Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sickness descends

Christmas was great and we had so much fun seeing the kids experience it. They were both a little under the weather, but they rallied to open presents. We spent the entire day in our pajamas, including after dinner when my dad and sister brought our kids home to put them to bed and my mom and Josh and I went to see a movie. Definitely my favorite way to spend the day - I even got a brief nap in while the kids were down in the afternoon.

We spent the day after Christmas resting at home, playing with our new things, finishing laundry and other things that had been put on hold for the holiday. It was nice to hang out with our kids and see them enjoying their new toys.
Josh and the kids playing with Play-Doh on the morning after Christmas
On Tuesday, we took the kids to stay with their grandparents and Josh and I went off to enjoy our Christmas present - a night away at Alderbrook. We had dinner together and got to actually talk to each other. On Wednesday, we went to the spa there and enjoyed a nice, long day relaxing and enjoying massages and facials. Then we headed back.

The kids have been great throughout this week, but they haven't been able to shake the sickness. Thomas has now been sick for about 10 days. I finally got the cough on Tuesday and this morning I woke up with pink eye.  So now we are all sick, taking plenty of medications and trying to get healthy. I was grateful that the doctor also suggested something for my cough that will help me sleep a little better tonight. We are also grateful for another couple of days of downtime before going off to work on Tuesday.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

I can never sleep the night before Christmas. I'm so excited about tomorrow morning, about the kids opening their stockings and all of their gifts. I'm also excited because I think we will have some time to relax tomorrow and after the last couple of months, relaxation is a big gift to me.

Speaking of big gifts, while we went off to the last football game of the year, my parents and sister and brother in law came over and installed a new coat rack and bench in our kitchen.

This gift was amazing because it was completely unexpected. We had described what we wanted in that space, but we had not had time to pick something out much less install it. It fits really nicely into our new kitchen area and we are really excited to have a bench!

The football game, though disappointing (this is the part of the season when we all start talking about possibilities for next year) was a great way to spend the day before Christmas. It gives us a day between the two Christmas celebrations. The kids got to spend the day with their grandparents. The weather was unbelievably nice for December 24. Finally, because we were going to the game today, I finished getting ready for Christmas a couple of days ago and now I can just relax and soak it all in.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy First Day of Winter

Today was my last day of work for the year and the first day of winter. I am ready for Christmas - which is good because Christmas #1 is tomorrow. I had some deep thoughts on the way home tonight, but they went right out of my head when we discovered that the cat had used Thomas' bed as a litter box. You know, life getting in the way. We got it all cleaned up and there is now only laundry to do. Thomas went to sleep in the pack and play (very thankful it was here). Then we finished wrapping all the presents.

I was going to say something here about my new found love of Pinterest. It is awesome and has led me to some great recipes to try. Depending on how things go in the morning, I may do another crazy round of cookie baking before we head over for presents and dinner.

Looking back through pictures for the year, I came across one more that deserves some attention. We had a fun Halloween. I know some kids like to dress up, but mine don't really do that - although they love to walk around in our shoes. We got their costumes early enough that there were still good ones left so Thomas got to be SpiderMan.

Merry Christmas! I will be back in the next few days to write about my goals for the year and what I think my goals for the next year will be.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's new?

It has been a busy year. Following my last post, I got a project at work that completely consumed me for a long time. When it was done, it was time for the holidays. In addition to that, summer came and went and then we decided to renovate our kitchen and master bathroom. Thomas turned 3 and then Charlotte turned 2. Now we are getting ready for Christmas.

Now seems to be a good time to post some of my favorite pictures from the year.
Papa tells Thomas a secret on Father's Day. He now regularly comes to me and say "psst, Mom, psst"

Charlotte is the real swimmer in our family - we had some great times this summer at Grandma and Grandpa's pool.

Thomas liked toasting marshmallows almost as much as i do.

My beautiful girl on her 2nd birthday

We had great times at the Seahawks games this year - especially when we got to bring some big fans along

Thomas on his 3rd birthday - I can't believe how big he is

I was going to give some more deep reflections here, but Thomas has been up most of the last 2 nights with a bad cough. He seems to be doing better tonight and the tiredness is hitting me like a wall, so I will leave the contemplations and the update on all of my resolutions for later. I'll have some time as tomorrow is my last day of work this year (vacation - hooray!).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I am a total slacker. I keep thinking that I should put up these pictures from Easter and some of our great Saturdays this month, but I haven't done it. While Josh was in Taiwan a couple of weeks ago, Thomas broke the card reader I use to upload pictures to my computer. Then I ordered one and left it in Bremerton. Also, did I mention the nice weather and full weekends we've been having lately? Those are all of my excuses. Now, pictures!

He really likes to drive the tractor at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Thomas and his cousin held hands and walked around the yard together - totally cute.

Thomas and Charlotte and their cousins and their cousin's cousins on Easter

Look, Mom, I can skate.

She says "hi" and "bye bye" to everyone - at the store, in the elevator, at church - it is really cute
Realizing that all of these pictures were taken at various family members houses. We are really grateful to be around so much family. The kids really know both sets of their grandparents and all of their cousins (including their new baby cousin that was born just 5 days ago).

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Mommy fail

I can't upload pictures because Thomas broke the converter I use to move pictures from my SD card on to my computer. I don't think of these little mechanical things as being so flimsy, but he just snapped it right off the computer. So, there you go. No pictures.

When Josh is on the road and I am here alone with the kids, the hardest part is putting them to bed. Thomas just has too much energy at this time of night and his energy comes with a little naughty streak - he knows that it drives me crazy if he comes in while I am trying to put Charlotte to bed and so he does it over and over again. I may have discovered the solution tonight. I can buckle him into his booster seat and put the tray on and give him my iPad to play with. I'm not sure that this is the approved method of keeping a child occupied for a few minutes but I am of the school of whatever works.

For the most part, the kids are great and I love hanging out with them and even love the fact that I get to spend time with them in the morning (which is pure laziness on my part - I would normally be going to work out at that time).

