Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sorry, lost my mind for a while

Apparently, I have skipped an entire season. Sorry Fall. What can I say? Ryan started pre-school. Jason started working in Bend. I got a new job back in the lab at Providence. And time flew. Now it's the week before Christmas and a family sized bout of pneumonia has slowed us down to a crawl. Literally. So I thought I'd write, catch up a bit. Nah, at this point pictures will do a better job. Here we go.

Here are some shots of Ryan when we went to the beach last summer. He was posing on some driftwood for me. What a big boy!

Also last summer, he discovered cowboys.
And super hero's. More on that later.

And here is his very first day of preschool.

Ah, the beginning of the Spider-man obsession.

And as we got closer and closer to Halloween, Ryan found Iron Man, and then it was all over.

When Jason started working in Bend and I was working at Providence, Wednesday night became Ryan's night to stay over at Uncle Greg's house. Here is a shot of his bedroom. He is so proud of it.

During part of the long Thanksgiving weekend, Jason took Ryan over to Bend to stay the night at his hotel and play in the snow. They made snow angels, had chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa, and Ryan was so excited to tell me, "I threw a smowball at Daddy's beans!"

And finally, the most recent picture of me. Lovely, isn't it? Here I am in the hospital, on oxygen and IV antibiotics. Happy to be breathing and taken care of by the wonderful nurses at Willamette Falls Hospital.

And that's about it. At this point, my biggest Christmas wish is that my family is healthy enough to enjoy the holidays ahead and thankful enough to appreciate all the fun days behind.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ryan the pirate

Ryan walks up, hands me the hanker-chief and tells me he wants to be a pirate. I put the hanker-chief on his head, absent minded. I am not paying attention. I look up to see him walking away. Totally naked. Except for the pirate scarf on his head.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My not so green thumb

