Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Mayhem

Today I got the hair-brained idea to take the girls on the bus down to the KEXP station because they were hosting a Trick-or-Treating day. It was a lot of fun, actually. I've never seen the inside of it, though Matt has (and he's been on the air!) so I was pretty thrilled to get a tour. They had it all decorated and all of the offices had bowls of candy they were handing out. A photographer took some photos of the girls, as well, so I'll post a link to those when they are up on the KEXP Flickr account. I also introduced myself to John Richards, mostly because he and Matt have known each other for years though have yet to meet in person. John Richards is a local celebrity mostly because he is the most recognizable person at the station.

We got back on the bus and headed over to Fremont for some Trick-or-Treating at the businesses there. We marched up and down the streets and Iris got a decent bucket-full of candy. It's too bad more of the businesses don't give out things like little packets of goldfish crackers or non-edibles like crayons or Play-Doh. Oh, well.

We headed back home on the bus and Iris dove in to her candy head-first. I suppose my stance on candy is once it's gone, it's gone. She's going to get the same amout of sugar either way, so she can eat it as fast as she wants. And she is. Practically without breathing between bites.
Here's some shots of our afternoon. Sadly, I got none from the inside of KEXP because the camera was acting weird.



Sunday, October 28, 2007

Clothing is weird

Recently I've been buying some new clothing with the birthday money I got. I'm really hard to shop for and at 6' tall and 166 pounds, well, I'm not a small girl. For a long time I would go in to a store and automatically look for the largest size on the rack. Often I came home with everything in X-Large because I assumed that was the size I was. Shirts would be big on me, but still barely long enough, so in my head that meant they fit.

These days many stores are carrying clothes in tall sizes online (if you're a tall mama reading this check out the tall lines at Gap.com and BananaRepublic.com) so I've been really excited about doing some shopping with all of the selection available to me. I placed my order with Gap and got everything in Large Tall. To my surprise, half of the things I tried on were too big! I found that insanely weird. Since when is a large too big for me?

A couple of weeks ago I went to Lucy for a pair of yoga capris. I probably tried on a dozen pairs (why does one store need so many pairs of yoga capris?!?!) before settling on my very favorite. Interestingly, the pair I ended up buying were a medium. The only reason I even tried them on in the first place was that I loved the way they looked and just wanted to see if maybe, possibly, they might work. Again, a medium. I am wearing them in this picture.

Now, the point of all of this is that I'm a good sized mama. There's nothing medium about my body. Are clothes getting bigger? What size are regular sized women wearing these days, X-Small?

Is this phenomenon happening to anyone else? Are you needing to buy clothes in smaller sizes than you normally do in order to have them fit the same?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just the updates

  • Matt's been out of town, he will return this evening
  • I'm sick with a cold
  • New pictures are finally up on Flickr
  • I'm a woman obsessed with wedding planning
  • My girls enjoy running around naked, apparently
  • Being dairy-free blows

Monday, October 22, 2007

If there were a sport . . .

for throwing tantrums, both of my children would excel. Sigh. I finally have had to admit that Eloise is a world-class tantrum thrower and not just a girl who "knows what she wants".

Case in point: Today I took her to Whole Foods to pick out a couple of things for Matt's birthday dinner. I put her in the stroller to get her through the store, but apparently I was struck by temporary insanity and I gave in to her pleas to be taken out. Then she squirmed and squirmed and I put her on the floor so she could walk around. Oh, silly, silly mama. When I finally figured out that her goal was to completely destroy the store and make it impossible for me to grocery shop, I tried to pick her up and put her back in the stroller. Oooooooh no. She began flailing and shrieking her glass-shattering shriek for what felt like eight million minutes while I wrangled her back in to the stroller and high-tailed it towards the register lest the other shoppers start pelting me with $10 a pound organic/free-range tomatoes. Luckily she calmed down when I pulled out the veggie booty [side note: yes! kiddie crack is BACK, baby!] because I inadvertently got in to the line of the world's slowest cashier. Ah, well.

