Friday, September 26, 2008

8 months and Farming

Patrick turned 8 months yesterday - whoo-hoo! 2/3 of the way to one year. The Lunch Bunch group from church meets on Thursdays and since yesterday was Thursday we met at the farm at Lee Martinez Park. Patrick's first time to a farm...and mine, too! (This would be an embarassment to my grandma Smiley, who grew up on a farm. Seriously, who hasn't been to a farm before?!? [I don't count Moon Farm in Grand Junction because I don't remember visiting any animals while I was there, just playing in playhouses and chasing peacocks]).

At the farm there are lots of animals to look at and you can even feed the sheep, goats, and pigs! I fed the goats, though I was admittedly terrified at first. They were REALLY excited about getting fed (I mean really excited), and I could only imagine they would be equally excited to eat my hand. Fortunately they crave oats instead of fresh human blood so all the injury I sustained was a slobbery palm. We also saw a chicken lay an egg and learned that the average milk cow produced 6 1/2 gallons of milk a day. This sheds a whole new light on my grandma, whose chore it was to milk the cows. That is a LOT of milking. So although I have still never been to a State Fair (thanks, Kari), I have now been to a farm.

Checking out the horses. That would be a horse in the left corner; he was camera-shy.
These guys are SO cute, now I think I want a pet pig, and possibly a spider named Charlotte.
Me, the voyeur, watching the chicken lay an egg.
More chickens. They are an extremely talkative animal.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Playlist that doesn't play

I updated my playlist with more songs, so take a listen. Just put me on in the background while you clean the kitchen or something. Most of these are random songs I found while listening to Pandora online radio (highly recommended, since the radio is awful and even 1,000 songs on an iPod get old after a while) and quite a few of them are songs I felt a connection with. But not all of them, so if a song is about a breakup or something, Joe and I are NOT breaking up. I just like the song. And who knows, you might like it too! Also, I switched the playlist to NOT automaticly play when you check my blog because how annoying is THAT when you just want to read a quick little blog, maybe post a comment, but you're mid-melody? Yeah, I know. So now you have to hit play.

As long as I've got you checking out my playlist, my overplayed obsession (at least on MY computer) is "In my arms" by Plumb. So beautiful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cookin' up trouble

As you might have figured out in my blog about shark steaks, I like a little culinary adventure now and then. Sunday night the adventure was REAL hot chocolate. Not hot cocoa (any kind of powdered chocolate, even if it's with milk); this was delicious melted chocolate. Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces (an entire bar!!!) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk 'til very hot but not boiling, add the chocolate pieces and stir 'til completely melted. Add the vanilla extract and cornstarch, stirring constantly til its almost the consistancy of pudding (that's when you know this is gonna be good). Serve immediately, making sure to find a couch or other soft surface for when you pass out from chocolate overdose.

I served this to Joe during the last tender minutes of Titanic - the movie he was watching when I woke up from a nap. That was probably the weirdest thing I've ever seen him do, but he declared it was a good Sunday movie since it's so long (despite the nudity scene, I guess...). I about died, the hot chocolate was so good (fortunately, had that couch handy so I didn't) but Joe said he prefers Swiss Miss. Guess that means I get ALL the hot chocolate next time, eh?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Size is relative

Despite the 0-3 month size indication, this sweater vest seems to fit newborns to 8 month olds. Also, same dress 6 weeks post-pardum and 8 months later.

Not particularly amuzed at our choice of outfit for him. Just testing out his range of motion.

Our first time to church as a family in February.

The sweater vest now, still lookin' good. Especially with Patrick's side-part and Kirsta's chop.

I'm walkin' on sunshine....whoa-oh!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No! Shark! Bite me!

Things said or done do NOT get lived down in my family, and the title of this blog is no exception - I said it when I was about 5 (?) years old at Sea World when I was scared to get my picture taken with a fake Shamu. I thought he was a shark. At least that's what I hear the story is, I have no recollection of it because I was SO YOUNG. Yet still unable to live it down. At Christmas, ask me what a "lote-bulb" is, I haven't lived that down, either.