I ordered a new converter, so I should be able to do the pictures this weekend. Or, I may try the iPad method, but I'm more likely to kick back and read my book before drifting off to sleep at 9pm.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Grateful for McDonald's

I haven't posted for a while because I want to upload my photos from last weekend, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm going to do it this weekend when I get a chance, but I thought an update would be good.

Tonight I am grateful for McDonald's. We normally come home together as a family on Friday nights, but we had an extra car in Seattle this week and Josh needed to finish up some stuff in the office before he leaves for Taiwan on Sunday night. So, I packed the kids in the car and started the trek home, but planned to stop in Gig Harbor with the kids for dinner at McDonald's. We have never done this before, but it was a great time for the kids. They have a really good indoor playground there and the kids had a blast. It was a nice way to end the week.

Thomas has taken to getting out of bed frequently at night before he finally goes to sleep. Just now he showed up in our room to tell us that he had lost his blinky light. He also is our greeter in the morning. When he first started coming over in the morning, he would just want us to get up and feed him. Now he gets in and falls back asleep. Since he tends to get up around 5:30, I am grateful that we now get a little extra sleep, even it if is with a squirmy child. (He just came down again to tell us that there is a string on his sock.)

Charlotte has discovered a deep love of candy thanks to Easter. She would like it morning noon and night. We have decided that she cannot have it every day, even though it will take a year to get through her candy from her Easter basket. She is also learning a bunch of words and starting to put them together which is great. She is also at that stage where she is unafraid. She would like her daddy to throw her in the air over and over again.

Tomorrow we have a full day - getting the car fixed, ice skating lessons and a likely trip to Costco. I'm really looking forward to being with the family all day. After working all week, I really appreciate seeing them on the weekends.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Busy night

Tonight, I had a "busy" night. All that means is that I did laundry and then put it away and had to put the sheets back on Charlotte's bed. Charlotte has now decided that she loves kisses, so I can grab her and kiss her neck and she just laughs and laughs. She also burrows into her pillow at night and reaches for the blanket to pull it around her. She could not be cuter.

Thomas is having fun trying to figure out his boundaries. His new word is "dangerous" as in "the parking lot is dangerous". While I don't want him to go around being scared about a lot of things, I do want him to have a healthy respect for the danger around a moving car. It is a fine line.

The big news today is that I finally got my act together and got a new mobile phone. When Josh went to work for HTC, I inherited his old iPhone. It was a fine phone and I probably would have gone on using it for a while, but Apple released a new version of iOS that patched some security holes and they did not make it compatible with my iPhone (an ancient 3G model). Therefore, in order to get my work email, I had to get a different phone. So now I have the same model phone that Josh has (an HTC Inspire) and a spiffy purple case to go along with it.

That's all the excitement for today. Except for the fact that there are now only 3 more dessert free days ahead of me. Of course the more important part of that is celebrating Easter on Sunday, but I'm really looking forward to some chocolate eggs.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Update on Lent

I haven't written too much about giving up sweets for Lent. I have not had too much trouble except for one mental lapse where I just ate the ice cream that was put in front of me without thinking about it.

Here is what I have learned:
1. The Girl Scouts should not sell cookies during or right before Lent. I have two boxes in my freezer, but it was mean, just mean to see them continuing to sell them.
2. Sometimes fruit is better than cookies or candy.
3. Everyone keeps assuring them that morning doughnuts make them feel bad (as in sick). I try to take comfort in that, but they really look good.
4. I don't miss chocolate nearly as much as I thought I would.
5. It is easier to give up if it is not in the house.

There is one more week left until Easter. I will continue to keep more fruit and less cake as a way of life. But, I am looking forward to at least a little dessert every once in a while.

Friday, April 15, 2011


We came home to Bremerton last night, so I had to commute today. I love to drive. Friday mornings are a particularly good time to drive because there is less traffic. Strangely, Friday nights have lots of traffic. You wouldn't think that so many people leave on Friday nights, but they must because the traffic is generally terrible on Friday nights. I enjoyed my time in the car, catching up on world news and then listening to some music. It was a nice way to leave work behind and get my head into the weekend.

We are going to round two of ice skating lessons tomorrow. We've had lots of talks this week about it and I think Thomas is ready. We'll see if we have to resort to actual bribery. Josh is going to go out on the ice with him tomorrow and we have been working with him on why it is good to try things even if they are scary.

Now that Thomas is able to get out of his bed, we are working on the fun stuff like actually staying in bed. He is usually pretty good, but he did show up once this week next to my bed. He said "Mommy, I'm chilly." So I got up, took him back to bed and covered him with two blankets. He was out in two seconds. We also had a small incident this week where he climbed into Charlotte's crib with her at 5 am. She thought it was hilarious.

Thomas and Charlotte are both growing out of their clothes faster than I think is possible. And, they are both getting new teeth. Charlotte now has 4 molars and Thomas also has his final molars. They are both looking forward to a weekend of running around the house, stomping their feet and generally making lots of noise. I am looking forward to watching them and laughing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Short weeks in Seattle

We are now in the throes of hockey season which means I should take some action shots of Josh on the ice (or in the penalty box) and post them here so you can see what we do on the weekends. The games are on Thursday and Sunday and the teams rotate a little, but it seems like we are getting a lot of Thursday games. When it works, that means we leave here on Thursday night instead of Friday. It makes the week go by faster, even though I have to commute in on most Fridays.

We had several fun things going on this weekend. On Saturday, we took Thomas for his first skating lesson. 26 minutes into it, Josh got him to crawl out on the ice. We have decided to resort to bribery next week (in other words - candy if he can make it on to the ice). He is going through a phase of being nervous about things that were fine before. He also struggled with his class at the rec center today. We'll see if he can get over it in the next couple of weeks.

My parents came over on Saturday night which allowed Josh and I to go see a movie. We are really blessed to have so much family nearby. I know many parents in our situation (2 really young kids) and they rarely get time alone together. We also got to go out to dinner on Friday night and I got to go watch Josh's hockey game on Sunday afternoon all by myself. It made the weekend feel longer and more restful.

