Christmas' past & present

2009: Our first Christmas with baby Jo!

2010: Jo's second Christmas- we were about 7 weeks pregnant with Baylor when this was taken

2011: A big addition this year- Baylor! This is not the best picture, but it is hard to get two squirmy subjects to sit still!

An armful

By this account, Santa should be a lithe and wiry old man. These things are heavy.

Avocado for Jo & Baylor

Both of the kids tried avocado for the first time at 4.5 months old.





I think Jo liked them more.

Thoughts on Mr. Grinch

She was profoundly impacted by the grinch's...grinchiness.


We propped Baylor up on Christmas. It really can't be called "sitting" quite yet. In this video he gets a kiss from Jo which causes him to faceplant and knock over my coffee(no coffee spilled thanks to my contigo spill proof coffee mug)- poor kid. He's tough though- didn't even cry.


a post to make up for the last one

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is sappy gooey gushy public displays of pollyanna-ness (ie my previous post). Sometimes I am prone to these outbursts. In fact, I bet statistically speaking 1 out of 5 posts I write make someone like me gag. You know: "I'm so lucky. I just got a speeding ticket but I am just so darn thankful for the reminder to drive safe." or "I am being audited by the IRS which is just an awesome way to help me be more accurate on my taxes!" So rather than un-blog it I will let it be, and instead counter it with this post. I sincerely meant everything I wrote below- I am thankful and happy. That is a wonderful reality. THIS is also a reality, if a bit less happy-warm-fuzzy:

Dangers of Potty Training & a Solve-It-Yourself Potty Training Equation

I knew potty training would be messy business. Cleaning up accidents. Pee pee in the car seat. The trials of a toddler learning do-it-yourself wiping. I was NOT prepared for the following:
1. Once I kissed Johonna and got a fleck of poo on my LIP. This means it was on her FACE. No amount of listerine can erradicate this.
2. Here's a potty training story problem:
1 toddler goes #2 in a potty training toilet in her room. Toddler walks out to living room with pants around ankles saying, "HOORAY! I WENT POOP!" Mom jumps off couch to take toddler to the real bathroom for clean up efforts that deserve appreciation but get none. Mom returns to toddler's room to clean out the toddler potty. There is now 1 dog in the room and zero #2.

You do the math.


happy where i'm at

Well this is a rare moment. I'm awake, drinking coffee, waiting for luke to get up & then I'll go run. BOTH of my children are happily sleeping, and I'm reveling in a quiet house with christmas lights twinkling on the tree and the heat blasting. Oops- wait, Jo is talking to herself now. Well anyway- it is a nice morning.

Before I blogged I used to write letters to Luke- not so much for his sake, but for me to keep as kind of a journal. History recorded wihtout the embarassment of "Dear diary" marking each page :) Luke's not gotten many letters in recent years, but I wrote one a while ago and part of what I said sums up my feelings this Christmas season:

...I fall asleep to the sound of the tv in the other room and “rockabye baby” music coming through the baby monitor. I feel like a very happy momma hen- with her chicks bedded down and her protector in the next room. So safe and sound. I know someday we’ll be up until 2 am waiting for a crazy teenager to come home safe. We won’t have to fight the bed time battle or get anyone a sippy cup of water or wipe any bottoms- but I think we’ll look back at these days and think: “man- even though parenting little kids was exhausting, at least you had them quiet and safe in their beds each night.” So I’m making effort to be thankful for that now, and it isn’t hard.

I try to be thankful so that when times are bad/hard/worse I will NOT look back with regret and think, "I wish I'd appreciated that other time more." That sounds kind of pessimistic, but what I'm trying to say is that sometimes you don't know that you're living in your glory days until they've passed. People tell me all the time, "Oh someday you'll MISS when they were this age." Everything fascinates Jo. She is filled with wonder (and obstinance- but let's maintain our optimisim). She tells me about how Mary had baby Jesus in the 'table (that's "STABLE" for most). Baylor (to his unending delight) has found his newest obsession: his hands. We have happily settled into a routine that means few dinners out, rare opportunity for spontaneity or sleeping in, and a dinner hour in this little house that would make your head spin. But we are happy. So I'm reveling in my glory days this Christmas and thankful to be where we're at.


