Thursday, December 19, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Videos

Uh new phone has a slow-motion video feature.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

This kid...

Holy batman, does she have her own ideas about personal space.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dear you,

From a recent letter I sent to a friend who still does snail mail:

The summer is almost over and while it was fun I’m enjoying the cooler evenings and the shorter days.  It’s a lot easier to get that kid to bed when it’s not sunny outside.  We were busy all summer with everything, and nothing monumental, just life, a happy little life.

We invested in our tiny yard and built a raised garden bed along the back fence and extended the retention wall along the right side of the house.  We gained some much needed extra footage for our bocce tournaments.  Actually, due to the need for good drainage, the field, while nicely sized, is sloped in such a way that there is an unfortunate dip at one end.  If only we didn’t care about the foundation of our house so much…   

The raised flower bed is the perfect size for the amount of effort I want to put into gardening.  I love it, but don’t have the time or patience to get out there every night and weed, prune, dead head and all those wonderfully “relaxing” tasks that a garden is supposed to yield.   We planted some fun perennials, some of which got much larger than the expert at Molbaks said they would, and some annuals for color.  The gerberas (those remind me of you too) did remarkably well and I am happy to invite them back for next year too.  Sadly, the yard is too minute for fruit trees, so you’ll have to harvest from your orchard and know that I am envious.

We took time off in August and went to Denver.  Visiting family is not really the kind of vacation that I prefer, but dragging a 2 year old to Spain is probably not wise.  Plus, she doesn’t have a passport yet and it would be horrific if we couldn’t get her back into the country.  I think the grandparents would revolt.

While in Colorado, we took advantage of the grandparents and Jason and I escaped to Vail for a few days.  We dined in real restaurants, slept in past 6:30 am, and hiked on the mountain.  It was a mini-vacation within a vacation. 

Looking ahead we’ll probably go on an extended camping trip next year and save our pennies for a lengthy trip in 2015.  We’re thinking about a couple weeks in Hawaii.   I get a 4 week sabbatical in my 5th year of employment, and I want to do something memorable.  I’d love to pack it up and go to Europe for three weeks, but we’ll see what finances, the kid and family stuff does to that dream.  Part of the allure of Hawaii is the ability to invite the grandparents to come for a week.  I will return to Italy, but I don’t want to pass up opportunities for grandparent/Lucy events.  If we were younger it would be a different story, but I think it’s safe and polite to say that they might not be up for, or fun on trips forever.   

Work is going well.  I’m far more engaged than I was a year ago and while I’m still working at home I’m more productive and feel like I’m really contributing.  For a while there I was very distracted.  I do miss the office thing from time to time.  Yesterday I took the bus into Seattle for an all-day meeting, and it really was fun to be “in it”.  However, I hated how early we all had to get up and how rushed our morning was, so I’m acutely aware of how lucky I am to work at home.  Lucy and I have time to cuddle and play in the morning and I’m still “at work” before many of the folks in San Jose.

As for Lucy, she’s so great.  What a crazy ride this parenting thing is.  It’s amazing and frustrating and exhausting and fun all in the same day, sometimes within minutes. 
I love her school, and can tell that they really are teaching her things.  Last night we were reading a book before bed and usually she tells me who the characters are “that’s a teacher mama” but last night, she points to the teacher and says “that’s a zebra mommy”.   We’ve been to the zoo a few times, but they recently spent a week talking about animals and it just sunk in.   I’m not saying she’s a genius or anything, she seems to be of average kid brightness, but it is fun to see her world expand.   My mom thinks she’s the smartest kid on earth, but I think every kid knows how to work grandma for treats – Lucy just knows her audience.

She’s quite the chatterbox too.  I am the most fluent in Lucyese, but there are times when things just simply don’t compute.  When we’re at home I can ask her to show me what she’s talking about, but when we’re in the car visual references can be gone in a flash.  She’s got some kid words that I love, but I know they’ll be gone before too long.  We already lost “lala” for Banana and “I You You“ for “I love you” and “milp” for milk.   Yesterday, Jason corrected her on “pee-pop” for lollipop and I asked him to let it be.  It’s not like she’s not going to get into kindergarten or Yale because she doesn’t know how to ask for a lollipop correctly.  I think pee-pop is CUTE, and we can have it for another month or more.
I am sad to report that my child is a nudist.  She was naked in the back yard from May until the rain started just recently.  I’m thankful that we have a good fence and that the Lee’s next door don’t allow their children outside.  No one needs to see that much bum.  Even with religious sunscreen application, combining back yard nudity and swim lessons Lucy changed ethnicity sometime in July.   Come October, she’ll fade back to pasty and rejoin the rest of us vitamin D deficient north westerners.

In the world of Renton, SMLC is undergoing big change.  Kirby was elected Bishop for the ELCA and has left St. Matts.  We’re on the hunt for a new head and associate pastor.  Pastor Maynard signed on for a 2 year stint to get us through it and I was relieved to see him.  As much as some of the more conservative congregations are worried that Kirby is going to race in and breathe ‘grace, love and acceptance’ all over them, I’m equally worried that we’re going to end up with one of those “Christians are better than everyone, especially gays, democrats and women” type pastors.  Not that I really think that guy would get past the committee, but there’s still fear of change.   If they are looking for that guy, I did go to high school with him and he is a Lutheran pastor.  I don’t get his point of view on many (most) things.

So, what else… in other worlds, my parents are good.  Not perfect, but their bouts of getting along seem to be more frequent than the times when they are in their separate corners.  They put their house up for sale after investing in some needed maintenance.  They put on a new roof, painted and put new flooring in the entire house.  It’s a TINY house, but cute.   If they sell, they will move to a townhouse with two bathrooms which I hear is a must when living with a grumpy grandpa.

You can find the house on Zillow.  The only really sad thing is that in the last picture by the barn you can see the burned chicken coup, site of the 2012 Inferno where eight of the best chickens lost their lives to a faulty heat lamp.  “Gee, it’s getting kind of hot in here.”  “Oooh, does someone smell bbq?”