Okay, so it was not the best year to dive into the world of raised bed gardening. Let me also put it out there that I hate doing yard work. So I have no idea why I thought I would like gardening. Didn't think that one through very well. I like house plants. I always considered myself to be sort of a green thumb as far as they were concerned. As it turns out though, what I like about a garden is the idea of a garden. And that's where my affection ends. I don't like weeds, hard dirt, ants, snails, plants that don't grow, plants that die, sun that doesn't shine, rain that doesn't stop, weeds that masquerade as "herbs", flowers I mistake for lemon cucumber starts...the list is never ending.
I should begin by saying that when we looked at this house I was thrilled to see four raised garden beds in the back yard, basking in it's full sun glory. Our first house was a rental and had about two square feet in the front to plant a flower, which I did every year we lived there. Impatiens. It was super shady. Our next house was on a huge lot with a huge front yard and an even huger back yard. While we lived here I worked full time until our son was born. Totally overwhelmed by the sheer size of the place, I continued my previous routine of planting a couple small flowers right by the front door and calling it good. Then we moved to Washington. Our housing development, we discovered later was built by a rock quarry. This became evident the second I tried to plant some shasta daisies my uncle gave me. They died and that was the extent of digging in the dirt at that house. Then we moved again. This time to a nice sized lot with a nice sized front yard and a cute little back yard complete with raised beds. It seemed my dream of a garden was about to come true.
Since we moved here in the middle of the summer, I didn't plant anything last year. And then came the Fall when I got a new pair of pruning shears and all hell broke loose. I completely hacked five fuchsia bushes to the ground. Convinced I was doing a fantastic job, I clipped and snipped them into oblivion. When I stood back and looked at what I had done, I almost cried. I was barely able to prune back the two hydrangea's before I put the clippers away and vowed never to touch them again. It was a long, barren, fuchsia skeleton filled winter.
Spring came eventually though, and with it some life in the form of blooming lilac bushes. Then came the oh so wonderful daphne bush which made me happy every time I smelled it. The peonies started blooming and before I knew it, it there was lots to do. I had made a decision. I was going to plant a vegetable garden.
I knew I needed to turn up the soil and get it soft for planting. I read articles on the internet about raised bed gardening. I downloaded a pdf file that was full of tips of what to do when. I got and read a couple of books. Then I waited for the rain to stop. I waited for a very long time. When it finally did, I went out there with my little tools and, over the course of several days, turned the soil of three of the beds. I was so proud of myself. They looked pretty even without plants in them.
Next came a trip to the store to buy seeds. I had decided to start from seed because it was cheaper than buying plants. Bad move. First, I had no idea what I was doing. Second, I had no idea what I was doing! After waiting another few weeks for a relatively nice day, I planted marigold seeds in the bed I was going to put tomatoes in later, cilantro seeds, lemon cucumbers, carrots, and nasturtium. I started hot peppers inside in an egg carton. Then it started raining again. A lot. So I waited some more. I am still embarrassed at what happened next.
I never did see any cilantro or marigolds come up. They must have died in the cold wet weather. The nasturtiums germinated well. The lemon cucumbers took off like gang busters. At least I thought they were lemon cucumbers. They were in the spot where I planted the lemon cucumbers at least. There were so many of them I wasn't sure what I would do with them all, so I posted free lemon cucumber starts on freecycle. I had several complete strangers come out in the pouring rain to dig up little starts and take them home to their own gardens. It wasn't until several of the "lemon cucumbers" sprouted up in the other beds and in between the beds that I realized they weren't lemon cucumbers at all, but the little orange flowers I had seen the year before in that spot. I still don't know what they are called, but they are resilient little guys, I'll tell you that. I was so angry at those damn flowers I pulled every last one of them out of the ground. Until a couple of more weeks went by and more sprouted in their place. Then I gave up and let them have it. I never did ever grow a single lemon cucumber.
I did, however, manage to grow a few carrots. Which is where I discovered the gigantic ant nests. Millions and millions of little black ants. Hundreds and hundreds of little white ant larvae. Makes my skin crawl just to think about them. I was so freaked I ran into the house, got the box of Borax, and dumped almost the whole thing on the ant nests. There were three of them. Unfortunately for the carrots, Jason looked up Borax and ants and the whole thing on the internet after he came home from work that night. I suppose I don't blame him for being worried when he saw the three huge piles of white powder mixed in with the carrots he would soon be eating. As it turns out that's not the way you are supposed to do it. Something about mixing the Borax with water or some other liquid and putting little bowls out for the ants to crawl into and eat it. Something about Borax causing cancer after lab rats ingested it. And that was the end of the carrots.
I can't remember exactly when but I know it was sometime after Mother's day when I bought two tomato plants and stuck them in the ground. I was going to plant basil seeds in that same bed, but since the marigolds and cilantro never came up, I caved and just bought a plant. It was completely obliterated by snails in two days and now only the little plastic marker remains to remind me how much I hate those snails. As I was inspecting the ground trying to find any remaining shred of basil evidence, I realized what I thought were weeds nearby were actually mint plants shooting up. I had completely forgotten that I had planted a mint last year. It must have gone to seed and those seeds must have been dormant in the soil or something. Half of that bed is full of mint now.
Around that same time, I planted the hot peppers I had grown in the egg carton. Then we had a heat wave and all but one died. It's two inches tall now. It's the end of July. It's not going to happen.
About ten days ago, I found the packet of sunflower seeds I had forgotten about in a drawer in the kitchen. I all but threw them on the ground and left them to fend for themselves. They are a foot high today. Eaten by snails yes, but holding their own so far.
I haven't decided what I will do next year. The beds themselves are in pretty bad shape. One of the sides of the second bed is literally crumbling away. I, apparently, am like the opposite of a gardener. The plants I try to kill won't die. The plants I forget about are taking over one of the beds. The plants I nurture and put effort into either never sprout or die almost instantly. The only seed I planted that actually turned into anything remotely resembling anything were the nasturtium flowers. Which my mom says you can eat, but since they are in the same bed as the Borax, we'll pass. At this point I am seriously considering digging the whole entire thing up and planting grass. Or letting Jason plant the grass, since I'm sure he'll want the grass to actually grow.
The only saving grace of this whole gardening experience are those five fuchsia bushes. They came back. Well, four of them did anyway. And they look beautiful. They are full and blooming and lovely. See? My thumb is a very light shade of green after all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Questions and answers

I observed the following conversation between my husband and my son tonight.
Ryan, "Hey Daddy, why are our buns on the back?"
Jason, "Well, uh, because that's where they are honey."
Ryan, "Why aren't our buns on our front?"
Jason, "Because our peeps are on the front. How would we go peep if our buns were on the front?"
Ryan, "Well, if took our peep off, we would have room for our buns."
Jason is totally stopped in his tracks....."Um, well that would hurt."