This week, though, I showed that shark what was up and bit it back in the form of dinner: shark steaks. They were at Safeway, $2.50 a pound, so I picked some up knowing how AWESOME it would be to eat shark. And it really was - I grilled 'em up and served them with grilled zuccini and grilled nectarines (yumm-o-licious). That was our fun culinary adventure for the week.
On our little grill
On our dinner plates!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rockies, because I'm a copycat

Joe, Patrick and I went to Denver Monday night for the Rockies v. San Fransisco, and it was so much fun! (My sister Kari already blogged about it, so I stole some of her photos and will post some of my own.) We've gone to a few Rockies games this summer and last, but we've never seen them win, and 11-4 was no exception. Until Monday, we'd also never gotten there early enough to catch the first pitch! We are die-hard (aka we get out money's worth!) fans, so we DO always see through to the last out of the last inning and whether or not we're hungry (like I'm ever not hungry...) we get our free hotdogs and cokes! The atmosphere was awesome, even if we did end up walking Patrick around for a few innings because of the late hour and his grumpy attitude (not seen here).
Awesome aunt Kari takes him off our laps for a while. They laugh, they cry, they bond. Notice Patrick's official purple Rockies onesie - purple is not just for girls anymore.
Kirsta and Kari ham it up. That's Joe's dejected mitt behind Kirsta - no way were we getting any fly balls in our seats.
Thanks for coming, guys!
Getting bundled against what little night air there was. We were determined to have Patrick wear his letter jacket, even if it wasn't that chilly. It's just too awesome.

a little like his daddy

Debbie (Joe's mom) gave us some photos of him when he was Patrick's age because I'm scrapbooking them side-by-side, seeing how much they look alike (sometimes it's SCARY). So I thought I'd post some similar looks - like father, like son.

Joe at 11 months (we went for comparative poses, since obviously we can't compare at this age yet)

Patrick at 7 months, sitting pretty...errr, handsomely

Joe at 9 months, lounging like he does at 24 years

Patrick at 7 months, swinging his cares away

Joe at 9 months, climbing around and looking for trouble

Patrick at 7 months, standing tall

Monday, September 15, 2008

A day without a baby

Saturday was AMAZING because it was the first day I've EVER spent away from Patrick! Joe took him down to hang out with family in Denver and they were gone from 10 am til about 7:30 p.m. In the morning I was so worried - would he be fussy? Would he get hungry without me there? (He eats solids, but we still haven't tried completely replacing meals yet; he won't take a bottle, and he drinks his sippy cup but not enough to compare to what he gets from me) Would he take a nap without me there to nurse him down? Gah! All these worries. Then I manned up and realized that me worrying would not change a THING (besides making me miserable) so I decided to just enjoy my day. And I DID! Inspired by Jonathan's spur-of-the-moment craftiness (see his bookshelf on I got things done that I have been putting off, or things I would have put off that I'm just starting.
A scarf I knitted 3 years ago, but the yarn is scratchy acrylic, so I wanted to back it with some soft fleece. FINALLY did that.
Close-up on the pattern. It's really a cool scarf, I have no idea why I waited that long to finish it.
A hand-decorated quilt pieced together for Lindsay Halgren's new baby girl (not finished, but it's a great start!)
A bag for holding bibs and washcloths. These were being kept in Patrick's room, in a really cute holder, but every time we had dinner or a snack we had to run to his room to get what we needed.
Now it's tied on to the back of his chair in the dining room. VERY handy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My rought-draft manifesto

Manifesto: a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.
Sovereign: a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler.
I am the queen of this apartment, so I can write manifestos.

