Friday, December 31, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 15)

7 Quick Takes Blueberry Style

#1 - Blueberry bag, blanket, onesie, and shoes--thanks to Kristi. Blueberry hat, thanks to Nico.

#2 - Aw, look. Even the back of the onesie has blueberries!

#3 -



#5 - Contemplation or planning mischief?

Definitely Mischief.


#6 - "Seriously, Mum? The camera again


#7 - Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


It is December 30 and I'm sitting here with the window wide open enjoying the lovely breeze. Does anyone else find this picture bizarre?

Warm weather has been the weather of our Christmas this year. Granted, we flew to where it should be warm, so it was a little less unexpected, but still!

Last Wednesday we flew out to Arizona to spend Christmas with my parents. They are temporarily living in Arizona teaching at a local bible school there. Why not enjoy a warm Christmas while we can?!

Packing was a challenge. First (as I mentioned in an earlier post) our dryer broke. So I spent one day running back and forth (well, driving) between my brother's house and mine doing laundry. But by Wednesday morning we were all packed, dressed, and ready to go.

Blueberry was an absolute angel on the plane--both there and back. The worst crying we had out of her was a few minutes of her (very quiet) "uh uh uh"s while she explained to me how she didn't want to go to sleep and how she resented her eyelids getting heavy. She was so quiet on the way there that the people across the aisle from us were shocked when they realized there was a baby right next to them! And, no. We did not drug her.

At the airport:

While in Arizona we enjoyed the gorgeous weather that allowed for craziness like roses and fruit on trees in December.

The cactus wearing Santa caps were rather amusing too.

On Friday we drove to Sedona where we enjoyed the red rocks of Coconino National Forest. While I don't think I would want to live in Phoenix, if I could live somewhere in that area, I totally would.

(My new carrier--Piccolo. Similar to a mai tai but with clips instead of tying on. I still prefer my wrap for now, but when she gets bigger, especially when she's able to go on my back, this will be far easier. And it fits both Chris and I with little adjustment!)

Other activities: I visited my first Trader Joes. While I was impressed by the prices, I actually was not that impressed by the store. I've heard so much about it, and I can see it being great for novelty stuff, but really, I like our Mama Jeans!

My Mum got introduced to playing the Wii. That was absolutely hysterical. If you are a Facebook friend of mine, I'm going to link to the video we took of her.

Chris and I were also happy to spend an afternoon and evening with some good friends of our who we hadn't seen in about 8 years. Nothing like catching up with friends.

Blueberry primarily worked at entertaining her grandparents. She was very good most of the trip; although, she did get her patience tried a little too much on Friday as she spent so much time in the car seat that she proceeded to protest riding in the car seat after much shorter intervals than normal. She also found a new noise to make. I personally think it sounds like the groaning of a train coming to a halt. Chris thinks she's trying to imitate his cough. Either way, it's a most peculiar noise. Oh, and she finally is mastering the art of grasping. Which means everything is being grabbed (and then gummed). Plus she has discovered a love of drinking from glasses. Trying to get her to master her sippy cup. So far, she prefers trying to suck out of the straw opening on mommy's water bottle. It was a busy week in her world!

Saturday morning--Christmas Day!--was the Blueberry present hour. Let's just say her Nana and Papa spoiled her. But that's ok. After all, we have few Christmases together for spoilage.

Nana and Blueberry reading hour.

Blueberry in a Bag

Which she primarily tried to eat--because she's eating everything currently.

Including her new Raggedy Ann

I hope they will be good friends. I was delighted that she was given both the classic Raggedy Ann stories and the classic Raggedy Andy stories. Love those books!

Yes, we are a family of bookworms. Lots of books for Christmas.

Blueberry and a stylin' outfit from France--a gift from her Auntie Joy

I hope everyone's Christmas was as delightful.

Monday, December 20, 2010


So last Thursday, we got a new hot water heater (much needed for several months, had become an almost desperate situation). Yay! Much rejoicing.

Friday, my dryer broke. It runs. It just never gets hot. Of course I was procrastinating on some of my laundry last week, and as we're in high need of laundry now, I was going to do a bunch of laundry Saturday/Sunday.

Well, obviously that plan was no longer going to work. Sunday I washed Blueberry's diapers (well, stripped them which required multiple washings), and then drove over to my brother's house (he lives 1/2 mile away) to dry them.

For the record--I have a clothes line that I could use. Problem being that I really hate crispy clothes, and so I always throw everything into the dryer for 5 minutes or so to soften them up. And it does take awhile to line dry--I don't have time to line dry the mass of laundry going on here!

Today I'm trying to do the drive back and forth doing laundry method; however, my sweet little Blueberry who normally takes short morning naps has decided that today would be a great time to take a 1.5 hour nap. And now, just as I'm needing to head out the door again, yet another nap was determined to be of utmost importance.

Sigh. Two days left to get ready...gonna make it? I dunno.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Nine years ago today I married my best friend. In those nine years we've shared tears, laughter, helped one another grow, taken turns holding the other person up, held hands, and most recently, added the most perfect addition to our lives. I don't regret a moment of it. And I hope for 90 more.

