Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A sunny day, a great website, and a rather lengthy update...

It’s been rainy here the last few days, so we’ve been busy trying to keep entertained indoors. Today was beautiful though; sunny and mid seventies. Here are a few shots of the kids playing outside today. They were happy to be back out in the sun! click on any of these to get a closer look

I found a great website this morning in my search for a local children’s resale store. It’s an online resale store called Worn but not Forgotten. It’s so nice to sit in your own house and leisurely look through used kids clothes for a great price. Much easier than dragging two kids out shopping! All the comments on the website as far as quality and everything sounded promising, plus you get 20% off your first order. So I got a couple of things for both kids. Three shirts (all new with tags from The Children’s Place) and a winter hat for under $20. Not bad. Check it out if you have kids to clothe!

So I decided after all my pointless babbling last week while Ryan was out of town (could you tell I had no one to talk to without him around?!?), that it’s time for a little family update. Yes, I manage to blab endlessly about the mundane things we do (or don’t do) every day around here, but I thought maybe I should take the time and make sure I say some things that don’t get said in the everyday stuff. More what’s going on with the individual than what did we all do today.
So here we go. Let’s take it one at a time.

is a monster. There is no other word to describe him. He plays like a monster, he eats like a monster, he tears the house apart like a monster; he IS a little monster. A very happy little monster. He LOVES to get into trouble. He’s figured out if he pushes something up to something else he can make steps to climb. He’ll push tubs or boxes or toys or stools, or even Savannah’s crocodile keyboard over to climb up to the couch or the table or the bed or whatever. He’s fast too. And he’s so dang proud of himself; he actually has trouble climbing because he’s laughing so hard, he’s that happy and proud of himself. Which is kind of nice for us, because if you hear him cracking up for no apparent reason, you know he’s doing something he shouldn’t be. What a goof!
Here’s what else he’s been learning at just about 10 months old:

  • He climbs on everything!
  • He stands alone all the time now. No steps yet, but it seems like everytime I look at him, he’s just standing there next to the couch or table or a wall or whatever he usually hangs on to, but he’s just standing there not holding on, using two hands to play or grab something or whatever. He seems too little to be on his own two feet!!
  • He gives kisses. The nice big wet slobbery baby kisses!
  • He climbs on everything!
  • He barks now. When he hears the neighbor dogs, he starts barking. And if you say doggie, he’ll bark for you. Pretty cute.
  • He says “icky”. No attempt to say mama or dada or no or byebye. Just icky. Probably because that’s what he hears us say to him all day long as he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth.
  • He used his first sign language last week. He signs “more” now, most often during meals, but I think I’ve seen it once or twice while we’re playing.
  • Did I mention he tries to climb everything?


is acting older and older everyday. I have to remind myself she is only three. She’s really into clothes all of a sudden. If I let her, she’d probably change her outfit ten times a day. As it is, it’s at least twice a day. Luckily if she really likes something she’ll want to wear it two or sometimes three days in a row, so it kind of all evens out laundry-wise. I took down a box of clothes (my last box of hand-me-downs mostly from Ellie, what am I gonna do?!) to go through for the fall and had her look through it with me. Big Mistake! It just about took all day to get through the box with her looking over every piece in there and wanting to try most of it on. And of course the things I thought were the cutest she barely glanced at, and her favorites are, shall we say, not my taste. Her absolute fave was, of course, a silky pink flowered skirt that goes with nothing else we own (although she thought it went perfectly with an apple green shirt that has a big flower on the front –"because flowers match with flowers, don't you know?"). She wore it yesterday and commented all day that “gramma G has a dress just like this. But I don’t look like gramma G because I’m not a gramma, I’m just a little girl.” Her second favorite item from the box is a horribly bright silky tank top with all kinds of flowers and butterflies and sparkly gems and a little chow puppy?!? in the middle of all the flowers. She hung it on a hanger on her dresser drawer handle yesterday because she had it planned out to wear today. Ryan was putting her to bed last night and he saw the shirt hanging there and actually asked, “what is that?”. I had to laugh as I told him that was the shirt she was planning on wearing tomorrow. His reply was, “okay, but what is that?”.
Aside from her growing sense of fashion, pretty much all she does all day is draw people and try to write every name or word she can think of. Correction: every name or word that I have the patience to spell out for her in one day. Once she’s worn me out of spelling, Savannah is all about playing games and pretending. Her favorite game to play is still hide and seek, but she knows it’s not my favorite, so she saves that one for daddy. With me she always wants to play "Honey Punch". Don’t ask me where she came up with that name. “mom, do you want to play Honey Punch? You can be the honey and Sawyer can be your brother and I’ll be your mommy.” I guess I call her honey a lot?
When I’m too busy to play, she plays with her babies or animals. She loves to pretend and usually sets up some pretty elaborate situations with her “family” of animals.
Thankfully she loves playing with her little brother too, and she’s very good about including him in most of her play. If she’s not role-playing and they’re just hanging out with toys, one thing she loves to do is build block towers. And the great thing is, she loves to build them especially for Sawyer to knock over. It’s pretty cute, because she’s real patient with him and doesn’t get too upset when he tries to knock it down too early. And she doesn’t build them too high “because if it’s too tall, he’ll knock it down and it will hit him on the head and that wouldn’t be fun.” We’re all lucky she’s turning out to be such a great big sister!

And us grown ups (aka the boring ones)...

