Sunday, November 30, 2008

Baby's First Tannenbaum

Welcome to the final day of NaBloPoMo.

We set out today, not quite into the woods, but into the wilds of Clackamas County and our favorite tree farm for the chopping of Little S' First Christmas tree. It didn't quite seem right that it was mid 50's, some sun and not raining. This adventure usually involves cold, rain and mud-at best. I guess we'll go easy on her first trip.

She found one that was just her size at first


We convinced her to let that one grow big and to find another one. We found one, made sure it was the BEST one there* and the Papa S wielded the blade O'Christmas Tree death.

IMG_3114 IMG_3115

Checking one last time to make sure the boss approves


Victory over the Doug Fir! IMG_3120

The tree farm also has sheep. Kids can feed them. We held off on that for this year, but we did make sure to expose the little city girl to them

IMG_3121 IMG_3122

The farm also sells lots of lamb meat... There's a conversation I don't look forward to.

Gazing off towards Mt. Hood (which didn't look nearly that tiny in person) IMG_3124

It was a great afternoon.

The evening, it left a little to be desired. Poor little dear is constipated and kind of in pain as a result. We're hoping some apple juice will do the trick. It is NO FUN to see your baby hurting and not be able to do anything about it, as I'm sure any mother can attest to.

Here's the final photo of NaBloPoMo. I think it's been good and hopefully will result in more regular postings in the future



*How come on a beautiful afternoon it only took us two passes by all the trees and we actually AGREED on what we liked, when on a rainy day, we walk around, and around, and around and neither one of us thinks the trees the other person is choosing is "the one", and finally we're just frustrated enough that we both give up about the same time and tell the other person just to pick one and get on with it? And it's always fine when we get it home? I'm sure it will be even more fun when kids are giving us their opinions.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More outdoor fun

I realized a while ago, pre-baby, that if there were no other obligations on my time, I would spend all day cooking and being active. Having these multiple days off in a row is allowing me to get back to that happy place and figure out how to do it +1.

For the third day in a row, we got out for a nice little morning jog, where Furry S was a little pokier and I was noticing some muscles used the day before were letting me know they were there. And, to really seal the deal, we topped it off with another hike at Tryon Creek State Park. This beautiful park is also within city limits and has some paved trails, some equestrian trails and lots of great hiking trails.

This time we were joined by Jacki & Blaze and Amber.  (Amber was doing the photographic honors)


It was surprisingly warm, and hiking at a good clip, we managed to work up quite a sweat. It was like a real 90 minute workout. Again, the extra weight on my back helps with my strength training/hill climbing.


After a nap (both of us!) we did sneak out to do a little holiday shopping. More decorations and "stuff" than presents, and Little S LOVED the light decorations. It's getting me excited to get the tree up for her enjoyment.

Tomorrow is the last day of NaBloPoMo. Hopefully we'll go out on a high note!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hiking-not shopping

Ahhh... today was perfect! Right down to getting most of the Thanksgiving dishes done!

Kilroy Little S was here


This new trick meant that she had to pull this off IMG_3104

Yep-pulling herself up to almost standing. I think it was a fluke. She started seated in the corner of the crib when I looked again was gnawing on it in this crazy kneeling/standing position. Soon after the photo, she got really upset and I think it was because she was stuck and couldn't figure out how to get down. Considering she can only sort of sometimes pull up to sitting, I'm not too worried.

What better post -Thanksgiving day activity in the Northwest than a little hike? Much better than braving the crowds and buying things I don't need anyhow. So, Little S, Furry S, Faas, Scott and I loaded up the van to meet T and her furry friend for a mostly dry hike.  I learned I'm not the power hiker I once was. But slapping an extra 20 pounds on my back going uphill will help remedy that quickly. IMG_3107

(No, we weren't hiking at night, it's just a heavily forested with overcast skies background)




It will be great hill training and every hike, my pack will weigh just a little bit more...

Despite an evening with a rather fussy, nap-refusing little girl and Big S missing out on the fun all day by having to work 12 hours, I would still give today a big


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was very happy here. Our friends T and Don came over and sang some lovely duets and entertained Little S IMG_3097


while I finished cooking and while Big S was out back frying the turkey. Usual suspects Jim and Lisa joined us and the basement denizens Faas and his buddy Scott surfaced for food and more food.  IMG_3100 We'll be eating leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes for a few days-yum!