Sometimes the explanations are as funny as the questions.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

After our rest

My dad is notorious in our family for saying super funny stuff when he is tired. Beyond tired really, into the silly zone. I think a tiny bit of this has been passed down to Ryan, because I swear some of the greatest stuff comes out of his mouth right before he falls asleep. Today at nap time was yet again, another blog worthy moment.
We are laying down ready for nap when Ryan rolls over, and the conversation goes like this.

Ryan "Hey, I have an idea."
Me "What's that honey?"
Ryan "After our rest we could go to Fred Meyer."
Me "What do we need at Fred Meyer honey?"
Ryan "Well, we could go to Fred Meyer and look at the clothes, and get some steak, and some ham, and some sugar, and some food for Weedie. Did we run out of Weedie food?"
Me (trying not to laugh) "No, I just got some food for Weedie."
Ryan "Well, then we can get some food for Sammydo."

And then he rolls back over.

Warm tats

I am working at the computer in the office. I am wearing my jammy pants and a t-shirt. Ryan comes in and hands me a tank top he found in the clean laundry pile. "Here, Mommy. Go ahead and put this on." I decide to play along. I put the tank top over my t-shirt and look to see his approval. He smiles hugely, pats my boob and says, "see, now your tats will stay nice and warm."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ryan's nap time story

Sometimes when we are all snuggled down and ready to take a rest we will tell stories. If I am telling the story they always start with, "Once upon a time there was a little boy named Ryan..." and then I make stuff up from there. Lately Ryan has been telling me stories. His start like this, "Once upon a time there was a great Mommy..." No kidding. It is so cute. So here is Ryan's story from today. I will try to get it as verbatim as I can remember.

"Once upon a time there was a great Mommy. And she was a super hero. And she would fly around and around and around. And she would get bad guys. She was a great super hero. And she would get them with her laser arm. The end."

And less than two minutes later he was totally asleep. It was awesome.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Apparently my faculties are no match for the new facilities

Is it me or have public bathrooms become sort of mind boggling? Between automatic sensing faucet control, auto soap and paper towel sensors, and toilets that flush themselves, I seriously cannot keep up. I find myself doing a new sort of body sign language in the bathroom now. Either the auto flusher flushes while I am still actually using the toilet, which scares the crap out of me (no pun intended), or I end up standing on one leg, sort of high kicking the toilet sensor with the other foot. Then the gesturing continues at the sink. I glide my hands under the faucet over and over to get enough water, under the soap dispenser, again under the water, and if, miraculously, all that goes well, find myself waving hello to a large black box mounted on the wall in the hopes that it will dispense the two square inches it thinks will be sufficient to dry my hands.
But here's where it really gets bad. No two public bathrooms are alike. Some have auto toilet flushers, some don't. Some have handles to flush the toilet, some have those little black buttons it is impossible to depress with your shoe. Some have sensors that turn on the water, some still have (gasp) handles which allow water to flow freely at the users discretion. Some bathrooms have manual soap pumps, some don't.
And as if all this variety isn't bad enough, the diversity in paper towel dispensers is downright silly. You've got the hand crank, the pull out and another will follow, the little finger holed side turney knob, the automatic dispensers, the trifold single sheets...the list goes on and on. I actually once dried my hands in a high powered suction contraption made by the Dyson vacuum cleaner company. I held my hands in this little hand slot, which of course sensed them automatically, and this super loud, moderately scary suction began which literally sucked every ounce of moisture from my hands in like less than 20 seconds. Bizarre.
So if you see me in a public bathroom gesturing with arms and legs, bending at the waist to look at the faucet, waving at various inanimate objects over and over again, staring blankly at a faucet which clearly has an old fashioned handle and wondering why it won't turn on by itself...don't worry. It's just me trying to wash my hands.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Comparison vs. Contentedness