Introduction: Being a mother is one of the most important things to me and about me. Being a wife might be more important, and I strongly believe that you need to put your spouse above your children, but I don't think that's the direction this particular manifesto will go (but who knows, it's a rough draft). This is in shocking contrast to myself exactly 10 years ago when I loathed the idea of having children, thought motherhood was a trap for women to keep them down, and generally hated the fact that I was a girl. I even refused to buy bras for far too long because of it. 2 years later I did a complete turn-about when I was 16 at EFY (Elsha, you remember this!) and went from hating womanhood to loving it, hating modesty to embracing it, detesting church to actually enjoying it.... I'm not sure if this is when I quit hating my dad, too - that might have been a bit later, but surely not by far (sorry, dad!). Of course things fluctuated and I hit some gray areas of my life, even dabbling back in the black, but eventually I got myself straightened out ("thank goodness!" my parents sigh). However, I never forgot that it is actually a gift to be a girl (and a boy, but that's not what this is about) and I re-formulated my life plans to include getting married and probably having kids. The closer that time in my life got, the more readily I embraced these plans, until - magically - I met a guy who had the same plans as I did! Marriage and 18 months later, 1+1=3 and now I am actually LIVING those life plans of being a stay-at-home mother and I am now facing the somewhat daunting task of raising my own child(ren) to be honest, hard-working contributors to society.

Actual Manifesto: Although my child is INFINITELY important to me I believe I would be doing him a disservice to make him the center of my life. Hear me out. Children grow with love and support, and should be led by example. Often, however, I see that children are being put in the spotlight, their every move on display while they are completely the center of attention. This puts them in a difficult position to learn from examples because there is no one setting an example, just people looking at them to do something cute (this is on the list of why I love/hate cameras). Raised as the center of attention they are not taught to put others needs before their own, to be helpful, to be kind, and to be patient. There is an epidemic of children who need praise to simply function; they think their most basic actions (drawing on paper, peeing in the toilet, not hitting their neighbor) are praiseworthy and special. Sure, some things DO deserve praise - I prefer rewards of praise than threats of punishment when learning something new (I'm thinking: potty training). But do kids really need to be complimented every time they poop? That's not amazing, it's a simple skill required for survival in society! Some drawings ARE really special, but what if it's just a doodle? Who cares?

The extent of "helicopter" parenting kinda freaks me out. Parents hover over their child as they do whatever it is that they're doing, assuring them they they are amazing and talented, and making sure they can't fail. We are SUPPOSED to fail, we are supposed to learn from our mistakes, we are supposed to get picked last for kickball so we can have empathy and we are supposed to feel sad so we can understand how to make ourselves happy again. It is not wrong to NOT be the smartest, the fastest, or the prettiest, and I think parents do a big disservice when they expect their kid to be any or all of the above. And praise won't get them there, it will just make them scared of NOT getting there, which makes them scared of trying - if you try, you might fail. I believe this is leading to an entire generation NOT TRYING. Not getting married - marriages might fail. Not trying to work out failing marriages - they didn't sign up for NOT being the center of attention! Not ever leaving college - they might not find a job in their degree, so they'd better stay in college! Get a masters! Or a PhD! Help, I'm almost out of college!*

*I'm not saying anyone pursuing a second degree (Joe) or a PhD (dad) is trying to avoid life, or that anyone who did 4 years and out is a total go-getter. But is it a coincidence that these examples DID start life the REST of their lives (wife, kids, etc), even while stuck in college?

Now, why don't we let kids have little disappointments when they're little, so they'd know how to handle big disappointments when they grow up? It seems insanely logical to me, yet I feel really nervous letting Patrick fall down, letting him cry it out, letting him crawl around the living room while I cook dinner and pay no attention to him. (Ok, some attention, but he is "alone in the presence of a mother." I'm not involved). I feel nervous because I think others interpret my actions as being an inattentive mother, inexperienced, or just plain lazy. But I am NOT. I just know that if I am there to entertain Patrick every moment he's awake so he won't feel sad, he'll never learn to entertain himself. If I carry him everywhere now because he hates crawling, I'll be carrying him everywhere until I have our next baby, and then he'll be ticked that he's "replaced." I can hope that when he is older and his actions have more consequences that people will not interpret his broken arm as "child negligence" but I know that those helicopter parents out there will. I will be judged, probably harshly, which is really tough to accept. But hey, that's what manifestos are for. Telling you my side of the story with my opinions.

