, our friend, Jill, offered to take care of Malcolm so Tony and I could snowboard. And then, we found out that we could still cross the boarder with just a birth certificate for Mal (this changes in June). And THEN, the currency exchange rate has been fantastic and Whistler's been running great deals on lodging to boost business. I just couldn't let the opportunity to snowboard pass us up and convinced Tony that it would be a good idea for us to make the trip. He was nervous about how Mal would do in the car and with being away from us for several hours.

Our drive up on Friday took a looooong time. Our plan was for me to pack everything up and leave the house by 3 PM and then pick up Tony from work. It was hard for me to get everything done and take care of Mal and meet the deadline. We left the house by 3:30 and picked Tony up by 4. Traffic up was terrible through Everett (always is) and then we met a friend of ours for dinner in Bellingham. We then had an hour wait at the border. Ugh. We didn't roll into Whistler until 11:30 PM. Due to the late arrival, we didn't leave our condo until well after our intended time. Lots of boring reasons why we were delayed. Short story: we only boarded for 3 hours on Saturday. Lots of fun and the snow was great. Saturday night, we had dinner with the whole group (10 of us) excluding the babes and Julie's mom who was taking care of the kids.

On Sunday, Jill and her clan headed out in the morning. My wonderful husband stayed behind to take care of Malcolm so I could snowboard with Julie & Fes. It was another bluebird day with soft snow. We headed down from the mountain around 1:30. We took off for Seattle around 3 PM. Tony gets extra super husband points for having lots of patience with a grumpy baby who slept poorly the night before and really wanted his mommy.

It was really great to get out to the mountains. I sure do miss snowboarding. Strangely enough, I'm not sore at all. I guess the time I put in at the gym paid off!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blueberry Man

Malcolm would eat blueberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let him. Sure, he'll still eat other fruit, but he's on an extreme blueberry kick. His poops are blue-purple in color. And no, I'm not kidding.

A long-time friend is in Seattle this week for a conference. She arrived a couple of days early to have some vacation time so me and Malcolm played tour guide yesterday. We first went to Ballard to visit the Nordic Historical Museum and the Ballard Locks. We then had lunch at Blue C Sushi in Fremont before heading up to the top of Queen Anne hill to check out the views. We've had gloriously clear weather here so the views were great. Fun times.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to Dad & Carolyn. 18 years, no?
And happy 19-month birthday to my little Mal!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday, Buddy!

On Sunday, February 22nd, Buddy (aka Baby Piet), was born at 3:40 PM. Me & Mal arrived in San Diego on the 24th for a 5-day visit. There was an unexpected stay in Children's Hospital for Buddy, but he was discharged the day before we left. If you would like to see pictures, please send me an email or leave a comment (I don't like to plaster pictures of other people's kids on the internet w/o their permission).

He's a doll. Jenn & Piet are so happy to have him home. Congratulations, you guys!

Malcolm at the Computer

I sometimes (OK, maybe often) give in to the struggle to let Malcolm bang on my laptop. One day, he just happened to take a screen shot. I have no clue how to do this myself. My 19-month-old has already surpassed me in using the computer. Click on the picture to enlarge it - you can see he was taking pictures using PhotoBooth and chatting using iChat. I was checking out the preschool I'm hoping to enroll him - you can see their website in the background.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Time To Come Out and Play

Dear Buddy,

The World is waiting for you. Your mommy, daddy, big brother and grandma are there, right now, wanting to meet you. Listen to your Auntie Kris: it's time to come out now.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

18-month letter

Hey little man!

So it's been quite awhile since I wrote you one of these letters. Once you started walking, I got a lot less uninterrupted time on the computer. Plus, I'm lazy. I admit I have a lazy gene or two in me. Wait...let's not call it lazy. We'll just say that I like to relax.

Anyway, back to you. You have become a little talking machine. It's no surprise since you've always been a big talker, but you catch us off guard all the time. You are now stringing two words together pretty consistently and have recently started doing three. The first thing you do every morning is point to everything in the room and tell us what it is. If there is more than one of something, you state that there is two even when there is more than just two.

Your fascination with cars and planes is a little nutty. You are such a stereotypical boy in this respect. Your grandma Sherry recently sent you a few belated Christmas presents and we've never seen you react to toys this way. Once you discovered that you have your very own train set and Hot Wheels, we couldn't get you to eat, bathe or sleep (at least for that first night).

Screech Kitty is your buddy and he is so tolerant of you. He's always been a bit of an ornery cat so this has surprised us. You often sit on him and proceed to bounce and, for whatever reason, he puts up with this. You love Persephone but only get occasional sightings of her; she is still very weary of you (with good reason!)

You are a good-natured kid who's easy-going. Lately, though, you've been prone to frequent tantrums. I've read that this is a normal thing for your stage of development and that it will pass. Both me and your daddy are really looking forward to seeing you grow out of this stage.

Things you like: giving & receiving kisses, looking at pictures of airplanes on Daddy's computer, going for walks outside so you can touch every car that you walk by, riding your 4-wheeled bike, pestering Screech, talking, taking baths, running around naked, playing chase, being outside in general and playing with friends. Your favorite foods are blueberries, broccoli, grapes, cheddar cheese and applesauce.

You amaze us every day. We love you, little guy!


Monday, February 02, 2009

Still Six

Keely had her baby last week and another friend found out that she was pregnant with twins. It happened just as I predicted.