Love you dearest.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


1 package of socks containing three pairs of socks.

When unfolded: 3 slightly different lengths of socks.

I'm confused.

Oh well, at least I'm just chopping the toes off any ways to make Blueberry more leggings!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Daybook-December 12

Outside my window...I took a look this morning, and was delighted to see a good covering of snow on the ground! And it's still coming down. I don't like the cold of winter, but I do love the beauty of snow. Makes up for some of the coldness at least.

I am thinking...that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was sadly disappointing. I really loved the first two new Narnia movies. Even Prince Caspian I was pleased with despite how they played with the story. I thought they did a good job enhancing some weaker areas of the book. But VDT was, honestly, boring. They took a book that already had good character development, great plot, and fascinating fantasy elements, and they muddled it all up and made it boring. So sad. Especially as it's one of the few (only?) movie we've paid full-price to see this year.

I am thankful for...dates with my husband and good friends who like babies and not only are willing to babysit but who also don't leave me much of an option in the matter!

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...comes a lot of activity! Fingers are still popular but rather than just playing with them, Blueberry is starting to learn to grab items (with intention). Toes are also rising in popularity. Not quite at the sucking them stage, but lots of staring and reaching for the toes has been going on. AND (it's been a busy few days around here for Blueberry), she's finally rolled over! I had her playing on her tummy (which she has slowly been tolerating more) yesterday and I turned my back for 5 seconds and turned back and she had rolled over! She wouldn't do it again until this morning when I laid her down on her tummy and within 5 seconds she had flipped herself to her back. Yay!

From the kitchen...comes split-pea lentil sesame-seed ham-bone soup. I bought a ham last week for the ultimate goal of having split-pea soup (which I love and was hankering after). I like ham as it's actually a cheap meal option for us. I can make a ham and it lasts for a variety of meals for both Chris and I for several days, plus then I can use the bone for soup which lasts for several more meals. Yesterday morning, I dumped the ham in the crock-pot with the intention of starting the soup. Put all the other ingredients in, go to pull out the split-peas, and find that I don't have any! How I missed this fact when planning the meal in the first place, I have no idea. So, rethinking my plan, I put in lentils instead. Not quite my normal lentil/ham-bone soup, but it would work, so I thought. Well, when we were eating it several hours later, we realized that what I thought were lentils (and what I had labeled as being lentils, had to actually be sesame-seeds! I bought them from one of those bulk-sale bins at our local health-food store, so it must have been a labeling error on their part. For the record: sesame-seed ham soup is only so-so.

I am wearing...PJ's and a bathrobe. Need to get dressed soon--probably when Blueberry goes down for her first nap.

I am creating...order out of The Jumble. Everything has at least been sorted through. Now to actually take action on all the things that need action taken!

I am church in a few hours.

I am reading.. . book 5 of the Harry Potter series.

I am hoping...for a change. I know, I know. How Obamaesque of me.

I am hearing...Christmas carols on the radio. I wish The Wind would play worship music on Sunday mornings during the Christmas season like they normally do the rest of the year. Or at least do a combination of none-Santa Clause Christmas music and worship songs. And I also wish they would NOT play Feliz Navidad ever, never mind twice in one morning! Excuse me while I go shut the radio off from that dreadful song.

Around the house...we are considering the best way to go about baby proofing. It seems that the time is rapidly coming when some things need to be barred off from exploring fingers. Am trying to consider that balance of teaching Blueberry what is hers to touch and what is not vs having a set-up where she's going to hear a whole lot of "no!" vs having a set up where everything is Blueberry friendly and she doesn't have to learn boundaries.

One of my favorite things...the way Blueberry's face lights up when she sees me walk in the room.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well, as it's Sunday, my week is barely starting! Although, in truth, I have few set engagements for next week. Projects to work on, some errands to run, a Christmas recital to participate in, but mostly a blessedly light week. Oh, we do need to find a babysitter for the 18th so Chris and I can go out and celebrate our 9th! anniversary.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, December 10, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 14)

#1 - Oh my, this is the first "Quick Takes" I've done since the one I posted in August the day I went into labor. And now my sweet Blueberry is 24" long, 11lb 8 oz (I know, I know--skinny little monkey she is), and has turned 4 months old! What happened?!


#2 - My darling husband sent me this picture about a month after Blueberry was born, and I've hung on to it as a reminder of how much I'm NOT screwing up my child--even when I feel like I surely must be!


#3 - Been busy working on Christmas presents this week. I think we're almost all done. Now just waiting for some of them to arrive and then to wrap and get them to those they belong. Chris is nice and easy this year as he just wants music. My Christmas present (and birthday present and Christmas present for next year!) is going to take a bit of planning on my part, but I'm very excited about it. I told Chris that all I wanted was to go to see Hillery who went and abandoned me nearly a year ago now (guilt trip much?!). The other half of my present, as gifted by my husband, is that I'm under orders to take a decently sized trip. No fly-by, weekend visit. Tough on him as he'll have to stay home and work and take care of himself. Now to find dates and get a ticket! This kind of thing is truly my favorite kind of gift in the world.