Christmas Festivities

When we went to get our tree a few weeks ago, the first thing Jo saw was the nativity scene. She wanted to touch baby Jesus so we let her. (Why is it that whenever I say or think or write "Baby Jesus" I am haunted by the sound of Will Ferrel's voice in Taladega Nights!?)

Here are the mobile members of our family. The stationary/drooling one stayed in the car (It was a VERY small lot and we were there all of five minutes)

And just tonight I took Jo & Baylor to see Santa. Predictably Jo was more frightened than excited- but I think she warmed up to him a little.
From 2011-12-15

And finally- a little video of Baylor-man for Daddy who is out of town and misses his kiddos!


Moose from Jordan Valley

Aunt Laurie sent Baylor a moose to be his special stuffed animal. It must have been meant to be - Baylor has a matching moose vest he likes to wear for dress up occassions. Moose has yet to be named...but I'm leaning towards moosey.

Baylor says: Thanks Aunt Laurie!!


This year we're thankful for so much. Here are a few pics from thanksgiving at my parents. I didn't take ANY pics @ Grandma Jo's!!! boo!


a little bit Portland, a little bit Milwaukie

I practically live in Portland. I barely live in Milwaukie. I am NOT in like the used car dealerships/McLoughlin Milwaukie- I'm in the we-have-community-meetings-at-the-newly-built-elementary-school Ardenwald neighborhood. We're like one community garage sale away from having those self important green neighborhood signs that say "Ardenwald Neighborhood" like you see in Sellwood (which is Milwaukie's slightly more affluent big sister). My house is .6 miles from the dividing line. I know this because I drive over it every day. In case you were curious, BOTH cities, in fact, enforce the speed limit by way of photo radar. Those are the sorts of messages you see around here when you cross boundaries. It's not quite as friendly as the "thanks for visiting Washington, come again! (yeah right- no thanks Vancouver!)" or "Welcome to Oregon." It's more like: "don't speed or you'll get caught. feel free to park 12 cars in your yard, use the grocery cart to get your groceries home, and bowl every night of the week, but do NOT speed."

Anyhow, I was born in Portland. I fancy myself a Portlander, not a Milwaukian. But maybe I'm just fooling myself.

1. Tonight I took the kids for a walk. (Outdoorsey Portlandy)
2. I took the dog too. (Very Portlandy)
3. The dog is a pitbull. (uber-Milwaukie.) Just teasing- he's an Australian Shepherd. (Phew- Portlandy)
4. I pushed my kids in a double Bob jogging stroller. (Atheltic Portlandy) Bonus Portland points: I bought it off craigslist.
5. I wore a hoody, jeans & running shoes (definitely Portlandy- hip and not trying to hard.)
6. The jeans were boot cut. Not skinny. (ouch. Milwaukie.)
7. When my dog "did his business" I picked it up. (Responsible Portlandy.) Bonus Portland points: I used a plastic produce bag which I expressly saved for this purpose instead of throwing into the landfill.
8. At the grocery store I bought gourmet pretzels & beer (foodie Portlandy)

****and here's where the tide turns*****

9. The beer was Coors Light. (macro-brew Milwaukie)
10. I bought the 18-bottle case because it is more cost effective. (minimum wage Milwaukie)
11. The enormous box of alcohol was too large to fit in the undercarriage of my Bob stroller. Since I was too embarrassed to unpack it and shove it in the multitude of Bob cargo pockets (and I don't know what the Safeway return policy is on beer) I had no other choice but to put it on top of the stroller's handlebar. Precariously balanced above the heads of my precious children. (heart of McLoughlin Milwaukie)
12. I was more than a little worried I'd get mugged for my beer while walking back home. (misdemeanor Milwaukie)

There you have it. Tomorrow in effort to restore my inner Portlander I'll be shopping at Whole Foods, bike commuting somewhere, and sipping fair trade coffee in the Pearl.


My project

While on a walk one night we came by this desk, sitting for free on the curb. I talked Luke into driving back for it, with intentions of painting & distressing it. I never finish projects I start- this is a rare exception!
From 2011-10-23


What I like the most about this desk (besides the hardware & that it was free) is that it was horribly beat up- scratches everywhere. In two places someone carved something into it. Not a swear word or profanity though- in both places they carved Jesus. I love that.