We cam back here last night which allowed me to go to yoga this morning. I do not do all the well at Monday morning yoga. I don't know if it is because it has been a few days since I did it last or because I really wish I could still be in bed, but I struggle a lot more on Mondays than when I do it on Wednesday or Friday. It is still worth it because I feel so good when it is over, but I have to earn it more on Monday.

That is pretty much the story for today. Now I am going to curl up with my book and read for a while.

Friday, April 08, 2011

At the Airport in NJ

I'm getting on a plane in a few minutes to fly to Minneapolis and on from there to Seattle. It was a great trip to NY, capped off by a fun night last night. I got to meet up with a friend for drinks and then out to dinner with 4 people I work with. We ate at a little restaurant called Piadina in the Village and monopolized the table for 2 and a half hours. It was the most funny dinner I've had in a while. I didn't get back to the hotel until after midnight and 8:00 came too quickly this morning.

This week went by really quickly and I can't wait to get home and Josh and Thomas and Charlotte tonight. It was strange to be away from them for a couple of days...

Happy Friday and hope you are enjoying your day, whatever you are doing.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I took this picture for Thomas because he loves tunnels. I went through the Midtown tunnel on the way in from JFK.

I spent a good amount of time at this tiny desk this afternoon, catching up on work.

I got upgraded to a King room. Pretty much the bed and the desk are the whole room. Just like I like it, nice and compact.

I went out to Park Slope (Brooklyn) to have dinner with my friend, Andrea. On the way back I took a picture of this cool old church because I liked it and it looked cool in the rain.
I am in New York on business. I flew in today and got to finish my book. I have been reading The Name of the Wind - a favorite of my husbands and many other good readers that I know. I loved it so much that I broke my rule and got the next book in the series and started it right away.

Since I had kids, I don't like to travel as much as I used to, but I was reading 1000 Gifts on the plane and thinking about enjoying the moment and I decided that I can enjoy the moments that I am here even as I miss my family. New York felt like an old friend to me as I passed through familiar streets and recognized places I have stayed before. The past couple of times, I've also gone out to Brooklyn to meet up with friends and it is nice to discover new places here rather than just go to the same ones over and over again.

I don't know that I will have time to take pictures tomorrow, but I am going to try. I rarely take pictures while I am here and it is one of my favorite cities (after Paris, Seattle, San Francisco and London). Now I have to go to sleep since my day starts early. Good night!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Short Sunday night post

We are back in Seattle after a fun filled day in Bremerton. We went to church and then out to lunch with my family. It was a full table today because Rebecca and the boys and Hannah got to join us. Meaning my entire family was there with the exception of Robb (Rebecca's husband) - he was flying back from Mexico today where he went to build houses for a week. We were sad to miss him, but it was great work that they got done there.

We took our very sleepy children home for naps and Thomas slept in his big bed again. We are kind of liking that he can get out of bed by himself because he just shows up when he is done with nap. I'm still getting used to it in the morning.

We are back in Seattle late after we watched Josh's hockey game and then bundled the kids in the car and headed over. It was a great game - which they won 6-5. It included two trips to the penalty box for Josh which means he was playing really hard (he explained to me early on that sometimes it is better to get a penalty than to let a guy score - as long as no one gets hurt). We haven't done this with the kids yet because I am not always a big fan of sleeping in the car, but they really did well. They stayed asleep for the most part on the stroller ride up to the apartment and then went straight to bed. We still have to figure out the best way to configure Thomas bed since he can now get out and we are looking at changing his crib into a toddler bed.

It is a short week in Seattle for us. I leave on Wednesday for New York and Josh is going to take the kids back to Bremerton because he has a hockey game on Thursday night. I'll try to take more pictures and post them as well. Sleep well!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

First Family day in a while

We spent the day together just the four of us for the first time in a while. We talked about a few different options and ended up spending the day close to home. Our first adventure was playing in the yard.
Here you go, Mom.

I'm going to leave this truck here and go check out something else.
Then we went out for a little grocery shopping and came back to nap time. The kids were cooperative and fell asleep in the car on the way home from the grocery store. After naps, we decided to go to Scenic Beach in Seabeck. We had never been there before and it wasn't raining too much so we were pretty sure we'd be able to catch at break in the weather.

Oh, yeah, I love my car seat.

What do you mean I have to be 16 to drive?

Wait for me!

Look at this cool gazebo I found.
We walked around and explored the picnic area, but the beach was closed. The kids didn't care. They were really happy to be outside. We looked at a leaf and some sticks, we ran around in circles and the kids got to stomp in some puddles. It was great. Just when we left, it started to pour - great timing :)

Finally, we had a family dinner. Josh kept the kids distracted by turning the oven mitt into a talking, tickling dinosaur. They thought it was hilarious.
The dinosaur oven mitt
One final note of the day. After 2 mornings of Thomas showing up in our room (yes, he learned to climb out of his crib and last night we put up a gate upstairs and he climbed over that, too), we moved Thomas to a big bed. He made it through nap okay and then just came downstairs when he was done. We are entering a new era.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Weekend, how I love you

I love yogurt - can't you tell?
Josh and I were both struggling to stay awake on the drive home which is a clear indication that we are ready for the weekend. It was a busy month with lots of travel and we now have a lively 16 month old girl who is fighting bedtime. We found the cure tonight - driving and the movie Cars. Also, she didn't take a nap this afternoon. But, look at that face. How can you not just love her? So, we are getting ready for the transition to one nap and the arrival of more teeth.

We have absolutely nothing planned this weekend. It is a nice way to start a month. Hope everyone else is enjoying a little downtime, too!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sick kids

Last week, while Josh was in Taiwan, I was sick all week, but the kids were mostly fine. This week, my sickness has caught up to them. It made for a couple of really bad nights (up a lot with coughing) and that makes the parents a little cranky. I am finally starting to feel better, but it would be nice if we got the kids there too.

Tonight I had a lot of bad parenting moments. Charlotte has decided that it is now her right to protest going to bed. It used to be that I would take her in her room and she would curl up in my arms and I would sing a little and then put her in her bed where she would sigh contentedly and then drop off into dreamland. Now the protest starts as soon as the door closes. She points to the door and pitifully proclaims "door, door, door" all while pointing at the door. Then there are lots of tears. As I am writing this, I am remembering that Thomas did the same thing. Tonight it was about an hour from beginning to end. And, it ended with me sitting in a chair, stroking her hair and rubbing her back until she could no longer sleep and finally gave in to the drooping eyelids. I was not thinking kind thoughts about her the entire time.