I hope they are able to sell. The yard and adjacent property are a bit too much for them to handle.   Plus, all those chicken ghosts can be really noisy at night.

Jason and I just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.  It was a no gifts year, so I of course violated the agreement and bought us tickets to see Michael Buble’ in November.   He bought me 2 gift cards to el Gaucho and we’re going tomorrow to dine on some MEAT.  Happy continued love, but now that the gays can marry in Washington, I’m worried about our family.  I’m not sure how long we’ll be able to hold out.  So far, we’re hunkered down and watching shows like the Walking Dead to learn how to protect ourselves should the hordes of gay people decide to come around to hurt our marriage.  Actually, I’m pretty ticked that my one close set of gay friends haven’t set a date.  I mean, come on, they’ve been together for 15 years, I need a wedding.  Wait… not about me.  That’s right, I keep forgetting.

I hope you both are happy, busy and good.  I hope your mom is in good health and spending time with her friends.   Call and let us know when you’re in town next, we’d love to see you and catch up.  I know it’s hard because you want to see everyone and we’re saddled with this small person who is no fun at a pub, but I do miss you.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Date Night

To celebrate our 4 years of wedded bliss (and those few moments of "we had better work this out") Jason and I planned to have an adult only dinner at el Gaucho.  We lined up a very reliable and fun babysitter for Lucy and made our reservations.  Friday night around 8pm, a text came in from said babysitter informing us that she had a fever of 102 and wouldn't be coming Saturday.

I must say that as disappointing as it is to have a babysitter cancel at the last minute, I really appreciate that she didn't want to bring whatever plague she was exposed to into our home.   I made a series of phonecalls to the primary babysitter - voicemail, "Aunt Ninny" - voicemail, and finally Cousin JoJo's go-to emergency caregiver - voicemail.

Then we pulled out the big guns and called "Bama" (grandma) .  It is a lot to ask to have her drive over from Yakima to hang out with the kid while we get dressed up and go on a date with each other.  We were resigned to having to reschedule our date - after all, we do live together, it's not as though it was a life or death once in a lifetime event.  However lucky us, Bama came through for us and drove over the next morning.

Bama arrived during Lucy's nap.  Lucy squealed with delight when Bama opened the door to rescue Lucy from the dreaded nap.  Normally, after naps Lucy likes to sit and snuggle with me, but not when Bama is in the house.

With Lucy safely entertained, we proceeded with our date night plans.  We hit happy hour at Pearl, then went over to dinner.  Dinner was, as expected spectacular.  We were there from 7pm until well after 10.   There are times when I worry that we'll run out of stuff to talk about, but I think that worry is misplaced.

We talked about the evolution of the last four years, established the thing that is causing the most stress in our lives (we refinanced the house into a 15 year mortgage - which we can totally afford, but in doing so sucked up about 85% of our disposable income, so now we're having to focus more on what we spend) and then we moved on to other things that interest us.  We talked about the kid, vacations we want to take, work, current events, popular culture stuff and everything in between.  I guess, it's safe to say that we'll continue this marriage thing for another year.

Oh and we did establish that he's not really very serious about an 80" tv.  Whew.

This morning we got up and made breakfast while Lucy and Bama colored and then went for a walk.  Today has that lazy Sunday kind of feel to it.  There will be football on downstairs at 1:30, and at the moment, I'm catching up on laundry while Lucy watches her weekend movie.

I"m off to San Jose in the morning, so in addition to hanging out, football and laundry I have to pack.

Last night was great, but we're back to real life and that's good too!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life, shoes and hap-PEE-ness

hello love!
 What's been going on around here?  Not much and everything.  Yes, nothing and everything.

Let's get the big news out of the way so we can focus on other things.  Lucy is semi-regularly using the loo to make a tinkie.  She's covered in temporary tattoos and for the most part is waking up in the morning semi-dry.  Of course, having said that I have to state for the record that she did have a tiny pee blow out in the bed this morning, but accidents are part of the process.  By no means is she spending any significant time without the diaper.  

She has worked out a #2 or two at school, but we have not seen any of that action at home.  I look forward to it and dread it all at the same time.  There is a lot of convenience in just being able to zip around town and know that potty breaks are contained.  I'm sure we'll adapt to having to use every public restroom in the state of Washington.  

Our girl also just attended her first official Sunday School class.  I was trying to dump her into the nursery and she wasn't having it, but she saw a gaggle of kids her size in the room next door and asked to go in.  She had a grand time making arts and crafts, singing and of course snacks.  I'm sure there was a church message in there somewhere too.  I was surprised that she wanted to go because she didn't know the teacher or the kids (except one.)  Sadly, we got an email from the coordinator yesterday to kindly say that Lucy needs to be 3 to be in the class.  Sure, that is the rule and I can't blame the coordinator for doing what she needed to to keep her volunteer teacher happy, but I feel badly for Lucy.  She has been talking about Sunday School ever since.  It made a huge impact and she can't wait to go back.  This morning, I told her that we were lucky to get to visit the class early and that she could go back the day after her birthday.    Jason told me it was wrong to tell her that Jesus won't want her until she's 3.  I guess I understand that sarcasm might be lost on a 2 year old.  Whatevs.

Guess what we just did?
In other news, Thursday is the 4th anniversary for these wacky people.  To celebrate they will be cooking a take and bake pizza and giving thoughtful cards to each other.  They have a strict 'no fart joke' anniversary card policy that will be enforced.   Just so you know, fart joke cards are allowed for non-marquee birthdays.

I keep sending Jason a hint for the 5 year anniversary (Round Brilliant Diamond Double Strand Eternity Necklace) but he keeps saying the link opens to an 80" tv.  Strange.  I tried to tell him that for the price of the 80" tv he could buy the necklace and a 32" tv and have $500 in cash in his pocket.  I don't think my argument is going over well.  I think we're both being silly.  Everyone knows that next year we're going to finish the retention wall in the front.  Yup, there's my diamond necklace.  It will look a lot like 12 feet of concrete blocks and dirt fill.   Hang that around your neck.

