Monday, January 29, 2007

So Ready....

to head home!!!
I'm ready... to be done living out of suitcases, be done being a guest in a different house every day, be done with crazy run-around schedules, be done sharing a bedroom with my baby, have this dreaded plane trip overwith already, not have to miss Ryan anymore, not have to listen to Savannah saying (more and more sadly each day) that "I just miss my Daddy so much", get back to no traffic and no more than a 10 minute drive to anywhere in town, ... for all of us to get some real rest and get back to "normal".

But I will definitely miss... all of our great friends, ...all of our family, ...seeing the kid's faces light up when we see Grammas and Grampas and Aunts and Uncles that we don't get to see all the time (it's fun to see Sawyer actually recognize these people now and be happy to see them each time we return to a house; since he's so young he doesn't remember anyone from before), ...the gorgeous weather we've been having here, ...the gorgeous views and landscape of the Portland area, ...our "home church", ...the feeling of being home.

I've found myself feeling a little jealous of Ryan's time alone at home. What I wouldn't give to have a few days home by myself! No kids, no spouse, no one else to clean up after. Doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Time to myself to get things accomplished (and to just do nothing also!)
Yeah, I would love a few days to myself like that.
But only a few.
I would imagine 17 days is way too many!


We've of course had a busy last couple of days around here...
On Saturday we just hung out at my mom's, the kids took a nice walk in the sunshine to the park with Gramma and Grampa and the dog, and then we got packed up and headed back to Ryan's mom's house for the last few nights of our trip.

This morning we went to River West again, and then after church we headed straight over to Ryan's Grandpa Morrison's house to visit with him for a bit. Dave, Janet and Donnie (plus a couple of Donnie's friends) brought a great lunch of Buster's Barbecue over and we also met Grandpa's new friend Ellie. It was a nice visit and the kids had a lot of fun playing silly games with their Grampa. And Sawyer loved his Great Grandpa... he would just snuggle up on his lap and stare up at him. When we were saying our goodbye's, he gave him a great hug... and then another and another and another and he kept going back for more, laughing all the while. It was so sweet!

We then returned to Ryan's mom's to get Sawyer a much needed nap (that actually never happened, that little insomniac stinker) and to meet up with Jenn so Savannah could go swimming with her Aunt. They had a blast at the pool and even relaxed a bit in the hot tub. By the time they got home, Savannah was so wiped out she barely ate any dinner, got her jammies on and was asleep I think in record time!


So tomorrow's agenda is just hanging out with the gang here. Jenn and Greg are going to come over bright and early and we're hoping to all spend a good chunk of the morning out at a park or something fun outside. Then after lunch when Sawyer goes down for a nap and Greg has to get to work, I think Jenn and Debbie are going to take Savannah out to a movie. She'll love that! And I, of course, will be busy trying to get things cleaned up and organized and packed up for the trip back.
Oh, it will be so good to be home!!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

On Friday

we had our super-crazy busy day.
In the AM, we jumped into the car early to drive down to Wilsonville and meet the Nelsons at one of our all-time favorite kid spots, Toney Baloney's. We tried to get there early to beat the crowd, but there were already a MOPs group and another play group there meeting for the morning. That place is so popular... I can't believe they haven't opened more of them around the area by now.

Anyway, we met Rita and Ben and Julia there and it was so good to get the short chance to visit with them. I can't believe how big Julia has gotten and how tall Ben is! Savannah was so excited to go to the coffeehouse and to play with Ben there, that I think she even forgot we had to miss swim night with him last week.

Here are just a couple of shots of the kids sitting down for a quick snacktime.

And on a little bench out front of Toney Baloney's... with the
bright sun in their eyes, so they all covered them up.
After that place got too crazy full, we got out of there and took a walk around the block and then said our good byes.

We headed back to my mom's for a quick naptime, and then Savannah and I went to pick Sydney up from her preschool so the girls could play for the afternoon.
Again, it is amazing what a difference 8 months makes. Savannah and Sydney have always gotten along well, but now they're like big girls just playing together doing their own thing... I didn't even hear a peep out of them, they just went back to the play room and we didn't see them again until dinnertime. They played babies and colored and danced and they just had such a good time together. It's so fun to watch them grow up together!

Sydney was so proud to show off her new shirt! Savannah got it for her since she's going to be a big sister soon, and now they match! They both thought it was pretty cool they were "twins"!