Not much new to report with Ryan or me, I’m afraid. Not as much growing and changing going on with us compared to the kiddos.
Other than turning a year older and his trip to Boston, what has Ryan been up to? Well, he’s juggling three fantasy football teams, starting up a new soccer season with a Pfizer team in Kalamazoo, and still finding time to play a game of pool every night.
The highlight of my week was that Ryan decided to share half of his birthday money with me (don’t tell grandpa Bob!) so I can finally go get my hair cut and colored. I haven’t had my hair cut –not even trimmed- in over a year, can you believe that?! Well, I guess if you’ve seen my hair lately you wouldn’t find it that hard to believe!! I am so looking forward to getting my hair done! I LOVE how relaxing it is to have someone wash and dry and style my hair for me. It’s got to be one of my favorite things in the whole world. And I’ve deprived myself of that for far too long!
There'll also be another baby around here starting next week. Now that the beginning of the school year is here, my friend Nicole starts teaching and it looks like her adorable Porter will be coming to hang out with us two mornings a week. I think it'll be fun to have him, and I know Savannah and Sawyer will love having him around.
One more thing I’m really looking forward to is finally painting our living room this weekend. We just haven’t really known what we wanted to do with that room or how to decorate it, but we’re just going to go for it and get some paint on the walls. We’ve had our tv sitting on a laundry hamper and paint squares taped up around the room long enough. It’s time for our living room to feel like we live in it! I still don’t know what we’re going to do about a tv stand or armoire or whatever, but by the end of this weekend, we’re going to have a finished living room. Which may just mean a visit to Ikea…

So there’s a quick rundown (or not so quick) of the four of us lately. We’d love to hear from any and all of you as to what’s been going on in your world. Give us a call or an email and let us know!

Monday, August 28, 2006

#29...almost there!

Of course I can't let the day go by without blogging about the birthday boy. We celebrated today by doing about 5 loads of laundry, throwing sweet potatoes, peas, and chicken all over the kitchen, and taking up the whole living room to line up all of Savannah's stuffed animals (every single one of them) for thier turn at the vet.
Oh, sorry. That was just me and the kids and a normal day around here.
Poor Ryan had to get up at the crack of dawn (one of these days soon, it'll still be dark!) and go back to work today.
But we had a nice dinner last night with the Huffs and the Barczaks for somewhat of a celebration. Not so much a birthday party, but an excuse for me to make a really yummy cake and have other people help eat it up so Ryan and I (mostly I) don't consume the whole thing ourselves!

I made a
super easy and yummy
Oreo cake!
Ryan says it's his new favorite.
Here's the recipe.

So we had great evening with a little BBQ, some games, a little Happy Birthday singing with the cake, and a good time with our friends.

here's Little D and Savannah trying out the new barstools

and Savannah (and Don) helping her Daddy blow out the candles.
all 29 of them.

If I'm feeling motivated enough, Savannah and I may decorate with a few streamers and a balloon or two for when Ryan gets home (Savannah doesn't believe it's a real birthday without that stuff). And I'm sure we'll polish off what's left of the birthday cake tonight while he opens the rest of his gifts. My delightfully talkative daughter already let slip the contents of a present or two. Word to the wise; three-year-olds aren't very good at keeping secrets.

Happy Birthday Ryan.
I'm glad you're catching up to me in years!

Morning conversations

I haven't posted any SJ quotes lately, but here’s the conversation we had this morning when she came in my room to wake me...
a sampling of how random the thoughts of a three-year-old.

“mom, can I wake up at 6?”
“no thanks, go back to bed and I’ll see you at 7.”
“okay. can I wear my underwear from yesterday with doggies on it again? I like those”
“no, I think it’s a good idea to wear new, clean underwear everyday”
“mom, why did all our grown-up friends and all our little friends have to go home last night? I wanted them to sleep in the guest room.”
“everyone went home to their own houses for bedtime, now you need to go lay down until 7.”
“okay. can you make me breakfast right at 7? I’d like regular oatmeal this morning.”
“okay, at 7”
“can we go to the turtle park today?”
“we’ll see. now go back to bed please, it’s not time to wake up yet”
she leaves the room, makes it halfway down the hall, and comes right back
“mom, I don’t know how to sew yet. Maybe dad can teach us when he gets home from work today”
“how to sew?”
“yeah, I don’t know how to sew a quilt or a dress to match like gramma Debbie. So maybe dad can teach me”
“maybe not”
“I turned off my fan, mom, do you want me to turn off your fan for you?”

"okay, I'm going"

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Boston Trip and The Bar

I just got back from a quick trip to Boston. Heather and the kids took me to the airport on Monday and picked me back up on Thursday. Over the course of the week I talked to Savannah on the phone quite a few times but I don't think that I really ever convinced her that I really wasn't working at the airport. The highlight of my trip was the Boston Duck Tour. It was a great way to see the city and hear a ton of history in 90 minutes. My tour guide was Paul from Revere, a section of Boston. The most important thing that he told us is how to drive in Boston. He said that if we looked all the stop lights and traffic signs as mere suggestions we would be fine. The city was really confusing to drive in since only one street went from one side to the other and they all switched names about 3 or 4 times on the way across.
I had a nice surpise waiting for me when I got home. Heather had finished lacquering the bar and she had bought and built a bakers rack in the bar too. And today I got a couple of Bar stools from Don and Katie. The bar is looking good, so stop buy if you get a chance. I will gladly serve you up a beer, a caucasian Gary or maybe I'll have more of that good sarsaparilla.
The next steps for the bar are to hang up the posters and maybe change the door into a half door. And then we can get some 8-Ball tournaments going on (Make sure to check out the new rules of play).
I checked this blog every night while I was away to see if there were any guesses for the movie quote last week but no one ever got the quote from "Back to the Future", "Whooo, time to change that oil!".