Maybe its just me. Maybe its my out of whack brain chemistry, a product of my childhood, a bad habit allowed to run free for too many years, I'm not sure. Do other people do it? Does she do it? Who knows? But there I go again, comparing myself to others.
I think there is a natural tendency to judge ourselves, to evaluate how we are doing in life. How are things going? Are we accomplishing our goals? How do we need to adjust to our current situation? Comparing who we are to who we want to be, to who God made us to be. How else do we grow? I think this kind of comparison is good to do. But the other kind, the kind where we compare ourselves to other people, that's where we can start to go off track.
She has a better sense of style. She is skinnier. She is more spiritual. She has nicer hair. She is a better decorator. Her kids are more well behaved. Her kids go to bed at a normal hour. She is this and that and the other thing...better than I am. Nothing can destroy the possibility of being content with what you have/who you are faster than comparing yourself to someone else in this way. And sometimes we don't even realize we are doing it. We just have this vague sense that we are inadequate. And this is definitely not taking any thought captive. This is the opposite. This is letting our thoughts drag us through the mud.
From 2Cor. chapter 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Okay, so what exactly is the knowledge of God? What does God know about me (besides everything)? Wait. I think that's the point, actually. He KNOWS everything about me and still calls me His workmanship according to Eph 2:10. Whoa. So I need to demolish the argument that I am inadequate. And how do I do that exactly? By Phil 4:8 that's how. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS." (my emphasis) How will I have time to compare my self to other people and consequently feel crappy about myself if I am thinking about such things?
So, the fact that I have bare white walls, wear my hair in a pony tail everyday, and don't own a pair of high heeled shoes IS FINE. It's not that I am okay in spite of these things. It's that I'm okay because of these things. Because He made me who I am. I am His workmanship. And if His workmanship has bare white walls and wears a pony tail everyday and flip flops instead of cutesy girlie high heels...I can be content with that.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Couldn't they have given him a different name?

Several weeks ago we borrowed the movies Toy Story and Toy Story 2 from a friend. I can't even begin to guess how many times we have watched them. This was around Easter time, so instead of a traditional Easter basket with candy, we got Ryan a Buzz Lightyear toy. Apparently, however, Buzz wasn't enough. He also wanted Buzz's companion, Woody. We waited a couple weeks, enduring the asking that turned to begging, which turned to negotiation, which turned to delusion. "But Mommy! Today is my Birthday! Can we get Woody for my Birthday?" Yeah right, like that's gonna work dude. But in the end, much to my husband's dismay, I caved. It was Walmart that did me in. We were there to buy dog food, and we walked out with a Woody.
Enter me and my mind in the gutter, and the constant giggling that was the rest of the afternoon. Ryan..."Mommy, tell Daddy I got a Woody!" "Buzz, see my new Woody?" The best though was when we were on the phone with Gramma Mo. Having not seen either movie, she had no idea who Woody was. "Gramma Mo! Guess what? I got a Woody!" Stunned silence on the other end of the line. Little giggle. Me, glad I'm not the only one, "Mo, Woody is a cowboy character from the movie Toy Story. Ryan got the Woody doll today at Walmart." Mo, "Oh, okay (giggle, giggle) I was wondering..." Sheesh, couldn't they have given him a different name?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I wanna be Stephenie Meyer

I want to wake up from a dream so great, so real, so captivating, that I drop everything (except for the kids breakfast) and write it down. I want to be so consumed with it that I continue writing just so I can know what happens to the people in the story. I want to get to know them, picture what they look like, and immerse myself in their world. Then I want to publish that story and become a bu-zillionaire. Right. Like that's ever gonna happen.
Instead, what I do is find myself awake at 3:47 am coming up with blog titles in my head. I actually started writing one this morning at said unholy hour. It was brilliant. It was witty and engaging. I have absolutely no idea what it was about now. O well. Maybe I'll put one of those little journals on the nightstand so I can jot stuff down in my sleep. Or maybe, just maybe, I'll have a Stephenie Meyer dream and a cascade of brilliance will flow over from my unconsciousness.
Yeah. Maybe not. I guess I'll settle for that little journal.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is it me or...

Are the toilet paper rolls getting narrower?
Is it always rainy when I want to go outside, and sunny when I want to nap?
Are Jim and Pam like the greatest TV couple of all time?
Is having a dog like having a baby, a preschooler, and a teenager all rolled into one? Always cleaning up poop, always putting toys away, and always loading up a food bowl...
Do headaches seem to strike at the worst possible times?
Have Facebook games lost their appeal?
Is there absolutely no point to caffeine free pop?
Does my shirt actually say "Wipe your nose and/or face and/or hands on me?"
Did the movie Food Inc. make anyone else want to become a vegetarian?
Is anyone else extremely grateful for the drive through pharmacy?
Does anyone else wish they would make a drive through post office?
Does Sam always seem to bark right as I am falling into unconsciousness?
Does that giant tub of yogurt always seem to go bad before I can finish it?
Is Friends the best TV show ever?
Did my b**t get bigger, or did these pants get shorter?
Does the phrase "solitary confinement" actually sound pretty awesome sometimes?