My food highlight was the pumpkin pie that came out very tasty, especially with the suggestion of cinnamon whipped cream from Aunt A. I don't even like pumpkin pie, but this came out tasty enough to make me change my mind. The meal highlight was when Little S was trying some of the unadulterated squash and mashed potatoes. Not that we managed to get a good photo of it, but let's just say her facial expressions burned a few calories for everyone as they laughed. Not her favorite Thanksgiving food items!


There is so much to be thankful for this year. Topping my immediate list is the new addition to the family, who enjoyed her first Thanksgiving and who is now sleeping blissfully. Ahhh...  Thankfulness.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Post or Food

I can't do both thoroughly, and since I have no new pictures, I'll keep it short. Off to go prep for tomorrow's feasting. It will surely result in lots of pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stop the merry-go-round!

I realized that the best way to describe my life right now is like one of those merry-go-rounds on the playground. Someone has got it spinning really fast, and you're holding on tight so you don't go flying off. The only way off before you hurl is to wait for it to slow down a little and then you can jump off. I'm really looking forward to four days of a slower merry-go-round so I can explore the REST of the playground. Because come Monday, the grown-ups are spinning it around again. And you know how much faster they can make it go.

Here's all the fun I've missed while I was working too long.

Dad and Daughter enjoying a dry fall day in the new backpack Dad got for Little S

IMG_3092 IMG_3093

And, after the unsuccessful high chair trip on Sunday, Super Dad got it today and put it together and everything. It was road tested tonight


I missed the actual first meal in it because I was out for a slow jog while dragging the dog behind me. But, at least I got out!!! And you got to see some more photos.

Monday, November 24, 2008

too late. Long day at work. Too tired to post intelligibly.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

changing my expectations

After ending today very frustrated, I realized that I STILL haven't mentally adjusted my pre-baby expectations of what a day looks like to my new reality. And continually having discord between expectations and reality kind of sucks. Don't get me wrong, today was great and much fun with Little S and Dad, but I had hoped to:

go for a little run, go to church, finally get back in the pool, get to the store, prep and make pizza and maybe, start on the pie dough. Plus taking care of the baby.

My reality?

Don't get out of bed until about 9:00 because Miss Sniffleupagus is only barely asleep, and if I move, she wakes up and I really want her to sleep to help try and tame the sniffles, PLUS we were up for about 2 hours in the middle of the night working on her putting herself back to sleep.

So, mentally make the run shorter and shorter. By the time she's dressed and I have clothes picked out, realize the best I can do is a 15 minute dog walk before church, and even that will make me late. Get to church late. Miss S stays awake, wiggling and bouncing through the whole service, not going to sleep until the last hymn. (Why she can't sleep through the sermon like everyone else?)  So, stay at church extra long while she sleeps. Have an enjoyable time passing her around the teenage girls, but by the time that's over, there's no time to feed her and get to the pool. Adjust my plan for the day and figure I'll hit the pool later. Another big nap for Little S, and all that's left is time to go to the store and get a high chair. Find the one we want and it's probably* sold out.  By the time pizza's made and baby and I have eaten, it's bed time.

So, maybe it's expectations, or maybe I just REALLY need a workout. It seems the workouts keep getting written off by the more pressing demands of this new reality. I'm sure they aren't gone forever, but it turns out it's something I'm missing right now.


On the other hand, today was so much fun with Little S. She is such an engaging baby, ready to gaze at and smile for anyone, no matter how tired she is. Her progression towards crawling is moving ever closer to it actually happening. She had some forward progress today, and she can pull herself forward. She's able to sit up for so long now, and she loves it! And of course, she continues to be cute   IMG_3088

Wearing her Sunday best  


*probably sold out? Well, there were no boxes on the shelf, and it pretty much looked like all stock was on the shelves. So we ask, is this it? The 12 year old Jonas Brother wannabe employee tells me that "we could check back later tonight because they don't have anyone working in the back, so, we would have to wait 2-3 hours to have someone look back there? "WTF? Seriously? You can't even have someone check for stock in the back? What kind of customer service is that? It would be far better to just lie to the customers and tell them you're out, then that story. And how miserable is this poor little d00d going to be when it really sinks in that he works at B@bies R Made in China Us? So not the place to pick up chicks.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

21 days to a new habit

I've always heard that if you're trying to create a good habit, you have to do it for 21 days in a row to make it a habit. So, I've posted something for 21 days in a row now. Is it a completely ingrained habit to post something every day? Not yet. I almost forgot tonight.  We'll see how it's going after 30 days.