More silly smiles!!!

And dancing away!

That evening, Heidi and Gabe and Trish and Darron came over for dinner and games. We played a few rounds of Fluxx, which just might be my new favorite.
The most entertaining part of the evening was when Gabe decided to teach Savannah how to "wheelbarrow". It was hilarious. Heidi and Gabe even got down and showed her how to do it. Gabe was the wheelbarrow. Savannah thought that was pretty funny!
Well, I don't know how long it took... she tried over and over and over again (most of the time she just colapsed because she was laughing so hard), but she finally got it! And she was quite proud of herself. Thanks Uncle Gabe!

On Wednesday and Thursday

We were hoping to reschedule some time with the Nelson family that we missed because of the snow and Sawyer's flu, but it didn't work out for Wednesday.

So we just had another laid-back day hanging out at the house.

In the afternoon the kids and I headed down to Tualatin and went to one of our favorite parks before going over to Annie's for dinner. I made her break her New Year's resolution of no fast food and take me to Burgerville for dinner. It was always our favorite and I was having withdrawls seeing the Burgervilles around town and not having had any for the past 8 months! I even splurged and had one of their awesome milkshakes. (Burgerville is a chain only in the northwest and all their food is made with fresh, seasonal and natural northwest ingredients.) Yummy!!!

We put the kids to bed, and Annie had some girls (just us, Julie, Sarah and Michelle) get together that evening to do some scrapbooking and we had fun just catching up.

The kids and I spent the night since Thursday morning was Mom's group and we would have been back over there anywhere. So we enjoyed a little Mom's group that morning and afterward Lindsie came over to visit just for a bit one more time before we left again, and we just hung out all day (eating way too many donuts) and enjoyed girl time together.

Cade and Savannah had a great (and rather long) day playing together. I just can't get over how well they get along now. They were even playing with the littler boys a bit (although Sawyer was still mostly shunned from the "big kids" play). But when the little ones would wander into Cade's bedroom, Savannah and Cade would jump up on Cade's loft bed and start being silly saying, "the bed monsters are coming! the bed monsters are coming!" The two of them referred to Callum and Sawyer as bed monsters for the whole two days. It was pretty cute.

Do these two look like bed monsters to you???

Then later Thursday evening after saying goodbye to Annie and the boys, we ran over to Ryan's dad's house for a visit. Savannah and Sawyer made themselves right at home with the couple of toys they have around and even though they were so tired, we stayed just long enough for a quick dinner and spent a nice time chatting with Grampa Dave and Janet and Uncle Donnie.

On Tuesday

We were going to spend the day with Sydney again, but she had a fever so we had to reschedule.

So we met Grampa at lunchtime at the pet store instead.
Grampa and Gramma decided they needed a couple more pets around their house, so Savannah got to help them pick out new birds and a new blue fish.

It was a fun little outing... Sawyer always loves a petstore!
We all spent a long time looking at all the animals and brought Tweety Bird, Sweetie Bird and Azul the fish, to their new home.

We got a lot more great pictures at the petstore (we were at PetSmart, so there were dogs walking around all over the place "shopping" with their owners, plus the doggie daycare center- Sawyer was in heaven with all those dogs that would stop to greet him!), but I have yet to retrieve them from my mom's camera.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A visit to Jaguar Mountain

Today was our one last lazy day I think. Every other day left of this last week of our trip we are BOOKED almost from morning till night. Or overnight in some cases.

We had couple of errands to run today, so we headed out and stopped by Washington Square and played on the indoor "playground" there. Savannah has loved that place since she could crawl and talks about it all the time even when we're in Michigan. She calls it Jaguar Mountain (taken from the show Go, Diego, Go!) in reference to the Mt Hood replica there. She was so proud of herself when we finally came to the day where she could bravely climb to the top by herself, so it's very fitting considering that in the Diego cartoon, Baby Jaguar tried and tried and eventually climbed to the top of Jaguar Mountain himself. Pretty good connection for a then two year old!

Anyway, the kids had so much fun running around and climbing on the soft toys. Sawyer had never been big enough to play there before we moved, and he had a ball! I so wish we had someplace close to us at home to hang out like that...

Here are a few shots of the kids in action. You can click on them to see a larger picture.

