Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If you're going to procrastinate, you'd better like Hannah Montana

Today was fun-filled running around Fort Collins searching for a calendar. These little commodities are apparantly NOT USEFUL after Christmas and so have all been removed from shelves at lightning speed. Well, not ALL of us got an awesome calendar for Christmas, and not ALL of us wanted to go shopping the day after Christmas (or even the weekend after) and so WE losers are stuck with lame-o calendars on our walls. The most popular remaining day-counting-wall-art was Hannah Montana, the second was High-School Musical, and the third was a tie for equally lame subjects such as modern ballet, puppies, fill-in-your-own-date-and-no-you-don't-get-a-picture, or roller coasters. While the last doesn't sound TOO lame, believe me - it is.

In order to get said calendar, first we hit up Target, the logical spot for such a logical item. While I had to pass on tween-dream Hannah, I DID end up picking up some necessary feminine items. Although I am older and wiser I am STILL embarassed to be standing for so long surrounded by pads, tampons, and adult diapers (couldn't they stick those next to baby diapers or something? Then old people could act all non-chalent like "oh, yeah, just checking out the baby diapers...for my grandkids...."). Last time I got so flustered in the Isle of Embarassment that I just grabbed the first package my hand landed on and went home; what a mistake! I actually grabbed the product intended for "size 14 or larger." So when I ran out of supplies this time I FORCED myself to stand there and decipher every single package to get what I really wanted. Then I stocked up so as not to have to do this again ANY TIME SOON. As I go to check out I only have a few things - a can of starch and embarssing sundry feminine goods. The conveyer belt carries them down to the cashier much faster than I can load them, so my few items now take up the entire belt. The customer behind me kindly pushes my things forward so she can put her own load down (embarassing! but my hands are full trying to wrestle Patrick back into the shopping cart seat while wrestling my wallet out of my purse) AND IT TURNS OUT THAT I KNOW HER. I think this is FAR worse than a complete stranger moving my maxi pads because now I have to acknowledge our connection while trying to pretend that didn't just happen. Why, oh why didn't I load the starch on last??

Moving on. I still didn't have a calendar so we hit the mall to perambulate, apparantly with every high school student in the greater Larimer county. While the stroll did not produce a calendar (surprise) it DID produce a much greater respect for high school teachers and administration! They need to be payed more not just because they teach this future generation, but simply because they put up with them for 7 classes a day! I know I'm not that far removed from my own teenage years but I refuse to believe I was ever that ridiculous - that I dressed so poorly, did my hair so crazily, spoke so arrogantly, or followed my friends around like such a lemming! I can only hope that life grows them up and out of it. Now that I'm older and *wiser* I can arrogantly say "well, MY kids will never be like that!" (Haha, joke's on me!) At the very least I can refuse to buy my 14-year-old son pants that were made for a girl or drop my 9-year old off with his cell phone and friends on a wish and a prayer (that's what school was made for, right?).

Finally, the mall and slovenly teenage crowds in our dust, Patrick and I found the nearly-nonexistant 2009 wall calendar at Barnes & Noble - nothing fancy, but nothing ridiculous - and coughed up the required $7.50. HOURS of trouble for nothing fancy. I know what I'm asking Santa for next year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

My dear dad loves, and has instilled a love in me, for creating and recording memories. Especially the recording. When we were very young he used to bring out the old video camera on Christmas morning, set it up on the tripod, and film the whole darn Christmas gift-unwrap-apalooza. Although this was done for prosperity, I don't think "prosperity" has ever watched a single tape all the way through because it's really just too much. If you think reality shows are kinda lame, and they EDIT OUT the REALLY lame stuff, then you would be bored to tears with 60 minutes of 5 children in the semi-dark at 5 in the morning unwrapping blurry shapes that they don't hold up for the camera and making comments you can't really understand. I have seen a few minutes of these recordings (between fast-forwarding to get to the less banal footage of my childhood), and those minutes were shocking. There we were, crying on Christmas morning! WHO DOES THAT??? I don't have a single memory of being remotely unhappy on Christmas! Obviously I have donned rose-colored glasses over the years because there our wails are, recorded for everyone (or no one [bo-ring!]) to see. While watching these snippets a few years ago it donned on me that being a parent might not be as easy as it looks if your kids don't even take a break from being whiny on this blessed holiday.

Although I still wear those rose-colored glasses for my own childhood Christmas's, Patrick's childhood was laid bare before my parental eyes today, and I'm thinking that my dad's old video camera didn't catch NEARLY all the crying that Christmas actually held. Today, full of wonder and magic and lots of awesome toys, was equally full of full-on screaming, tearful tantrums and much-too-much short on naps. Our poor babies were so over-wrought from all the noise, lights, gifts, food (ok, sugar, not real food), and general mayhem that tears were more the rule than the exception. But what can you do with 12 adults, 3 babies, and 1 miniature pincer in the house? We took plenty of quiet-time breaks when things just got to be too much, but even returning to the scene of the crime was enough to bring a new wave of howls and struggles. I felt very sad because I don't want Patrick to remember Christmas as one big stressful mess! But then I remembered the old video camera and how reality gets filtered over time. Though this Christmas was big and new and probably a little bit frightening for the little ones, and I expect at least a few tears for years to come, I think Christmas will always be a happy memory of time spent with those we love. Some memories just need bigger pink glasses than others.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your holiday was one big messy, loving, imperfect yet entirely wonderful day as well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That green is envy, not holiday cheer

I'm checking in from Grand Junction, where Patrick and I have come to hang out at my parent's house. We came over by ourselves - our first long trip without Joe! I was terrified, but Patrick slept most of the 6-hour drive, which, incidentally, has been the most he's slept SINCE WE GOT HERE.