It was a long day, up at 5:30, drive for 2+ hours, give a sometimes brutal training for 5 hours. Spend another hour plus wrapping up and debriefing then 2+ hours home. At least I could see clearly on the way home. The fog this morning was so thick, it threatened to envelop everything around you. Kind of cool, if you're not traveling almost 70 MPH on a freeway, hoping for no surprises. Thank goodness the long weekend is within view...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fun

I had most of the day off, so errand running did we go. Well, first we actually went running, a great start to the day. Then, on to the vet to get the stitches out. On the drive there, both S's dozed in the sunshine   IMG_3073 (I know you can't really see Little S in her seat, I promise she was napping)

Unfortunately by the time it was all over, we couldn't make it to book babies with Little Miss A like we had hoped to. Hopefully another Friday soon.  After some working for Mom and eating and napping for Little S, we were off to brave the pre-Thanksgiving grocery crowds. Little S was helping when we got home by pulling things out of the bags. What was the most interesting to chew on?    IMG_3074

The bag of chocolate chips. Of course.

Once that got boring and dinner needed to get made, she tried to wash up for dinner, sanitary child that she is. One problem   IMG_3075

the animal water bowl is probably NOT a health department approved hand washing station. It's still fun to play in  IMG_3076

and,  the floor probably benefited from the extra cleaning there too.

Four words wrapped up our first mommy-daughter day in a while.

Dinner. Green Beans. Notsomuch.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sick of baby pics yet?

If I'm going to post everyday, you're going to have to tolerate more baby photos since for the next few weeks, all I will do is work and put the baby to bed. Oh well. It will lead to a time when I'll get extra baby time someday.

She is very advanced. I put the bowl of acorn squash down and she grabbed the spoon and put it in her mouth.   IMG_3068


When I refilled her bowl-because she was wearing it, not because she ate it, I thought I'd try for a repeat performance. After some coaxing, I got this instead


Oops-wrong end of the spoon. There goes my advanced theory. It's now replaced with the, "if I can grab it, it's in my mouth" theory. That one seems to bear out MUCH more often.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dad days are the best

It was another long day at work. Fortunately, Little S was in good hands. Let's see what fun they had today.

hmmmm... if you don't get too mesmerized by the pattern of the rug, you'll see 


a baby practicing sitting while chewing on a cell phone. I don't think they've made that illegal yet.

It looks like Daddy also cleared the living room floor for maximum fun space and then put all the toys out of reach  IMG_3066 

Somebody doesn't seem to upset by it.

Thanks for taking photos, and thanks for being such an awesome Dad!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still more baby photos

This post something every day is really revealing that I just don't really have anything that or amusing interesting to say. My Dear Husband could have told you that though.

So instead, you get more baby photos. The grandparents are probably cheering.

The two biggest things going on in Little S's life are moving towards crawling and feeding solids. Well, at least from an observable basis. Her synapses are pruning neurons at a high rate of speed, or something like that. But since I can't figure out how to get photos of that, instead you get Daddy feeding baby oatmeal  IMG_3062

And baby having her own idea about what she wants in her mouth


(No cats were harmed in the making of this photo)

Monday, November 17, 2008

A body in motion

When put on the wood floor in cotton clothes that are more slippery than helpful, a baby will start here   IMG_3055 

A good two feet in front of the chair. (And please you to excuse the random leaf under the table. It's not like she's crawling. Yet)

And over the course of a few short moments, progress to here IMG_3056

Halfway under the chair. (and please you to excuse the mashed potatoes on her chin. They were so very yummy that I had to give her a tiny taste)

And with a few more wiggles will end up here  IMG_3058

Under the chair. Wherein Mommy decides to be a good parent and not see what will happen if she keeps scooting backwards (but oh, would you look at all that great hair coming in). And then Mommy has to very quickly pretend she's a good parent because she sees this


And realizes the end result of that would not be photo-worthy. And probably quite evening ruining.

And hey, if you scroll up from here and look at the photos in backwards-order, you can pretend she's crawling. Forward.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

stuffy nose Sunday

We woke at 3:30 a.m. to a stuffy nosed little S. Which also meant she pretty much didn't sleep well from that point on. At 7:00, I gave up and started our day. Which kind of worked well because she was playing in her crib while I folded laundry (yep, that's right glamorous life I lead). I got to watch her work on her crawling skills. Mostly that meant pushing herself backwards, but she's starting to rock on all fours and after that got her nowhere, twice she just flung herself forward as much as she could. It was pretty funny to watch her throw her body forward trying to see if that would work.

She wasn't in much of a napping mood this morning, but fortunately Big S took her a while before he had to go to work so I could catch a 15 minute catnap.

We tried to do as little as possible and encourage any napping we could. And since Dad had to work, we curled up with a chick flick (SATC), which I actually watched half of while she napped. Now I can't wait to see if Miranda and Steve will get back together. But don't spoil it for me.