And here's one more from later on today that made me smile...
Sawyer woke up from nap today with a huge blow out diaper and was pretty much covered from his shoulder blades to his toes (that's not the part that made me smile). After I got him stripped and wiped down, he made a run for it...

and I found him doing a little vacuuming in the buff.
Isn't it funny how much joy little ones get out of the freedom from clothing and diapers?! It always makes me laugh how happy that little guy is when he's naked!


Is anyone else still having issues with Blogger lately?
I don't know if it's Blogger or if it's me.
Normally, at home I'm on Cable High-Speed Internet and I use Mozilla Firefox. Here at my mom's I'm using dial-up and with their internet provider I have to go back to using Explorer. Would that have anything to do with my posts not publishing the way I want them to? Normally I can move things around and space things out however I want, but lately it's like Blogger just throws it on there whatever which way and once it's on there I can't move it around.
So frustrating!


Savannah and Sydney... three and a half years old

We had a good afternoon visiting with the King family. Catching up with Ryan and Sunshine and all that they've been up to without us around. Not the least of which is a new baby brother for Sydney due to arrive this spring. So exciting!!! Savannah is probably almost excited as any of them now that her best friend will have a little brother just like her. She's pretty funny.

It was a little strange not having My Ryan there with us, as it's always been the four of us hanging out... the six of us with the girls. When Sawyer came along, he had been the odd man out- but now he'll have a little buddy soon too! Can't wait to meet little Pedro! HAHA!!!

Zoey was Sawyer's favorite friend of the evening. I can't wait to get a good dog for our kids to love!

*added afterthought* I was going through pictures and just thought I'd share...

here's the last time Sawyer had a visit
with Zoey-dog way back last April

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Saturday with the Aunts and Uncle

I need to get some pictures off my mom from when Trish was here too, but here are just a few shots from yesterday hanging out with Heidi and Gabe.

Guess who??
This was Savannah's favorite game of the day... "Ghost".

Gabe and Sawyer having a snack...

Heidi and Sawyer....

Savannah concentrating on her music...

You can click on these to see them larger.
Savannah turned on her Signing Time video for Gabe and Heidi. They were cracking me up because everytime I would look over there, they were all doing the signs. Savannah wasn't even prompting them, they were all just individually mimicking the signs they saw. Guess you probably had to be there, but it was hilarious!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Girls' Night Out

Went out tonight with the girls...
Annie, Steph, Lindsie and Julie.
Good times.
It was just so nice to be with good friends again. Old friends. The friends that have been my closest friends over the last five years (or in Julie's case, many more crazy years). The ones who really know me. The ones who I can talk to about anything, really talk to, about real stuff, you know? It was just so nice.
We went to Stanford's -where they have an awesome happy hour menu by the way. And we talked and talked. And then we went across the street to Starbucks and hung out in the comfy chairs and just talked and talked some more. More than four hours of just talking and catching up. It was just so nice. I miss them.

We hung out with my sister and brother-in-law, Heidi and Gabe for most of the day today here at my mom's. They came over and we all had a big lunch and then just hung around, the kids playing with and showing off for their Aunt and Uncle. Trish came over too, but I had already left at that point, so I missed her and Darron. But at least they got some kid time.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll finally see the Kings for a bit. Both Savannah and Sydney are so excited! I'm sure I'll have a ton of pictures tomorrow. I did take quite a few today, but I haven't gone through any yet so I'll try and get to them tomorrow and get a few up on here.
So till then... ta-ta!

Friday, January 19, 2007


By the way, I think Blogger is having some issues, because that last post is all scrambled up. It won't let me move anything around. So, I'm sorry if it's hard to follow the pictures and the captions, I'll see if it'll let me work on it later.