It brought me back to my devotional reading for today which was about trusting God with all your heart. My heart is not always kind and to give that back to God and ask for forgiveness made me come down from being angry and tired and frustrated. And it gave me perspective. As my husband just reminded me, when we went through this with Thomas, the only thing that fixed it was time and patience. And anyone who knows me would tell you that I am not long on patience. So I'll keep having to go to the well of grace in the next couple of weeks.

In other news, my baby girl is 16 months old today. She is amazing and is so much more clear in her communication than she was a month ago. I'm hoping that some of her clear communication (like screaming or saying no) is temporary, but I can't wait until she breaks out that first sentence. Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Super Readers to the Rescue

Aunt Hannah is here as is our tradition on Monday nights and she has miraculously made Charlotte go to sleep. Charlotte and Thomas are both sick now, with full blown coughs and runny noses. In some ways it makes them so cute - think a two year old talking with a stuffed up nose - but, mostly it is just sad. Charlotte is especially sad and is not getting much sleep. I'm praying for a quick recovery for them.

We had a great, full weekend, ending last night with a visit with some friends. We get really busy with family and life sometimes and we are trying to make more room to keep up with friends as well. We got back to Bremerton just in time for Josh to play his hockey game last night.

This week we are all together for the first time in ages. It is nice to remember what Josh looks like and to have regular nights with eating and baths and laundry. We are now watching Super Why before Thomas goes to bed and the adults are watching the rain come down outside our window. It is a nice end to a long day. Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Baby Showers and Daddy's home!

We had a baby shower today for Jeremy and Jen (Josh's brother and his wife). They are due to have a baby on May 3. We are all really excited for a new niece in the family. It was a nice, relaxed baby shower. We were really grateful that my sister was able to babysit our kids and their cousin so that their moms could enjoy the party.
We let them open their first gift a little early - it was a camera so that their grandparents could have more pictures.

And, of course, Josh came home last night. He is completely upside down from being on the other side of the world. He graciously took care of the kids last night - Charlotte has been struggling with a cough, so he got her back to sleep and then got up with them this morning. When I got up, I let him sleep for a couple of hours to try and recover a little. I really appreciate that he is here to take care of us as we are all struggling with the coughing.

That is all the excitement in our house for tonight. We are looking forward to more fun with friends and family tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grateful for sleeping

I didn't blog last night because I was too tired by the time I got back from a work dinner. Hannah came up again to sit with the kids. They go to bed really easily for her - they know she is not going to fall for any of their tricks. I have been going in there every night and covering them up after they fall asleep. I think it helps them sleep longer, or that could be in my imagination.

We got to Skype with Josh again this morning. The kids were full of energy (meaning there was lots of wiggling) and they are still not quite old enough to understand where Daddy is. Thomas kept trying to poke the screen. Josh is getting on a plane in about 12 hours to come home and I am really looking forward to his return.

We have had two of the most amazing spring days here in Seattle. It was at least 60 both yesterday and today. I was hoping it would last, but the rain clouds rolled in again this evening. The kids have been playing at the park every day and I love that they get to go outside and play (and I am a little jealous - it seems better than sitting in a conference room).

My life at work is full of meetings right now, but I was able to get away a little early tonight. My nanny had to take her son to the doctor and so I got a little extra time with the kids. It was a needed break. I am weary from this cold and it was nice to just hang out with my family and not think about anything for a little while. We have a great view from our apartment and after I put Charlotte to bed, I had my coffee with Thomas on my lap (he was watching Super Why) and I looked out across the lake at Gas Works park and was grateful for the view.

One final note - my friend, Joanne, had surgery today to have her bone flap replaced in her skull. She came through it beautifully and is now recovering in ICU. It was nice to see that things went well. When I visited last weekend, she was very worried about it. She still has work to do on recovery, but yesterday she did some walking. I'm constantly amazed at the healing she has experienced through the grace of God and the prayers of so many people. Grateful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel that she is on a path to recovery.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taking it slow

I've found that the key to getting through the week when Josh is on the road is to take things slow. That is even more important this week as my body is clearly rebelling with a good deal of coughing and an appearance of the throaty voice that often accompanies it. The other key is going to bed as early as possible. Thomas tells us when he is ready to get up in the morning by saying, "I'm awake". This morning that wake up call came at 4:30. I told him it was too early and let him sleep in my bed. Miraculously, he fell asleep again and slept until 6:40. It was awesome. Charlotte got up around 6 so we had some time together to play (which rarely happens). It was a good morning. The only bummer was that we got up too late to Skype with Josh. I'm pretty sure we will get to talk to him tomorrow.

It was a productive day ending in laundry. I've done some informal surveys and everyone agrees that the hard part about laundry is the folding and the putting away. That was what I did tonight, the folding and the putting away. Thomas even managed to help a little bit before he got bored and stopped.

Now I am going to slowly walk over to the cupboard and find a Nyquil. It should make my nightly reading pretty interesting...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is it Monday already?

I should say, I can't believe it is almost Tuesday already. Josh is in Taiwan. He left last night very late and got in this afternoon around 3. I love that technology makes it possible for me to know immediately when he has landed. It is Tuesday in Taiwan and by the time he finishes his work day and gets some food, we will be waking up here. I also love that technology will allow us to video chat in the morning so he can say good morning to the kids. They get a little out of sorts when either one of us leaves. Thomas is now able to process it a little bit more so he will look around and say "Daddy in Taiwan?" or "Daddy go airplane?" and that is fun to see.

Tonight I was really blessed to have my sister, Hannah, up here to hang out with us. She graciously came and took care of the kids since I had a late meeting today. Then she stayed and helped me put the kids in their bath and their beds. We ordered Chinese food and then sat and talked after the kids went to sleep. I really appreciate the adult conversation at the end of the day. And, the kids love her. She is coming back on Wednesday because I have a dinner for work. I am grateful that she lives close enough to be able to do this and that she loves her niece and nephew so much.