She threw an equally impressive tantrum this evening as I was trying to get her ready for bed, but you know, I can blame that one on being sleepy, right?

Yesterday when we got home from climbing the babysitter commented that Eloise threw a pretty good tantrum. I guess I can't deny it when someone else who knows her fairly well notices such a thing, eh?

As much as I completely adore Iris, I'm cringing at the thought of Eloise growing up with the same temper as her big sister. It's not too suprising, considering who their parents are, but it's frustrating none-the-less.

I don't know how to deal with it, either. I mostly just try to carry on as normal without giving in to her 14-month old demands, but what the hell do I know?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

So much fun

We had such a fun day! Matt's sister, whom I call my sister-in-law (SIL), came by to take Matt and I out for a fun adventure for his and my collective birthdays. Her idea was to take us indoor climbing at Stone Gardens. Both Matt and I were pretty leery of this idea, having never done anything like it before. We asked if we could try kayaking, instead, but it was a crappy day and we just though we would give the climbing a try.

I'm so glad we did.

SIL was awesome about patiently explaining it to us and showing us how to tie the ropes and navigate the courses. I went first, since I was very nervous and I just wanted to get it out of the way. It was pretty scary and I got a bit less than half way up the wall. Matt went and got the same distance. We both found the most difficult thing was the height and not the strength required (though that was a little difficult, too). We moved to another wall that was slightly sloped so as to make it a little bit easier for us. We both went again and got about 2/3 of the way up. Then we moved to a little bit different spot and I (drumroll, please!) got the whole way up! I was so determined and fought through my fear of how high up I was. I ended up climbing a couple more routes, but that was the only time I reached the top. I really enjoyed it despite it scaring me a good deal. I was really proud of my ability to accomplish a goal I didn't think I could.

Without further ado, here's the lovely shots of our butts climbing up the wall:


My nervous smile while getting some pointers.

My first attempt.

Matt's first attempt.

My SIL showing us how it's done.


My climb where I reached the top! My hands were really sweaty and I'm reaching in to the chalk bag to chalk up my hands.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fourteen month update!

I can't believe I forgot to post yesterday about Eloise's fourteenth month!

She's been a lot of fun this past month. She loves to dance and has started a spin, so if you say, "Eloise, spin!" she will spin around. So cute. She also is a very brave little girl on the playground. She figures out how to climb up the play structure to get over to the slide and then sits at the top of it, turns around and slides down on her belly, feet first. All with zero help from a grown up. In the past couple of weeks she has been using a spoon and fork, albeit messily, but is amazingly good at it. She eats cereal in the morning, noodles, chili, all kinds of things! It's very cute.

Eloise is also perfecting the movements of tantrum throwing. Tonight she laid down on the floor, banged her head against it, rolled over and started kicking her legs. Of course, she had a smile on her face the whole time, but it was so funny watching her go through the motions.

She's always so excited to follow Iris around and get in the middle of whatever her sister is working on, which irritates her sister to no end. Three year olds typically have very specific ideas about what they are doing and one year olds typically don't give a shit. Ah, the struggles!

I have posted in the past about a chronic cough Eloise has had and we're trying to get it under control. So far we've just started cutting out dairy. Eloise has been off dairy for just over a week but we've had a few slip-ups. I have been off dairy totally for three days now, having wanted to get through my birthday weekend without the hassle of it. So far the cough is a little better, but I have no idea if it's the dairy or what. There will likely be other things we'll have to try.

Eloise still doesn't have many words. Her newest word (or phrase) is "nah nah" which is "night night" and she likes to say it while resting her head on her blanket. The kitty is still a big favorite and she can say "kee kee" and points to pretty much any animal and say it's a kitty.

It's so much fun watching her grow and learn so much every day. I forgot how much this stage is full of constant change.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My new favorite book

For my birthday my friend Abby gave me a copy of Deceptively Delicious.