We've been busy shopping and cooking, more shopping, some baking, and finally running errands (to the mall, aka shopping) - quite an agenda to wear a mom AND a baby out! And believe you me, Patrick IS tired - the yawns, eye rubs, crabby mood, head-on-my-shoulder-as-soon-as-I-pick-him-up move.... the whole 9 yards. So it is NAP TIME (or NIGHT TIME, depending on the time of day, of course). But Patrick is a sensitive soul (or the spawn of satan, depending on how long it's been since I slept) and is completely unwilling to sleep in his new accomodations. We have a pack-n-play set up in my bedroom in the back corner of the upstairs - nice and quite, complete with a fan running for white noise, a sweet santa night light, and an extra blanket beneath him for added softness. To me: a little piece of heaven. To Patrick: HELL. At least he sounds like he's being poked by little devils dancing around him with pitchforks, the way he screams for me! And it's like this every time we take a trip and he has to sleep in the dreaded pack-n-play. I've tried to make bedtime as familiar as possible, with a warm pre-bed bath, same jammies, same nursing, same nigh-nigh song (even the same number of VERSES of the song), but he's still upset when I lay him down. So I do the same comfort routine as home - 5 minutes, then pick him up for some snuggles, then back down. But he's still upset. So we do the routine again. And again. And again. And then I start getting desperate because this is obviously not working, just please please go to sleep it's been an hour! He's still upset (possibly MORE upset because I am obviously not giving in on this "bedtime" thing and those devils are waiting for him in the pack-n-play) and screaming and I'm getting more and more desperate because it's getting to be MY bedtime, just pleasepleasepleaselaydownandsleep.... and maybe, if we're lucky, he's so exhausted he gives in. If we're not so lucky, I give in and he comes to bed with me so HE sleeps but I am a quiet contortionist all night, trying to avoid his kicks to the crotch but also trying to do so as quietly as possible so he doesn't wake up and start the whole process again. Which he does anyway, at least 4 times between midnight at 6 a.m. I wish he could talk so he could tell me what's wrong and I could fix it! And then he could also tell me that I am the most awesome mom in the world for putting up with his shennanigans and he bought me diamonds for Christmas and a "coupon book" for backrubs, because otherwise I am not in the mood for one more night of this.

The worst part is I feel like such a bad mom. His cousin Espen sleeps through the night like a champ! I want that! His cousin Kalena holds odd hours (like play time from midnight 'til 2 am) but she does it with a SMIIIIIIILE on her face; Patrick just screams at me each and every time he's up. So WHY is he sleeping so terribly? Why do other babies sleep through the night at 3 months old (or even 4 or 5 or 6 months, or EVER) yet my nearly-one-year-old child is up every hour throughout the night for no reason? What have I done to deserve this???

Q: Is it medical, like he's in pain?
A. He's fine the entire day, he only freaks out at bedtime, and only if it's not his bed at home. He sleeps FINE there (not through the night, but he DOES go to bed). Just in case, I give him Tylenol after the 6th middle-of-the-night wakeup but since he's up an hour after that as well I am led to believe pain has nothing to do with it. I just wish they made baby Tylenol with sedatives. That would sell like hot-cakes even to the mothers who are reading this and shaking their heads. We all have our breaking points, you may just not have been introduced to yours yet. Or you've been introduced and you've forgotten. But remember me when it comes around again.

Q: Is he uncomfortable? Too hot? Too cold? Wet diaper?
A: TRUST ME. None of the above. Empty what's full, fill what's empty, scratch where it itches, and he's STILL mad.

Q: Is he hungry?
A: He'd BETTER not be since, in my desperate attempt to keep him from waking the rest of the house up, I nurse him almost every time he wakes up.... so, on average, he eats 6 times a night (on vacation). If you are still hungry after that we have more problems than bedtime! (and, like the question of pain, we do not have a problem all day, so a problem all night just doesn't make sense)

Q: Could he just need more comfort?
A: Yes, apparantly, since he is zonked out on my shoulder the second I pick him up. But since I am NOT a horse and canNOT sleep standing up, this is not going to work. And co-sleeping only goes so far, as I mentioned (quiet contortionist? remember?).

So all I can do is hope he find a new routine and accepts his travel bed SOON because I get grumpy on this pitiful amount of poorly-had sleep. My bleary-eyed self does not want advice comments back, I don't want to be chastised for my Tylenol remark, and I think I'll cry if you tell me your baby has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. That is not helpful. What I need is a HUG and a NAP and possibly a day without my son so I can have a chance to miss him.