We spent the day at the Schilperoorts yesterday and that was so nice. Just like old times. Except their house looks totally different... they've spent the last couple of months remodeling -and it looks awesome guys!
Savannah and Cade had a blast playing together. It was so fun to watch them together. When we left last spring Savannah had just turned three and Cade had just turned two (they are one year and four days apart) -and he had just been introduced to a new baby brother- and so he and Savannah weren't always having so much fun playing together. Savannah was at the stage of really playing together and I think Cade was still more playing along side each other. And the year gap in their language was a big difference at that point. So it was cool to see them playing together now and getting along so well and being so imaginative and cooperative. They had a great day.
Annie hosts a mom's group at her house each week and it was fun to be able to be there for that. I got to meet some of her newer friends from the church; it was fun to get to know Kristen and Bethany and their little ones. Noelani was there with adorable Melia, Mauria was there with her new baby boy Rowen, and of course Steph with Jack and Julia. So good to see all the girls again!
After all the other moms made their way home, Annie and I just had a really nice afternoon hanging out and catching up. Then later on her sister Katie came over and Julie showed up and Katie had a regular little hair salon set up in Annie's kitchen for Julie and I. Katie is awesome! I'm sorry I didn't take more advantage of that connection to a great hairdresser before we moved. I'm going to have to time my visits home with when I need a haircut just so I can have her do it.
Isn't it a great feeling- getting a good haircut?!

Catch-Up Photos

Not that we've been up to anything too awfully exciting the first week of our trip (or probably much of the whole trip...) I thought I would get a few pictures on here for y'all. Sadly, I've been super lazy about posting anything these last few days, and even lazier with my camera. I'm really going to try and be better about that. I NEED to be better for Ryan, since he's not here.
Holly, Debbie and Annie, please be sure and get me copies of all of yours from this first week! I'm counting on you.

My kids on the plane (seeming so well behaved... HA! Don't let them fool you. This was simply the only moment I had to take the camera out.)

Aunt Holly and Savannah

Grandpa Andy,
Aunt Jenn,
Gramma Debbie,
Sawyer, Savannah and Taegen

Cousins in the tub...

And the cousins in their matching jammies (and none of them were bought together or on purpose, isn't that funny?)

And here's the sick Sawman.
He just spent most of the day hanging out here on the couch or on a lap, just laying low. It was sure nice to have so many cuddles from him though.

Here's the snow that was outside for the first half of this week. I know, it might not look like much, especially to you in the midwest who are used to real snow. But here, this much is so rare that it paralyzes the city. They don't treat the roads here with any de-icer or use any salt. And in the whole metro area there are probably only four snowplows. So the roads are covered and icy and just a mess. Accidents everywhere and snow chains required, and it's much safer just to stay off the roads. And wait for it to go away. Which it has, by today.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

We're still here

First off, who all watches 24?
I thought all the hype about this being the best season premiere of 24 ever was just that... hype. But Oh. My. Gosh. That was good.
I was almost ready to take a break from that show... I was getting close to being tired of Jack Bauer the hero and the whole "how many bad days can one guy have" thing.
But the first four hours of Day Six have me hooked.
That show is cool.

So I don't really have much else to say. It's been a slow week so far.
I guess I could write about...
...the craziness that was this house with the three cousins in it.
...Sawyer waking up sick at one in the morning and throwing up every hour after that for the next seven hours.
...the surprise dump of snow we got that left us stranded up here on the hill in Damascus at Ryan's mom's house. Not that I'm complaining about being stuck here with my in-laws... if there was one place we should be stuck, I guess this would be it considering the kids haven't seen their grandparents since we moved. And there's nothing wrong with being here... it's nice to just hang out. It's just the other plans we've had to cancel and friends and family we're not able to see being stuck here on the other side of town that's kind of a bummer. I just hope there's no more snow coming down or freezing tonight and that I'll be able to get down to Annie's tomorrow.
And there's just something about being housebound that makes you so restless... so irritated that you can't go anywhere.

So there's really not much going on around here. Just hanging out with the family. Savannah got out in the snow a bit today, but it was kind of limited due to the fact that we didn't bring any snow gear with us.
Sawyer seems better. He at least was eating today. And kept everything down. He was still pretty lethargic though. Can't say that I hate that kind of sick. I mean, I feel for the poor guy, but it's kind of nice when all he wants to do is snuggle with me on the couch actually curled up in my arms. He pretty much spent the day either in my arms, reading books cuddled up with his froggy, or sleeping. No sign of the usual micheivious Sawman roaming the house looking for trouble. And such great naps! But I did miss his random squealing and laughing. I hope he's back to his old self soon.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

We made it!

And I believe everyone on the plane deboarded with their sanity and eardrums both intact.
Well, my sanity may be questionable, but we won't talk about that.
The kids did pretty well. Actually, Savannah did awesome. Sawyer is another story. But, I guess considering he is a very active 14 month old boy, I guess he wasn't too awfully bad. I am wiped out though. Wiped. Out.