I can't rave about it enough. Okay, to be perfectly honest, I haven't had a chance to try any of the recipes, but every one of them looks awesome. The idea is that you make purees of certain fruits and vegetables, which should be pretty easy for those of us used to doing it for baby food, and then mix them in to foods in order to boost their nutritional value.

I used to employ this technique ocassionally on a very small scale, hiding foods in sauces and stuff, but I was blown away at how much you can really do.

Of course, we should all hold out hope that our little ones will eventually eat real, live vegetables in their whole form, but until then, we get sneaky! I still wistfully remember when Iris would ask for a bowl of steamed broccoli for a snack, now she won't touch the stuff. What gives?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back to the grind

I got so spoiled having Matt home all week last week while he was sick that it's been a little harder getting back in to the swing of things this week.

This morning after I dropped Iris off at school Eloise and I met a friend and her son at U-Village for some "returning" (we returned more merchandise than we purchased!) and lunch. This is the same friend I saw up in Bellingham two and a half weeks ago and it was very nice to see her again.

There's not a whole lot on my mind right now other than wedding planning stuff! Of course, the wedding won't be until the end of next summer, but it's beyond fun thinking about and researching everything to get done. Trying to figure out how much money it's going to cost, and where the money will come from, is a bit stressful, but at least we have a some time to figure it out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Come visit my new blog!

I decided I needed to start a new blog to document the process of planning our wedding so I don't bore everyone here with the details if they don't want to read them.

Please visit Notes on our Nuptials and comment profusely all of you wedding gurus, you!

p.s. Yes, I realize it's ugly right now. Give me time!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

More excitement than you can shake a stick at

So yesterday was my 30th birthday. It started kind of boring and like a regular ol' day. I babysat. We went for ice cream. My parents had sent me a bouquet of flowers, which was very special, and my brother sent a box of beeswax candles and other sundries, which was wonderful and unexpected.

A little background: A couple of weeks ago Matt told me we were doing something special for my birthday on Saturday and my dear friend Melissa told me that she was taking me out to dinner on Friday, my actual birthday.

Okay, so last night Melissa comes to pick me up and we head over to a little bar for cocktails. We chat and she gives me a gorgeous necklace that matched the earrings I got for myself last weekend. She said that she wanted to go check out a new place for dinner, a Moroccan restaurant that she had heard about and was considering getting her husband cooking classes from for Christmas. Sure, I thought. Sounds okay to me. We drive over there and park and as we walk up to the door I was like "wait, those balloons look familiar. Oh, there's Matt. Oh, there's, oh my god! Everyone I know!" and everyone shouts "surprise!" and the kids are blowing on party horns and I am in total shock and eight million shades of red. There was a big spread of super yummy food and lots of wine. Some of my very closest friends I hadn't seen in a long time were there, it was so great. I wished I had had more time to sit and talk to everyone, but it was sort of a whirlwind.

At one point Matt comes over and says he has a birthday present for me and that it's in the car. So we walk outside and he stops on the sidewalk and pulls out a box. I was like, oooooh, what is it? And I open it up, there is a ring in a blue bag. He gets down on his knee and says some really sweet things that I don't remember because I was like "wha?!?! holy shit! oh my god!" and all of that good stuff. Of course I said I would marry him :) We walked back in to the party and most of the guests didn't know he was going to propose (a couple of them did, like Melissa, that booger!) so I got to hug my friends some more and show them my ring and do that girlie high-pitched scream thing that girls do. Everyone was very, very happy and excited about the news.

We ate some more, had birthday cake, drank some wine, hug and kissed friends good-bye and then I went with Melissa to a karaoke bar while Matt took the girls home to bed. Don't get too excited, I didn't sing. I called my mom on the way out from the party and she had already known that Matt was going to propose to me because he called my parents to ask for their permission. She was dying to hear from me and told me she had already been discussing with my brother that we would do our big family vacation out here next summer for the wedding.

