Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Meaning

The leaders of my local church recently asked me to be in charge of teaching the children music. I was/am thrilled to be able to do this for them (see previous post).

Last Sunday we spent an entire hour just singing Christmas songs. It was totally wonderful...and I was handling it like a pro until we got to the  middle of singing a song called Mary's Lullaby. Here are the lyrics:

Lullaby, lullaby, my little one.
Lullaby, my child so dear.
Thy precious life has just begun;
Thy mother holds thee near.
While Joseph watches through the night,
A star reflects thy radiant light.
Lullaby, lullaby, my little one.
Lullaby, my child so dear.
Just as we got the the words about Joseph I looked up and there was the ear doctor holding my little Sammy boy who was BEAMING...smiling ear to ear looking at my music leading. I lost it...I just lost it. In a whole room full of adorable happy children singing I was there boobing away in the front. Big, fat, hot tears rolling down my cheeks.
I guess that since having my own little boy the role of Mary has become a much bigger deal to me at Christmas time. When I think about having to RIDE A DONKEY in the last trimester and SLEEP ON THE GROUND...yikes. 

Monday, December 16, 2013


I started playing the violin when I was 5 years old. Suzuki method. Intense. And after the tens of thousands of dollars my parents invested and the thousands of hours I spent studying I will never be a professional musician.

But the investment was worth it because I LOVE music. To my very core I love music.

On Friday night we got a babysitter and the ear doctor and I went to see the nutcracker. We seats that, technically, are probably the worst in the whole house...box seats, right by the stage...practically IN the pit. I watched half of the show through the wings...but I was in heaven.

Hearing the musicians practice the tricky runs before the curtain lifted, watching the oboe player get out her iphone with a tuner app (I didn't even know that existed!)...it all reminded me of my love for music (and the Russian composers in particular) and my early experiences performing.

And then the show started and we were so close none of the music needed amplification. We were hearing the pure sounds of the instruments...and the tiny squeaks of the leather shoes on the stage. It was totally wonderful.

A perfect Christmas date

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Getting bigger

My baby has suddenly become a toddler. He robot walks around the house. He sits and reads his books. He can ask for food and drink. He can tell me when he is finished eating. When I ask him to sit down he does.

And (my personal favorite) he dances when he hears music

It's totally amazing.

And it seemed to happen overnight!

People told me stories exactly the same as this about their own kids, but it is really something else to see it in person. To see him growing up and having his own preferences and opinions....it is so cool to see.

Here are the words I think he's started using:

uh oh (when he drops something...intentionally)
bye bye
amen...at the end of prayers...it kills me it's so cute

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

half way

Last weekend I spent the entire 1.5 hours of my baby's afternoon nap raking leaves and pulling out old dead marigolds from the front yard.

I worked so hard and so fast with that rake that I got a huge blister on the inside of my left thumb...a true gardener's injury.

Just as all the leaves were all piled up into two huge piles, one in the middle of the sidewalk in front of our house and the other in the gutter, two things happened:

First, I realized that I didn't have any fancy paper yard-waste bags. The idea of putting perfectly compostable yard waste into PLASTIC BAGS to then send to a landfill shook this Pacific Northwest native, birkenstock wearing girl to her very core. I was frozen with indecision over what to do with my yardwaste. No bags, no wheel barrow, no truck....gah!

Second, Sam started screaming from inside the house.

Result? The leaves sit there in their piles...one in the middle of the sidewalk...a week and a half later...

Every time I walk into my house now I have to step over the pile and cringe at my own ineptitude of homeownership.

To make matters worse, the other morning I hid in my house behind my IKEA shears and watched as a mother had to teach her little kindergartener daughter how to jump over the rotting pile. The little girl didn't to step in the pile (full disclosure...there was also a very old, mushy, stinky pumpkin in the mass), so mom had to do a 1-2-3 jump to clear the mess.

Why can't I just FINISH something?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CA adventure

Yesterday the ear doctor presented some of his research at a conference in San Deigo. Sammy boy and I tagged along and had a blast. He had his first Disneyland experience...
 (before I had Sam I never realized how cute I think little tongues are...I can't get enough of his!)

Rode the carosel at Balboa park...which is the fastest one I've ever seen. The animals at the outside get up to 13 mph! I have about 100 very blurry pictures of these two whizzing by.

Rode the miniature train just outside the zoo

Took in the view of the bay from point Loma

My son is not a hunchback...I stick his pacifier down the back of his shirt when we are in public so it doesn't drag on everything.

It was a wonderful trip!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


My grandma's funeral and my son's first birthday party were scheduled on the same day...at the same time! Last Saturday at 11 am.