Spring Cleaning

I don't know if it is a real phenomenon, or if it's just because I am reading about other people doing it, but the spring cleaning bug has hit me hard. Instead of doing regular things like dishes and laundry, I find myself doing things like moving furniture and scrubbing baseboards. Just the other day I used a too strong solution of Pine Sol to scrub said baseboards and burned off at least two layers of skin on my hands. No joke. I even emailed the Mrs. Meyers customer service to inquire about their Rhubarb scented Spring Cleaning Kit they sold last year and when would it be available this year? It won't by the way, just in case you were looking forward to it too. I have washed windows, bleached curtains, purged the magazine stack...I even toyed with the idea of removing every scrap of paper, finger painting pictures, and magnets off of the refrigerator. I guess this entry will serve as a warning. If you come over and see dishes spilling out of the sink and laundry in the hallway, and then notice I am missing some furniture and a few layers of skin, you'll know whats going on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Doin' the deals

So for the last several weeks I have been following a few different blogs on frugal living and homemaking. I have really enjoyed reading how other women approach different aspects of being a homemaker. Sheesh, what an old fashioned word. It turns out the forgotten art of homemaking is alive and well and anything and everything you might want to know about the new hip homemaker is a just few clicks away. One piece of this that is of particular interest to me is the whole world of couponing.
I used to subscribe and pay for a service which would track store sales and coupons and match them up to generate a weekly "list." But thanks to,,, and I have been able to do some amazing deals the last two weeks. And these awesome ladies do all the tracking for me. And I don't have to pay them. I just follow their blogs and voila, sweet deals on groceries.
Two weeks ago I actually went to a coupon class offered by author Angela. Not only was the class super informative, but she made it fun and doing the deals like a game which helped me be not so intimidated by the information overload of it all. She had great ideas on organizing too, which as you know is right up my alley. She defined the goal of couponing to be to get brand name items either free or significantly cheaper than their generic counterparts. Also, couponing is about stockpiling up on items when they are either free or very inexpensive rather than buying them when you need them at full price.

So here's what I did last week.
I went to Walgreen's and Fred Meyer. At Walgreen's I bought a box of Post Shredded Wheat cereal, an Airwick iMotion Starter Kit, a Reeses peanut butter cup candy, and a pack of Wrigley gum. After store sales and coupons, I spent $0.81.
At Fred Meyer I bought two cans of Cambell's cream of mushroom soup, a box of envelopes, a bag of Halls cough drops, and a 5 pound bag of flour. I spent $3.08.
The grand total for last week was $3.89.

This week I was a bit more adventurous and went to three stores. First I hit up Walgreen's for a box of the new U Kotex panty liners and three 2-packs of the new Pilot Frixion gel pens. After store sales, coupons, and a rebate from Pilot I actually made $3.93. No kidding. They actually paid me to take the stuff home.
Next was Fred Meyer. Right now they are having a deal where if you buy ten of the participating items you can get a free movie ticket, 15 free mp3 downloads, or free ringtones. Knowing Jason is planning a "guys night out," I went for the movie ticket. I bought one box of fruit snacks, 4 bottles of Sobe Life water, 1 box of Snuggle dryer sheets, 2 bags of Kraft shredded cheese, and 2 tubs of Smart Balance butter spread. After store sales and coupons, I spent $11.18 and got one free movie ticket. Lets say a movie ticket is worth about $9, I figure those groceries actually cost me around $2.18.
Last was Safeway. I bought a 46 oz. V8 Frusion, two gallons of milk, a package of Johnsonville brats, one Colgate toothpaste, a bag of fish crackers, one Knorr chicken and rice side kit, and a package of crab. After store sales and coupons I spent $8.53.
The grand total this week for all the stuff in the photo above (minus the crackers and one Sobe which my boys are enjoying while fishing at the park) and the free movie ticket was $15.78.