Friday, August 25, 2006

My husband left me again

We were out this morning (actually it was just about afternoon by the time we got everyone up and moving and out of the house) running a couple of errands* and getting a new muffler put on the 4-runner. Along the way, Ryan mentioned what a good day it would be to play some golf. Then low and behold, when we get home, we find a message on my phone from Ryan Barczak saying if Ryan was interested in golfing this afternoon to give him a call at home. Of course since my Ryan (really... do we always have to have so many friends named Ryan?!?) had just been daydreaming about being out on the greens all the way home, I really couldn’t object. It is, after all, his birthday weekend. Even though it is, after all, his first day home all week. I was really looking forward to NOT having to have the kids all by myself today. We’re getting kind of sick of each other. ~Just kidding~

So he’s off playing for the next few hours. Sawyer’s taking a late nap (thank goodness) and Savannah’s watching a movie she’s been begging for all week (I’m really trying to limit her tv time lately, -to like no tv time-, but it’s been a long week and I don’t have the energy to entertain her all afternoon). So here I sit blogging.

Okay, since I feel like I've been doing a lot of babbling the last few days, and you've proably heard enough out of me, I thought I'd just post some pictures. 'Cause it's been about a week since I've posted any new pictures of the kids and I'm sure the grandmas are having withdrawals.

Here's what we did all day yesterday. The box from our new dryer -presto chango- Hours of entertainment for the kiddos. It's Savannah AND Sawyer's house. Savannah makes sure everytime she says it it's both, because she's "a good big sister who likes to share!" And it's Sydney's and Lammie's too, by the way. This picture is pre-redecorating. Now the inside and outside of the box are covered with markers and stickers. And of course many "portraits" (see previous post for samplings) hanging inside.

Here's the "table" we made to go inside the house. Complete with 4 place settings as well as a wide variety of food items in a rainbow of colors.

And here's just a few more of the kids taking a juice break together... pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself!

*Great deal on scrapbook paper this weekend!!!
JoAnn's has all their open stock paper, any size, for 16cents apeice. The 12x12 is normally like .59, and you can often get it on sale for 3 or 4/$1. This weekend it's 6/.96! Luckily our JoAnn's here has a great selection. It made it a little easier to replace some of my missing paper. As anyone who scrapbooks knows, it's easy to get carried away buying paper like that; it adds up so quick. So I tried to limit myself, but I wound up with a whole honkin' stack. Still only spent $6!!! I was amazed. I just may go back tomorrow...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

She's a people person!

Have a peek at our house

This is what I see everywhere I turn today. I'm serious. I snapped a couple pics to show Ryan how funny it was covering the couch and the ottoman. And then I remembered the dining room table was covered.
And the table in the living room.
And the table in the toy room.
And the floor in my bedroom.
And four on the fridge and even two on the table in the entryway.
So I thought I'd share them with all of you. This is a product of just yesterday and today (and it's only noon today!). Can you guess what my daughter's passion is lately? *you can click on any of these to see her artwork up close

It's raining today

And it's not like a nice summer shower. It's gray and gloomy and rainy. The kind of day that reminds you fall is coming soon. The kind of day where you just want to curl up on the couch with a comfy blanket and a good book and listen to the rain outside. Ahh, that sounds so good. I can't remember the last time I took some time out to do that. I can't remember the last time I had time to read a book! That's not true. I read a good one in July that Kasey Laughlin left here for me when they visited. I got throught it quick, just two or three evenings after the kids went to bed. I really liked it... it was My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. It's about a young girl who has an older sister with a rare and devistating form of leukemia. The younger sister was not only concieved, but genically planned, to be able to donate her umbilical cord, blood, marrow, and eventually a kindney to her sick sister. At the age of 13 the younger sister decides to take her parents to court for medical emancipation. It was a very interesting story and had an ending that completely caught me off gaurd! I liked it a lot. I'm hoping to make a little more time to read now that the summer's winding down. Anyone have any good titles to pass on that they've enjoyed lately?

Well, I gotta sign off and go rinse the hair color out of my hair. All the thundershowers this morning woke my kids up at 6am. So I already put Sawyer down for his morning nap about 45 minutes ago. And it seems all Savannah wants to do today is watch tv. I asked her if she was ready to get dressed and she informed me she was going to wear her pajamas all day. I guess it's just that kind of day. Maybe if I get in and out of the shower quick enough, I'll let her continue lounging with Dora and Diego and I can curl up on the couch and read a bit before Sawyer wakes up!

Ryan comes home tonight, yay!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Watch out... this is a long one!

Moving out here it’s been quite an adjustment socially for us. As most of you who lived near us in Oregon know, Ryan and I love to hang out with friends. Whether it was having dinner, playing games, having a night out, getting the kids out to do something during the week, or even a trip to the beach.
When we wanted to do something or plan something, it seemed our first thought would always be, who can we share this with?
Sometimes it got to the point where we felt like maybe we didn’t make enough time for just the two of us. I remember once we were out at the beach house just us and Savannah, and the whole weekend we felt like something was missing. We had a great time relaxing and playing games and strolling the beach, but we just felt like something was wrong. Halfway through the weekend we realized it was just simply the fact that it had been so long since we had gone out there just ourselves and not invited anyone else along.
Things changed a bit when we lived at my parent house for a while and then when we moved down to Salem. Our barbeques and game nights became fewer and far between. Not many people wanted to make the 45 minute drive very often. But ask Dan and Holly (just about the only people we knew who lived in Salem); we still tried. And the four of us got together at least once a week for dinner or to play cards.
So I guess moving to Salem in a way helped prepare us for this season in our life of starting over in Michigan, where now we rarely ever have anything on our social calendar. We would have probably been shell-shocked if we had gone straight from having our every-other-weekly-barbeques with sometimes up to 30 different friends and friends-of-friends there, to only having a barbeque maybe once a month and always inviting the same four people.