So, we wrapped up with some baby oatmeal, a warm bath and I now probably had better try for an early bedtime too because I'm sure tonight won't be any more restful than last night. For me. She's already in slumber land. shhhhhh.........

Saturday, November 15, 2008

baby vs. lampshade dog

These photos couldn't capture it as I watched it unfold, the camera couldn't keep up. So here's the recounting.

1. Talking to a co-worker with squirmy baby on lap.

2. Put baby on floor to make sure she didn't discover how to crawl suddenly.

3. Baby flips back over to back. Dog sees opportunity to check for any stray food particles*


resulting in:

4. Baby joining dog in "Get Smart" style "Cone of Silence"


You can't really get the full effect of the hilarity of the plastic thing enveloping the baby's head. But, you got a post, a story and some pictures out of the deal. Not satisfied?

Here's a bonus baby photo


You can't really see it, so trust me on this. It's got a big Chewbacca head on it and says "Change me... I smell like a Wookie." And Wookie lovers, don't tell ME they don't smell. Send your angry letters to Aunt A. She got us the onesie.

*Yes, the dog licks the baby. So what. I watched the neighbor kid eat his lawn, where I know their dog sometimes goes, and after about 5 minutes, spit out a rock he'd been chewing on. He's still alive. This is all part of our plan to make sure she never has allergies. Yeah, that's right, click the link. Journal of American Medical Association, only 15% allergies by age 2 compared to those without a herd of furry creatures. So put that in your judgmental pipe and smoke it.

(my, my, my somebody's a little feisty today. Good thing she finally has a day off tomorrow. Even though she'll probably be thinking about work still)

(Are you still up blogging? Spare the people and sign off already)

Friday, November 14, 2008


Stupid NaBloPoMo. I just want to go to bed but most post first.

It's late. I'm as finished as I can be tonight for my presentation tomorrow. I'll be so happy to be done, although my plate is still so full, more long nights loom in the next month. I actually took cute photos of Little S today. I guess they will be tomorrow's post instead.

I warned you that posting every day could result in less than interesting content. I have just proved myself right.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Little Sister for a day

Due to a baby sitter cancellation, Little S got to go to a different babysitter today, an old friend of mine who is currently nannying for her sister while she finishes up teacher re-certification.

I didn't even think about a camera, which is too bad because the 2 year old was being very sweet to the baby. The good-bye kisses were adorable and the 5 year old remembered her name to say good-bye. I like when she can be a little sister. I'm hoping it will help her not get too full of herself.

I also realized how fortunate I am to have been settled here long enough, and met enough great people over the years that when a sitter cancels, I have options. Another sitter awaits on Saturday when work calls. Maybe we can avoid stranger anxiety with all this exposure to other people.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My little native Oregonian

It's been raining here. I know, it's Oregon, it shouldn't surprise anyone. But it's not just normal rain, it's pouring. I  think the paper said something about "jet stream aiming a fire hose at the state". But, it's warm, like 60. So on our walk, little S refused to have her head covered, preferring to wallow in the "liquid sunshine".

So instead of just furry S needing to be dried off when we got home, Little S needed a full change into dry clothes and all of her hair that's starting to come in was plastered to her head. But, she was happy, and warm, and adjusting well to Oregon winter.


(I know, you can't really tell from the picture, but could you just humor me and pretend you can tell how wet she is? Thank you)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I was all prepared to whine and snivel on about how AWFUL my day was. But then I checked a few of my favorite blogs on my feed reader. And you know what? Things just really ain't that bad round these parts.

This one is doing better than she was yesterday. Finally able to get comfortable despite the omnipresent lampshade, and sleeping.


This one had a great 6 month checkup. Clocked in at 27 1/2 inches and 15 pounds.


Took her shot like a champ and is getting 2 teeth.

And I will try to be more thankful of all the amazing things I am blessed with, and have faith that everything will work out the way it's supposed to in the grand scheme of things. And a good night's sleep can't hurt.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things that go bump in the night

The adrenaline is still coursing through my body, and I have a baby to get back to sleep and here's why.

Some time around 11:30 last night, I woke up to the dog racing outside, barking. Her bark was serious, and I knew it must have been raccoons.

I bolt out of bed, yelling for S and run out back to try and see what's going on. As I'm trying to see what's going on, in the dark and without my glasses, the dog yelps and starts whining the noise of a dog that's been hurt. I yell urgently for her and scream for S again (it seemed like forever since the first one) Panicked that she's in a losing battle and I can't see a damn thing to figure out what to do, I am very relieved when furry S comes running to me tail between her legs.