But, lest you think that I'm free of the shopping bug.  I found a stunning red dress for a party in October and it will be used quite heavily during the holidays.  I can think of at least three other outings for it already.  I love it so.

Speaking of love. I found a supplier for boots made especially for the "wide calved" ladies.  I ordered a pair and I am filled with hope that I will love how they look.  I am also filled with worry that I will love how they look.  If they are nice, that is the end of my shoe (or any shopping) budget for the rest of the year...and then some.  Ouch, but aren't they pretty?  Now I just have to tell Jason, as they do eclipse the agreed upon spending limits for our little organization.  However, so far they are just on loan and can be returned if we don't love them.

Ok, on that bit of "how TP helps the economy" information, I'm going to sign off. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



That's all, thank you.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Little Girl, Big Bed

There are times when we are fortunate to transfer a tired girl from the car to her bed for a nap. Sunday, I brought her upstairs hoping to extend the much needed nap but found that her toddler bed was unmade. We had experienced a minor accident and all the sheets, protective covers and blankets were in the washing machine, I was thankful that we have the queen sized bed in her room. The bed is there because I was (am) too cheap to get rid of a relatively new bed, and it's nice to have options for more than one set of adults to sleep over at the same time. (Christmas?)

Because of the state of the toddler bed I decided to put Lucy on the queen. She rolled over, grabbed a friend (stuffed animal) and resumed the nap. The nap was a success, in fact we had to wake her up for dinner. Tired girl! She liked the big bed. Now, she won't sleep in the toddler bed. I asked her if she was going to want to sleep in that bed again and she replied, "Lucy in the big bed."

We'll keep the toddler bed around a while in case this is a phase, but based on all of our other developmental milestones, once a transition is made she does not revert. We have rails on the big bed and today I'll be remaking the bed with the moisture resistant cover in the event of accidents. Later if we need to use her room for guests (Christmas?) we can boot her out. Kids all over the earth have given up their beds when the grandparents come to visit. Lucy should enjoy this tradition too. When I asked Lucy where Grandma should sleep when she comes to visit Lucy said "Grandma with Lucy." This sounds sweet, but I wouldn't want to sleep with that kid unless she was already in deep deep REM when I went to bed.

Ah....days gone by.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Room to play

The old shelves

In an effort to get our adult stuff into a storage solution that:

  • holds more stuff
  • holds more stuff out of sight
  • takes up a lot of room
  • encourage the kid to play upstairs

We picked white wardrobe units from Ikea and the saga of re-configuring the loft area began.  I packed all the items that were on the lean-to shelves from the single girl condo and moved them out.  They will flank the tv at the front of the room.  They will again hold our family photos, but now also kid toys.

The wardrobes will hold our table cloths, music, games,  and other random things including my stealthy box of Christmas gifts that I gather throughout the year.  The fact that I need a ladder to reach the top shelf gives me comfort that I can hide things from Lucy for a while.  I don't hide things from Jason, and can't shop too far in advance for him.  He's tricky.

Building the massive wardrobes was a Herculean task that required multiple trips to Ikea due to a faulty designer selection and a break-fix.  These units are 93 inches tall and 80 inches wide - they are now part of our lives permanently.  When we die, we can be stowed on the bottom shelf with room to spare.

After they were expertly assembled (I LOVE YOU JASON!), the next task was to stow all the music CDs into binders.  This allowed us to eliminate an entire bookshelf of cd's.  Sounds easy, but it was a tedious task and the desire for alphabetization was strong, but mostly the music grouped in alphabetical sections - not order.

Once that one shelf of music was moved we were able to bring one of the lean shelves back in and then start the move of the DVD library into the office.

  This 'small' project has thus far impacted the loft, the living room downstairs, the office, the guest bedroom and the closets in our bedroom and the hall.   Oh, and about 6 weekends and no less than 16 nap-work sessions.

This past Sunday, we made amazing progress and managed to move all the big furniture pieces that will be impacted.

Yesterday during my lunch break, I decided that the room needed more color and so I pulled out the wool carpet that we had been storing behind Lucy's bed and dragged it into the room.

When you see movies and some schlub rolls up a dead body into a carpet and then puts it in the back of their car to dump somewhere you should know that it is made-up bullshit.  The carpet alone is hardly manageable by one person, let alone adding the weight of a lifeless thug.    My plans of disposing of unwanted house guests in this manner are dead and require retooling.  There's an idea.

Anywhooo.... I restocked the lean shelves with our trinkets and loaded the bottom levels with things like the lego bin, a tub of stuffed animals and when Lucy came home she ran into the room, stopped looked around and immediately understood that this was a zone to play in.  My heart soared when she grabbed the legos and the dolls and plopped herself on the floor.  

I hoped that if we got rid of the towering shelves of dvds and cd's that she knew she wasn't supposed to touch that she would feel like this was her space.  Mission accomplished.

We still have a few tasks left.  We'll be installing a wire curtain rod along the blank wall (at a safe height) to hang current art work and colorful play things and I'm still moving things around from packed drawers to the wardrobe.  We need to move some of the downstairs toys "up".
like this!

The toy kitchen will remain downstairs, but the bins of dolls and trains will come to the upper play room.   Lucy is welcome in every corner of the house (not the home office), but her toys need containment.  And if I'm too lazy to pick up everything at nights end, I don't want it in the downstairs area.

Our office actually looks more polished with the removal of the frilly Pottery Barn desk and the addition of the DVD towers, as well as the console piece that was behind our couch fits very nicely under the window and I've managed to clear out some drawers to give Jason more storage.

I'm delighted with our work.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crossing the lines

Sometimes the technology demands of others force you to change your ways.  