Friday, December 19, 2008

sooooooooo sick

Thursday was the WORST DAY EVER. Really, I haven't felt that awful since... probably labor and the immediate aftermath. I woke up feeling wretched, like I was going to DIE of hunger - I hadn't eaten anything in 12 hours, and I'm a nursing woman, so that made sense. So I ate an apple. And a bowl of cereal. And a banana. And I only felt WORSE; eating was obviously not the answer because hunger was obviously not the problem. I felt worse and worse and worse until finally, around noon, I thew it all back up. Phew! Got that out of my system, time for some soup to calm the tummy and replenish the fluids! Not so, not so. The soup made me feel WORSE. Worse and worse and worse until, hours later, the soup came up, too. I called to warn Joe, but he was out having a HUGE mexican lunch so he didn't get my message in time. And he started feeling BAD and it got BAD enough that he came home from work early, just in time to throw up that HUGE mexican lunch. It was awful!!!! Poor Patrick, he was feeling fit as a fiddle (how fit is that? nobody really knows, but he was great) but all mom and dad could do was lay around on the couch or curl up in a ball on the floor and beg him not to climb on them. The worst was, of course, when we would throw up - he would watch in sheer terror as as it looked like mom and dad were DYING, and he'd cry and scream as it was happening. Such compassion!! Like he totally knew what was going on. Then he'd crawl over afterwards to climb up and give us hugs (he'd already been as exposed as possible, a hug wasn't going to change a thing!) and be ok as soon as we were ok. It was really sweet; even we, who were wishing for a quick and painless death, could see that.

A day later (less than 24 hours! Thank goodness) Joe and I are MUCH better! Our tummies settled enough to have more than a watered-down glass of gatorade (as if gatorade weren't watery enough already) and we even got Raising Canes for lunch - funny how AMAZING greasy fast-food sounds when you haven't eaten for more than a day! So crisis AVERTED, I was worried I would be postponing our Christmas trip to see the family so that I could stay home and vomit. Not so, not so :) As an added bonus to getting better SO quickly, Joe will actually get to walk at his graduation tonight! Hooray! I'll post photos, as soon as we have any.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If home is where the heart is...

...then family is where the face is. You would think coming from an entire pool of genes that at some point other features would have come into play, but Joe and his grandfather Jimmy (James Orr) thought "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" So they didn't change a thing.

James Orr, 1933-1991

Joe Jacobs, 1985-20??

Based upon extensive examination and comparison of Patrick to Joe, and the knowledge that if A=B and B=C then A=C, I can only conclude that my very young son will one day look just like his grandfather Jimmy as well. See for yourselves.

It's almost creepy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I call a re-do!

Tonight Joe and I got busy - yeah, you know what I'm talking about! We rearranged the living room. (Your mind was in the gutter, wasn't it?) We are weirdly in love with rearranging furniture and in our last apartment (where we lived 2 years), TINY as it was (520 sq. ft), we managed to completely rearrange about every 3 months. I think 6 months is the longest we've ever gone without moving a thing, and December hit that 6-month mark. I don't know if it's because we love changing our minds or our furniture or simply adore waking up to muscle pain, but we MUST MOVE THINGS. Frequently.

Tonight started out simply enough - we were going to finally switch out couches around. We have two couches - a love seat and a "cuddler," which is neither a love seat nor a single seat, but something in-between. The cuddler couch was next to the front door, the light switch, the reading lamp, the sliding glass door so it gets all the direct sunlight, and it directly faced the TV. This "cuddler" would work extremely well for a morbidly obese person, as there is no crack to get stuck in since there's only one butt pillow, and the arm rests are definitely far enough apart, but neither one of us is morbidly obese and we're far enough into our marriage that we don't feel the need to cuddle to prove our love for one another. Yep, we're that comfortable. (Also, we no longer feel the need to turn on the fan to drown out bathroom noises. That's when you know the "mystery" is disappearing). So you can see that the "cuddler" couch was obviously in the wrong place! All the amenities with none of the space. So we were halfway through this simple switch when we decided perhaps we should rearrange the couches entirely; now instead of facing one another they are perpendicular, with a space to walk between them. We found lots to lvoe in this new arrangement: one couch now faces the Christmas tree, so we can bask in the glow of twinkle lights (a Christmas MUST); both couches face the TV; the perpendicular couch gets light from the kitchen; and (most importantly) it is NEW and DIFFERENT.

Since the love seat is longer than the cuddler, furniture around the couches needed to be rearranged, as it no longer fit. And all this moving brings to mind an idea I had about moving our giant kind-sized behomoth of a bed with an entire wardrobe of stuff packed away underneath it.... and with the bed in a new spot, creating more floorspace, I was thinking the rocking chair from Patrick's room would work better in here instead... and as long as the rocking chair is getting moved, couldn't we move Patrick's bed to the other wall?... and if the bed is against that other wall, we'd have more room for..... YOU GET THE IDEA. So the every room in our oh-so-much-larger (815 sq ft) apartment is NEW and DIFFERENT.