S goes outside and determines it's several of the bastards. He smartly blocks the doggie door so none of our furry friends can get out and none of the rabid beasts could get in, grabs a flashlight and the hose. We've had visits from raccoons before, and the only deterrent is the hose on high power stream. So while he's protecting the territory, I'm tending to a very awake baby, and trying to figure out if the dog is injured. I sit on the floor by her, petting and calming her. I don't see any wounds on her neck, head, chest, legs, abdomen or even her back, so maybe she's okay and yelped because she was "outgunned". Then, she starts licking her hindquarters as I notice blood on the floor.  Sgt. S comes in to give an intelligence briefing and we look at her butt. She's been bit somewhere, but there's blood all over so it's hard to figure out how much of a wound.

He goes out to try and eradicate the last insurgent stronghold in the tree. I ask if we can't just get a gun and shoot them. He assures me that would be illegal in city limits. I tell him it might have to be in self-defense. Still trying to entertain/calm a baby and dog, my militia man is able to warn the neighbor who has just let her dog outside. Although I think her pitbull, who is a total sweetheart, would probably make quick work of a raccoon, I don't think she wants to test that theory.

S has done all he can. There's one last one high in the tree, out of hose range. He gives up on Os@ma and comes in. After making sure all three cats are accounted for, Dr. S sizes up furry S and even though she doesn't seem too bothered, makes the call to head to the emergency vet. Considering the masked death squad somehow managed to actually bite or rip a very important part of her anatomy that could make it painful to do her business, that seems like a wise, if expensive option. She's worth it. So, almost two hours later, little S is mostly back asleep, and I got a text asking if we had an E collar, so it must not have been too bad?

We'll have to see in the morning what the body count from the fish pond will be. Bastards.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

NaBloPoMo-week 1

It started so well, and seemed like such a great idea. All you have to do is one quick post a day. Everyone else is doing it. You've got more than plenty to say. 21 days to start a new habit, so 30 days will be good for you. If you can keep this up, think how many other good habits you could start.

Those are the lies I told myself. But, I didn't count on the night where a certain 6 month old decided she didn't really need to sleep, which is of course the same night Mommy counted on an early bedtime because she has oh so many hours left to put it on a Major Work Project or 27 before tomorrow. The same day that started Bright and Early thanks to aforementioned 6 month old, so all Mommy wants to do is sleep. The same night  where I also need to go to bed early since tomorrow starts too early with a doctors appointment at 7:45 and ends with a meeting that I am also not ready for in Salem tomorrow night, so it looks to be about 15 hours until I'll be home again. And instead of tackling work? I'm spending time writing, just to prove I can do it. Because the best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't.

So this nonsense will be tonight's post. We better hope Big S takes some good photos tomorrow, or who knows what crap you'll have to read for the next post.

9 posts down, 21 to go.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Goodbye Ammi

A former co-worker is leaving the rainy Pacific Northwest for the snowy in winter, humid and mosquito-y in summer wilds of Mini-soh-da. So, Little S and I were honored to join her going away party this evening. She hadn't yet met Little S, and I hadn't seen her in a while, so it was a treat for both of us! 


And, it was a veritable cavalcade of former co-workers.  Many whom I hadn't seen in a while, one who's name I almost forgot, and another who I think I called by the wrong name. Oops. Had a great beer, played pass the baby so she could maul some other people for a while


then had to call it a night. Instead of late-night bingo and drinking with them, I had a night of rice cereal & squash feeding, followed by a fussy bedtime. Oh the glamour of being a Mom.

Ammi-I'm so glad you have found your happy place. I know it was quite a journey to get there, but seeing you so clearly happy is great. We wish you all the best, wait for news of your new adventures, and can't wait until our paths cross again.

Friday, November 07, 2008

6 months

I can't believe it!




There were definitely days I didn't know if I'd ever get to 6 months. And if I did, I was sure I'd have it all figured out and it would be easy. Well, parts of it are easier and some of it's just as hard, but it's so wonderful. I had a much lengthier post written in my head, but someone woke up EARLY after Mom had stayed up late reading and on Facebook last night. And darned if baby wrestling while working from home and trying to finish several major work projects by Monday, plus make dinner and birthday cake didn't pretty much wipe me out.

Yes, birthday cake. Little S won't be eating it. I figure we deserve a treat for making it this far. Instead, Mom broke the rules and fed her some mashed banana mixed with formula. A half-birthday baby milkshake, if you will. I've probably ruined her for life now. At least we'll know where I went wrong.