Jenn is the next in line to have her little boy. I wonder who will be the next to announce that she is pregnant? And no, it will not be me.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Economy

My dear friend, Natalie, was just laid off from her job. Not that long ago, Seattle was on the national news because economists were saying that the city wasn't being affected by the recession. Just yesterday, the city made the national news again with reports that it finally caught up to us. Scary times, people.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Stomach Flu

A flu to the stomach is no good. I'm just glad it's over and neither of my boys caught it. I can still only eat bland food. Mal was worried about me on my sickest day (Friday) but it seemed that he understood that I needed to lay down and rest and couldn't play with him. He didn't complain and spent most of his time entertaining himself and making a huge mess of the house. He visited me often to nurse but never asked me to get out of bed to play with him.

We recently got Mal a new car seat:

He wasn't too happy to be strapped down in it, but that's because he wanted to play. I wasn't feeling the love for this car seat at first. I had a hard time installing it properly and it made me swear a lot (and I rarely swear). After much trial and error, I finally installed it and I'm liking it OK. There are only 2 things that I do not like about it: the latch strap is too short to put the seat in the center and the knobs to tighten the harness are placed so close to the front of the seat that they are difficult to turn because the actual car's seat is in the way. The latter problem won't be an issue when Mal's forward facing, but that's not going to be for some time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a Glorious Day

Mal's 17-month-old photo with the Ugly Dolls:

I didn't realize how long it had been since I updated until I thought to check today. Nothing new has been happening with us, I suppose. Our friend, Sunny, who is 7 months pregnant, was laid off from her job. That really sucks! I bought my plane ticket to San Diego for our visit next month to meet Buddy. I had a dream that Jenn & Piet will name him Oliver. I found out that another friend of mine is pregnant. I currently know 6 women who are pregnant. My friend, Clare, had her little guy last week. It seems that as soon as one of my friends has her baby, I find out that another is pregnant. Keely is due any day now so my guess is that I'll find out another friend is pregnant next week :)

I skipped the gym this morning to watch The Inauguration of President Barack Obama. What a glorious day it is! He has got a lot of hard work ahead of him.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Ah, the sound of possessiveness. It has caught us both off guard. It started this week and we can only guess that Malcolm learned the "Mine!" thing at the childcare at the YMCA. While there on Monday, he got really upset and they couldn't console him so they came and got me from the gym. I originally thought that he was overtired, but Tony thinks he had an altercation with another kid that upset him and it had to do with the "Mine thing.

We pretty much just ignore him when he says it since we're not really sure how else to respond. If, during play group, he has issues with sharing, I'll address it then.

We're in the process of refinancing our home. When we first purchased our home, we thought we'd be selling in 5 years. Now we're not so sure that's going to happen. The rates are so good right now that we just couldn't pass the opportunity up. It's still a little scary, but I'm not sure why.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hi Button!

Malcolm has started saying "hi" and "bye" to everything. When he first sees something, he says "Hi Kitty!" or "Hi Daddy!" He started doing this while we were in Florida. It started with, "Hi JoJo!" He's also trying his hardest to start talking in sentences. It goes like this, "babblebabblebabbleWORDbabble". It is all so very cute.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Family Photos

Malcolm turned 17 months old today. Holy guacamole!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our travels in December. Not many photos were taken while in San Diego because everyone felt craptastic. To see all of the photos, visit my Flickr page.

Boys love remote controls:

Cameron pretending to be pregnant like his mom:

Grampa & Mal:

JoJo, PopPop & Malcolm:

Aidan taking pictures:

Cute Cousins:

Aunt Sally & Malcolm playing the piano:

Setting Goals

My darling husband mentioned to me the other day that he'd like to set some family goals for our household. Want to help me come up with some good ones?

One goal: look into refinancing our mortgages. First step accomplished today: I finally called the mortgage broker that came highly recommended by Julie & Sunny. The rates are excellent right now and they are both refinancing. He'll be calling me back tomorrow with the low-down.

Another goal: call the company that holds our home warranty. We mistakenly thought it was only one year but it turns out to be a three-year warranty. I need to give them a ring to see if they will reimburse us for the electrical work we had done recently.

The Garage Goal has been looming over our heads since we moved in. We really need to get off our butts and install shelving, organize and purge. The biggest reason why we haven't made much headway on this goal is because it would be best if both of us were doing it at the same time. Thing is, one of us always needs to be watching Malcolm. Our garage is less than childproof and he could get himself into some trouble down there if we let him.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!

After a looooooong day of travel yesterday, we made it back home to Seattle from Florida. We enjoyed our travels in December, but it's good to be home. I'll update with pictures and stories soon. Right now, I'm working on getting settled back in. Our sleep is all out of whack which is to be expected. I was in bed before 9 PM last night and Tony went to bed before me! Granted, I had been awake since 12:30 AM PST, but still. Mr. Malcolm decided to wake up at 4:30 AM this morning. Tony got up with him so I could sleep a little longer. Both of my boys are currently taking much needed naps and I'm drinking much needed coffee while making a mental list of the things I want to get done today.

2008 was a good year for the Johnston family. I'm looking forward to what 2009 brings us. In the very near future, I'll have a new nephew to fawn over, a new brother-in-law to joke with and a new place to visit if things move quickly for Dad & Carolyn. I already know of 3 trips we'll be making this year: San Diego to meet my new nephew, Atlanta to celebrate the union of Betsy and Sarah and Houston to visit Dad & Carolyn. I'm sure we'll also be going to Utah, but no clue when.