I felt like I did not have enough going on this week, so I am also trying to seriously cut down the caffeine. I know this seems like a strange thing to do in the midst of a crazy week, but I have not been able to get my premature ventricular contractions to calm down as much as I would like. Yoga has definitely helped, but without giving up the caffeine, I don't think I'm going to be able to get them to go away. So here I am, 9:00 pm, ready for sleeping. I may try to read a little bit, but I suspect I am not going to last too long. Sweet dreams, everyone.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Love Wins

I've been trying to process my weekend into a reasonably readable post, but I am struggling, so bear with me.

First, on the way down, I read a book on the plane called Love Wins (by Rob Bell). This book is rather controversial as it suggests that our conceptions of Heaven and Hell are wrong. It helped me think through a lot of my theology of heaven and hell and more importantly, why I think that they are the least important reasons to convert or not convert to Christianity. I think Jesus was radical. I think that Christianity (the religion as it is commonly manifested in modern life) is rarely radical. I think it is way too comfortable. And, I think that Christianity thinks way too much about issues on the fringe - the ones that Jesus spent very little time talking about - and not nearly enough time thinking what it was that Jesus was really advocating - which, to be clear was a radical shift in our hearts, away from the sinful nature that causes us to gossip, to fixate on our own needs over others, to be greedy and always want more than we have. That was the real heart of the book and I am still thinking through the implications, what it means to my life and faith and what I will possibly teach my children about heaven and hell.

Along with reading a lot and thinking about heaven and hell, I was able to enjoy some time with great friends. Emily, Michelle and I met for breakfast on Friday morning and ended up spending 2 hours talking and catching up. I am so grateful that we had the time together.

I was also able to spend a good amount of time with Joanne and with Toben and their girls. It was amazing to see how far Joanne has come in the 2 months since I saw her last. She still has a ways to go, but she is getting her bone flap put back in next week (the bone flap is a piece of her skull they removed to relieve swelling in her brain). Replacing the bone flap often accompanies a jump in recovery for stroke patients, so it will be great to see her get that back in. Even without it, she managed to take some steps on Friday and that is one of the major milestones on her way to recovery.

This morning, I have been hanging out with my kids. Josh is playing bass in church this morning, so he left early. I decided to keep Charlotte home from church today because her nose was running and I hate to leave her in the nursery where she would easily pass on whatever she has to other kids. It is possible that all she has is teeth coming in, in which case the best thing for me to do for her was to put her down for a nap. I did that shortly after my parents picked up Thomas. Hope your Sundays are as lovely and sunny as mine is turning out. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

IPad blogging and miracles

I was in a meeting with someone the other day and he took notes on his iPad the entire time. It gave me confidence that I can leave my computer behind this weekend and blog on my iPad. We'll see how it goes.

I am going to Colorado this weekend to visit my friend Joanne. If you are unfamiliar with Joanne's story, you should definitely go over to her blog and read it - there is a link in my last post. I went to visit Joanne shortly after her stroke, but she wasn't awake when I was there last time, so I am really excited to go back and see her (two months later) talking and moving again. It is nothing short of a miracle. I was thinking about that this morning when I realized that I do not ask for miracles often or lightly. I reserve those for the big things (and this was a big thing). But, why don't I ask for more miracles? Is God limited in the miracles department? No. The problem is not God, it is me. I do not think big enough. Of course God can do it. So I will be asking for more miracles big and small.

And, now on a lighter note, a bit on the challenge of a dessert/sugar free life. We had a meeting with a vendor today and they brought in donuts. Wait, not just any donuts - Top Pot donuts. I sat there during the entire meeting thinking about those donuts. Then we went back to our desks afterward and two of my colleagues said, "Ugh, I feel terrible after eating those donuts." That made me feel a lot better :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Joanne!

Joanne loves charm bracelets and inspired me to get one - I wear it every day. It has two charms, one for my daughter and one for my son. I hope to add more in the future. My kids love the bracelet and play with it and like to hear the music that it makes when I shake my wrist.
It is Joanne Heim's birthday today. Joanne and I have been friends for almost 20 years now. We met in college when she was the Editor of the newspaper and I was on the student council. She let me write editorials every once in a while and then made me sound smarter by editing them. After college we stayed in touch over phone and eventually e-mail and visits to Colorado. In 1998, shortly after Audrey was born, I moved to Colorado Springs and we got to hang out in person for 5 years, doing puzzles, knitting, teaching Bible study and much eating. Since 2004, we have had many girls knitting weekends, in San Diego, Colorado and Bremerton. Joanne also came to celebrate my wedding in 2007. She brought me so many great gifts, including a fun zipper bag filled with wedding essentials like Kleenex, safety pins, nail files and mints. She has always been a great friend to me and I love her dearly.

Happy Birthday Joanne - may your day be restful and fun, may you have cake and many many fun presents!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Long day

I left the house in Bremerton early this morning to get to a meeting here in Seattle. We took separate cars today (which we have never done before). It was a crazy morning weather wise and in addition to missing my carpool lane status, I missed my family during the drive in. The rest of the day was best described as hectic. After work, I went to a work dinner which was lovely and yummy, but now it is late and I have just arrived home.

I was realizing today that our little family works together best when we are together. When Josh or I have to travel or be out, it is difficult. We each have our own contributions to making things work. I missed my kids today when I was at work because I realized that I wasn't going to see them when I got home and I barely got to see them before I left. It makes me really grateful for the decision we made to be over here because when I was commuting, this was how much I got to see my kids every week day. Now I get to see them a lot more both before and after work (most of the time).

After I posted yesterday, the kids woke up from their naps and we all went out together to the grocery store. We rarely do this as a family because we have our groceries delivered in Seattle (yay Amazon Fresh!) and when we need things on the weekends, I just take one of the kids to the store. But, we needed food and Charlotte kept saying "out" and "door" and pointing so we thought it would be fun. We got a cart for each of them and rode around the store. Every time Thomas couldn't see me he would say "where Mommy go?" and every time Charlotte couldn't see Josh she would say "Daddy? Daddy?" which was endearing both to shoppers and parents alike. Whenever we go to checkout at the grocery store, Thomas thinks the checkout lady is "Grandma" so he says "Hi, Grandma". We were fortunate to have both a checkout lade and a bagger who were Grandmas and thought that he was hilarious.