Of course, all this moving makes for a VERY MESSY HOUSE (every room, remember?) that we're planning on cleaning up....soon...er than later. Some time, we'll clean it all up, I'm sure of it. Right now, my muscle ache. So while sitting and reading and enjoying our NEW and DIFFERENTLY messy house instead of CLEANING said mess, Joe's bud from school stops by. This is a 22-year old college kid, not married, I'm sure he couldn't care less about how clean (or unclean) our living room is, but in those few minutes he stood in our entry I found that my mother is (and possibly always was) right to think that it is embarassing to have guests see a messy house! More than that, a destroyed house, where we're sitting and reading books and not caring that in order to sit on our newly-rearranged couches you have to remove 3 layers of toys, blankets, and possibly some kitchen utensils (???). Just like that, I'm all fired up to clean the house, but not just to clean it and leave it be - I want his friend to come back here and see how darn spankin' clean it is! I call a do-over! So now if anyone wants to come visit, PLEASE give me at least 3o minutes notice so I can put my book down and get those mixing bowls off the couch :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is there a doctor in the house??

It's easy to recognize the "firsts" in life - first steps, first words, first day of scool, first boyfriend, first marriage (haha!), first baby (and then the cycle starts again); it is not, however, as easy to recognize the "lasts." Fortunately we get a couple freebies, like the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, EVER. Just like Friday was for Joe! Congratulations, Joe! No more college for this family for another 18 years ... unless Patrick turns out to be as smart as Doogie Howser. If that's the case, though, I don't think any of us will mind :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

How did I get here?

And now it's my turn to have a birthday - 25 years young! But how did I get here? I've decided to break it down into 25 life-changing events or decisions that brought me to where I am today.

1. I was born. This is very important to the next 24 items!
2. The analytical portion of my brain failed to mature, rendering me a helpless mess at math.
3. At 8 years old I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, officially making me a member of the LDS Church.
4. I planned and replanned and (poorly) painted my parent's house in an attempt to "make it more awesome." Although it did not, in fact, make it "more awesome," it was the beginning of my love of interior design.
5. In an attempt to make my high school transcript "more awesome" for chance at a good college, I took foreign language classes. Apparantly colleges want "well-rounded" students. Since French is obviously far superior (though far less useful) than Spanish, I took French. Since 4 years of language looks the best, I took 4 years. That's pretty much all the thought I put into that.
6. I fleshed out my procrastination skills, really turning it into an art. From high school on out I procrastinated about everything that could be procrastinated.
7. I attended EFY (Especially For Youth) at BYU the summer I was 16, reconfirming my faith in religion; specifically that I did, in fact, want to be LDS.
8. I proved so inept at match that I dropped out of pre-calculus my junior year of high school, cementing my future as a non-mathematician.
9. I dated a nice guy named John who introduced me to his friend Jennifer. Though John and I broke up, we remained in contact and were good friends.
10. I attended college at BYU-Hawaii, where they had a "language track" or a "math track." If you studied foreign language for at least 2 years you were not required to take any math classes to graduate from college. Lucky for me, I could refer back to life decision #5 and did not take any more math, though I took LOTS more French.
11. As long as I was studying French, studying abroad IN France made a lot of sense. There I received lots more college credit in French language courses, causing me to consider majoring in French.
12. My love of Interior Design and complete disinterest in any other majors BYU-H was offering led me to change universities. None of the BYU's offered undergraduate degrees in Interior Design, so I had to go somewhere that did. Not being a millionarie, I had to go somewhere in-state. CSU was my best option, so I transferred after 2 years of college.
13. Still in contact with ex-boyfriend John, who was still in contact with old friend Jennifer, who was a student at CSU, I got a call asking if I needed a place to live. Although my first semester at CSU was starting in 2 weeks, thanks to procrastination I sure was homeless. Fortunately she needed a third roommate for her and her friend, so I came to live with Michelle and Jennifer.
14. CSU's Interior Design undergraduate program is 4 years long, no ifs, ands, or buts. They flesh out the 4 years with basic requirements, which I had already fulfilled in my 2 previous years of college. With lots of time to spare, I completed my load with more French language courses.
15. Somewhere in here, I broke up with other guys and was single for the first time in a long time. This is important for #18.
16. I met Angela in the various French classes we took together. As you remember, I was still taking lots of French.
17. During football season I jumped on the CSU bandwagon with my roommates, Jennifer and Michelle, who were fanatics and never missed a game, including televised games. Although I was no fanatic, I went along out to CB&Potts to watch the televised CSU v. New Mexico game. CSU was losing terribly, so when Angela (#16) called to hang out, I ditched the TV game and went out with her instead.
18. While hanging out with Angela, who was dating one of Joe's best friends from Craig, she asked me if I'd like to meet Joe, then asked Joe if he'd like to meet me. Being single for the first time in a long time, I figured it would be worth a laugh. Little did I know, it was worth a lifetime.
19. Joe asked me on a date, and I said yes.
20A. Joe asked me to marry him, and I said yes.
21. Asked Joe to tag along to church with me and he was pulled in by a) church basketball, b) great home teachers who were not dweebs, c) 3 more hours with me on Sunday, and d) the promise of a whole lot more than one little lifetime together. To get an amazing guy who, amazingly enough, converts? A girl can't get too much luckier in one lifetime! But read on.
20B. A year after the wedding we recommitted and were sealed in the Denver Temple.
22. Although not married long, we were very much in love and anxious for a child, so we tried to time the due date to be between semesters. If this hadn't worked, we were going to wait 6 more months and have a baby in the summer. Neither one really panned out; I had a baby the first week of my last semester of college.
23. Our love of family life caused Joe to re-think his pursuit of a teaching degree, causing him to go back to school for Construction Management. I didn't have a huge decision in this, but I was a huge supporter!
24. Although I continued my studies in Interior Design, the CSU system jerked me out of quite a few French language credits from my study abroad, making it a hassle to get a second major in French. I settled for a minor and graduated with my I.D. degree in May of 2008.
25. With January just around the corner and Joe's official 1st day of work even sooner (December 22) we are just waiting for insurance to become official so we can repeat #22, without all the hassle of babysitters while I go to class.