I'd like to applaud my own parents; I have SO many childhood memories that my mother is not in. I was at home, why is she not in that memory? Because I was alone (or with my sisters) in the presence of my mother, who was letting me grow up. Thanks, mom. Dad, thanks for waiting it out so you could get back to the good times with me. But you should have yelled at me more, I was really a jerk. And Debbie, thanks for giving Joe so many knuckles on the head - kids need space to grow, but boundaries (especially when they think you're not looking). Last night while reminescing with friends he apologized for all those times in high school he gave you grief. His friends say sorry, too :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

T-Rex, for your viewing pleasure

This is a glimpse of his face when he roars - check it out on the video!Today Patrick had a little earache so we went to the doctor, where I got some great footage of his roar. He also roared at the people in the waiting room, at the doctor, and at the pharmacist when we got his meds afterwards. What a silly dinosaur.
*Note: the scratch between his eyebrows was from trying to climb the box of diapers. He was fine until he sat down while looking down, not quite far enough away from the box.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My little explorer

I'm not much of a poet, but I do like to express myself creatively every once in a while since I'm much poorer at plain ol' writing. So here's a little something I wrote that pretty much decribes my days with Patrick - he comes to bed with me every morning and we roll around for as long as he'll stand it because I hate getting up. So as I'm trying to wake up he creeps around, peeks over the edge, and explores. Then he's crawling and pulling himself up all over the place, and he seems so big now, so I feel sad... but when he gets sad and he snuggles with me I feel how small he is, and I know he'll always be my baby. Anyway, here goes:

As you roll to your side,
eyes wide and unblinking,
mouth stuck in that smile,
you look at me like, "let's start an adventure!"
You crawl 'round the bed,
peering over the edge,
daring five pudgy fingers
out into space, like, "let's see where THIS goes!"
Your small little arms
with your small little fists
grab the first thing o'erhead
and you pull yourself up, like, "check out what I can do!"
Then you tumble and fall
as you lose that small grip
and down sideways you go,
scared and surprised, like, "what just happened to me??"
So you squeeze your eyes shut
and you cry and you cry
'til you feel me pick up
your small, crumpled frame, like, "being small is so tough."
And we cuddle and rock
and you bury your head
way down deep in my neck
and I think, "sometimes I am so glad you fall
just so I can pick you up."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Patrick roars like a little Tyranosaurus Rex - at the tub, at the table, even at the library. My favorite is when people around us in the store pretend to not notice. Yeah, like you could miss the T-Rex in isle 7.
Do all kids sleep like this? I know I did, I thought it was incredibly comfortable (who knows why...) until Elsha cured me of that by taking a running start and slapping me in the butt. After that, it was just safer to keep my rear in a low-profile.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oh, what a weekend

Saturday is our day to hang out, since Joe doesn't work or have school (yet - the projects will come soon, I know it). Since a new Babies R Us/Toys R Us opened last week we thought we'd check it out. It. Is. Amazing. Do NOT go there unless you have wads of cash to blow through in not a lot of time - not because the stuff is necessarily overpriced, but because you will want to buy EVERYTHING. From the new designer crib set to the old school box of Lincoln Logs, a small fortune could be spent in one afternoon. Much like my clearance isle quirk, I browsed everything, even if it wasn't what we needed or could even use (preemie onsies? You BET we checked 'em out). Fortunately, all we needed was batteries (actually, those are kind of a small fortune) so we walked away with wallets relatively unscathed. But buyer, beware: that place will be a ZOO come Christmas, so best do your shopping now while you don't have to fight through the Lincoln Log section because that's where we'll be browsing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Express yourself

Thought I'd share some of my favorite expressions from Patrick.