Because it was raining, I let Thomas ride his scooter in the garage after dinner.
Hi, Mom!
Charlotte also wanted to get in on the action, so we did a lot of dancing and wiggling and running around the garage.
She was on the move and couldn't stop for a smile.
It was a good thing I let them burn off some energy so that they were ready for bed at the "normal" time. I didn't realize until after Charlotte was already in bed that it might have felt a little early to her.

Now it feel like it is time to go to sleep (or at least read for a little while). Good night!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Everyone

March is birthday month around here. Robb, my dad, Catalina and Josh's mom all have birthdays within a week. Yesterday was the chosen day of celebration for the first three. We went to Everett in the morning to watch my nephew, Jonah, compete in a hockey playoff game. It was a great game which they lost, but it was amazing to watch. I'm not sure how I will ever be able to be a hockey mom. You want so much for them to win and to do well and there are all kinds of things going on - kids falling down and skating all over the place with sticks is just a recipe for disaster. Still, we are going to let Thomas take skating lessons starting next month.

After the hockey game, we headed to a restaurant to celebrate Robb's and my dad's birthdays. Robb already got his big gift on Thursday (his birthday), but we all gave him cards and he got an iTunes card so he can get some apps for his phone.

Marna feeds Thomas salad. He decides that he LOVES it.
After lunch we took the ferry back to Kingston and headed for Catalina's birthday party. Thomas was excited that he got to ride a boat AND see a train and the children passed out in the car for a little while exactly as we hoped. We don't often let them go through the day without at least one nap.

Catalina was a great host and she was really happy to see her cousins. The ran back and forth and fell on the ground and danced and ran back and forth some more, much to the delight of their parents and grandparents.

Catalina is now 2!  
The kids all practiced holding up two fingers to show that they were two. Then, Grandma asked Charlotte how old she is and she held up one finger :) we were all duly impressed.

Please, Mom, please
Yeah, we didn't really let her drink the Coke. She just carried it around and licked the top a lot.

Playing the organ together
Once we were all finished with celebrations, we headed home. The rain had been coming down all day, but it wasn't raining when we got home. Thomas asked if he could ride his scooter, so we got their shoes on and let them run around outside, play on the scooter, explore the backyard. Then we warmed them up in the bath and tried to get them off to sleep a little early due to lack of naps and the time change.

It was a full, fun day. Josh and I topped it off by watching Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and we loved it.

Today we are recovering. The laundry is in, the dishwasher is running and the kids are sleeping while we follow our regular Sunday afternoon ritual of watching Supernatural (we are catching up after football season). Hope you are all getting rest today as well.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dentists and Doctors

My big girl, pushing a little car
Charlotte leading the way
I spent the day doing necessary things. Going to the dentist, taking Charlotte to the doctor for her 15 month check up. First, Charlotte's stats updated - she is 26.5 lbs and 32 inches tall. She has jumped up to 90th percentile for height and over the last few months she gained 2 inches, but only one pound. She is right on track with her other milestones as well - walking, talking - she showed off her language skills for the doctor. When the doctor came in, Charlotte was sitting on my lap and we were reading a book. She pointed to the book and said "book". I told the doctor that we were wondering if her language skills were where they needed to because we thought Thomas had more words at this point. She laughed at me - very gently. She told me at this point, she just wants to make sure that Charlotte can say "Mommy" and "Daddy". Yeah, I don't know why I worry about this stuff either.

The first part of the day I spent with the dentist. I will not go into extensive detail on this part of my day, just say that 1) I am grateful for nitrous oxide and 2) my face was numb until 4:00 today and 3) I'm glad that it is done. I have terrible teeth and I have to get fillings after every cleaning. After the last one I decided that if I have to go the dentist, I can take the day off.

After all of the rest of the excitement, I packed the kids in the car and we headed down to the ferry to pick up Josh. Right before we left I told the kids we were doing to get Daddy and Charlotte bounced up and down and said, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" - guess that tells you how glad she was that he was coming home. We took the kids to have dinner with Grandma and Grandpa and now we are all at home together. Tomorrow promises to be a full day - I must remember to take pictures. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Night Riders

We made it back to Bremerton tonight - just the 3 of us. The kids were really good on the drive. Today was a bit of a struggle. Thomas woke up really early. I mean 4:15 early. When he wakes up that early (as opposed to his normal 5:15), it badly impacts his behavior for the rest of the day. Generally, when he wakes up that early, I can convince him that it is still the middle of the night, but he was AWAKE this morning. We'll see if that translates into a later wake up call tomorrow (please, please, please). It was also a full day at work, so I came home a little tired. I found that I needed a lot of deep, deep breaths to make it through the packing up and getting the kids in the car phase of the evening. Needless to say, I am looking forward to having Josh back with the family tomorrow.

We did have a great drive - no traffic and no crying. When we got here, as I took Thomas out of the car, he said, "Look at the stars" and we all took a moment to revel in the beautiful stars - so bright because we are not in the city. It was worth all the effort to get here.

On another note, I have been negligent in picture taking this week so I will post some slightly older pictures...
Good morning, Mom!
Here I am, so cute with food in my mouth and my funny little smile
And, finally, the no sugar thing is hard. I don't like it :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Change it up

I am a creature of habit. I like our regular schedule. I like getting up in the morning and going to work out. I like coming home at 5:15, going to get the mail with the kids, cooking dinner, getting the kids in the bath and then getting them to bed. It has a nice rhythm to it. This week, since Josh is out of town, everything is off kilter. I can't get up and go workout because there is no one here to take care of the kids. Work things have come up, so I have to come home later than 5:15. But, that leaves opportunities for change and flexibility. It makes me more creative. Tonight, my sister, Hannah, came up and put the kids to bed for me so I could go to yoga. It was luxurious. I couldn't be more grateful. I struggled a little with Mom guilt as I left the apartment. But, of course, when I got back she said the kids were great and couldn't have been more relaxed. Plus they got to spend time with their aunt.