You might say its a lot of work for not that much in return. For us though, living on one income, we are always trying to make our dollars stretch as far as we can. And for a girl who gave up her lab coat for legos and laundry baskets, this has become a super fun way I can do something to support my husband in providing for our family. So thanks ladies, I'm having a blast doin' the deals!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just like his Grandpa

When I was a little girl my dad tricked me into giving him back rubs by inventing a game called Earthquake Time. He would lay on the floor on his tummy and I would walk up and down his back waiting for the "earthquake." Suddenly, he would wiggle and yell, "Earthquake time, earthquake time!!!!" and I would try, unsuccessfully, to ride out the earthquake. I thought this was great fun of course, and we would play "the game" over and over again. Good one Dad. As an adult Earthquake time is long gone, but the deed is done. Whenever I see my dad he flops a foot in my lap. He doesn't even need to speak anymore, I am so well trained. A hand flung in my direction, a shoulder shrugged up and down and there I am, a well trained daughter.
In my dad's defense I do have to add a bit to the story here. Now that I get the game, we do swaps. Mo always laughs at us because we're so predictable. We're always sitting on the couch across from each other, feet in laps. And in reality, it's not very one sided anymore. I am just as much as a hand flinger or shoulder shrugger as my dad.
So now that Ryan's getting bigger, I decided to follow suit and teach Ryan to do the same. I figure my time has come and it's my turn to get back rubs by the slave labor of my child. But I missed a crucial point. I forgot to be tricky. I didn't make it a game. I assumed, wrongly it turns out, that if I gave Ryan back rubs, foot rubs, hand rubs, head rubs etc. that he would give them to me too. Nope. Wrong.
Instead of having this deal come full circle I find myself in the same place. Except now its a smaller foot, a smaller back, a smaller hand flung at me.
The other day I was sort of petting Ryan's hair and I stopped. He looked at me and said, "Mommy! Finish my hair rub."
At night when we are getting ready for bed he will fling a foot at me. "Give me a foot rub. No not like that, like this. Wait, you're not done. Okay, now do this one." Sheesh. He is just like his Grandpa.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ryan one-liners

Looking up at an airplane flying in the sky..."I want to go sleep on that airplane. It's soooooo interesting!"
Pulling into the parking lot at the pizza place..."There's something screwy in this parking lot."
Looking at my armpit as I stretch my shoulders..."Oh no! What happened? There's pokies on there too!"
Replying to my request to clean up his legos..."I can't. I'm not good at it. You can Mommy, you're good at cleaning up" (big smile on his face)
Sitting on the potty..."Okay. I'm gonna tell you a story. You and me and Daddy and Sammydo and Grandpa Apple and Nanny and Baby Noah Thi and Weedie and Pumba and Daddy and me and you (whispers) are going to go up in a rocket ship in space this night."
Pointing to a zit on my chin..."Who did that to you?!"
Driving in the car..."Mommy, it was really hot in the Jurassic period."
Getting ready for a nap..."I so do love you Mommy."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ryan words

When Ryan was a little younger, he couldn't pronounce "sp" words. He made an "f" sound instead. Special was fecial, Spider-man was Fider-man, and spoon was foon. These, like so many others, passed quickly and are gone. Like the time when he was a baby and stuck his tongue out the left side of his mouth for like five days. That was it. Then it was over. Luckily, we had the presence of mind to snap a few shots of this short lived cuteness. Anyway, now he can say special, Spider-man, and spoon just fine. And the cuteness of that little stage is over.
When he was first learning to talk, he had these little made up words for things. Sometime around one and a half he was drinking a bottle before bed, and he stopped pointed to the bottle and said, "This...nana." From that point on anything to drink was nana. I have no idea why. It just was. Onnie was for orange. Sudu was cereal. Hubba was helicopter. Okeem was airplane. Mosko was motorcycle. Simmie was excuse me. But all those words have gone too. Replaced by the grown up words spoken by a grown up boy.
He's three and a half now and there are only a precious few of these little "Ryan words" left. Around the time of onnie the orange, came also zoot the granola bar. To this day granola bars are still zoots. Granola bars have been zoots for so long that they are zoots to us too! I wonder how long they will stay zoots. Secretly, I hope forever.
Several months ago he latched onto the word "snuggle." Only its a Ryan word. Its "smuggle." We smuggle in the rocking chair. We smuggle in bed. We smuggle and play the fish game. (He totally loves Happy Aquarium on Facebook) We smuggle ALL THE TIME. Again, I wonder how long it will last. Again, I secretly hope forever.
I know as he grows these "Ryan words" will all eventually go the way of Fider-man, foon, and fecial. I am proud of him and how fast he is learning to master language. I beam at compliments from other parents and teachers about how verbal he is. But, I have to admit, there is a tiny part of me that will always want to smuggle in the rocking chair. And maybe eat a zoot together.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cologne and Ben Gay