I admit that I'm the last person on earth that is still using the Blogger platform to share my witty and amazing view of the world.  I am on Facebook and use YouTube to house short videos of the kid doing kid-like things.

I have a Google+ account, but don't really see the value.
I "Twitter", but it feels a lot like standing on my back porch and yelling very short statements to the universe.
I do not rededit.  When I see screenshots of other people's discussions I wonder why...
I do not instagram.  I think the filtered pictures are nice, but if you want to see my pictures, come to the blog or facebook. order to post something on a blog I admire, I had to sign up for Tumbler.  I don't know if I'll be spending loads of time over there, but we'll see.  

I linked this blog to that account to "expand" my audience.  We'll see about that.

In reviewing past blog posts it's clear that I use to be funny.  However, mostly my humor was bitching about other stuff.  There's not too much time these days for bitching, so I have turned into the dreaded "Mommy Blogger."'

Soon all posts will be about potty training, cheerios and Elmo.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ah vacation

What a whirlwind two weeks.

I had a trip to San Jose on the books and because of the (work) event didn't get home until 7pm on the Friday before flying out to Denver for our summer vacation.  It was a long two days and I was thankful that Lucy mustered a nap on the day we arrived in Denver.  For me it was a return to the early days of "nap when the baby naps."  that only lasted a day, but I like to invoke it when I need it.

Getting everything (most everything) ready before I left for SJ was prudent.  As it was Jason had to repack Lucy's suit case and distribute other items in our suitcases.  We always pack too much when going to Denver, but our excuse this time was the need for bike helmets and a variety of clothing options for our mini-excursion to Vail in the midst of our family time with Grandma, Papa and Grandmama (my mom.)

I swear that next time we do the Denver trip I'll leave half of the clothes at home.  (Don't hold me to it.)

We spent our time doing a wide variety of things, visiting family and friends, taking Lucy to the various kid locations like the pool, a kiddy amusement park, the Children's Museum and around the neighborhood to visit all the wonderful people who send cards and tokens on her milestones.

One afternoon, we traded Lucy in for a 10 year old and went to a real amusement park to ride the rides.  We promised the trusting grandma, whom he was visiting, that we wouldn't do any upside down rides.  We lied about that one, but fessed up and certainly didn't force him into it.  Frankly, I was more nervous but Jason was super excited.   He was a great kid and I know he had a blast.  Visiting grandma is great when you're ten, but getting an outing to roller coasters clearly made his day.

In the midst of our grandparent palooza, Jason and I grabbed a rental car and headed up to Vail for two nights. (Thank you Marriott frequent customer points).  The weather was questionable, but once we purchased an umbrella we didn't experience anymore rain.  Funny how that tends to work out.   Vail in the summer is about hiking, biking, walking and dining.  The first day we found a pub and made "friends" with the bartender.   He guided us to a place for dinner and we enjoyed our rainy afternoon.

We forgot the bike helmets, which ended up being a good thing as Jason had sprained his ankle on Monday and I think the planned bike excursion was going to hurt it even more.   However, I still insisted on purchasing the lift ticket to head to the top of the ski slope to take in the view.  We hiked from one gondola to the other and funny how at 10k feet that will kick your bum, even on a 'flat' walk.  gasp, gasp.

Our dinner the second night was superb!  The weather cleared up and we sat on the deck overlooking the creek.  As our dinner slowly progressed other patrons finished up and at the end of the evening it was just Jason and I in the quiet outdoors.  The inside of the restaurant was super busy and energetic but we loved the peaceful end to our evening.  Yeah Sweet Basil!

Vail has an amazing feature to make their hamlet more enjoyable.  Architectural standards... kidding.  They do have them and the whole village feels very "Swiss Chalet", but what I'm talking about is a free shuttle bus that circulates through the town to eliminate the need for a car.   It ran all day in late into the evening.  We parked the rental and didn't retrieve it until time to check out.  Well played Vail... well played.

We returned to a sweet kid Thursday before naps and were thankful for our time away, but equally happy to be back together.  Friday we played during the day and went to dinner to celebrate the Forty-Fifthing of TPgal.  

We returned home Sunday, but Monday was still a vacation day for us.  Lucy went to school and Jason and I spend time unpacking and putting our vacation stuff away.  It was a smart plan that allowed us to see a matinee before retrieving our happy but tired girl Monday afternoon.

We're back to real life.  We feel rested and are looking forward to the remainder of our summer activities.

Vacation Pix - Summer 2014

A tame ride
a birthday present for me!
Vail Village
Gondola ride to the top
View from 10k feet
wild flowers
looks harmless...
and yet.. super wet!
The summit at Vail.
Toffee Nut Bread Pudding!
Lucy @ the Children's Museum in Denver
Monkey Bizness Gym

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Sunday, August 04, 2013


The mommy vanity buttons tweak pretty hard when the super polite 9 year old boy (son of a close friend)after enduring a day of playing games aimed at a 2.5 year old kid asks "can Lucy come sleep over at my grandma's house? We'll bring her back in the morning. "

Thanks Sammy, but she (and I) aren't ready for that (and your grandma would kick my butt if I tried.)

He was so sweet and happy to hang out with Lucy and play the silliest of games (i.e. dried noodles as sand and Jason's 40 year old Fischer Price toys.)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


In a fit of non-productivity, I reviewed the posts on the baby blog that I kept leading up to the arrival of our girl.  I wish there was a way to archive the blog to keep it offline - perhaps I shall call the folks at shutterfly and talk about the need for this service.

It's fun to go back and get into my own head during the exciting time of waiting for the reality of where we're at today.  I scan those pictures from the ultrasound and try to make the leap to the face of the little girl who begged me to stay in bed this morning and drink more pretend juice and eat more pretend beans (M&M's).

There was such a level of the unknown during that time.  Anticipation and longing to know if this kid would bring the joys of parenting that people talk about.  We knew there would be agony and frustration, but people imply that it's all worth it.  Turns out - our girl is willful and tests us a lot, but she is happy in our home and we are happy with her in it.