The other big change is the morning. With two of us, we do more switching off and it is a little easier to shower and get ready when there is another adult here. But, the kids are pretty good at keeping themselves occupied constructively and we had a great morning hanging out together and getting ready for the day. The one thing that has started to come up is the jealousy factor. Thomas has certain things that he likes to do and now that Charlotte can do them as well, he has to take turns. He is not in favor of this and would prefer that Charlotte never get a turn. Charlotte also has her jealous streaks and wants to play with the toy that Thomas has or wants to be picked up if Thomas is picked up. With two parents, it is easier to give them one on one attention and that cuts down on the jealousy factor a little.

A little change, some learning, some flexibility and creativity that is our lesson for the day. We miss Josh/daddy and we can't wait for him to get back.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Mardi Gras

I am celebrating Mardi Gras tonight by eating the rest of the Girl Scout cookies. I'm enjoying them with a lovely cup of decaf coffee. Yes, I know that is the height of decadence. Tomorrow is the start of Lent and we are giving up sugar (not the kids, just Josh and I). I have squirreled away two boxes of cookies in the freezer to enjoy on Easter. We'll see how well we do at resisting the temptation to break into them early.

I can't believe how fast this year is going by. I keep having all kinds of trouble this week realizing that it is not just March, but a full week into March. Crazy. I started looking at dresses for Charlotte for Easter. We are blessed to get clothes from Charlotte's cousin Catalina as she grows out of them and there is a dress with ladybugs on it that I think will be perfect in about 6 weeks. We are going to see the pediatrician for Charlotte's 15 month appointment on Friday. I'm curious about her weight. As far as I can tell, she is at about 27.5 pounds. That means she will need to go up a clothes size again in just a couple of weeks.

Josh left this morning for a business trip to California. He took a trip at the end of January, so this is my second experience at single parenting. This one doesn't seem so daunting because he will be back on Friday afternoon. And, I'm taking Friday off. And, he didn't leave until today (last time he left on Sunday night). We'll see how it goes. It makes me really appreciate all the times he single parented while I went to New York for my job. He is also going to take care of the kids next week while I go to Colorado to see Joanne and go to the worship service they are having for her. Her recovery is amazing and I can't wait to celebrate with some of the people that have been praying for her.

My final confession is that it is 8:00 and I have already retired for the evening. I have big plans to do some reading and then get some sleep before the early morning wake up call. Sleep well!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies

Right now, Thomas and I are sitting together, eating cookies and watching Super Why. He is drinking milk and I am drinking coffee. We came back to Seattle tonight because Josh doesn't have a hockey game and I have an early morning meeting (seriously, I think 8 am meetings on Mondays should be permanently banned). We headed over after Thomas took an extremely long nap (3.5 hours). Charlotte only took a one hour nap, so we had a lot of time to hang out together. Josh and I like that we get some time on Sunday afternoon with Charlotte while Thomas sleeps. He got so much of our attention when he was little and she has to share most of the time. We have a tradition in our family of saying "I love you" and pointing to the other person and then the other person replies "I love YOU" and back and forth. Until today, Charlotte would just grin every time we pointed at her. Today, she pointed at me and said it back. Awesome.

Our trip took a little longer than planned (there was an accident on the freeway), so we stopped at Southcenter and had dinner at Panera. They had mild for kids in boxes with a straw and Charlotte did great with it until she discovered that she could squeeze it and milk would squirt out of the time. We took it away first and then decided to try again. She did great again, but finally succumbed to temptation and it went everywhere again. Including all over Josh. We took the milk away and put the rest in a non spill sippy cup, but first we had a big laugh.

We are preparing for Lent and that is where the Girl Scout cookies come in. I am unable to resist cookies in general, but girls outside the market selling them are my kryptonite. I bought quite a few boxes. And now, we have solidified that the thing we will be giving up for Lent is sugar. That means we have to eat all of these cookies before Wednesday. Well, that is not exactly right. I did put a couple of boxes in the freezer for after Easter. Wish us luck.

It is now snuggle time, so I am going to hold on to my baby boy before putting him to bed. Good night!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Dribs and Drabs

We had a fantastic day. I took the kids to Target this morning while Josh had his skating lesson. Then we took the kids to Josh's parents house and we went to a movie (The Adjustment Bureau - we liked it). My nephew had a hockey playoff game (they won! congratulations, Jonah!) and we celebrated afterward at my parents house. In between, we managed to do about 5 loads of laundry, some of which is still in the dryer...

The kids were great all day and they were really happy to get to spend so much time with their grandparents and their cousins. Now everyone is sleepy or sleeping.

One thing I left off the list of thanks yesterday was sore muscles. I am especially thankful for sore muscles today since the pain I felt in my back yesterday was just sore muscles and is completely gone today.

I am also thankful for clean clothes today and for Finding Nemo because it means we have some alternatives to Yo Gabba Gabba in the car. Sleep tight!

Friday, March 04, 2011


We came home to Bremerton last night because Josh had a hockey game, but I had too much stuff to do in the office today so I became a commuter once again. I love driving and I love the time it affords me to do things like listen to NPR or think or listen to music. Tonight I spent the drive home thinking about what I am thankful for and came up with the following list:

1. Josh
2. Thomas and Charlotte
3. Our families (moms, dads, brothers, sisters, brothers in law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews, cousins)
4. My job
5. The team of people that I work with every day
6. Driving
7. Music
8. NPR
9. Josh's job
10. Preschool
11. Yoga
12. Books
13. Rain
14. Heated Seats
15. Sleeping
16. That I am going to Colorado in 2 weeks for a worship service to celebrate Joanne
17. Facebook (that might seem a little strange, but it has brought me back into contact with people I thought I might never talk to again)
18. Popcorn
19. Our house
20. Friends

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tried and true

I've been amazed this week at how well some of the tried and true parenting techniques are. I am talking about distraction and misdirection. Thomas is now well into the stage of understanding that he can make choices. So, I give him choices to distract him from what he really wants. For example, bedtime has become a time when Thomas thinks he gets to negotiate. So, I let him. Tonight I asked, "do you want a song or do you want to go right to sleep?" (I'll let you guess what he chose.) I find myself shocked that this works with him and makes him happy at the same time.