A friend and I recently went to a department store to look for mens cologne. In my entire marriage (going on ten years!) I have never bought my husband cologne. In fact, I can't actually remember the last time I bought cologne or perfume. Apparently, the cologne counter is a world of its own. Talk about overwhelming. It all smells SO good. For me though, after a few minutes, everything starts to smell the same. Not so for my friend, who by the way shall remain nameless so as not to embarrass her for all eternity. My friend drifted through the displays, smelling, eyes rolled back in her head, sort of in a trance. Don't get me wrong, I like cologne as well as the next girl, but my friend was actually sighing from one yummy bottle to another. "Are you okay?" I ask, concerned. "You gotta get me outta here" she whispers to me. She explains how her husband has to work early and would not be too happy to be awakened by her "all hot and bothered" (her words) by a trip to the cologne counter. Laughing, we purchase my gift and giggle all the way home.
The next day I get a text message from my friend. "Problem solved. I got home and my husband smelled like Ben Gay. Total turn off!"

Monday, February 22, 2010

The things I've learned since becoming a SAHM

I learned SAHM means stay at home mom, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Before this journey began I was a totally different person. And I don't just mean emotionally and physically, though those particular topics could be blogs in and of themselves (read the destruction of self and bladder control all rolled into one,) I mean intellectually. I swear I used to be a smart person. I went to college. I had a job. I wore a lab coat for crying out loud! But since this new "job" started, I have slowly morphed into someone I am not sure I recognize anymore, intellectually speaking. So, I decided to come up with a list of things I have LEARNED over the last three and a half years to prove to myself that a) I still have the ability to learn, and 2) I actually HAVE learned. So here goes.
1. I've learned how to bathe, feed, change, and otherwise take care of a baby.
2. I've learned all about colic.
3. I've learned how bad it hurts to step on a lego.
4. I've learned how to make home made play-doh.
5. I've learned several Disney movies by heart.
6. I've learned if I don't shower every day, I feel like a slob.
7. I've learned that eating in the car is a big mistake.
8. I've learned that bad things can happen with a Sharpie marker. (sorry Sam)
9. I've learned how to crochet toys.
10. I've learned poison control's phone number.
11. I've learned compassion for the other mothers at the grocery store who have grumpy kids.
12. I've learned (although I rarely actually practice) doing my dishes every night makes the morning better.
13. I've learned to look for misplaced items in VERY strange places.
14. I've learned to let some of the littler things the pink slime growing in the toilet.
15. I've learned I actually do have a creative side. Mmm....beads :)

Now here is a list of things I am still TRYING to grasp.
1. I'm learning how to float instead of swim. (thanks Nan)
2. I'm learning how to remember I am, in fact, a woman and not just a mother.
3. I'm learning how to calm down.
4. I'm learning how to appreciate the little things.
5. I'm learning the words "organized, clean, and simple" don't necessarily go with the SAHM territory.

I may not be looking into a microscope every day, wearing my lab coat and talking to doctors. I may not be running complex machines, reporting important results, and talking about things like CBC's, TSH's, ANA's, and HCG's. I may not do any of that for a really long time. So long actually that I forget it all. (gasp!) But, I'll tell you, this is harder and more rewarding, and more interesting, and more challenging, and more fun than any of that.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ryan the sponge