So now you see - if I hadn't been so bad at math, I wouldn't have taken so much French, so I wouldn't have met Angela, who wouldn't have introduced me to Joe, and I wouldn't have had a beautiful baby and be looking forward to more all by the time I turned 25. Thank goodness for being creative instead :)

My birthday wish: to have more time to read Les Miserables - 154 pages down, only 1,039 to go!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Finished product


O, Tannenbaum

Like everyone else in the world, we got our Christmas tree this weekend! And, like everyone else in the world, it's time to show some pictures of our handiwork.

On Saturday morning we went up to Red Feather Lakes where you can cut your own tree for $10! Instead of simply paying for a tree it's more like paying for a fun trip to the outdoors, the experience of trekking through knee-high snow with a bundled toddler on your hip (weighing twice as much as usual from the extra layers), the joy of finding "the one," and then sawing it to the ground and dragging it like a neaderthal back to the car with you. I say $10 well spent! Of course, as soon as we drove back through town we were dismayed at how much more perfect the trees in the tree lots looked, but our has real personality and memories attached to it, and that's what's important to us (at least that's what we tell ourselves!). I'll let Patrick narrate the rest.

K, dad, we've been driving for 2 hours, but I think we're getting close - I can smell the pine!

You think I should just pull over here on the right? Alright, but you'll have to help me park.

Thanks. I needed a little help with that gear shift. Now where's my jacket? This hat just isn't going to cut it with that cold outside.

Man, mom and I look good all bundled up! What's that? Put my arms down? Sorry, no can do - too many layers in the way!

Ok, enough with the photos, on to the hunt! I think I see one over there - see where I'm pointing? Yep, over there! Mush! Mush!

Now this is more like it... except for that whole grove of aspens. Let's avoid that like the plague, they're too tough to decorate when they look dead.

Yay, Dad found it! The perfect apartment tree! Big enough to sit on the ground, small enough that if I topple it, I won't kill the furniture. Hey, um, dad? Where'd your coat go?

Now THAT is pure strength. Better keep up the snacks so I can get big like him.

Mmmmmm, I REALLY deserve these crackers, it was tough getting carried through all that snow. Now let's head home! ...I'll drive.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Joe!

Today Joe turns 25 - happy birthday, Joe!

Funny how birthdays are remembered differently by the parents and the child. All my birthday memories are about balloons and friends and fun pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey games we played. A mother's memory is probably something more like the actual birth day, going to the hospital and hating her husband for a few hours and then, of course, finally meeting that not-so-smiling but oh-so-cute face. So in honor of Joe's mom getting the short end of the birthday-stick (I prefer pin-the-tail to a hospital any day) a whopping 25 years ago, here's a tribute to the cutest baby around: Joe!
And now the handsomest father I know (on another memoral birth day). I love you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Fort Collins finally had its first snow of the season! Unseasonably late, to be sure, but definitely in time for Christmas! Patrick sported his new winter coat with a hood since he refuses to wear hats, and I hate to think how quickly a mitten would get flung in the snow, so he doesn't wear those, either. Perhaps I'll knit some with the string that attaches all the way through the sleeves and over the shoulders? We'll see how motivated I get, if this cold keeps up, and how long his winter slumbers (naps) are so I can get some more crafts done. But for the time being the cold doesn't seem to bother him and he loves running his fingers through the snow! So I say mittens, shmittens. Still, nice hood :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Drinking Problem

We've had a few great ideas to try yucky "adult" food on Patrick, positive it would get a great disgusted face out of him. So far, nothing. Sure, baby food needs to be spit out and thrown on the floor, but lime wedges? MMMMMMM!! Freezing cold ice cream? Bring it on! Crazy carbonated drinks? Put that in my sippy cup, please! So why fight it? Instead, we've decided to make him the new face of Diet Pepsi, keeping it in touch with the younger generation!* We're going to make millions.