Anyway, all that to say, we’re kind of having a hard time adjusting here in that aspect. I think I’m having a harder time than Ryan, because he at least has the chance to "socialize" and get to know some of the people he works with. I’m kind of limited on my resources right now. There’s not really anyplace to “hang out” with the kids and meet anyone during the day except maybe the parks. But I haven’t found very many opportunities to chat with moms even there. I’m hoping that when Savannah starts preschool, it seems like a pretty parent involved place and so maybe that will create quite a few connections. And I don’t know about the church we’ve been going to. They seem to be really big on meeting and including visitors and new people there, and they have like a 5-minute meet and greet time during the service, where people really do get around and talk to everyone, but we really haven’t met anyone. We probably shake a dozen different hands each Sunday we’re there, but we’re not meeting anyone. You know what I mean? We haven’t seemed to be able to find anyone who’s really interested in who we are or why we’re there. Everyone says hi and moves on to the next person or someone they know across the room. We’ve filled out the communication cards every week for like the past five weeks asking them to contact us about small groups or children’s ministries or information on becoming members, but we haven’t had anyone contact us as of yet. We keep thinking, “oh, its summer… it’ll be better in the fall… groups will start back up, people are on vacation, they’ll contact us eventually…“ etc. But I’m also starting to think maybe that’s not where we’re supposed to be. It’s like every week that goes by, I feel more and more uncomfortable there because we’re not getting “plugged in” and I don’t know what to do about it.

You could pray about that for us if you think of it.

This has just all been on my mind a lot this week while I'm alone here with Ryan out of town. He even knows people there on his trip. And I’ve been sitting here at home kind of lonely and feeling sorry for myself.

But tonight Katie and Nicole (my TWO friends here in Jackson!) came over and we had a really good time. We made daiquiris and mudslides and just hung out and talked and laughed and played games and laughed :) . It was really nice to just laugh with friends. Just to be with friends. It’s been awhile since I’ve had some of that. Thanks girls!

And I have to say, aside from missing all our friends back home, I have really enjoyed spending the past few months more one-on-one with my very best friend.
Ryan, it’s been kind of a nice change having to hang out with just you all the time!! I didn’t think we could be closer than we were, but having to depend solely on each other for so many things out here away from so many of our friends and family… I think it’s safe to say we have newfound appreciation for each other. I’ve loved painting with you and building with you and taking walks with you and watching and reflecting on our kids growing and learning with you. I love talking with you and laughing with you and beating you at scrabble (some of the time). I could never have made this move without you being as loving and supportive and encouraging and wonderful as you are. Thank you for being an amazing husband and an admirable dad to our beautiful kids. Thank you for being my best friend.

Birthday stuff and Growing up

I'm quite proud of myself. I usually am a huge procrastinator. But this week I've gotten all the birthday shopping for Ryan DONE and all the presents ready and wrapped! And I still have five days left. I can't go into detail, but there are lots of little gifts involved to kind of make up one big one. Savannah's very excited because she thought of her gift herself. She tells everyone we see in the store or at the dr's office that it's her daddy's birthday and she's giving him a present and it's a _____.
Now I just have to figure out what to do about a cake. Ryan's requested a Raspberry Lemonade Cake just like the one from the Konditerei in Salem. YUM!! That's probably the best cake I've ever had. Well, I've tried to find a copycat recipe and no luck. I've found lots of lemonade cake recipes and even had a couple of other "rasberry lemonade" cakes, but it's not the same. Not sure what I'm gonna do yet.

Sawyer had his 9 month check-up yesterday. Now that's he's almost 10 months old, haha! He weighs 23lbs, 4oz and he's 29.5" tall. He's actually fallen down into the 75th percentile in both height and weight, which surprised me. He's always been up in the 90th percentile on the charts. I thought for sure he'd be higher in weight and slowing down in height since he's been looking so much chubbier to me lately.
We of course had a long talk with the doctor about his eczema and the allergies that go along with that. She said he looks good and we're doing well with that. And talking about the allergies, since he's eating more table foods, she let me know of a few things we'll probably need to look out for that I hadn't thought of. Obviously we've already known all the milk products and things that contain any dairy, including eggs. But since he's also allergic to the soy formula, he's probably also going to have problems with all the legumes which means soy, tofu, nuts, and all beans and peas. Also kids that have eczema associated with food allergies often can't tolerate berries, peaches, apricots, kiwi and any other citris including pineapple.
So what can he eat, right?!
Turns out this kid's more and more like his dad everyday. Ryan had a million allergies when he was little too. Hopefully Sawyer will grow out of them as well. Sooner rather than later would be nice.

Thinking about him growing up; I couldn't beleive what he pulled yesterday! We were at Meijer (which, for those of you in the Northwest, is just like a Fred Meyer store) and they have those coin-operated horses which run on just 1 penny. Savannah always gets to 2 cents to ride while I'm going through the check-out, and the last couple of trips over there Sawyer has also ridden on our way out. So yesterday I'm paying for groceries and Savannah runs over to the horses and hops on. Sawyer's still sitting in the cart and when he realizes where she's headed he starts whining. And then when he sees her climb on and start her ride, he starts full-on yelling and crying at me and trying to climb out of the cart! We finally make our way over there and he is practically climbing up me trying to get out of the cart and onto a horse. So I hold him up there for a ride, but when his horse stops and I take him off, he completely loses it because Savannah was still going (she had already put in a second penny). So I had to sit him back on his horse while Savannah finished her ride, and then as she finally dismounted, he was happy to say good-bye to the horses and get back in the cart. It was crazy! He either recognizes and really likes those horsey rides, or he really wants to be doing whatever his big sister is doing. Probably both. Keep in mind he is only 9 months old!! I think we're in for some trouble with this one.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Staying dry at night sucks