Here are a few exerpts from the trip:
Our first plane arrived at O'Hare 20 minutes late... and we only had 50 miutes between our connecting flight to begin with. So we pretty much ran from one terminal to the other, spent what seemed like an eternity waiting for elevators (up from the gate, down to the pedestrian tunnel to get to the other terminal, up from the tunnel) and we were the second to the last on the plane.
So we got through that plane ride and go to get our bags, and it turns out that our bags didn't make it to Portland. Make that our bags AND our two carseats. And they were out of loner carseats at the airport.
We had arrived in Portland at 12:15. They located my luggage and said it was on it's way and would be there at 2:30. Did I want to wait or have it delivered to us? Well, did I have a choice without any carseats? So we waited, had some lunch, let the kids run around (they were already exhausted... by that point Sawyer had been up for almost 12 hours with only a 40 minute nap on the plane) and waited some more. Finally at about 3:30 we were on our way out of there. Only three hours after we should have been. Sawyer was so tired he could hardly walk.

So we're at my mom's tonight. We were going to be starting out at Ryan's mom's but they've all been sick all week so we had a slight change of plans. We're headed over there tomorrow though because they were all so much better today. Holly had to change her ticket back to Guam to later this week since Taegen was still throwing up yesterday. I'm so glad we get to see them still. And for more than just one afternoon like was the original plan. It'll be so fun to see Taegen and Sawyer together now that they can actually run around and play together. So we'll see them tomorrow and then they leave on Tuesday.

All right... I need to stop babbling cuz I really need to go to bed. There's a good chance my kids could be wanting to get up at 4 in the morning (that would be their usual 7:00 wake up time at home). I hope we all sleep good tonight...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Top 5 Must Haves for Traveling

I've compiled a list of the top five DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT items for our trip. Many of them specifically for our flights, since that's the part I'm most nervous about, but also for the whole trip in general.
Here you go, the Top 5 Must Haves for traveling:

If you are Savannah...
  1. Lammie -can't go anywhere without her
  2. Blanket -can't sleep anywhere without it
  3. Chocolate Girl -Chocolate Girl is a little doll from a McDonald's Happy Meal like, oh say a year ago, that suddenly Savannah has formed a inseperable bond with. The last few weeks she plays with her all the time, sleeps with her (this doll is hard plastic and about 4 inches tall), and talks either to her or about her all throughout the day. I was wondering for a while if Lammie was going to be replaced. (Chocolate Girl is darker skinned, if you were wondering about her name...)
  4. Notebook and Pencil -the only way to keep the kid still is to hand her a pencil or crayons.
  5. Snacks -pretty self-explanatory

If you are Sawyer...
  1. Froggy -is within reach at almost all times
  2. Binky -and lots of spares. I'm usually very much NOT the parent who just uses these to plug the kid up, but I fear for the sanity (and eardrums) of other passengers on the plane.
  3. Spoon -this kid has a strange obsession with spoons and he carries one around probably 50% of the time he's awake. Sometimes it's along with a bowl or cup from Savannah's play dishes, and then he'll pretend to feed the dolls or the stuffed animals or me, but more often than not he's just walking around with a spoon. Or reading books with a spoon. Or playing cars. Or building blocks. Or whatever it is he happens to be doing... with one hand clasped tightly around a spoon.
  4. Snacks
  5. More Snacks (maybe the spoon obsession stems from a food obsession?!)

If you are the Mommy...
  1. Ibuprofen -I'm taking a handful at take-off just to stay two steps ahead of the headache I know is coming
  2. My phone -I always feel really vulnerable without my phone. What if there's an emergency? What if I miss my connecting flight? What if we get stranded somewhere? I know there are other phones around, but the problem is I don't know any phone numbers anymore... they're all in my phone!
  3. A watch -I can't stand not knowing what time it is the whole flight. Or am I better off not knowing?
  4. Snacks -that I either won't have time to eat at all, or I'll end up sharing (if that's what you call it when the other person eats all but that one first bite that made it into your mouth) with the kids.
  5. Tranquilizers for the Kids A Good Stiff Drink As Much Patience as I can Pack

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A little geography lesson

Savannah got this great floor puzzle for Christmas. She was super excited and I especially liked it because she is very interested in where things are since we moved. She likes to point out where Oregon is (which is where we just moved from and where we're headed this weekend) and where Nevada is (which is where her Aunt Becky lives) and where Michigan is. She is very concerned with where everything is in Michigan especially, since we go to other cities quite often. She is just starting to understand the concept of cities and states; that there is more than just Jackson in Michigan. That whether Daddy goes to work in Kalamazoo one day, or Ann Arbor the next, he's still in Michigan.