*This stunt is performed by a professional baby with an empty drink; similar stunts should not be attempted at home.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All sugared out for one weekend

What a weird, new Thanksgiving! We spent the holiday in Pueblo at my sister Kari's house with her hubby and his parents, his brothers, my parents, my grandma, and my sister and her husband and baby. Whew, what a crowd! 17 people feasted on a 21-pound turkey, plus a little 8-pound turkey that looked like an overgrown chicken, plus LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of sides. We cooked our BUTTS off and the kitchen was about 200 degrees all day, but the end result was all finger-lickin' good :-d mmmmm!

The Gustavson part of the crew, though most of us ditched the maiden name. Here are Joe, Kirsta, and Patrick Jacobs; Jonathan and Kari Phelps; John and Linda (mom and dad) Gustavson; Grandma Gustavson; Brian, Elsha, and Kalena van de Boogaard

The saaaaaaad part about the holiday weekend was that it did not provide me much relief from one very picky 10-month old, who just decided last weekend that he cannot live without physical contact with his lovely mother at each and every waking moment. So he put on his saaaaad face as soon as I put him down, handed him to dad, stuck him in his high chair for meals, tried to get him to hug the relatives, or get 2 minutes to myself to go to the bathroom. He was NOT HAPPY. But perhaps he just needed extra comfort because in 2 days he got 2 new teeth! Which brings the grand total to 6 teeth, and exponentially increases my fear of getting bitten while nursing and further convincing me that relatives bring on new teeth, as he has only popped them while someone was visiting or being visited. Watch out, Christmas break! ..... I don't actually think the teeth are the culprit, but I can lie to myself pretty convincingly (and optimistically!)
All in all, though, we've had an AWESOME Thanksgiving break, we've had SO much fun visiting family, and we're not looking forward to returning back to the daily grind and a semi-normal diet :) Chillin' and digesting in the living room after the big meal

Patrick plays with (or wrestles) cousin Kalena

"Grandma" Gustavson - she's still mom to me! - plays with some of her very favorite people.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Phun with Photos

Just because I like to mess around with photos waaaaaaay too late into the night... posting them was *almost* my excuse for my behavior. So I hope you enjoy :)

Shoes, glorious shoes!

Today Patrick turned 10 months old! Hooray for double-digits! This is a whole new phase of his life, as he will be in the double-digits of months up until 99 months, or 8 years and 3 months. That is a LONG TIME. Patrick didn't do much celebrating, but I did - in the form of sewing up a storm! With some fabric remnants I had laying around (I have BAGS of remnants, yet I still crave more....) I whipped up these shoes based on a pattern a friend sent me. Thanks, friend! The pattern can be yours, too, if you are willing to click HERE. Their features shoes are way cuter than mine, you'll see, because I cannot find my bag o' buttons to save my life. I sewed those cute button dinosaur eyes on and then the bag ran away, so I have no "flair" for PJ's kicks :( And also, his are plain, dark colors because a) he's learning to walk and they actually get dirty, and b) he was only in posession of brown shoes, which do not match any of his black outfits. Now that I have practical shoes, I can move on to brightly-colored, zany patterns that match absolutely none of his shirts. Hooray!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I can (and do) take hundreds of photos of Patrick, doing this or that, or just while we're wrestling around since he likes the camera so much. But professional photos? Not so many. In fact, none! Since he hasn't had ANY professional photos yet, why start now? We'll do it in January for his 1-year, but until then, let's keep with something more artistic and laid-back! And Rebecca Aycock, cute photographer extraordinaire, lent us her talents for an afternoon. Thanks again, Rebecca!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


As I mentioned earlier, I just can't keep up with the new and interesting things Patrick does that have simply become a part of daily life. But THIS ONE is different - partly because we caught it as it was happening, on camera, and partly because it is terrifyingly awesome. He's done stairs for a while now, but Behold! He climbs! ....and then he gets high-centered on the arm rest. But fear not - he climbed it succesfully about 5 other times, and also got so good he no longer needed any assistance from me (except for getting down gracefully).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

About last weekend....

Joe's parents came up to visit from Craig last weekend, and we had such a great time! Of course, our nuclear family has been having such a great time this week (not doing anything in particular, just having a great time enjoying what was left of the warm weather) that I haven't written about it...'til now. They came up Friday night and Joe was able to hang with them a while; I stayed home with Patrick, who was having a meltdown from sleepiness. Saturday morning they came over after breakfast and we talked and waited for Patrick to warm up to these "strangers," which he eventually did, and then some! He's quite shy when someone new is trying to be nice to him, but fortunately he gets over it quickly, and by the end of the day he was cuddeling and showing off new tricks, like taking steps by himself!

Patrick first official step came 2 weeks ago when my parents were visiting, and they even got to witness it! (Why did I not mention this before? Read on) I was surprised by how anticlimactic it was - it's not like he took off running, but it was definitely a step on his own! And nobody had a video camera waiting, there was no screams of joy afterwards, it was just "oh! That's new!" But then nothing for 2 weeks, until Joe's parents came, and then he took more steps all by himself. Maybe he's inspired by an audience? If that's the case, anyone want to hang out and be an audience? We could have him walking solo by the end of November. As it is, he is now standing unassisted and taking one or two steps unassisted, and it's scaring the daylights out of me. He's such a KID.

