Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Uses for Old Things

Lydia likes to run around upstairs after her bath. She puts on a crocheted hat (her Magic Hat), custom-made in Louisiana, and prances about. Sometimes she tells us she is exercising (see! we're setting good examples!), other times she just likes to read her books or dance in front of the mirror.
Lately, she's really outdone herself on the imagination front.
My old suitcase from my traveling days stands in a corner and Lydia was examining it last week. She also discovered some spare change on one of our night stands. Voila! She put the two together and has invented the first ever (that we know of) in-home cat dispensing machine. She takes a coin and drops it in the handle of the suitcase (it slides back out at her) and then, out of nowhere, she pretends that the suitcase (now a vending machine) has presented her with a cat. She'll often repeat the process to get cats for mama and daddy and when she gets bored with pretending to be holding her cat and meowing, she'll repeat the process for herself so she can get a new cat.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hello! I figured if I was going to go bother having a blog I should at least post something every six months or so... These days it really should be "distractedbytoddler" because I don't think there's a whole lot of genius in my daily life, though I suppose the argument could be made that my kid is a genius in the making (hard to believe when I have to make a convincing case for why she should get a diaper change or use the potty or not lick the floor, however).

What's new?

1) We had a great summer vacation in Sunriver last month!

2) My little girl is not a baby any more (which she reminds us regularly- "Me not baby any more"), in fact, she appears to be a budding scientist. She's 2 and a quarter and an active kiddo who loves to give hugs (occasionally dangerous to other small children who might not be expecting them) and is supremely gentle with babies and animals. Her favorite things are swimming, playing with her friends and making art. She is a good helper, particularly with dishwashing and laundry and she loves to be outside, especially playing in the sand or gardening. She'll tell you her name (Wideewada) and the names of all her friends and family and probably show you her new shoes or painted toenails if you happen to cross paths with her any time soon.

3) Not a whole lot. We celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary yesterday. Our back deck finally got finished in May. We've learned to make grilled pizza. Lydia is going to Do Jump's Baby Circus class and we're all having a blast playing with the trapezes. I'm training to run a 10k. The dog is dogging around at the ripe old age of 12. You can see why I haven't exactly been blogging up a storm.

What's new with you?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sunny Winter Day

Lydia and I were lucky enough to be unencumbered with much of a schedule (besides nap- don't you go messing with nap!) so we got to enjoy lots of February sunshine (an oxymoron in Oregon, but still true) today.

We ventured over to the Rhododendron Gardens this morning to check out the geese, ducks, squirrels and birds.

"Bright!" she said.
We fixed that right up with her ladybug sunglasses and I regretted not bringing my own shades.

After nap, Lydia's favorite little boy, Simon, came over and we went to the park!
(there are no pictures from that outing, I'm still an amateur at taking two toddlers to the park at the same time)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review

I've been doing this for a few years: 2010 , 2009
The questions I use are found many places, but I found them from Sundry.
I'd love to hear about your years too!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

Parent a toddler, spend an entire year outside of an office or classroom (well, since I was 3 years old at least). Celebrated my husband's college graduation. Celebrated my daughter's first birthday and my nephew's 7th. Took baby music & swimming lessons.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I worked on all of them. I successfully got back to running- I ran a 5k this December. We still use cloth diapers, but I don't think I can claim 50% usage for the whole year. And I've definitely improved my listening skills, though I imagine that's a long-term kind of thing.
I have new resolutions planned for the coming year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! This was the year several friends had second children, my best friend's baby was born on Lydia's birthday, some friends had twin boys and some neighbor/friends had their first baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

None! The only other state I've visited this year was California. My travel record is downright pathetic and I am absolutely fine with it. We have big plans for travel with Lydia is a little older, but for now we love it right here.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011?

More patience.

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

August 13th- Wil's graduation day. May 5th- Lydia's first birthday & my friend's son's birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

While I always wish for more patience, I do have more patience than I thought I did and that and my occasional bursts of parenting creativity feel like huge achievements.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Controlling my temper.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not especially, plenty of little colds, but nothing bad.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My new-to-me laptop. Lydia's Christmas presents.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Wil's. My family's. Those people who paid off the K-Mart layaways for kids across the country.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The Republican presidential candidate clowns.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage and other general life upkeep.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Lydia. Really getting to know our neighborhood. Finally running a 5k again.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

"Proud to be me", "Walking to the zoo", pretty much all the Signing Time songs...

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier/Sadder: probably about as happy, maybe a little happier?
Fatter/Thinner: neither, but that is about to change for the thinner
Richer/Poorer: a little poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Sleeping, relaxing & enjoying

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Wasting time on the internet...