Things have changed a lot since those early days.  Lucy jokes around with us, sure it's little kid humor but it's great.  This morning she climbed on Jason's back and we "lost her".  We looked all over the bedroom, under the bed for her.  She giggled and laughed as we searched.  I hope I never for get the sound of her little voice "I'm here Mommy, I'm right here."  When we found her I gave her a big hug and told her that I had missed her.  She hugged back and said "me too."  Come on... how awesome is that?

Lucy has 'things' now.  She loves her bike and thanks to bike days at school is getting quite proficient.  We take the tricycle to the park and she zips around.  She accepts the helmet and is happy to wear it.     She is also starting to want money - change really.  She likes it and asks for it.  Today she unzipped my wallet and found all the coins.  I explained that they were mine and that if she wanted money we could work out some chores for her to do to earn her own money.  Cleaning her room and picking up her toys shouldn't be earning activities, but we'll come up with something.

We were in Long Beach last weekend and while it was far from sunny and warm we had a nice time.  We abandoned the port-a-crib and took a small cot for Lucy.  It started out as a major failure, but ended up working out marginally well.  Once we moved the cot into the big closet in the room we were in she had her own room and was able to shut out all distraction and fall asleep.  For naps it was a lot like locking her in a closet, but when she fell asleep it was on the cot.  Night time was a lot easier.

The biggest thing it did for us was to confirm that it was time to convert her crib to the toddler bed.  We did it the day we came home and we hope that by Saturday nap time that she'll be so use to it that she WILL nap in it.   So far, it's been three nights and there have been no incidents of falling out although last night she woke up around 12:45 and seemed lost in the bed.  I went in and laid her back down and she was fine.    She was super tired as it was the final night of swim lessons and we got home LATE.  This is not a kid who regularly goes to bed at 9pm...that extra hour matters.
The 'new' bed!

We're about to leave for vacation and while we're only going to visit the Denver grandparents there is a lot of prep work to do.  I have a business trip earlier in the week and when I get back we leave less than 12 hours later.  This weekend will be a mush of packing, and planning.

I'm looking forward to vacation (even though I'm not being a very good employee right this second.)  The bookclub ladies were kind of surprised when I said that the trip was going to be fun.  It's reasonable to think that a vacation to the in-laws is more of an obligation than a vacation, but as I've said before the in-laws are good people who are relaxing and enjoyable to be around.

Let's do all keep our fingers crossed that Miss Lucy naps while there.  She was a bad napper when we were there last Summer, but I think we'll be able to wear her out more this time.

Oh, and because this is MY blog I can proclaim for the world (5 readers) that my big girl told me this morning that she needed to pee, and actually did it on the potty!  It's the 3rd time and it's not a huge trend, but today was the first time she took off her diaper to do it.  The other times it occurred at bath time so she was diaper free.

For the vacation, instead of hauling a stroller and a port-a-crib we'll be bringing a bicycle helmet and a toddler potty insert.  See... life changes quickly.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My uncomfortable truth

I, like a lot of people are heartsick over the jury decision in the George Zimmerman trial.  It appears that Florida is the place to go to get away with what seems like straight up murder.  Perhaps George and Casey Anthony can laugh about it over a beer.

The law is a complex thing but to me the "stand your ground" rule in Florida is flawed.  It says you can do anything to someone to taunt them, and then when they react you can get scared for your life and then kill them.   Stand your ground seems to mean that the clock doesn't start ticking legally until you say you're afraid, regardless of what you did to provoke the situation. That doesn't seem right to me.

I wonder if that means that Trayvon would have been acquitted if he HAD killed Zimmerman?  I mean, he was being followed and felt threatened, clearly for his life.    I doubt that the wheels of justice would have rolled his way had the night gone a different direction.

I will admit that I am not immune to profiling people.  I do it all day.

  • Moms - safe
  • Grandpas with kids - safe.
  • Teenagers - kinda scary  
  • Dirty homeless guy - unknown, walk wide 
  • Salespeople at Starbucks - friendly 
  • Counter lady at the Post Office - scary
  • Loud, raucous group of people waiting for bus on 2nd & Pike - scary, avoid interaction
  • Person in business suit waiting for bus on 2rd & Pike, not scary, but avoid interaction unless necessary.
  • Person in a hoodie on a dark rainy night - unknown, avoid interaction
  • Two 20 year olds on my door step in blue pants and white shirts - Mormons, be nice but so away.
  • The dudes selling 'steak' door to door - potential robbers, be firm, take picture of car as they leave.
  • The woman selling magazines door to door for points to help inner city kids - be nice, but no.
  • Chris Brown - scary, entitled punk, thug
  • Justin Beiber - scary, entitled punk, wannabe thug

Anyone who thinks that we will be a racially, socially blind society is crazy.  What we can be is aware of the preconceived notions we have about each other and try to be better.  I think it will be hard to be an urban black young man for many years longer than any of us are comfortable with.   But let's be honest, the inner city lawless thug is a person, he is not at all representational of all young black men, but he is real, and one that is glorified by movies, tv and music, and I find him a bit scary.  I may be a racist for having a category for the angry kid with a gun, but so be it.  I certainly don't think or place every young person of color into that category and the ones that do go there aren't all black.

I know people judge me too, I'm a middle aged white lady who drives a 2 year old around in a white mini-van.  I'm harmless right?  But, maybe you see an entitled, racist, elitist snob. I couldn't have anything in common or care about anyone who doesn't live on my block or drive my kind of car.  Surely not.

Profiling happens everywhere and all the time.  In the business world we meet people from all over the globe and interact on a common theme, but we've already created a false society because only the educated and smart people (and for some reason me) are invited to the workplace.   It's a racially diverse group and race isn't an issue, but it is not a socioeconomically diverse group, it is a whole bunch of "haves" and ramen eating future-haves.