Anyway, it's been fun to point things out to her. And she shows Sawyer everyday... "here's where we'live in Michigan in Jackson and here's where we're going on Saturday, look here's where the airplane will go..."

Now here's the funny part.
There is a slight problem with this great floor puzzle of a map.
Take a close look at the state of Oregon...
Notice the location of the two major cities.

And now in case you aren't familiar with the lay of the land...
here's a real map.
Portland, which is the largest city in Oregon, is in reality about an hour north of Oregon's capital city, Salem. Portland is basically on the border, just minutes away from Washington... not in the middle of the state.

After noticing Oregon, we looked a little closer at all the other states, and sure enough, we found quite a few cities that were just way off. You'd think if you were going to make a map of the country for children to "learn", you would at least consult a real map!?!

p.s. Happy Birthday Little D... Welcome to the world of one-year-olds!!!
So long baby... here comes toddlerhood!

I guess we should start packing...

No, I haven't gotten very far in actual packing preparations for out trip.

Here's the total of my packing organization thus far...
Porter's bed (um... when did we start calling our pack-n-play Porter's bed?) has turned into my catch all. When I across some clothing or a toy or something I know I want to go with us, I throw it in here. Nice, huh?

Ryan took the day off tomorrow, so he'll be around to keep the kids out of my hair and I can (have to) get to some serious packing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


look here
for a couple of cute pics

Speaking of dishes....

Okay, not that I was, (speaking of the dishes I mean) but Heidi was.

Have I mentioned before what an awesome husband I have?
I try (usually) to keep ahead of the kitchen mess all day, but when I make dinner at the end of the day, I rarely want to clean up after myself. The last thing I want to do in the evening after a full day with the kids and a chaotic dinner preparation in the midst of Sawyer at the end of his rope, Savannah taunting him and Ryan getting home, is to clean pots and pans and dishes. After dinner I just want to get the kids bathed and in bed and then sit on the couch with the computer or a play a game or turn on the tv and not move again. Just to sit and not have to deal with the kids or the house.
And then I have a messy kitchen I have to deal with in the morning.
But I'm usually in the mindset of I'd rather deal with it in the morning when I'm already up and doing things with fresh energy, as opposed to the evenings when I usually just want to be done with my day and just sit and relax with my husband.

So for the past couple of weeks, after the kids are in bed, Ryan has more often than not, been stepping into the kitchen without a word and working miracles. (this may be because of all the headaches I've been having lately, instead of just being a nice guy out of the blue... but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.) By the time I have checked my emails, checked a few blogs, and am wondering where my husband dissappeared to and why he hasn't joined me on the couch yet, he has the kitchen spotless. Whatever mess I made for dinner (and boy, do I know how to make a mess!!), he has cleaned it up and put it away.
And it is so nice to wake up to a clean kitchen.

This morning I had a sparkling clean kitchen.
And it was nice.
'Cuz I have an awesome husband.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lots to do!

I feel kind of like I'm running in circles today. I'm thinking I'll have to keep a notebook by my side at all times the next few days. So many things to plan, so many things to pack, so many things to get done before we go.

Here's a rundown of what we did manage to get accomplished this past weekend...

*Grocery shopping
We went to Kroger with a short list and a tub of change to turn in to Coinstar. We left with a hundred-some-odd dollar credit at Amazon from the Coinstar and way more food than was on our list. It was lunchtime and we were hungry, what can I say?

