love my family

The title of this blog post is pretty self-explanatory, I know. I should love my family. Everyone should love their family. But, we know how families can be.

I feel so blessed to have Trask and Taylor. I love that we go places as a family and make it a point to have fun, no matter what we are doing. This weekend was one of those weekends I will always remember and adore.

Friday night Trask and I went on our date and it was awesome! Taylor was happily spending the night at Nana's, so I was happy he was excited about that. Trask and I had a great dinner at Stanford's and then went to the Amos Lee concert at the Oregon Zoo. It was PACKED. We went last year to see Amos and it wasn't as crowded, which means more people are realizing Amos is amazing and puts on an incredible concert. This time it was sold out. Trask and I found great seats, similar to where we sat last year, and enjoyed the whole show. It felt so nice to sit together and not worry about anything for once, and to just LOVE the music, and laugh at Amos Lee. He's so incredible. If you haven't heard him, you go and you listen to him now. Not later, but NOW. After the concert we made an essential stop at the DQ drive-thru and the rest of the night is history.

Saturday morning we grabbed some breakfast at Panera. I can't get enough of their bacon and spinach egg souffles. I want to bring one home to meet my mom and date it forever. After that we went to the Hillsboro Saturday Market and then went to a children's resale shop. That shop was amazing! We bought 14 items for like $45. And 8 of those items were maternity shirts and pants for me!!! It'll feel nice not crying every morning trying to find something to wear. Trask is thankful for this, too. We went and picked up Taylor and headed down the hill with Nana and picked some peaches. Later that day Trask made a fantastic peach pie and I wanted to marry him all over again. He is the greatest guy in the world. I have no doubts about this and will fight you if you say otherwise.

Yesterday was Sunday and we decided we needed to go to Oceanside, our most favorite Oregon beach spot. We played on the beach for hours, building castles, going on walks, chasing birds, walking through the cave (I got brave!), and just enjoying our time together. We got some lunch in Tillamook and then headed back to a different beach, Happy Camp. Taylor found a stream that he could run up and down in, like a salmon, and couldn't be happier. The day was so perfect.

I am not trying to brag with my weekend fun, not at all. It's just that it's Monday and my anxiety is at an all-time high, so I am trying to keep my mind distracted. After this I will work on cleaning the house, to once again keep my mind busy.

A quick note to Trask. Thank you for being the world's best husband and dad. Thanks for making family and family trips and fun a priority, and for always having the time and energy, even when you don't have the time or any energy left. I am so very blessed to have you. Love you, honey.

What a great weekEND.



Trask and I have been busy rearranging our bedroom to make room for the little one's crib and such. I have been going through bouts of motivation, followed by a week of laziness that makes me feel worthless. I guess it'll all get done, that's why we have 9 months to plan/worry.

We've been taking it corner by corner, space by space at a time. Not only rearranging, but re-evaluating what we need to keep and what we need to get out of the house to optimize our small space.

Today, I present you a corner of my bedroom that is finished and is just how I like it. (Well, I wanna stain or paint the dresser, but that'll wait a year or two...). Would you like to see my corner? Okay, here it is:

Ta-dah. Pretty cute, right? And I used everything I already owned. Think of all the savings. Not that I don't want to shop, but how can I shop for that kind of stuff now, when there are so many other things we have to get to prepare for this little nugget.

There you go. Just wanted to share. I'll share more when other corners come together. Off to go back to cleaning... I think I've found something to occupy my mind with so I am not so anxious - cleaning. Oh, and I am going to go eat a cookie or two. Oreos.



sleep deprivation: a flashback

Gearing up and mentally preparing for my second child has been tough. Tough because I'm already tired now, and I know that I'll be even more tired when the sweet nugget of baby gets here. (after I push it out, not like after it's delivered by FedEx, that would be way too easy).

I love looking back at the funny things that Trask and I did in the midst of our sleep deprivation once Taylor was born.

First, Taylor was a sweet bundle of always awake and only happy if a food source is in my mouth kind of kid. This made for difficult nights. Taylor was not a good nurser at all, so I did a lot of pumping. A lot of pumping.