Cute li'l stories:
SO fatigued last night he fell asleep early without nursing, but then woke up an hour later with a rumbly belly and a wet diaper. I nursed first, then went to change his diaper. I'd gotten the diaper off off, but before I could put a new one on he rolled onto his stomach, naked butt in the air, and fell asleep on the carpet! You don't want to laugh out loud because you don't want to scare them, but it was almost impossible not to!

While I was cleaning up breakfast this morning Patrick got into the cupboard. He grabbed the bag of Pizza Goldfish and, standing unsupported, was working his two little hands to get the thing open. Much harder done than said, so instead he turns it upside down and shakes it til ALL the goldfish are on the floor, then he sits down in the middle of them and started snacking away. Facing the corner, totally in his own little goldfish world. It made me chuckle so much, I didn't even mind the mess!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My brother Eric is not allowed to read this post

Not that I don't love my brother Eric (I do!) but this post is about a particular present I made for his son, since we drew their names for Christmas. It's so cute, though, I wanted to show it off before I gift-wrapped it and gave it away, and I'm much too impatient to wait to post about it til after Christmas! Plus, what if someone wants to be a creative copycat? I couldn't deprive them of the pleasure. So now, Eric, STOP READING, unless you want to spoil the surprise for yourself.

I'll give you adequate space so you don't "accidentally" read it.

Is that enough?

My sister Elsha made a cute "taggies" pillow for her daughter, who likes to chew on the tags of the toys rather than play with the toy itself. In that spirit I thought, "hey! I could do that, too! But you know what would be more manly than a pillow? a DINOSAUR." And then I thought, "We have a number of stuffed animals and Patrick really doesn't play with any of them, OR their tags. But I still really want to make one." So I decided to make it as a gift. Here is my tagg-o-rrific Stegosaurus:

Friday, November 14, 2008

His exact words were...

In the shower last night I got all inspired to chop my hair. This is a particularly good time to get inspired for such a thing, as I will NOT chop my hair, despite the inspiration, if it requires that I shampoo my hair when I was not planning to. I am a lazy shampooist. But the baby was in bed, the hubby busy working on homework, and I had wet hair and some good hair shears and NO FEAR. Here's how it turned out:

Here's what Joe said: "Did you trim your hair?"
Me: "Ummmmmmm....yeah...... and cut some bangs......"
Joe: "Oh, I thought you'd just styled it differently."
Me: "You didn't know I didn't have bangs?"
Joe: "I thought maybe you just brushed them to the side all the time, but tonight you styled them."

I have not had bangs since my awful sophomore year class photo when my bangs were horribly lop-sided (once again, wet hair and NO FEAR, but perhaps I should have had some). So Joe has never known me when I had bangs. Do all guys think we are secretly hiding bangs? 2 1/2 years of marriage; you'd think he would notice! Do I laugh or cry? :) (I'm laughing, but it is sad laughter....)

All about my S.O.

1) Where did you meet? At CB&Potts, watching a CSU football game on TV. This is also where I fell in love (*siiiiiiigh*)
2) How long til you got married? 7 months and 6 days
3) How long have you been married? 2 years and 5 months (Just like my sister! married 20 days apart)
4) Your favorite feature of his? His whole face
5) Your favorite quality of his? His generosity (he bought me the movie PS I Love You and a Dustbuster [which I'd been dying for and he knew it] on a random trip to Target, without me there! Who is that nice, seriously??)
6) Does he have a nickname for you? Sheersta, which is awful because I don't like it but it makes me laugh every time! Like being tickled! I'm laughing just typing the silly thing.
7) His favorite food? What isn't his favorite? Some of the top: Medium ribeye steak, clam chowder in a breadbowl, graham crackers and milk, and the rigatoni martino from Carrabas (our first date, leading up to #9)
8) What is his favorite sport to watch? Football because he doesn't watch any other sports. Ok, we watch Rockies baseball, but only if we're actually THERE. I've never seen him watch another sport on TV (UFC doesn't count)
9) When was your first kiss? At the end of our first date, the day after we met. He was so smooth, he went in for TWO kisses.
10) What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? Go on "dream dates" to Home Depot and dream about buying everything in the store! That or our Saturday lunches - we go to a fast food place every Saturday, and it's what I look forward to all week (am I pathetic?)
11) Do you have kids? If you read my blog, you know the answer.
12) Does he have a hidden talent? He speaks spanish. This shouldn't be hidden, since he has a degree in it, but it still surprises me when he gets into a conversation in Spanish. You speak spanish? (You got bangs?)
13) How old is he? 24 for a few more precious weeks! Wish him Happy Birthday on December 5th, and tell him he's a cradle robber!
14) Who said I love you first? He did because I cajolled him. It was so OBVIOUS he did, so just say it already! (Maybe that's where Patrick gets his obviousness)
15) What do you admire most about him? His spur-of-the-moment attitude.
16) What is his favorite type of music? Country, though we disagree on the particulars. He likes Dierks Bentley and Cross Canadian Ragweed, and I do NOT.
17) Do you think he will read this? Mmmmmmmmmmmaybe
...and, because only 17 questions is kinda weird, I made up my own to round it to 20....
18) What is his favorite article of clothing? These brown shorts that he wears every single day, no matter what color of top or what the temperature is outside. He comes home and puts on the brown cargo shorts.
19) What is his favorite hobby? He goes through phases, like me (I'm not a phase, I go through phases...sheesh!), ranging from golf to target-shooting to camping to working out
20) How did you decide he was the one for you? Two things: he danced with me in the kitchen (a lifelong dream of mine), and he wanted a girl who wanted to be a girl. Not a career woman, but someone to take of him, to have children with, and someone that he could take care of in return. Funny, because that was exactly what I was looking for in a guy :)
Finally: I tag Tara and Andrea A.