So strange to mix such different emotional milestones. 

As a result, Sam had his party cancelled, because as important as a first birthday is, a funeral tops it.

My in-laws were awesome and offered to watch the baby all day so we could be there to honor grandma. The ear doctor and I were the first to arrive at the funeral home so when I rounded the room and saw her laid out in per perfectly pink casket I was a little taken aback. There she was...my grandma. The woman whose face light up when she showed me the animatronic singing 3 foot tall Santa who shook his hips while he sang. The woman who started a family water fight in her back yard. The woman who bought the first dinner for my brand new husband and I after our honeymoon. The woman who said that she felt like a princess when we bought her a banana pudding for dessert. My grandma.

My dad's eulogy was beautiful. As I sat on the front row and listened to my dad talk about his gratitude for having wonderful parents who taught him well and raised him right I held my little sister's hand. The two of us are so lucky to be part of a legacy of good parents who love their children.

And I hope I can continue that legacy to my little stinker. I hope that he realizes that it's more important to be with family and to show them you care than having a spectacular birthday party.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The results

I just realized that I hadn't documented the results of our 30 day food experiment from September.

First off, the bottom line.

I lost 10 lbs and went down a full size (maybe a size and a half).

The Ear doctor lost 15 lbs and felt like he broke through a plateau he had been riding at the gym. He also has decreased his insulin usage by about half...which is amazing for a type 1 diabetic.Oh, and none of his clothes fit anymore because he is getting so stinkin lean and cut!

Our experience really wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it  might be. The only times I found it difficult was the trip we took to the zoo (no options anywhere in the entire property to grab something to eat) and when we went to a fantastic restaurant for a friend's birthday and couldn't eat hardly anything. During the month I was never hungry...in fact it was just the opposite..I felt like I was eating a TON of food...all the time.

To those of you who say that it is expensive...yes, I have to agree with you there. I did a quick spending analysis and compared the month of September to August and saw that our grocery bill increased 40%! Yikes! However, since we did not go out to eat hardly at all, that expense was offset in the overall budget. Between August and September the difference in our food spending was only $63. If I were a family (like my sister) who were disciplined from the beginning and didn't habitually eat out (like we tended to) I think the difference in expenses to eat this way would probably be staggering.

So what now? You're supposed to slowly reintroduce old foods back into your diet. And so far that's what we're doing. I waited almost a whole week to have a diet coke and the ear doctor had a small bag of chips the other day. I made some homemade noodles for chicken noodles soup and last night I made a batch of snickerdoodles.

Here is the going forward plan that I have devised...I call it the rule of 1's.

Each week I am limiting myself to the following:

1: dinner I eat out during which I will order whatever on the menu sounds the best
1: diet coke "experience"...meaning it can either be a can of soda, or a mega huge gut buster at a movie theater
1: totally indulgent treat

Other nuances:
  • We probably won't buy bread for the house anymore...I just didn't miss it. If we do have bread I'll either make it, or get it from Denver Bread Company. Bread really is a treat and, accordingly, I intend to eat it sparingly
  • I don't really need rice in my life at all...except for risotto...I love risotto...
  • Standard potatoes are being switched out for yams. Costco just started carrying 25 lb bags of yams...glorious!
  • Plates will be filled with veggies because over the last month I have really learned fast and easy ways to make them DELICIOUS. 
  • Baked goods at the house will be occasionally present...and only homemade...there just seems to be something about making a baked good that makes it OK to eat...if I put in the effort to bake it I can appreciate it more...or something like that.
  • No vending machines...duh
  • Applegate hot dogs are the BEST. Try them...they're worth the extra $$$

The only thing I'm not really clear on is how I'm going to handle vacations and holidays. Should I make them a free for all? Should I cut myself just a little slack? Should I stick to my guns? I'll have to think about that...

Sunday, October 06, 2013

11 months

Yesterday my little guy took his first steps! It's so awesome to see him growing and learning...and right now it seems like everyday he wakes up and knows something else!

He's got 5 teeth, loves to clap his little chubby hands, and eats as much as an adult at every meal. Seriously, the amount of food this guy puts away is really impressive. He'll eat anything we put on his tray, but especially loves melon of any kind and sausage. Raspberries are right up there too.

Without further ado...

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Learning curve

My son is totally fantastic.

But sometimes I wonder....

He has a whole bin of really nice toys to play with, but his favorite thing in the whole house is our dirty busted up silver garbage can. Whenever I turn around, there he is...sneaking his chubby little fingers under the lid and pulling out whatever gross treasure he can find.