I'd wake up a few times a night and go out to the living room, turn on my TV (without cable) and turn on the pump and try not to fall asleep with the crazy milkers falling off of myself, drenching myself in my own milk, wasting the liquid gold that seemed to make Taylor so happy. There was nothing on TV. Nothing. Infomercials. That is all. And I remember ONE time God smiled down on me and put an episode of Mama's Family on TV. Because God and I are tight. He does favors for me all the time, but this was a fave.

So with all the pumping, and then feeding Taylor when he'd wake up, etc, sleep was not a frequent thing. We were SO first time parents. We had no schedule and no clue.

Things started getting really weird at night once we'd go so long without quality rest. The stories are plenty, but I won't bore you with all of them.

One night I woke up to Trask unplugging the floor lamp in our bedroom. Right next to where Taylor was sleeping. Sleeping! Our conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Trask, what are you doing?

Trask: I am moving the lamp.

Me: But WHY?

Trask: Because the book said to.

Me: WHAT book?

Trask: The book at the end of the bed.

(there is no book at the end of the bed)

Me: Trask. What are you doing that for?!

Trask: The book said Taylor would eat better if the light was moved closer to you.

Me: You are wrong. Go to bed.

Trask: Okay.

So Trask was a wreck. Incorporating made up feeding techniques in his sleep and trying to pass it off as advice from a book that didn't exist. Completely normal. I still make fun of him for this. But then he makes fun of me for this...

It was not uncommon for me to wake up thinking that I had fallen asleep feeding Taylor, and thinking that I had lost him in the blankets. I would search and search and find out that I wasn't nursing Taylor at all, but had my baby blanket (yes, my baby blanket) in my arms, holding it like a baby and trying to get my blanket to nurse. Go ahead and analyze this if you must. I am messed up, I know. Now to just figure out WHY. And by the way, my blanket never figured out how to nurse.

I can't even wait to see what this baby makes us do. I know this time I am going to try so much harder with breastfeeding, that way I don't have to be awake to feed and to pump. I am excited that I finally figured that one out. I also can't wait to see what kind of furniture Trask moves around, trying to find the optimal room organization that fosters positive eating habits for baby and mom.

You may think we have no business making babies, since I try to nurse blankets and Trask rearranges the house in his sleep, but I think we're pretty dang good parents, so far!

date night + amos lee

A date night is approaching. Can you feel the excitement in the air? It smells like flowers, rain on the sidewalk and awesome. Yes. Awesome has a smell.

Okay, so I don't really know what I am talking about, but it must be because this Friday Trask and I get to go see the Amos Lee concert at the Oregon Zoo outside, alone. Well, not alone. Other people will probably show up for the concert. But we'll be sans-child. (Which is always weird for me!).

Trask and I went to the Amos Lee concert at the zoo last year and had a blast, and we're super excited about this year. Taylor is going to spend the night with his Nana and we'll pick him up Saturday morning.

When we had first received our tickets, I wasn't pregnant, so I envisioned a bottle of wine and a blanket with copious amounts of food, but now I'll swap that bottle of wine for lemonade or sparkling cider and add even more food to that already copious amount. Can't wait.

While I am terrible at leaving Taylor anywhere, it's good for him and it's good for me. I've been home with him for his whole life. I think that Trask and I need to take back date night and go out more often. This every other month or two isn't working. I forget how much I love hanging out with just him.

So, I hope that Amos is ready for me this Friday, because I am beyond ready for him. If you guys aren't Amos Lee listeners, go listen to a song or two and tell me he isn't amazing.

Amos Lee Date Night 2009 will be great, I can't wait! Now to go see if I can get a haircut before, by some chance!


girl name.

I think Trask and I have a girl name nailed down, finally! If we have a little girl, her name is going to be Elliot. And if she hates it, she can go by Elle, Ella or Ellie or Milicent. Or hey you, girl with the boy name. Whatever she wants.

I've decided that no one in this child's generation will know anything about the movie ET either, so we don't have to worry about that. Ellllllioooooot.

We haven't come up with a middle name for Elliot yet. But we're close. And we're closer to coming up with boy names.