"Lucky" for most of us, we get to point fingers at Florida and call them backwards as if it has nothing to do with us.  But, like many other things that are wrong, we owe it to ourselves to let them know we don't support their backwards ways.  Put the pressure on with your wallet, your vacation money and tell the businesses that operate in Florida that the laws are unacceptable.  Sure, Disney doesn't make laws in Florida, but they have influence and by not participating in socially right causes, they are implying approval.

Boycotting companies like Disney isn't my point, but an example of how 'we' can influence 'them'.   We have to do something.  Sitting around saying "shame on them" but not acting or speaking out is doing nothing.

I feel terribly for Trayvon's mom and dad.  I pray that they know that complete strangers care about their pain and that gives them some comfort.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rock a my baby

Lucy singing to her friends at bedtime.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Science, Parties and FIremen

It's a little unnerving when the art/science project of the day is presented at home.  This lovely bottle contains water, glitter and oil.  It is designed to demonstrate emulsion.  Let that wash over you... she's two years old.  EMULSION!?  Alas, I am supportive and encouraging but there is a part of me (not even a small part, nee a large one) that wonders what the holy moses is our day care thinking?  Sure, they glued the lid onto this portable container of 'you need a new carpet', but that kid can break through walls, dried hot glue will not stop her from the super satisfying task of opening a water bottle!

Secondly, we weren't told what the "used water bottle" would be utilized for when it was requested.  Had I known I would have dug deep into the recycling pile for plastics that contain NO recycled materials and are thick - like space shuttle window glass thick.  Instead, I sent Lucy into this art/science project with a bottle from the Costco water.  They pride themselves on the fastness in which their plastic breaks down.

Sadly, the emulsion bottle will likely be 'lost' while she's at school today. I hope this isn't heartbreaking. However, getting rid of it will also be a challenge as you can't simply dump a cup of oil down the drain.  I think perhaps the gravel garden on the far side of our house will have a sparkle to it for a while.  Sorry Mother Earth, day care hates you.

picnic in the park
Last night was the first concert of the Summer Thursday's at Pine Lake.  Our regular companions were occupied and we made the trek anyway.  Lucy still seems to love her chair that is perfectly Lucy sized and true to form didn't eat much dinner.  I thought the selection was kid perfect, grapes, pickles, turkey/cheese roll-up and a few potato chips.  I was wrong... she ate four grapes and some juice.  She's clearly not starving and there are nights when she eats and eats, so I'm not going to set my hair on fire when she doesn't.

Before we left for the park, Lucy and I walked down to the neighborhood picnic to say hello to the neighbors.  I suppose we should have made that our only activity for the night, after all I am the one who is sad we don't know the neighbors better, but in spite of what you think you know about me, I'm nervous about the walk up to newish people and chat scenario. I'm the illusive "omnivert" an extrovert with introvert traits.  That's for a different post.

The fire department was at the party and Lucy met her first official fire fighter, who was kind enough to give her a sticker even though she was hiding behind my legs.  I will miss that stage when it's over. She knew the truck was exciting and wanted her picture taken, but was sure to tell me that it isn't a toy. She knows a lot of things now.

The future firefighter

packed up and headed home.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Confirmed, you're old, that'll be $2,000.

The trip to the doctor yesterday was not a waste of time.  I did ice the knee all day, but the swelling didn't abate, but it wasn't (isn't) overly painful.  Making an appointment for something that is a 2 on the 0-10 pain scale makes me feel kind of like a whiny baby, but as I only get these two knees I figured I have the time to make sure we're not making things worse by sucking it up.

Our doctor is quite funny and seems to read me well.  He had me hop up on the table as I explained the story behind my trauma.  "Ok, so it's Pool, Baby, and Money right?"  Yes - those are the key points of my knee injury.  "I'm just going to write down the medical term for general clumsiness."  Whatever the insurance company will accept doc, that's fine by me.

I explained that the pain was present, but not sharp or consistent when I made regular movements like walking and moving around, but if I twisted quickly or tried to do that squatting thing it would hurt.  So, he pokes pokes and pokes. "Does this hurt?" No. "What about this?" No, and then he pulled or jabbed and I yelled loudly and grabbed his arm with all my might, and then started to laugh.  "So that is what we call a positive reaction." He says mildly deadpan while waiting for me to free his arm from my clenched hand.  At this point I wonder is he going to do it again? You know those doctors want no harm, I don't buy it.  They are just as dark and twisted as the rest of us.  At the dentist... you know that 'test' they do where they "measure the depths of your pockets"  and poke your gums around each tooth?  They don't have to poke you, the x-ray can measure the pocket, but they get off on the poke.  Poke (giggle), Poke (giggle).  Bastards.   But Dr. K does not inflict the pain again, instead off to x-ray I go, where for some reason I have to re-explain the injury. Pool, Baby, Money.

Finally, back to the room and I wait a short moment for Dr. K to inflict pain on the kid across the hall.  After the screaming subsides he's back to me.  We review the x-rays where it is discovered that I have a broken knee cap.  This is an old injury unrelated to the pain of the moment, and I have no idea of when it may have occurred.  I give myself a gold star for living with such a traumatic injury and never once complaining about it.

My (broken) kneecap is displaced and I have a case of Patella Femoral Syndrome.  Sounds serious right?  Well, not really.  PFS is common among runners.   That is a true statement that I would swear to the Supreme Court.  However, as a stand alone statement it could be interpreted that I myself am a runner.  I have taken a 'run' or two, but am not as you may guess an avid runner.  I don't mind it, but my inner dialog is so distracting.  "You're going to die, you can't breathe, stop, you must stop, you're going to die if you take one more step."  It's hard to keep a steady pace with that going on.  Anyway, back to my super serious injury.  It turns out that people who lay carpet, or play on the floor with toddlers are also susceptible to PFS.

The treatment... rest & ice for 2 weeks, then some physical therapy to get the knee cap back where it belongs.  Thankfully, amputation is very low on the treatment lists.