We are having SO much fun right now!

Like when girls pooch out their lips because they think it's sexy

Oooooh-ooooooh-ooooooh...... lemme get that!

Really involved with something else - the best time to scare him

Boo! ..... Agh!

"I'm ooold! Let me goooo!"

However, nothing compares to Missy Kalena's expressions. Does it GET any better than this?


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Although I've only been blogging for a month, give or take a month, I have started a list in my head of possible blogs. You know, something to write when theres nothing else exciting to write about. Then one of the blogs that I've been thinking about is Quirks, sort of a list of funny things about myself. Then I realized that on my list of quirks is that I like making lists. Hmmmm.... is it me, or is there starting to be an heirarchy if lists here? So today I'm stopping the madness and writing down my quirks, list-loving and all.

I am OCD about:

Making lists. On my daily "To Do" list I even list no-duh things, like "wake up" and "get dressed" and "eat." I also have multiple lists, like "Songs I'd like to download," "Movies I want to rent," "Possible Christmas presents for family" (this list starts the day after Christmas), and my own personal "Bucket List" (Joe and I made our own lists BEFORE the movie, thank you very much). To see this Bucket List, simply check my blog in a few days, I'm sure I will have posted it by then, it's one of my thought-blogs.

Tweezing my eyebrows. Probably do it twice a day, every day.

Reading (can you actually be OCD about this?) I like to have at least 2 books going at one time.

De-junking. I do this probably once a month, which is about 11 more times per year than I would estimate the average person does it. I clean out everything from the pen cup (yep, I test each and every pen) to the closet and under the bed. You'd think we would have an empty house with NO junk because of this, but that's not true - I have an emotional attachment to my personal junk just like everyone else, but I know that EVENTUALLY I will no longer feel attached to it, so the junk stays until I can free myself without a single pang of guilt or remorse. This is why I do it so often - just checking the remorse reflex to see if it's still there and if I can finally get rid of that old shirt that doesn't fit but is SO cute.

Shopping clearance racks. Doesn't matter if I don't need it, don't have money with me, or am not even shopping in a place MEANT for me (like the men's clothing section) - I am drawn to clearance racks like pen to paper, butter-side toast to the floor, stink on garbage. I just can't help myself.

To my knowledge, I am normal other than this :) Except, maybe, blogging in my head.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


These are total copies from my sister Kari's blog, but for friends who don't feel compelled to click on ALL my family links you can see who we spent our fun weekend with. And we can pretend that I'm original in posting these cute photos!

Kari and Aly, friends since dinosaur days

The Jacobs family and the Phelps family (aka my sister and brother-in-law)

Enjoying their cute backyard while steaks sizzled in the background - mmmmmm!

It WAS a fun weekend, with one little hiccup - Patrick was OFTEN in a bad mood, and REALLY bad about taking naps. We figured lack of naps led to lack of good attitude, but we did NOT figure out until Monday that lack of naps was probably because Patrick got TEETH! Not one, but two in one day. Poor kid, he battled through it pretty well, considering! Looking back, maybe he wasn't so fussy after all....

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Hairy Tale

Worried for Patrick's emotional security we have put off giving him a haricut (read: we hear every kid screams bloody murder the first time, and that sounded like no fun). We had to admit, though, his hair was too long to do anything with - not that we style it THAT often, but when we like to be able to gel it when he needs to look EXTRA suave. So while in Pueblo, with plenty of hands on-deck to hold his arms down and head straight while someone ran the clippers, we decided to go for it!
a little TOO long and luscious

Turns out, we didn't need the help. He LOVED the buzzing of the cutters and just smiled and chewed on my keys the entire time. Crisis averted, great haircut complete!

Smiling for the clippers - bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Uncle Jonathan works on the style - his first time giving a baby haircut!

So much more clean-cut, now we can spike it to match dad's on Sundays :)