*Leslie's baby shower
Can I just say that was the most insane shower I've ever been to. 65 guests. I think that says it all. When did monster baby showers become all the rage? I think the biggest shower I've been to has been like thirty people, and that was a "couples" shower. I mentioned to both Katie and Nic how overwhelming it was to me, and they both basically said, yeah I had a smaller shower... there were only about 45 people there. (that's small?!?)
Myself, I had three small (and by small I mean anywhere from 5 to 20 people) baby showers with different "groups" of friends and family, so I guess if you're going to do it all in one, you'll obviously end up with more people... but WOW! I suppose it's different in a smaller town where everyone grew up here and everybody knows everybody. Even Katie, who came in saying she didn't know anyone but "our group" (Nicole, Maria, Leslie and I), ended up knowing at least two other girls there and recognizing a few more.
I felt like I was at a big luncheon, not a baby shower for a friend. There was just tons of great food there! And so we ate and ate and then we watched Leslie open gifts for almost 2 hours. I'm not kidding. And guess who's present was opened second to last?!
I hope this doesn't come across as complaining about it; it was a beautiful baby shower, and the food and the company (and the decorations, Nicole!) were awesome. It was just so much! Leslie is lucky to have so many friends and family who care about her and are there to celebrate with her and Jade! What a great way to spend an afternoon.

*We stripped the tree of decoration and finally took it down

I think this was our record for having the tree up so far into January. I just could not get motivated to do the "undecorating" this year.

*We packed up all the Christmas stuff
Goodbye til next year... I hate to see it go.

*Went to church at Spring Arbor Free Methodist again

Thinkin' we may hang out a while there. When we get back from our trip we're going to try and plug into a community group.

Like I said, it's ALWAYS on my list.

*Played in the snow
And it actually stuck around for a couple of days!

Yesterday Porter stayed home sick and I was thinking, "Cool, I'll be able to get so much done around here today..." but I ended up with a migraine for most of the day and barely got the kids fed and clothed and kept from killing each other all day. I didn't think I would make it till Ryan got home from basketball last night, but I put the kids to bed early and took a long hot shower and felt a little better by the time he showed up.

So today I have a million lists in my head of stuff to get ready for the trip, plus trying to plan out the actual trip. Between family time and really wanting to see our friends as much as I can, it's going to be a busy few weeks. Annie's trying to arrange an extra special girl's night out, and I am so excited for that!!
I know that whole trip will go by so fast and then we'll be right back here and I'll be busy trying to unpack and get back into our normal routine. So as overwhelming as it seems and all the crazy running around and visiting I foresee in the next three weeks, I really want to take the time to enjoy my time with everyone and enjoy being back in the beautiful Pacific NW! (At least I hope it's beautiful while we're there. No ice storms please!)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Unexpected Snow

We had a little bit of snow today. Finally!
We were of course looking forward to some snow on the ground this winter and everybody in Michigan said that we were going to change our minds about that since it probably wasn't going to get above freezing between Thanksgiving and March. But that hasn't happened.
The snow today wasn't really much, but Savannah and I rushed out there to play in it a little bit since we didn't know how long it was going to "stick" around for. Heather said that it was like we were back in Portland and you knew that snow wouldn't stay around for more than an hour. So we went out to play and we ran around for awhile and then I pulled her on the sled and she even caught some snow on her tounge. Although she really didn't like that since she got snow on her face and in her eyes.
Right before we came in Savannah wanted me to teach her how to do a snow angel. I thought that she was being very brave since she didn't even like the snow on her face. So I told her how to do it, then I showed her how to do it. Then before I had her lay down to try I reminded her that she was wearing all her snow gear so that she wouldn't get wet at all and that it was going to be a lot of fun.
Here is the picture, you tell me if she is having lots of fun....

The SawMan is keeping busy too

I was reading Nicole's last post with the recap of Porter's stunts on the stairs and was reminded of how we lucked out the other day...

For some reason I'm super paranoid about my kids falling down stairs. I guess paranoid isn't the right word, since I can also be sort of lazy about it, but it is one of the few chosen safety issues I am usually most viligent about. (I foresee a post about the miriad of products available to true paranoid parents such as bathtub bumpers and crawling baby knee pads and the millions of other products used to lock, guard and pad every possible surface and item in your home. Just know that, for the record, I am all about taking care of our kids and looking out for their safety. I just also value teaching my kids, when possible, how to keep themselves safe and about learning limits and consequences and obedience and not just being cut off from everything that could hurt them or that they could make a mess with. And that a few bumps and bruises aren't going to kill them. Okay, enough with that tangent... back to the story.)

So I'm scared of the stairs. Like when I leave the kids with a babysitter, one of my first fears is that the gate on the stairs will get left open and Sawyer will plummet down head first and break his neck. I don't think about choking, or bleeding, or fire... I'm afraid of the stairs. I know, I'm wierd.