It was an amazing, wonderful day. I can't even believe everyone pulled off such a cool surprise. A while ago I wrote in my blog that Matt had accidentally ruined a surprise party for me by texting me something that was supposed to go to someone else. He played it off SO perfectly that never in a million years did I really think that there was actually such a perfect party planned. And I was telling Melissa last night that she wins the party Oscar for executing her part so flawlessly. It's a little creepy that my friends are such good liars ;)

So far, thirty has been good to me. I'm one happy lady.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yup, that about sums it up


Iris drew this card for me this morning.

I wrote at the top of it: "She's really big and she's angry and doesn't want to be big" - Iris on who the person in the birthday card is.

Click on the picture to see it bigger!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In the twilight of my youth

I am in the final hours of my twenties. It's very strange. Thirty. What does it mean to be thirty? Do I have to get an old lady haircut? Wear high-waisted jeans? Is there a manual somewhere?

Turning thirty has been a scary idea for me. I am not sure why, but after some thought today, I might be on to some ideas.

My twenties were all-in-all completely terrible. Of course there were highlights-- my two beautiful daughters were born while I was in my twenties, but other than that my twenties have been mostly a series of bad choices sprinkled with some really unpleasant times and every once in a while, something really fantastic would happen.

I am bound and determined to let the mistakes of my twenties allow me mass amounts of wisdom in my thirties. I mean, there has to be some sort growth that has come out of it, right? Right? No, actually, I am sure that there is. The lessons I have learned will pay off ten-fold, I am sure.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sickie pants

First of all, what do you think of the new look? I am 99% set on the title. Matt and I are swiping my old one for our other blog.

Matt is sick, poor guy. He rarely, rarely gets sick, like, ever. It's so weird. But he's sick now, a lung thing. Lots of wheezing and coughing and hacking stuff up. No fun at all. I have been trying to take care of things, but it's been nice having him home because he can take over with the girls a bit while I do errands and clean up.

Eloise is still coughing. Still. Long-time readers of my blog know I have resisted cutting dairy out of my diet for the (possible) sake of Eloise's health. Well, today, after a visit with our doctor, I've decided to finally give it a try. Of course, not until after my birthday, since I HAVE to have my birthday ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, but after that, we're gold. Both Eloise and I are cutting out dairy for three weeks to see what happens. Wish us luck (and by luck I mean, wish that dairy isn't the culprit because I don't want to have to do it for the long term! lol)

Today Iris's teacher came over after school for a home visit. She and Iris played and Iris was so thrilled to show her teacher all of her favorite things. It was pretty sweet.

And in even other news, Matt is doing a superb job keeping my birthday surprise a total secret. Grrrr. I can't wait to see what he has in store! Only two full days left of my twenties :(

Monday, October 08, 2007

You may be noticing some changes

Bear with me. I decided to switch my blog over to a different form so it's easier for me to mess with. I am, quite sadly, a complete idiot when it comes to HTML, so I switched over to make it easier for me to use.

Today I've noticed . . .

A couple things I noticed today that made sad:

First I was driving to pick up Iris from school and was behind an Acura that had a license plate frame that said "Life is too short to worry about gas mileage". Yep, seriously.

Second was even more disturbing. I took Eloise and Iris to the park to run off a little energy. We really had a great time despite the fact that for the umpteen millionth time I misjudged how warm (or not warm, as the case may be) it was outside. Anyways, a father (I presume he was the father) showed up with two girls a bit younger than Iris and a babe in a car seat. The babe was maybe 6-7 months old. At one point the baby started crying and one of the girls must have asked why because the father said "She's okay crying. Sometimes babies just need to cry it out." and he totally ignored the baby who was in her seat right at his feet. The crying escalated to that sort of gasping for breath stage and again one of the little girls must have commented on it because he said (and no, I'm not making this up) "I'm not going to pick her up because that's a battle I'm not going to fight with her. She doesn't need to be picked up just because she's upset." WTF?!?! I've said it a million times and I'll say it again, why do people have children just to ignore them? Seriously, I don't get it. And who perpetuated the idea that you have to "fight battles" with babies? It also crossed my mind how are parents able to have such hard hearts to their own flesh and blood-- then I realized that they were probably given the same message when they were young that father's like this guy was giving to his small children-- and that is, a child's needs aren't important enough to be met. It's okay to ignore a child's cries.