Wadded up toilet paper? Yes...lets put that in my mouth

Slimy broken egg shells...pass them over here

Old wet styrofoam meat trays? Surely that is better to explore than the beautiful toys that grandma got me

It jus gives me the willies every time he scoots his little bum over there. But with our big farmhouse sink there isn't enough room under there to put a can.

I guess I'm just going to have to keep my eye peeled to make sure nothing truly disgusting ends up going down the hatch.

(Isn't the most exciting thing you've ever seen in your whole life!?!?!?)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

A new endeavor

Tomorrow the ear doctor and I are starting a whole30...which means 30 days of really strict eating. No dairy, no grains, no legumes, no white potatoes, no added sugar.

We are doing it mainly because the ear doctor wanted to try it...just to see if it did anything for him. And it's so intense that if I didn't join him it probably wouldn't work. 

I'm not 100% sold on the idea as a lifestyle, but I like the idea of testing my self control. Of picking something tough and following through. That's right up my competitive alley.

This morning I went through all out cupboards and took out anything that didn't fit the bill.

Then we wen to Costco and spent $300! (Food for 2+ weeks$ I thought it would be easiest to plan our out meals for as long as possible and avoid going to the store as much as we can.

I hope this ends up being an awesome experience. The funny thing is that when we put together the meals we noticed that we are basically planning to eat exactly how we've been feeding Sammy for te past 3 months! Crazy!

Monday, September 02, 2013

10 months

This has without a doubt been the fastest 10 months of my life! Now Sammy is cruising around anything at his level and taking this photo has never been harder.

Like trying to catch a greased hog.

I was lucky to get anything remotely usable.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Just so I remember...

Today while Sammy boy was standing in the middle of a room surrounded by his grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins, mom and dad he decided to stand all on his own for the first time.

I was so proud I almost cried.

Not only was it a significant milestone, but the timing meant that our loved ones got to share in the magic.

And let me tell you, it was MAGIC.

I love this little baby so much my heart actually aches for him and my arms long for the warmth of his little body every night when I lay down to sleep in my own bed.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Jungle Adventure

We spent Sunday afternoon at Jungle Adventure. It was surprisingly awesome. But again, HOT!

When we drove up and saw Swampy, the world's largest gator we knew we were in for something special. I love an animal park that seems like the animals might actually get out. There's something really charming to me about keepers who carry knives...you know...just in case

There were old rotten boardwalks built over the swamp that felt like you were going to fall thru with every step

Me...getting my Brittany Spears on

These turtles were everywhere...and clearly were fed really well. All I had to do was hold my hand out above their tank and they swam over and clawed their way up the wall to get some snack

He was so hot there were little beads of sweat popping out on his nose!

I was really hot too...clearly he is my son

Park entrance, Swampy, the world's largest Gator

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Tourist time

Today we spent the day at the visitors center at the Kennedy Space Center. I have to admit...being there...made me feel so inspired and energized to keep pushing ahead with work.

I was surprised that it felt much more roomy laying on my back looking up at the sky

This was my second national historic mechanical engineering landmark...maybe I should try to visit them all?

A very familiar looking mock up...

It was hot, hot, hot and HUMID today...Sammy was a trooper! So proud of my little guy

The Saturn V rockets...most powerful rocket ever designed 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Just really dumb

I left my cell phone in Colorado, so if you need to get ahold of me, email is best...or the ear doctor's phone.

He remembered to bring all 3 of his Apple devices...

Ocean front view

On Wednesday we all flew out to Florida for a week. I'm still blown away by the project I'm working on...driving across the NASA parkway and seeing the vehicle assembly building just across the water is amazing. 

While we are here we are staying in a 80's fantastic condo just steps from the ocean. Every morning before I take off for work I've gone out and watched the waves roll in. Sammy dipped his little toes in the Atlantic and only got a little scared.

The condo we are staying in has wall to wall carpet and Sammy is loving it. He's crawling his funny little crawl all of the place. One leg he uses like normal, but the other one he keeps straight and swings out around to the side. We've started calling him peg leg Pete.

We are still getting the hang of vacationing with the baby. Altering my expectations of how much we can do has been tricky. Almost every time the ear doctor and I look at each other and wonder if we can stretch Sammy's time between naps the answer is no. It's just better to go home and let him sleep...a tired 9 month old baby is no fun for anyone.

BTW - His photo this month is going to be late since we are away from home.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just one of them days

Today was one of those great days when everything just goes smoothly. The baby slept in until 6:30, so I could shower and get ready while he slumbered away. My drive in had no traffic. Work was great and everything went to plan. When I got home the ear doctor made dinner while I played with Sammy. After dinner we walked over to the ice cream parlor for a couple of cones. When we got home the baby went right to sleep.