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We were home with our family. Santa stopped here and then really went crazy at the grandparents' house! We had raclette for Christmas Eve dinner at our house and spent Christmas Day at the grandparents'.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

All the time.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I finally discovered Parks & Rec in the spring and then we watched Doc Martin this fall.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

What is this? Middle school?

24. What was the best book you read?

Cutting for Stone

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

As a rule, I am not a music discoverer. If it isn't on OPB or Baby Signing Time, it didn't happen musically.

26. What did you want and get?

A healthy, happy, growing toddler, my husband to have his degree in hand, to finish the 5k in a reasonable amount of time, a decent computer.

27. What did you want and not get?

Effortless weight-loss. A butler. More sleep.

28. What was your favorite film of 2011?

Hm, I'm not sure. But I was excited to see two movies in the theater this year- The Help and Bridesmaids (neither of which is in the running for favorite).

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 on the 30th. I had a nice day with Lydia & Wil, they sent me off for a massage and Wil & I went to dinner with some of our closest, oldest friends while Lydia had a blast with Grandma & Grandpa.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A sunnier early summer? More exercise? I'm quite satisfied overall...

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?

Limping along...

32. What kept you sane?

Yoga, running, nap time.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gay marriage, health care

34. Who did you miss?

Geographically distant friends & family

35. Who was the best new person you met?

I have been so fortunate in 2011 to get to know some fabulous people. The first to come to mind are Liz & Simon and Ashleigh & Lucy- what wonderful additions to my and Lydia's year! We are sad that Ashleigh & Lucy had to move this month!

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Life is sweet & full, fuller of joy and sorrow than we can imagine.
Also, mistakes will be made.

Monday, November 14, 2011

18 Months

Lydia turned 18 months on November 5. I suppose it is time to start counting her age in half years instead of months (except to other parents of toddlers, as the difference between an 18 month old and a 22 month old can be pretty staggering, but to outsiders they're both about a year and a half).

Her official weight is 27 pounds and her height is 34 inches (I think they got her height wrong, but I haven't attempted my own measurement yet). That means she's grown 14.5 inches and gained over 18 pounds (only 8 ounces in the last three months though) in 18 months. She's still at the top of the growth charts and doing wonderfully all around. She has about 35 words and about 50 signs and more words are popping up every day. She says a few things in two word combinations (Mama! Up!). It is so neat to learn sign language along with her and to see her use sign to get her point across really clearly.

Lydia's been absolutely delightful to hang out with lately. She loves leaf piles and puddles, the local dogs, chickens and, perhaps most of all, cats. She'd be over the moon if we had a neighborhood horse. Reading books continues to be a huge hit, especially lift-the-flap books. (She's also sleeping better these days! Huzzah!)
The long autumn we've had in the Northwest has allowed for lots of crisp, clear days at our neighborhood parks and we have taken full advantage. Music class, story time, parks, playmates and the occasional music performance, trip to the pool or day at OMSI fill our time lately. We continue to feel incredibly lucky to have an awesome group of nearby toddlers, so there's almost always someone at the park or ready to meet us somewhere or come by to play.

We had a fun family trip to California in October, visiting friends and enjoying the warm sunshine. Lydia's a pretty good traveler, though her parents aren't planning any long flights for the next two or three years!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Halloween with a child in the family (and not just a tiny almost-6 month old like last year- though she was a very cute baby bear) is fun on a whole new level for us.
We celebrated by attending two toddler Halloween parties and then went trick or treating with Lydia's cousin Calvin in Grandma & Grandpa's neighborhood.

My sweet little duck

She was very pleased with her reflection in the mirror!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Graduation Day

On August 13th, 18 years to the month after he started college, my husband got his bachelor's of science degree.
He started college at the College of Santa Fe and his collegiate career took him through several majors at Santa Fe, a year and a half at Reed (as a math major, arguably his most successful college years- no degree, but he did get a wife...) and then off and on at Portland State University for the last decade or so.

He's the first in his family to graduate from college. His hard work and determination have been impressive. He has worked full time for the last decade, all the while taking one class at a time. He's found the time, energy and discipline to write essays and programs and do his studying after a long day of office work. He's managed to be a loving, present, supportive husband and father over the last 15 months while also wrapping up his last 4 classes (he got an A on his capstone project- and on nearly every other class in the last 7 or 8 years!). It has not been easy for him or for us. He has given up a great deal of his time with friends, plenty of sleep, leisure time and made career decisions partly based on his educational goals. We've made joint sacrifices of time and money. He hasn't cut corners. He has worked hard and long and carefully. He didn't opt for a general degree to save himself a year or two, he completed the degree he wanted (though I did talk him out of the film minor). He has more than earned the letters after his name.

Congratulations Wil! Lydia and I are so proud & happy.