We've also started having night time chats. They are interesting because I get to hear the day from his perspective - it mostly revolves around how he likes to go to the park or stomp in puddles. I'm hoping we will have these chats for many years to come.

Charlotte is not quite so far along in the choosing category. Mostly she just wants to do what she wants to do. She has definitely discovered her will. She is still the sweet, smart girl that she always was, just not as pliable as she used to be. She is gaining quite a bit of vocabulary and quite a bit of teeth.

Writing all of this has made me really look forward to the weekend. I love that we get 2 days to hang out together as a family. Counting the hours.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I'm going to tell a little story on myself today. Underneath my calm, cool exterior (ha!) I am a ball of anxiety. Sometimes that means that I am worried about work, sometimes my kids, sometimes the schedule, sometimes how much my next dentist appointment is going to hurt. Lately, I've been anxious about whether or not Thomas would get into the preschool we like here in Seattle. We were supposed to find out by March 1st and I was checking my e-mail a lot, waiting for the news. And I was telling myself that it didn't matter. That if he didn't get in, we would figure something out and no matter how much I tried this logical approach, I was anxious. Today I was really frustrated because I still hadn't seen an e-mail (I even checked my snail mail box - nothing). So, I decided to do a search through my inbox to see if I had missed it and guess what - I did. In fact, the e-mail came two weeks ago - before I started looking for it and I overlooked it. Nice. All that anxiety and I had the answer all along (he got in - yay!).

I'd like to say that this little incident will teach me a lesson and I will stop worrying about everything, but it would not be true. I will TRY to think of this and remember that all of my worries are not going to change the outcome of anything. I have mentioned here that I am reading a devotional this year - Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (I do this in honor of my friend Joanne who is reading the same thing both before and since her stroke). Many, many of the daily readings are about anxiety or its opposite - trusting God. I must not be the only human that struggles with this issue. And I KNOW deeply that I have nothing to worry about. Every time I have trusted God, things have turned out (witness my husband and children). And still I struggle. I do have grace in this situation - I know that I will not change overnight and I know that this is more of a lifetime goal so today's story will just serve as one more reminder to keep letting go.

And now, some pictures:
Thomas is looking for Josh (we can see him as he walks home) - note the bear, a new addition.

We start the chores young. Charlotte loves to vacuum!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

What day is it?

Josh and I are having complicated schedules this week. Monday I had both an early and a late meeting so he came home early for me. Then, our nanny called last night to let us know that she needed to take her son to the doctor this morning. I had more meetings this morning, so Josh agreed to stay home until she got here. And then, we promptly forgot. So this morning, since I didn't have a meeting until 9, Josh went off to work a little before 8. And when our nanny called at 8:30 to let me know when she would be here, I realized that we had made a mistake. First we considered having Josh come home so I could go to work and then I thought about it (for about a second) and realized that every time I think I really have to go to work, I end up thinking that it wasn't as important or urgent as I thought and I could have had that time with my kids. So I stayed home until 1 and then went to work. And I got to play on the floor with my boy and build train tracks. And I got to cuddle with my girl who was feeling pretty mellow this morning. It was awesome. But now I am totally confused about what day it is because splitting my day between parenting and working has robbed me of all coherent brain cells.

As I walked to work, I thought about what is more difficult - working or parenting? And I'm definitely thinking it is parenting. The responsibility to teach your kids so that they grow up to be great adults is terrifying. I may feel this more right now because we crossed over that line with Thomas where he really understands what I mean when I say no. And I can see the little wheels turning in his head "do I have to listen? Do I have to do what Mommy says?" and I think about all of the times he will have to make that decision - with teachers and other parents and at church and it is my responsibility to teach him that I really do mean it. That there are things that are not up for negotiation (you can't hit people, you need to listen, you can't have everything you want the moment you want it, etc). I'm really grateful that we don't have to do this alone and I'm sad for all of the parents without the support system of grandparents, aunts and uncles and myriad others who care for their kids. Because this is not something I could do by myself and it would be hard if it was just Josh and I without our parents and brothers and sisters.

It is Tuesday. I got to hang out with my kids today. We had a fun time hanging out with them after work, too. And that means tomorrow is Wednesday and I have to be out the door pretty early, so I am off to do a little more reading and a lot of sleeping.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Update

Mommy holds and launches the drone while Thomas handles the remote control

Clearly Josh took the picture so there would be no evidence of his morning hair
I didn't post this weekend because we were too busy relaxing and hanging out. We did some shopping on Saturday and picked up our car which had been getting maintenance updates all week while we were in Seattle.

Sunday morning we had a little fun with the Mini Hover Drone that I bought Thomas for Christmas. He is pretty good at flying it. It only goes up and down and we have to duck as it gets closer to the ground. We sent Charlotte on a mission to find it and she was pretty nervous about touching it.

Sunday night we all got to go to Josh's hockey game, including all of the grandparents, Thomas and Charlotte's Aunt Jen who is 7 months pregnant and expecting at the beginning of May. Then I was off to book club. Definitely not a boring day.

As a result of the big weekend and a long day today, I am now tired. I am also grateful - for my husband, who came home from work early so I could stay late, for my kids, who were full of life and love when I got home, for all of the family that we got to spend time with this weekend and for the time I got to spend with my husband and my kids this weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo Friday

Our snow in South Lake Union on Thursday morning

The Space Needle from our apartment on Snow Day

It is almost impossible to get a good picture of Thomas - if you tell him to smile he scrunches up his face - so I try to get him when he is not really trying to smile.
See, this is what he looks like when he tries to smile.

Charlotte decided to just take a seat by the window and watch the world pass by this morning.
She was trying to get out of the chair and she kept saying "stuck, stuck".

This morning we woke up to beautiful, sunny skies. Lake Union was sparkling.

And the Space Needle looked beautiful.

We also had a beautiful sunset. We were eating dinner and looking out the window and I thought this would make a great picture. Happy Friday.