Until last week Savannah wore pull-ups to bed at night. I hadn’t given a lot of thought to transitioning her to underwear at night yet, because she still wakes up nine out of ten mornings with a really wet pull-up. She’s not even three and a half; I wasn’t worried about it. Well last Thursday after her bath, she out of the blue decides she should wear underwear to bed. “Please mom, I won’t have an accident.” So I agree. She’s done actually quite well since then and she’s very proud of herself. We wake her to go to the bathroom when Ryan and I go to bed about 10 or 11 o’clock and then she wakes up to go in the morning. Three dry nights out of five ain’t bad. Except for one thing. Apparently her bladder is full by about 5:30 am. So she’s been waking up pretty early to go to the bathroom and then usually staying awake. Her normal wake up time is 7. She knows she needs to stay quiet in her bed until her clock says 7, and she’s been trying to do a really good job with that. But now she’s so excited when she’s dry, she can’t wait to come in to tell me. And the couple of mornings she happened to not make it to the bathroom; she of course woke us up crying. This is totally one of those selfish parenting situations where I’m proud of her and glad she wants to be a big girl and impressed that she made the decision herself and that she’s trying so hard… but it was so much easier when she wore a pull-up and I didn’t have to get out of bed before 7!

I have got to go to bed early tonight. I don’t think I fell asleep till about 1:30 last night (or should I say this morning) and there was Savannah, at my bedside, happy and proud of herself bright and early at 5:45am. And do you think I got anymore sleep after that? Nada.

So here’s my plan. As soon as the kids were in bed, I threw a coat of lacquer on the bar. Now I’m waiting for it to dry 2 hours so I can put another coat on and then I can go to bed. I’m halfway there. In the meantime, I’m currently uploading more pictures to our Shutterfly albums. I’ve gotten really behind on that. And in between sets of uploads (and now blogging) I will attempt to clean up my house (how does it get so trashed? oh, yeah, my kids are pros at that.) and possibly color my hair. We’ll see how motivated I really am.
Right now, just lounging on my bed with the laptop is working just fine for me.

Be sure to check in later if you’re interested in the most recent pictures on Shutterfly. I know I'll at least get that done tonight!

Monday, August 21, 2006

must... eat... shiny black cheerios

No one has any guesses for this week's movie quote?
Mike and Kasey, are you there?
Gabe and Heidi, aren't you doing your research?
Tell me when you want a hint...

We had pizza for dinner tonight and Savannah had her usual can of olives with her one piece of pizza. I snuck a few away from her to give Sawyer a try. He hated 'em. It was pretty funny though, because he was sort of strangely obsessed with them. Normally he knows when he doesn't like something and he recognizes it and steers clear of it on his tray, eating everything else and turning a blind eye to the offending morsels. But it seemed as though he were drawn to these little shiny black things on his tray, and couldn't leave them alone. Even though there was plenty of other food on his tray he did like, he kept picking up the olives like they were his favorite thing. And everytime he'd pop one in his mouth, he'd then make the same sour face and spit it back out. Over and over again. Strange kid. I finally took the olives off his tray, because he wasn't really eating them, but he wasnt' really eating anything else either because the only thing he wanted to pick up were those little black "cheerios".
Which, in case you forgot (as it seems he did), he hated.
What a goof-ball!

Our (not so) busy weekend

Here's a rundown of our weekend.

  • Ryan got home early and started mowing the lawn.
  • 20 minutes later, the clutch went out so the tractor is now in the driveway up on a jack and the half the front lawn is still long.
  • Had dinner with Don and Katie. But they headed home pretty early to put Little D to bed.
  • Ran to the store to get last minute pictures printed for our big "day of scrapbooking" trip on Saturday.
  • Turned the house upside down looking for my missing paper.
  • I watched re-runs of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge while Ryan played pool.
  • Stayed up way too late for no good reason.
  • Got a call from Nicole at 7am. No scrapbooking trip. Don't ask.
  • Determined to get some scrapbooking done on my own, I started organizing pictures and laying out some pages.
  • 20 minutes later, I'm entertaining the kids while Ryan naps on the couch.
  • We all took a trip to Lowe's for a short list of items to finish up the bar and a couple of other projects around the house.
  • Put the kids to bed and worked on finishing the bar.
  • Moved the window air conditioner to our bedroom because it was so humid and sticky.
  • Played scrabble in our cool room.
  • The kids woke up way too early.
  • 20 minutes later they're both already in tears they're still so tired.
  • Lazed around all morning till it was time to go to church. (Sawyer took a nap)
  • Went to church.
  • Stopped at Menard's on our way home for a couple of things forgotten off our short list the previous day at Lowe's, as well as a replacement for our broken bathroom faucet.
  • Made biscuits and gravy for lunch *yummy!!*
  • Fixed the faucet.
  • Finished mowing the lawn.
  • Finished up the moulding around the bar window. First coat of laquer on, Yeah!!
  • Went upstairs to go to bed early because we couldn't breathe downstairs.
Man, those fumes were toxic! It permeated the whole house. We ended up "trapped" in our bedroom with the door closed and our ac on. (the kids were already in bed with their doors closed.) So Ryan packed for his trip and I fell asleep -probably while he was talking to me. I have not been sleeping well at night at all. I've been having a really hard time falling asleep, which is odd for me. I can usually get to sleep okay; it's waking at 3 or 4 in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep that's usually my problem. Now I do both. So after feeling like I got no sleep all week, I took a Unisom last night about 8:30, took a shower, and then got in bed to talk to Ryan while he packed. Don't remember anything after that till our alarm went off at 5:45 this morning to take him to the airport.