Dr. K also said "you know that old joke 'hey Doc, it hurts when I do this...'  Yeah, well, if it hurts, don't do it.  I don't get to use that line often."   He's a funny one.

Also, my self diagnosis of arthritis was accurate.  But, this is not unexpected and my pain will be managed with my old friend tylenol.  Pain is a strong word at this point.

So, here I sit with ice on my knee and I'm about to make some appointments with the PT people.  I wonder, do they do "Hot Rock PT?"

An actual photo of me.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Perhaps I'm getting old...

I'll be seeing the doctor today for a minor issue with my knee.  Last week during the H-O-T weather we set up the inflatable pool but because it's so large (relatively so) we didn't want to plop it on the lawn, so we used the patio instead.  To protect the bottom of the pool and ourselves we put down some protective mats, but they didn't quite cover the entire bottom of the pool.  I tweaked my knee by accidentally kneeling on the edge of one of the mats and it did a number on the knee cap.

This weekend Lucy and I were horsing around and she stepped on my knee with her full weight and that wasn't great.    Yesterday I cashed in the giant pile of change at the coinstar machine and dropped the bag on the floor.  Squatting and scooping pulled whatever is bad in my knee to the point where it was noticeably swollen by the time I made it back to the car.

I do not think this is an amputation level injury, but I do worry while traversing the stairs that it's going to give out so I made a call to the doctor.   Jason, or rather Dr. Jason has diagnosed my situation as bursitis.  We'll see what Dr. K has to say about that, but to me bursitis sounds like an old persons situation.

But, I feel I should also confess that in addition to odd knee pain brought on by a two year old, the doctor will also be looking at my arthritic thumb and toe joints.  If only there was something wrong with my head and shoulders I could sing him a little song.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes....

Monday, July 01, 2013


It was an amazing weekend, the kind where you know that no moment has been wasted.

We did it all this weekend, dinner in the back yard, swimming, visiting friends, exhausting the kid and all things fun and great.

Saturday we zipped to the mall in the morning to check out the "amazing sale" at Eddie Bauer and decided to swing by the container store for storage items for the new storage bins in our loft.  I kind of went crazy with the selection and will likely be returning some of the haul.  There's form vs. function and the little discussed dimension of financial.  Yes, the new bins are pretty and they will function nicely, but are they necessary?  It remains to be seen.

Saturday night was our date with the boat pick up people.  During the back and forth emails I wasn't nervous about our decision to have dinner with these people whom we spoke with for about 30 minutes at the mall.   The 20% introvert side of me was worried that it would be awkward but from the moment we arrived it was relaxed and the conversation flowed fast and furious.   There was some pre-planning where the question was asked "any food or conversation topics we should avoid?" This is a great question.  In this day and age people's food issues are so complex that cooking for others can be quite the challenge.   But, since we had tentatively landed on beef as a protein I didn't think it was necessary to bring up Jason's aversion to salmon.  And, the walnut thing with me is not a fatal allergy and I am perfectly capable of picking them out of my food.   Also, I didn't mention that I'm still rather ruined on chardonnay after all - we were bringing wine.  On the conversation front, I figured I could hold my over opinionated tongue if we started to get into a squishy area.

I giggled when I got the email that read "change of plans, A wants to cook salmon, so bring an oaky chardonnay."    Truth be told, the salmon was amazing and Jason even inquired as to how it was cooked.  He told me in the car that he'd like to maybe try it sometime at home.  (On the grill - cooking salmon in the house is a no no.)    We didn't bring chardonnay and shared why.  Most people have a beverage (tequila, rum?) that the smell is so overpowering that it takes them back to a bad decision from their youth.  Hey, I was 42... stop judging me!

Alas, by the end of the evening the 'salmon' story was known by all and I don't get the feeling our new friends were insulted.  Honestly, it was some good fish.   Oh, and that kid.  She was served up a plate with cheese quesadilla, green beans, corn on the cob and eventually a cup cake.  What did she eat?  two bites of corn and about 6 of the crunchy fresh green beans from my plate.  The cup cake... nope.  ODD BIRD.

Sometimes the kids don't leave a party with the clothes they brought. We were able to donate a too small swimsuit to the far more petite (not quite the TALL child that we have) Noel and Lucy left with some sassy black boots that were too small for our hostess.  I couldn't get pants on Lucy so we walked to our car in a shorty shirt, a diaper and knee high black boots.  If she wasn't two it would have been an unfortunate wardrobe selection.

Sunday we worked hard to get to church early.  Pastor Kirby, the pastor who married us, has been elected as Bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod (that's a big churchy word.)  What does this mean?  Well, after 30 years, he will no longer be the senior pastor at our church.  We are happy for him and think he's going to be great, but we are so sad to no have him to ourselves anymore.   Sunday was his last day with SMLC and there was a big party.

Church was so packed (bigger than Christmas or Easter) that they filled the entry way with folding chairs and those folks watched the service on monitors.  It was an emotional service and I'm so glad we went - even though it was about 300 degrees in the chapel.  (Chapel isn't the right word because we aren't Catholic but I don't know the official Lutheran term.  Perhaps, 'worship space'.)   The service started at 10, and Kirby opened his welcome to us by announcing that his mother, who has been ill, passed away at 8:00 am that morning.  WHOA.  I hope that he and his family were comforted by the waves of love rolling at them all day.

After church we headed home to set up the pool.  The projected temperature for the day was supposed to be around 88 (turned out to be 93).  Getting that pool up and running was a priority.  Of course, on a day that we were going to be hanging out in the back yard all day, the neighbors across the way were bringing down two very large trees on their property.  The sound of the chainsaws was loud and not relaxing and it was sad to see the trees come down.  The process is interesting, but I hope they had a good reason for doing it.

In the high heat of the day, we retired inside to watch a movie.  We only watch movies with Lucy on the weekends and after hours in the sun, it seemed like a smart idea.  She happily ate her bowl of popcorn and drank her juice while enjoying the "bovie".