Ryan's language skills and understanding of the world around him are growing at what seems to be an exponential rate. He is continually learning new concepts and ideas and experiencing the world around him in new and exciting ways as his knowledge of it grows. Sometimes, watching him, we are in awe and feel so blessed to be the parents of this little sponge of a miracle. Sometimes we are convicted and reminded to be always striving to be better people ourselves so that we can be good role models for him. And sometimes we just crack up laughing because what comes out of his mouth is just so darn funny.
We are in awe when, driving in the car, completely out of the blue he tells us that "God made me and you, and Daddy." We are blessed when he spontaneously begins to pray by himself. We melt when he prays for us. On the other hand, we totally crack up when he asks us (since Jesus lives in his heart) if Jesus "likes" whatever food he happens to be eating. "Maybe Jesus likes chicken?" Or when he opens his mouth as far as it will go and commands, "Mommy, talk to Jesus!" Its so fun to watch him process ideas and concepts as he learns.
Then again, sometimes its not so much learning as it is repeating without learning. Like the other night when I was talking to Jason and used a less than appropriate word in front of Ryan. Don't freak out. I said the word "pissed." Of course, immediately, Ryan squeals "pissed, pissed." Great. Nice job Tiff. Way to go on the whole role model thing.
Other times its not so immediate. He will repeat words or phrased we have used before, but its totally obvious he doesn't understand what he is saying at all. For example, the other day he was having a hard time with Sam and he yells, "Sam! You're killing my attitudes!" Huh? Earlier this evening, we were hanging out together and talking about all the nicknames we have called him. He said he didn't want to be called nicknames anymore, he just wants us to call him Ryan. I say, "Can I call you Greepy?" "No, just call me Ryan. Greepy is gross." Confused I ask, "Greepy is gross?" "Yes," he continues "Greepy is gross to my feelings." We are in hysterics over this.
I am sure as he grows there will be more of these little one liners. I am sure we will laugh a ton, probably cry a little, and hopefully learn with him along the way. I am reminded of a song that says "I wanna be just like You, cause he wants to be just like me..." And ultimately that is our goal. Help us to be just like You, because he wants to be just like us.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beach Weekend

So Jason surprised us with a trip to the beach for Valentine's Day. He found a hotel that was "dog friendly" so we could take Sam with us. It was awesome! The hotel was super nice, right on the beach, and across from Mo's, which by the way does a mean grilled salmon. With no little tourist trap shops close by to lure me in, we spent most of our four days on the beach playing, throwing the ball for Sam, looking for shells, agates, and the ever elusive "glass floats" that are supposedly hidden all around the 7+ miles of Lincoln City beaches. We never did find a float which leads me to believe they are a big hoax to get people to visit during the winter months. Okay, maybe not. It could be that I just didn't happen to luck out and find one, but the other explanation makes me feel better.
Right off the bat on our first walk with Sam down to the beach Ryan had us cracking up. Sam was so excited and ready to get out of the van, he was really pulling on the leash. Ryan yells, in his very serious, very cute sounding three year old voice, "SAM! HELL! SAM, HELL! HELL SAM!!!"
We also spent a couple of hours exploring the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. It is very cool with lots of exhibits and a huge touch tank where you can play with "Nemo's house", aka sea anemones. I put in a couple of pictures from our aquarium visit. If I can ever figure out how to get pictures off my phone, I will add some of us on the beach too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My air

As I was getting Ryan ready for a nap today he displayed honesty as only a child can do. We were snuggling together, having a couple of quiet moments before napping. I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. He wrinkled his nose at me and said, "Mommy, your air is stinky." Hmm. Apparently I have bad breath. Nice.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Warning. TMI for sure, but I can't help it.

Okay, so I'll apologize to Ryan now for writing this one, but I just can't help myself. First, an explanation. Like all good nicknames do, the word we use for Ryan's private parts just sort of evolved. We use the word "peep." We use this word for what you do in the potty and for the "unit" itself. I have no idea how we came up with this, like I said, it just evolved. "Do you need to go peep in the potty?" In the bath tub, "make sure you wash your peep." Anyway, there it is. TMI though it may be.
Here's the good part though. This morning he comes up to me, no pants on, and tells me that he got a scratch. He climbs up on the bed and lays down to show me. His testicles are all red. "Mommy, I was taking my pants off, and I got a scratch on my peep tank!"
I almost "peeped" my pants I was laughing so hard.

Friday, January 1, 2010


So when Ryan got his stitches he called them pokies. They were poky. Little black knots with little black ends poking out. You know the kind right? Black, flexible like thread, but thicker and super heavy duty. Well the pokies are long gone and we are all happy about that. But, man this kid has a brain like a sponge. So last night we were snuggling in the rocking chair and I had my legs crossed with his feet tucked in the middle under them. I was wearing some capri length yoga pants and so sitting like that, my calves were exposed. With his little feet and toes gently moving back and forth across my leg, he stiffens suddenly. He turns to me and asks, "Mommy, why do you have pokies on your legs?" Needless to say, I shaved my legs this morning.