Anyway, it didn't seem like we did much this weekend. It felt like we just kind of had a blah couple of days. But I guess we actually got alot done when I look back on it.
Now Ryan's off to Boston for the week to go to some training course for work. He's back late Thursday night, and then he doesn't have to go in to work Friday. Yeah!! a three day weekend!

I have a whole lot of lofty goals as far as things I'd like to get done while he's gone. Just like always. And just like always, I'm sure not one thing will get 100% done. My main "assignment" is to complete is sanding and recoating the bar top a few more times, as well as painting all the trim around the bar window. I also want to paint a shelf that's in that room. Ryan's having a couple of people over next weekend and I think we're going to have a barbeque on Sunday, so I want that to be all done. The rest of my mental "to do" list will probably stay in my head.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My Anniversary

First of all, sorry about last week's second quote. Maybe it was hidden too well or as Heather says it was a bit of a stretch. Anyway the quote was "wrap your lips around" from Kill Bill Vol. 2. And as the two hints suggest, Budd says this as he hands a margarita to Elle. I really liked this line so I guess it stuck in my head a little. I thought that Gabe would have gotten this one due to the fact that he owns this movie.
I had an important anniversary this past week. It has been 11 years since I have had the pleasure of having my hair cut by a professional. My last professional haircut was at 122nd and Sunnyside in some Great Clips or something on August 16, 1995, the day before I left for college. It might just be a coincendence that it was the last one that my parents were going to pay for, but maybe not. Anyway, since then I have had a couple of bad haircuts along my way of learning who should cut my hair (for free) and teaching myself how to cut it. Don Huff and I gave each other many haircuts during college, but since then I have no one to blame but myself. I also tried my hand at hair pigment removal. Let's just hope that I do better chemistry when my hair is not involved. A school newspaper article even noted that I was the "hypercolor hair boy".
Here are a couple of pictures of my hair over the years...

Mom - Thanks for this haircut.... or is that Holly?

At least it is off the neck here.

Whooo, time to change that oil!

Can you tell when I started "cutting" my own hair?
That hair cut was all one length, a "2". Now I have matured and I use 5 guards with the clippers, the 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8.

Check out the chin strap, I bet Heather would love that now.

Hyper-color hair boy

I look funny without some hair on my face.

Happy Birthday to Malone (could this be the big 3-0?) and also Happy Graduation to LD who just completed Police Academy. (Sorry, I couldn't think of any Police Academy quotes)

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's a mystery

I have been getting the urge to make some more of my books lately. But I haven't been able to find all my paper.
I've made a couple of note cards to send to friends, but not as many as I have really wanted to, because I can't find all my paper.
I've thought about doing some work on Sawyer's baby book, but never got it out because I can't find all my paper.
I wasn't all that concerned because I thought that I've seen it around here somewhere in all the unpacking. I did wonder why it wasn't with all my other craft stuff. Well, tomorrow I'm going with Nicole and Katie up to Bay City to an all day crop at a scrapbook store. So I decide, of course, tonight is the night I have to find all the rest of my scrapbook paper. Now Ryan and I have turned this house inside out and I still have no paper. I'm telling you, we have looked everywhere. There is no case of scrapbook paper in this house. I am very puzzled, quite frustrated, and really, really sad because I had some great paper in there. And whether it was great or not, there was a ton of paper in there ($$$!!!). All my supplies for those picture books I make, all that coordinating scrapbook paper and some cute stuff I just bought for Sawyer's baby book not long before we moved. I am 99% positive that it is not in this house. But where did it go???

Oh and the other bummer was that in the process of all this looking, Ryan found his hidden birthday presents. So much for surprises.

So on to better news...
Two of our friends had babies born this week!
Congrats to Ty, Steph, and big brother Jack... welcome Baby Julia! She was born yesterday, Aug.17th in Tualatin, OR.
And Congrats to John and Dawn Bambusch... can't believe you have your own little one now!! Baby Logan was born Aug. 14th in Portland.
Enjoy your new little families! We love you guys!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Picky Eater

So for being such a big eater, Sawyer is definitely a picky one. How does that work? I guess it's a good thing he doesn't eat everything? He'd probably be twice the size he already is.

We tried avacado today for the first time. Didn't go over so well.
He tried it right away... and then spit it out and made some faces I've never seen before. Here he is happily eating everything else off of his tray. Notice all the little yellow/green cubes he was steering clear of.

Since I missed all the sour faces before I grabbed the camera, I tried to make him eat a little more. Here's how that turned out.

He almost refuses to be spoon fed anymore, so I'm trying to phase out the baby food. If he has finger food on his tray, he pays no attention to the spoon. And if there is no finger food on the tray he starts yelling. If its the only option, he will eat off the spoon but he protests the whole time- and quite loudly. But I'm running out of ideas of "real foods" he can eat. He won't eat green beans, or raisins, or peaches, or now we know avacado. He can't eat anything with any milk in it at all (it really aggrivates his eczema); no cheese, no creamed spinach, nothing with any milk ingredients. Gerber makes these cool Carrot Wagon Wheels and also they have "meat sticks" that are little super soft mini hotdogs made out of chicken or turkey or beef. But he's skin's been getting alot worse lately and I checked those ingredients and lo and behold- you guessed it; milk.
So anyway, his menu basically consists of crackers, toast, bagels, pasta, bananas, pears, cooked apples, carrots, peas, squash, and baked or steamed russet and sweet potatoes. That's what? twelve items... three meals a day... not too much variety in my opinion. I feel like he needs more proteins, since he can't eat cheese or eggs and now he can't have those meat sticks. (I ended up buying him a couple little cans of those Vienna Sausages... but those can't be very good for him.) If I cook chicken long enough and cube that up, do you think that's okay? Otherwise I guess he just has to wait till he has molars to eat meat? I could try tofu...
Any ideas on other finger foods that can be soft enough or small enough for him?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Picnic in the Park

I forgot, we did actually get out to have some fun today. We went to Butterfield Park and had a picnic lunch with Nicole, Katie and the boys. It was such a nice day! Savannah found some little girls to play hide and seek with and Sawyer was all about exploring the park. I didn't get to sit and chat with the girls as much as I would have liked because he was just all over the place. *You can click on any of these if you want to see a bigger image.