We have gates at both the top and the bottom of our stairs. When we're downstairs, I have always put the bottom gate on the second or third step so that Sawyer could start to learn how to figure out getting up and down a couple steps without too much trouble. Once he was getting good at climbing, like way back months ago, I made a point of usually letting him climb up the stairs (with me right behind him) whenever we went up, instead of carrying him, so he could get used to them. And then a couple of months ago, I started letting him figure out how to climb down the stairs backwards on his hands and knees, and had him practicing that (with me right there) whenever we headed down the stairs. We still always have the gate closed unless we're actually moving from upstairs to downstairs, but I just want him to at least "practice" the right way for him to get down the stairs for if he ever comes across any open stairs when we're not around (or are around for that matter). It's like early swimming lessons; not that it will necessarily save their life, but having the basics down will probably help and maybe they won't panic, you know?

It was pretty cute when we were at the cottage last weekend, because there were two steps in part of the house, I think from the original part of the cottage to what had been an addition. One was a normal height step and then about two and a half feet later, there was a second step, but it was only about two inches high. Without us even saying anything, when Sawyer would come across those steps and he would sit down waaaay back from the step, scoot forward to the step, and then turn around and "crawl" down it. And then scoot on his bum a few more inches to the sccond step (the two incher) and crawl down it. Even though I'm sure he could have handled that one on his feet. It took him five minutes to get up and down those little steps every time, but it was pretty cute. And safe!

Sawyer has always been very good about our stairs. The couple of times he has come across the gate at the top of the stairs accidentally left open, he just took a seat on the floor and sat there looking down the stairs, and the moment one of us came by, he would simply point at the open stairway as if to say, "um... you forgot something." (much in the same way if we happen to leave the snack cupboard open and we're not around, he'll rummage through, find whatever it is he shouldn't have -it's pretty much always the cheddar cheese rice cakes- and then immediately come find me, running to me with the bag like, "hurry take these! You left the cupboard opena and I'm not supposed to have them!") He's a good kid.

Anyway, the cottage steps must have gotten him pretty confident with his stair manuevering abilities. The other day I had put him down for a morning nap because he was so crabby. After an hour in there without sleeping, I got him back up and brought him out to the living room and we were playing, waiting for lunchtime to roll around, and I ended up making a phone call. I was sitting on the couch, chatting away, while he wandered out of the room and I didn't give it a second thought. Until a few minutes later, when I thought to myself that he was being awfully quiet. Normally I can hear him if he's getting into the snack cupboard, or if he's playing in the playroom with Savannah I would most definitely hear them! All of a sudden I froze and realized that while he had been in his crib, I had been up and down the stairs doing laundry and I probably hadn't closed the gate since I'd assumed I'd be back down there before he woke up. But he never went to sleep. And I never closed the gate.
I swear I held my breath the whole time I walked from the couch to the back of the house at the top of the stairs. Sure enough, the gate was wide open at the top of the dark stairway. I peeked around the doorway, and there was Sawyer at the second to the bottom step with a look on his face like, "almost home free!". And then the second he saw me, he got all excited and proud of himself and started frantically climbing up again. "Oh, no you don't!" I said, and got down there quick to pull him off the stairs. Good job keeping yourself safe, Big Boy, but let's not try that again please!!!

Another new thing for the SawMan has been jumping. He jumps all the time. Only he can't really jump yet, so it's pretty funny. He bends his knees and gets all psyched with his fists clenched and everything, and then says "juh" and stands up straight real fast.

Here he is in action...

He just can't quite get his little body off the ground.

This is the up part of the jump... notice his feet still firmly planted on the floor. He even gets his toes up- just not the foot HAHA!

Just look at how serious he is about this! You have to click on these to see them bigger and see the intent look on his face. Jumping is serious business!
He does manage to somewhat get off the ground if he's holding your hands.

Another new favorite thing is "jumping" off the bottom step downstairs. Like I said before, I put the gate a couple of steps up, so he likes to hang out and sit on the bottom step. Well, the other day Savannah decided to teach him how to jump off the step. He cracks up when she jumps off, and then he stands up there and does his "juh-!" and goes nowhere. Once in a while he does edge his little toes right up to just over the edge of the step and if he "jumps" with enough vigor, he falls off the front of the step and then he rolls around laughing, so proud of himself for jumping off! I need to remember to get the video camera out for that before he really figures out how to do it, because it is priceless.