It made me feel really sad. I secretly wished Iris would have asked me why the baby was crying so I could loudly respond "because the baby's father doesn't care enough about her to respond to her needs" but alas, Iris didn't set me up. We walked past them on the way out and I wanted to pick up the little babe and rock her in my arms. Shush in her ear and tell her she was loved and was worthy of comfort, but you know, that sort of thing is frowned on even more than allowing your baby to scream it's head off in a park while you completely ignore it :(

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The clinginess!

Eloise is a clingy girl. She is prone to weepiness and throwing herself on the floor very gingerly if she can't be, like, back inside my womb RIGHT NOW.

I have been dealing with this mostly by re-directing her, or walking around with her sobbing and clinging to my leg, or sitting with her a moment to appease her, then carrying on with one of the million things I do every day.

Some nights I will put her in the backpack so I can get dinner made without too much drama. That seems to work out well, but is kind of a to-do to get the pack situated. For some reason, It never really occurs to me to sling Eloise during the day around the home. I sling her out and about once in a while, but rarely at home. A recent post over at
Adventures in Babywearing reminded me that my Mei Tai is the perfect thing for this stage in Eloise's life. I can get her on my back and carry on with things while still meeting her needs for closeness.

I had forgotten the joy of babywearing a toddler. I didn't wear Iris for too much of her toddler-hood beause of my pregnancy, but I intend to get much more babywearing out of Eloise before she's far too big for it.

Thanks Steph for reminding me how important my slings still are!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Monday night fun

Yesterday at a playdate with our kiddos my dear friend Melissa invited me to come to a bar later that night to hang out because it was her friend's birthday. "Sure, why not?" I thought. What else would have to do on a Monday night?

It was about the most fun ever. It was a small group of girls who were SO MUCH FUN. I laughed, had silly girly conversation and drank, and well, it's rare I ever get to do any of those things very much, let alone all at once. It was also exactly the kind of night I needed to have, even though I didn't realize that until I was on my way home. Like my body was saying "ahhhh . . . " It is so much fun to go out with other mamas and drink, as well, because we are almost always with our kids and act, as Matt would say, "square". Last night? Not so square. So much fun.

Of course, today I'm paying for it. I wasn't drunk, though at one point in the middle of the evening I had a decent buzz. The girls and I woke up this morning later than normal, which led to a manic rush out the door to get to school. The rest of the day is a blur of chores and picking up all of the eight million things Eloise threw on the floor. I know you think I'm exagerating, oh, and believe me, I wish I was! And the crying. Oh, the crying! Eloise didn't get enough sleep last night and refused to take a second nap today so she is just walking around pissed. She did do her first official coloring today, which was alot of fun. It looks just like the first one Iris ever did, not suprisingly. Tonight I have to go to a two hour parent meeting for Iris's school, as well. Blech. I also feel like I've been puched in the kidneys, which is so weird. I have no idea why that would be. What a weird day!

In other news, Matt sent me a very funny text message about my suprise party. Unfortunately for him, it was supposed to go to someone else, not me. Ah, Matt. At least his heart is in the right place!

Love this.

I stole this from, well, everywhere!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)

Ginger Saturn

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)

Mint Oreo

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

S-Ro

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)

Lavendar Giraffe

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)

Ryan Green Bay

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

:)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)

The Sage B-52

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)

Vincent Monroe

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)

Aveda Jelly Beans

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )

Jean Edward

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)

Oh man, NO idea!

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)

Fall Peony

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)

Grape Undies (lol)

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)

Waffles Weeping Willow

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)

The Blogging Thunderstorm Tour