Here's a picture of the one minute that Sawyer actually did sit and play with Donnie and Porter (Porter's rolling around behind Donnie if you missed him at first glance).

No catchy title today

Just random thoughts.
  • Ryan's a little disappointed no one's guessed his other movie quote. Disappointed? ...or proud? that he hid it so well no one can see it. Probably just because no one payed much attention to that movie and it's an awfully short quote. And it could probably be considered a reference, not an actual quote since it is only three words. Don't tell him I said so, but I think he was reaching a little on that one.
  • I'm waiting for a new phone. My cell phone went out again. I have had bad luck with my phones in the last few years. Sprint replaced two for me because my speaker went out on both phones. The third one broke too, so I got a new brand. Now I've had that for about a year and a half, and two days ago Ryan called me and I answered and he couldn't hear me. I can get calls fine and I can hear them and listen to voicemail, it's just that no one can hear me. I guess the microphone went out. Just my luck. So we went to the Sprint store last night and picked out a new one. Only, staying in line with my luck on the shopping front, they didn't have any of the one we wanted in stock. So we came home and ordered it online and I should see it within four business days. Of course Ryan ended up getting a new one too. No way I could upgrade without him, right?
  • I've been thinking a little here and there about Halloween and costumes for the kids. I know it's early, but I'm trying not to procrastinate like I did last year. (we got Savannah's costume the day before Halloween.) And then I was talking to Nicole on the phone last night and she's on a mad hunt for the perfect costume for Porter so I started looking at more online, and now I'm hooked. Today I spent almost Sawyer's whole morning naptime searching for kids costumes. I have a couple of ideas, but nothing I'm thrilled about yet. I keep asking Savannah what she wants to be and all she answers is a ladybug like she was last year. Which I guess is good because it'll probably still fit her and then I don't have to make or buy a new one, but... boring. So, any ideas for me? Do you think it's too cheesy to try and coordinate siblings?
  • The movie last night was actually pretty good. It was called Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Robert Downey Jr gets involved in a murder mystery type thing with Val Kilmer and some other girl I didn't recognize. I don't know why exactly, but I love Robert Downey Jr. I really enjoy watching him. Anyway, the movie was really funny, I actually laughed out loud a lot which I rarely do during a movie. You won't want to watch it if you're sensitive about the f-word. They used it A LOT. Which is stupid because they actually apologize, more than once, in the movie for how much they use it. But if you can get past that, it really was a funny movie with a good plot line and I really enjoyed it.
One more thing-
I got this forwarded to me last night. I've seen it a few times before and it's always made me chuckle. Well just a few days ago Ryan made some comment about how he spends his days busy at work, and I have plenty of "down time" at home all day with the kids. I made a big deal about it and it's been kind of a running joke ever since. So when this landed in my inbox last night, I thought it fitting to pass it on...

A father came home and found his three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.
Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.
In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.
As he rushed to their bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.
He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?"
"Yes," was his incredulous reply.
She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Is she becoming obsessed?

Savannah is really into drawing people right now. And no, that's not the obsession I'm referring to. I wish it was that nice of a habit. But she draws everyone she can think of (and wants to know how to spell every name) and they are all very specific and have a story behind them. Anyway, here's one she drew yesterday.
This is Little D. That's what Savannah calls little Donnie. So she draws his face in this order, narrating for me.
His eyes,
his nose,
his ears,
his hair, -"he doesn't have very much hair"-,
his mouth,
his arms,
his legs,
she colors his eyes blue -"because Little D has blue eyes"-,
she colors his ears blue -she had no explanation for that-,
and then she says "and I have to put holes in his nose for his boogies... so he can pick his nose."
Did you notice the big nostrils?

She's been talking about that kind of stuff a lot lately- the nose stuff. The other day we were in the car and she was rambling on and on about her own nose. She asked me "why do I get so much stuff in my nose?".
I said, "what stuff?".
"I always have boogies. I just always have to pick my nose all the time!"

Can you tell I have nothing special to write about today? I'm resorting to a three-year-old's ponderings of the accumulations in her nose. Sorry.

Really not much going on around here today. Ryan put a movie on while I'm writing all this. If I send Ryan to the video store he quite often comes back with something I've never heard of and they turn out to be either so artsy and out there they make no sense, or so stupid they're not even close to funny. This one seems pretty funny so far and it's actually pretty interesting. Kind of distracting me from this. So I'm gonna sign off and watch that. I'll let you know if it's any good.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Quotes, quotes, and more quotes

Ryan was a little trickier with his post yesterday and threw two movie quotes in there. Gabe was the first to guess one of them: "carnie, smells like cabbage, small hands" is from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. So Gabe effectively threw off the Laughlin's winning streak, but there is one more quote from a movie in there. Any other guesses?