I am at 13 weeks now and am feeling a bit better, but still dragging, and not my normal self. The boys accompanied me to the doctor last Friday and we heard the heartbeat. A steady 160 beats per minute. There's nothing like hearing that heartbeat, I could listen to it all day long. So amazing.

My doctor is recommending I go see a counselor because with this pregnancy, my anxiety is just out of control. Besides the normal hormone fluctuations, mine were out of whack to begin with, so they are really messing with me. I am hoping a counselor can help me sort things out and learn to handle my anxiety a bit better. I am looking forward to being more of myself.

I hope everyone is doing great. I can't tell you all how ready I am for fall, my very favorite season. I am ready for pumpkins, pretty leaves, cold, crisp days, walks and sweaters. My favorites! And can't wait for the smell of my pumpkin spice candles and just being all cozy. I love the fall! Wish it lasted longer.

babies and advice

Every parent knows that when you take your child out in public, it's basically an open-invitation to all strangers to give you parenting advice, criticize you and your parenting choices and to basically make you feel like an ass.

I learned about this open-invitation for mockery and judgment very early in my motherhood. I was told Taylor was too yellow (duh, hello jaundice and billi-rubin lights!), that he needed socks on (JULY!!), and the biggest one, when Taylor got his glasses, a lady in white stretch pants with purple/red hair told me I was taking away his childhood by making him wear glasses. Seriously. I was taking away Taylor's childhood by putting him in glasses that HELPED. HIM. SEE.

It's my great friend Jill that passed along this amazingly funny website called Let's Panic!, and I love the humor and sarcasm this website has dripping out of it's pores. Give the whole website your attention, but I will highlight a tiny part of what made me laugh so hard I tinkled a little bit. Or a lot bit.

When going out in public with your baby, you will be given unsolicited advice, like this:

What you will hear: “That sun is shining right in your baby’s eyes!”

Who will say it: A total stranger who resents your control over the direction of the sun.

Why she is saying it: You caused the sun to shine right in your baby’s eyes.

What you should do: Thank the stranger for saving your baby’s eyes, and shift the angle of the sun so that it no longer shines directly in your baby’s eyes. Even though your baby is sleeping and her eyes are closed. (Also: run away.)

Jill, thank you so much for the website, I love it! Readers, really, control the angle of the sun when it beats down in your child's eyes. You wouldn't want to ruin your child's life and have to put glasses on them.

Maybe next time we'll talk about the part about vaginas from Let's Panic. But Monday is too soon for that sort of talk. That's a Wednesday thing.


thanks, scale

I just got the nicest compliment from my electronic bathroom scale.

I stepped on and it read 'Lo'. At first I really wanted to think that I weighed too little and it was telling me I was too light to weigh. But then I realized that the batteries were low.

Needless to say, I am not replacing the batteries until after this baby is born, and I will continue to believe that my scale thinks I am too skinny.

Found a new best friend today.


Plan Toys Activity Bus: the coolest!

A few months back I signed up to participate in some toy-testing with a great toy website called ebeanstalk.

Ebeanstalk has a group of child experts that help select great learning toys and toys for kids of all ages, from baby toys, toys for 1 year olds, toys for 2 year olds, etc. This seemed right up our alley, since Taylor happens to love toys. And he loves to give his opinion!

Last week we received the Activity Bus from Plan Toys who makes green developmental toys and Taylor couldn't be more excited!

This Activity Bus is amazing for so many reasons.

First, as a parent, I can't stand seeing plastic toys scattered around the house. They look cheap to me. The Activity Bus is made of wood, and is painted nicely and is super cute.

Upon opening the box, Taylor's first response was "oh my goodness"! He opened it right up and started playing. Included in the Activity Bus are wooden people, school desks, a chalkboard and other school supplies. I love that it's open-ended, letting Taylor use his imagination.

The bus opens and closes with ease, and it is extremely well made. I would purchase this toy, or other toys from Plan Toys for Taylor and also for gifts. I love that it's a green product, it's attractive and isn't noisy. No batteries needed and my son still LOVES to play with it, and it keeps him entertained for a long time.

We are so excited that we got to test this toy out, and as I am typing this, Taylor on the floor, playing with the Plan Toys Activity Bus once again. This is going to be a favorite for years, I can already tell!