Monday, November 10, 2008

SHOCKER - for those who weren't paying attention

Joe will totally not approve of this post.....but I must!!!

I may be just a teensie bit excited for Twilight the movie to come out, and have found myself googling (on more than one occasion) trailers for the movie and pics of the actors. And today I was SHOCKED to find that Robert Pattinson, aka Edward (*siiiiiiiigh*), also played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies! No wonder Cho Chang had such a thing for him! So if you, like me, can't stand the wait to see him in the flick, go check out "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."
As Cedric, with Harry (Danielle Radcliff).
Cedric again. How did we not notice this guy???
Ahhhhh, Edward

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's the most grateful time of the year

I'm blending myspace and blogging, since I was tagged in this myspace post but am too far gone with blogger to even think about writing on myspace anymore. It is the Top 10 Thankful-for list for 2008! (for me, at least)

1. My husband. I could make a miniature top-10 list of why I'm glad he's my husband and not yours! (Similarly, you married folk could make a list of why you're glad you married your man and not mine! Funny how we're all grossed out at the thought of another person's spouse but imagine everyone is totally jealous of ours) But instead I'll get sappy and tell you he is my DREAM BOAT, the guy I always wanted to marry but never thought I'd end up with, but -as luck and a marriage license would have it - he's mine. And I'm more grateful than I could express in 100 blogs or more! (p.s. this is us when we were dating - teehee!)2. Patrick, for so many reasons. He has put an entirely new spin on my life, made me a mommy and Joe a daddy and US a family. Plus, he's really cute and makes me laugh :-D
3. Strong Faith. You always hear the tough decisions in life aren't tough at all when you've made up your mind beforehand (like drinking or smoking or something), and it seems like faith is the same kind of thing. When I come upon tough questions in life it's so much easier to face them with my mind already made up and my heart in the right place.
4. Talents. I really consider myself a jack of all trades, having no willpower or desire to completely devote myself to one thing or another. But I love so many things (piano, scrapbooking, art, interior design, cooking, violin, sewing...) that I feel very blessed that I have such an easy time with them all. It would be very bad if I loved scrapbooking but it took ages and I hated the way my pages turned out. It would be like being alergic to your favorite food!

5. Books. In spite of all of my aforementioned loves, if I have to choose between reading a good book and sewing an awesome new skirt, reading will win out almost every time. Sometimes this is obnoxious, as it causes loads of laundry to go unfolded, but who could stay mad at a good book and a blanket? Nobody, that's who. 6. Arrested Development. Yeah, it's been off the air forever, but Joe and I rented all the seasons and we were rolling off the couch together! It's been the source of referred side comments ever since, which are ALWAYS good for a chuckle. 7. Nursing. This has certainly had its ups and downs, but over the long term it's been not only good for Patrick, but GREAT for my waistline! Nursing bras: $20. Breastpump (that I melted half of): $60. Extra-large grocery bill because I'm continuously ravenous: $300. Weighing less than I did before I got pregnant: priceless. 8. One silver Honda Pilot. It's not new, but it's new to us! And every time I climb in our "new" car I am SO glad we bought it. From grocery trips to car trips it gets good gas mileage and gets us where we need to go, and we never have to worry if we'll have enough room for our luggage or if it will make the trip over the mountains.
9. Diplomas! Getting mine in May was more than amazing, it was a flat-out MIRACLE. Now Joe is graduating in December with his second degree, and we'll finally be done with college! forever. Now THAT is something to be grateful for!
10. Connections. With so much going on this year - having a baby of my own and gaining a beautiful neice and nephew, turbulent months of family members in and out of the hospital, numerous family trips, etc - it would have been so hard without cell phones, email, and (of course) blogs. I love seeing photos of the babies as they grow, my sisters as they make their houses homes, and hearing updates from family and friends alike! So when Patrick takes a nap (or goes to bed ridiculously early like tonight) I get a chance to reach out beyond my own living room! I don't know how people did it before technology, seriously. Hats off to you!

There they are People! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!! And lots to be thankful for!! I know I do!