This morning she was bathed in a layer of sunscreen before heading to school and looked cute as a button in her red, white and blue t-shirt.  She's letting me put her hair up now and again and as you can see, I'm out of practice, but will do it any chance I get.

Tonight we start swim lessons.  Wish us luck!

dinner on the patio

cupcake lollipop

The doomed tree

Lake TP

relaxing in the late afternoon

ready for Monday

the aftermath

Friday, June 28, 2013

Love is love

I love the new cover of The New Yorker.  I'm sure the people of Sesame Street may have different opinions as to the use of their characters.  I've only thought in passing these two were more than friends, but in the end...I think it's a sweet way to acknowledge the idea that our gay neighbors are about as harmless as Bert & Ernie.

I'm pleased with the SCOTUS' decisions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, and thankful for the California community regarding the ruling over Prop 8.  They could have made a far more reaching statement regarding this issue, but I respect their decisions.

There are still questions.  Jason and I were talking about how the DOMA ruling would affect a couple that was married in Washington but moved to a state where marriages are only legal for heterosexual couples.  Legally, the couple would still be married, therefore at the federal level they would still be entitled to the same benefits as a heterosexual couple.  Right?

Also at issue is are states allowed to restrict the rights that are granted at the federal level.  If a couple is legally married anywhere in the United States, their state of residence shouldn't impact their interaction with the federal government - should it?

When I worked for Social Security oh so many many years ago, the laws in Washington state had no impact on our application of the SS laws.

I read one of my former high school classmates opinions on the topic and it made me really mad, and sad.  He certainly represents a group of people who adamantly believe that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman.  I sure do respect his right to think that way and to never ever enter into a marriage with another man.  I don't respect the unkind and pretty close to hateful way in which he applies his logic.

The thing that really set me off was the statement that marriage is intended for the sole purpose to bring children into the world.  So if your union cannot produce children (because you're two dudes or two ladies) then it's not a marriage.  If it weren't a completely useless exercise I'd like to know at what point he thinks 'marriages' that haven't produced children should be dissolved?  If after 10 years a couple is barren or their child dies should they no longer be married?   Raar.

There will always be people who think that marriage between two women or two men is wrong.  I just hope that in time they become a smaller and smaller group and that their children and grandchildren will talk about their position in the same way that we speak of those who are still holding on to the notion of racial purity - with hushed and apologetic tone.  "Please forgive great aunt Millie, she still thinks it's 1948 in the south."

Anyway - it looks to be a stunning weekend.  The inflatable pool will be making an appearance at Casa LaTP this weekend.  Come on over if you need to sit in icy water with a 2 year old.

Friday, June 14, 2013

He's checking your mail

Barack Obama 10:00 AM (4 hours ago) 
to TPgal 

I was just going over the mail in your inbox and wanted to drop you a line to say, bwahahaha you're rather funny! 

These guys are standing around waiting on me to finish up so we can talk about budgets, but my heart isn't in it.  They think I'm busy because they can hear the clicking of my keyboard.  Fools, they can just wait.

Sent from the Oval O

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Yes, I am going to blog about poop (again?)

"I poo poo in da bed mama."

"Yes you did Peanut, but that was days ago.  It was an accident.  Everything is ok."

This has been our conversation after every nap and each morning as we start our day since Saturday afternoon.

The event itself was unexpected and we certainly tried not to overreact so as not to traumatize her, but it clearly had an impact.  She was doing the normal "I don't want to nap" complaints which generally last about 5 minutes before she zonks out for two hours or so.  Jason and I had lots of tasks to accomplish during the freedom window (nap) and were moving around the house quietly but quickly.  I came in from the garage and could tell that the no-nap cries had escalated to the point where it was clear that something was wrong.

By the time I made it upstairs, I heard Jason go into her room and a second later he calmly but urgently called out "CODE BROWN, CODE BROWN."   I was behind him in seconds.  He had Lucy on the changing table and was cleaning her up.  I grabbed wipes and did a collection.  After a quick flush I went back to scoop up all the bedding and friends (damn the stuffed animals and dolls) for a mid-day washing machine field trip.

There has been some debate among the adults in the house about when and how the diaper failure happened.  It has been at least eight weeks since Lucy has removed her diaper in the bed and she has never removed a pull up.  One theory is that the diaper came off during 'the event' rather than before.  We will never know how it happened, but I think the question of why is more of a karmic one rather than logical.  Parents of toddlers must experience this at some point.

With all the bedding in the machine and the flurry of activity around getting Miss Lucy put back together the possibility of a nap was zero.  She and I went downstairs for quiet time (Curious George) while Jason tried to finish some of the chores we had hoped to knock out together.

Later in the afternoon we sadly discovered that during the rapid clean up, Jason cleaned the kid, I cleaned the bed but neither of us located the actual diaper.  These fancy diapers are filled with super absorbent gel.  Washing machines are filled with water and the two together are a very bad combination.  The 'fabric' in the diapers is not strong enough to withstand the expansion that occurs during a wash / rinse cycle.  Upon failure, the diaper released thousands of small gel balls into the machine and all over the sheets and the wet furry friends.

The newly gelled sheets and friends were taken outside shaken violently then rewashed.  I'm pretty confident that if Jason had been observed shaking the naked, wet Raggedy Ann dolls on the front porch that the authorities would have been summoned.  While the stuffed animals were being violated, the washing machine had to be wiped out and vacuumed.  All around - yuck.

I think its kind of sad that the whole event has had such a lasting impact upon Lucy.  She looks so sad when she tells me that she 'poo poo in da bed'.  I try to be reassuring and we talk about using the potty and telling us before she needs to go.  My knowledge of psychological issues is limited to about five college courses in 1989 therefore I'm no expert, but I do recall that too much emphasis on the potty process can really screw a person up.  She's so young and I think it's too early to select the issue that she'll be in therapy over just yet.  I'd like to wait longer and see what my options are, I'm sure we'll find something much better than toddler poop.