And now the ear doctor is watching Ninja Warrior.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Crisis averted

Bad news...I almost dropped Sam on his head this morning while trying to put him in his Johnny jump up. He was fine..my heart was beating 200 bpm.

Why did they make it so darn hard to get kids in and out of that thing?!?!?!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pull ups

This morning I sat Sammy in his crib for a few minutes while I was getting ready for work. When I came back to get him he was standing up ON HIS OWN!!!! 

He was just standing there slapping his chubby little hand on the wall behind his crib, grinning from ear to ear.

I was simultaneously terrified (because we hadn't moved the mattress down yet, so his hip was basically at the top of the rail) and proud (because he's only just barely 8 months old and look what he figured out!)

Is this how all his developmental milestones are going to feel? Thrilling that he's figuring things out and scary that he can get hurt in new and exciting ways.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

8 months

pretty much the cutest kid on the planet! I love taking his picture....clearly...

Sunday, June 09, 2013

7 months

A few days late, but you'll forgive that...right?

Saturday, May 04, 2013

6 months

This is officially my favorite age so far! I finally feel like I love this little stinker more than I thought possible. Sometimes I catch my breath because I'm overwhelmed with how much he means to me.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

5 months

I can't possibly describe how much better it is to have a 5 month old baby than 1, 2, 3 or 4? He is so much fun to be around. He can sit on his own, giggles when we tickle him, looks for us when we enter a room, actually falls asleep with minimal help from us...the list goes on and on. I sort of wish I could skip all those other months and jump right to him being the little angel boy that he is now.

I, however, would never want to attempt to birth him in his current configuration. This kid is BIG!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Singer

Every night as part of bedtime routine I slather Sammy with lotion and put him in his jammies. The whole time I do this I sing to him.

The same songs every night.

I start with Goodnight my someone from the Music Man
Then I sing I will by the Beatles
Then it's either Love is Spoken Here or Child's Prayer from our church's children's hymnal
And I round it out with Abide with Me...one of my favorite religious hymns

It's a pretty well rounded playlist since my mom taught me to love musicals, my dad endowed me with a working knowledge of 95% of the Beatles songbook and they both taught me to love my Savior. Lessons I would love to pass down to my son.

The best part is that Sammy sings along with me. It is amazing.

At first I didn't want to give him too much credit...he's just 4 months old and babies make sing song sounds all the time. I didn't want to be THAT mom who is always giving her kids more credit than they really deserve.

But, after much incredulity I am ready to admit. He is definitely singing along with me.

It's my favorite part of the day.

Friday, March 08, 2013

I love daylight savings

I've never in my life looked forward to daylight savings time in the spring. In the fall, sure...I'll take an extra hour. But the spring? Never. I always dread it.

Except this year.

This year I am absolutely giddy with excitement over the change.

You see, my darling little boy poops every morning at 4:07 on the dot. EVERY morning. We listen to his grunts for 5 minutes, hear the thunderous poo and then the little relieved giggle afterward lets us know that it's time to get up and change him. We have to change him  because within 2 minutes that adorable giggle will turn into a peel-the-paint-off-the-walls scream.

I don't know how to change this rhythm he's found. We've fed him at different times, tried altering his bedtime, but nothing changes the 4:07 am clarion call of defecation.

I can't tell you how much better everything will be for us if that call starts coming at 5 instead of 4.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


An amazing thing has happened at our house and I wanted to make sure I documented it somewhere. Sammy is starting to learn to put himself to sleep.

It's not as awesome as we just set him in his bed awake and he goes to sleep on his own...but he's getting there. We only have to hold and rock him for no more than 5 minutes and then he's out! It's amazing! It's a whole different world.

Plus, his morning nap is almost always 2+ hours. I can't even describe how amazing it is to know that he's getting enough rest. Up to this point he almost never took naps longer than 40 minutes. I was getting REALLY stressed out about it.

But things are getting MUCH better.

The ear doctor hates it when I say stuff like this because he thinks I'll jinx it and the baby will suddenly take a downward spiral into screaming-never-sleep-land. In fact, I think he's decided to start calling me Jinxy-cat.

Too bad for him (1) I've never in my life had a nick name stick and (2) I wouldn't be too sad if that one did stick...it's kind of cute.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

4 months

Time is FLYING by! Look at my big boy!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

3 months

I know you were DYING with anticipation to see Sam's 3 month photos...