#4 - Ugly Tree was last Saturday. And I finally won with a hideous hippo! I'm delighted by this fact as I've come in second for multiple years in a row now. Few new people joined us this year, and a good time was had by all. Blueberry did her usual "There are people around, I can't possibly sleep" act. But as she's generally pretty angelic while doing so, it worked out okay.

(photos courtesy of Aaron Jones)


#5 - I really need to get a picture of the pose I'm currently in. It's becoming a common one for me lately. I'm sitting at our big desk. My feet are propped up on the desk. I'm supporting the keyboard with my knee. And my arms are propped up by a pillow on one side and Blueberry on the other as she is draped over me, munching away. Actually, I take it back. She's asleep now. What am I going to do when she gets bigger?!


#6 - I'm feeling very accomplished this morning. It's just now 9am, and I've gotten up, dressed, dressed Blueberry, made my husband lunch, made the bed, put in a load of laundry, washed out diapers, cleaned up the kitchen, got a load of diapers out of the dryer (still need to folded), had breakfast (cooked and everything!), and have checked my email, and am now writing a blog. Go me! Now the questions remain: will the clothes in the wash get put into the dryer and then folded later, the dishes that got put into the dishwasher to be run--will they get put away, will I get around to answering a couple of the emails that were sitting in my inbox, and will I actually manage to finish this post in time to get it up today? And let's not discuss what I've been thinking of as The Jumble:


#7 - Probably due to the many conversations and thoughts on sleep that I've had lately, the quote that keeps running through my brain is Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech. Actually, it's not the whole speech, but just the one line: " sleep, To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub..." Of course suicide is the farthest thought from my brain currently, so I can't really go to far with the rest of the speech. But that one line keeps drifting through my consciousness. So I release it here. It's like the song that you have stuck in your head. Sometimes (at least I find this to be true), you just have to listen to the song to make it go away. Maybe just saying the line will make it dissipate? We'll see if my theory works.

In the meantime, I have a wiggle-worm playing peek-a-boo on my lap as she's waking up from her little snooze. Not quite awake enough to keep her head up to look at me, but she keeps trying.

Till next time, I leave you with this additional Hamlet thought.

"This is the very ecstasy of love"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Daybook - December 8

Outside my window...brilliant sunshine lights up the morning sky. However, upon opening the door to let the puppy dogs out, I was hit in the face by a freezing cold blast of air. So deceptive! It's supposed to warm up a bit tomorrow and Friday. And then it's supposed to snow on Saturday.

I am thinking...of plans for this spring and several trips that we're wanting to take.

I am thankful for...a good night's rest. Amazing how much that can help the brain.

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...comes laughter! We keep trying to video tape (our camera has a mini video-recorder in it) Blueberry laughing, but so far not much success. Will keep trying though as it's delightfully funny.

From the kitchen...I am trying to compile a list of menu items. Got to work on stream-lining dinner planning, so this is the place I will start.

I am wearing...jeans, gray sweater, and bare feet (I took my socks off earlier because I laid down with Blueberry to get her to take a nap--I object to naps in socks--and forgot to put them back on. Yes, my toes are cold. And my nails are rather in need of repainting).

I am creating...a pile of Christmas presents that need wrapping and, in some cases, shipping.

I am going...nowhere! At least not today. Monday we went grocery shopping. Tuesday was MOPS. Tomorrow I go to the studio. And Friday I'm meeting up with a friend. And Saturday, Chris and I will hopefully be going on a date. So today is a blissful at home day.

I am reading.. . the Harry Potter series again. And I'm trying to find my copy of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Love that book. Blueberry and I are working our way through a huge book of children's poems. Found a delightful one on Christmas pudding today called The Remarkable Cake by Margaret Mahy. Very accurate expression of my sentiments regarding plum cake!

I am get a letter for my one job written, the editing of a friend's final Master's thesis done, dinner made, laundry dried, and some work done on the house. To high of expectations? Perhaps.

I am hearing...the delightful harmony of Christmas songs.

Around the house...I have made a sad decision. I am not decorating for Christmas this year. This is a rather momentous decision for me. I love decorating for Christmas. My Freshman year of college, I talked my roommate into letting me decorate for Christmas in October! It's one of those things that Chris and I had to compromise on as he (strangely) objects to my decorating before Thanksgiving.

Originally I had been planning on just not putting up a Christmas tree this year. but I've realized that as much as I miss my decorations, it would be a more stressful thing than a happy thing to put them up this year. So I have, rather sensibly I think, decided that I will spend the time focusing on cleaning my house and enjoying my sweet baby girl (not in that order!), and bring out the decorations next year. Also, we're not going to be here for Christmas, so that kind of adds a little more weight to not putting them up.

But next year--that will be a different story!

One of my favorite things...drinking water. Best drink in the world.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Thursday--studio. Last week before the Christmas show--HELP!
Friday--going out in the morning with a friend.
Saturday--going to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader with Christopher.
Working on Christmas presents and several writing/editing jobs. Tidying my house. Writing up recipes for Christmas.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Leggings--as mentioned in an earlier day book.

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thought for the Day

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. –C.S. Lewis

One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...