Here's an SJ quote for you:
this morning...
me: "Savannah, you can watch some tv while I go take a quick shower now, okay?"
SJ: "Okay mom, but you need to not jump when you're in there, you might get hurt. You have to walk in the shower, okay?!"
**(last time I told her I was going to "jump in the shower real quick". Apparently she was really worried about that!)**

And I wanted to share a few funny mis-sayings from our little SJ.
She says
*hide & sink (hide & seek)
*just boring (just born)

and darn it, I had about a half dozen of these in my head this morning that I wanted to write down, but now I can't think of them. I'll add them later when I remember.

p.s. *Happy Birthday Mom!!*
**And to Little Jack! can't believe you're 2 already!**

It's a Sad, Sad Day

Let me apologize up front to any of you readers who are not parents of toddlers or preschoolers. If you read this post you will more than likely wonder why I would waste my time on a topic so pointless. Please excuse me while I vent on a subject under extreme debate in the world of preschoolers and their parents. This is a big deal.

This morning Savannah spoke the six words I never thought I'd hear from any child of mine.
"I like Joe better than Steve."

How on earth is this possible, I ask myself.
She is, of course, referring to the one and only real person character on the show "Blue's Clues". For those of you who aren't familiar with Blue's Clues, it is -in my opinion (professionally as a preschool teacher, and personally as a parent) one of the best kid's shows ever created. I should say used to be the best. Again for those of you who don't know, after about five years on the show, the "host" Steve went off to "college" and his little brother Joe took over the show to continue finding Blue's clues and leading the kids on all kinds of learning adventures. Ever since then the show hasn't been the same. Steve was a believable, funny, "clueless" kid-at-heart guy who was entertaining and not overly annoying like so many kid's shows characters can be. Joe, on the other hand IS rather annoying; he tries too hard to be goofy and seems to hugely overact. The show kind of went downhill and they've since added many new extras like magic clues that talk, lots of crazy pretend/imagination situations, and talking Blue (the dog). It was so much better when they kept it smart and simple. I swear when Savannah was younger she had a crush on Steve. She loved that show, and Steve made the show. So now, usually if Savannah watches Blue's Clues on tv, she sees the new shows with Joe. Every once in awhile they'll show an older one with good ol' Steve. Like this morning. I was watching with her (okay, I admit I had a small crush on Steve at some point -before I was married of course!) and it was one we hadn't seen where Blue and Steve were going on a bug hunt and Steve was trying to figure out what Blue's favorite bug was. So when halfway through the show Savannah announces "I like Joe better than Steve", I was crushed. She had succombed to the flashy, new, magical, annoying Joe series of Blue's Clues. Never thought that would happen to a child of mine. I don't know where she gets it from.
We preach Steve around here.

Any thoughts from other moms?

Interesting note: Steve left "Blue's Clues" to pursue his own music career in New York. Here's what he's been up to since "Blue's Clues".
And he's not half-bad!
Steve's web page
Steve Burns Rocks

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Life's Certainties

Life has many certainties. Although some may say that nothing is certain except for death and taxes.
People are always trying to tell me some of these certainties with regard to my kids. They are usually in the form of little cliches like "kids grow up too fast", or tell me to "cherish the time when they are young".
I have some examples from my own life. Things like home improvement projects will always cost more and will take longer than expected. Also you will always be vacuuming the house in the last hour before guests come over. I am sure that you have similar certainties in your everyday life too.
But now I have a new one that I would like to share with everyone. Never eat a coney island hot dog on the last day of the fair.
I probably should have known better even before I wrapped my lips around it when I saw the small hands of the carnie, who smelled like cabbage, serve it to me.
I feel much better today after about 12 hours of sleep. I think that the bad part about this is that it probably would have looked about the same coming back up. I should have been able to see the foreshadowing there.
Let me know if you have any words of wisdom to share with me; what you have found to be a certainty in life. Hopefully nothing about coney island dogs, since I have already learned my lesson on that one.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fair Days

We spent our Saturday at the Jackson County Fair with the Barczak family. It was a perfect day to be there. It wasn't very crowded at all and the weather was just right, perfect in the shade and just warm in the sun; not too hot at all. We walked through all the barns and looked at all the 4-H animals. Savannah loved the bunnies and Sawyer liked petting the cows and horses.

Savannah got to ride a pony. She looked like a natural trotting around on that thing.

After we sat down and had a great lunch of overpriced but delicious fair food, both our kids went for a spin on the carousel. Here's a picture of Sawyer and Porter with full tummies after lunch ready for a nap.

We took our time and walked through all the booths and all the shows and came home with a couple of very tired out kiddos. Happy Saturday!

**Turns out by the time I'm getting around to posting this tonight Ryan is currently laying upstairs in our bathroom trying to nap by the toilet. Apparently the coney island hot dog he scarfed down earlier today while waiting in line for our onion rings did not sit well with him. He started complaining that his stomache was hurting him shortly after we got home this afternoon and now it's full blown "I wish I would just throw up already and get it overwith". Hopefully he'll get it out of his system and be good as new. Gotta go take care of the sicky.

He'd better be up to par tomorrow... he's got a blog to do!

Like Father, Like Son

Ryan's mom sent us a few pictures of Ryan when he was Sawyer's age. She's been saying that as she looks at all these pictures of Sawyer recently she can't get over their resemblence; that Sawyer is pretty much identical to what she remembers Ryan looking like at that age. I knew Sawyer looked alot like Ryan did as a newborn, but I kept thinking as he got older that I saw it less and less. Maybe I just thought he was too chubby. Ryan had been such a little twerp and Sawyer already weighs more than Ryan did when he turned a year old. So Debbie scanned some pictures and sent them to us and I have got to admit Sawyer is a practically a little (or should I say bigger) carbon copy of his daddy. It's the same big grin all the time.
Take a look...

Ryan at 8 months

Sawyer at 8 months

Sorry for the quality... scanning pictures that are almost three decades gotta expect to lose a little. Here's a few more of baby Ryan. You can scroll back through previous posts if you want to compare with more of Sawyer. (click on any of these to see the larger image)