Thursday, March 7, 2013

Switching Gears

Hey Guys.

I started a new blog.

I am posting daily. An informal journal, so the writing is usually poor and I don't spend much time at all proofing and editing. I also usually do it from my phone, which means I'm not shooting for length either.

I made it a goal to do it all year, and I've done it about 2 months now so I think I'm in the habit. I'm not really sure why I'm doing it, but I find some satisfaction in it, plus I think it is easy and think this project could be meaningful in the future.

So if you want to see pics of Russell (they are often the ones I post on instagram, so if you are on there, you'll be seeing them twice) and want to know a little of our happenings, check me out over there.

Maybe one day I'll resume this one. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I’m taking this brief respite from my indefinite sabbatical from blogging to commemorate a momentous event in my life. I like to think of it as a sabbatical sabbatical. Here we go…

(drum roll)

At some point in the past 24 hours I reached a major milestone in my daily pursuit to remain alive. By my rough calculations*, I just passed the 1 billion second mark. That’s right - I have been perpetrating my antics on the rest of mortal humanity for upwards of 1 billion seconds now. From the metric perspective and given the current life expectancy rates, the 1 billion second mark is about as major as it gets. This is an especially meaningful achievement for me because most of my daily business (debatably**) is performed using a base 10 number system.

Oh yeah. Happy Birthday to Russell too. Maybe we can combine parties.

*I did not factor in the many unnoticed yet collectively significant moments in my life when I was imperceptibly dead for a few fractions of a second but then came back to life. Nor did I take into account the time periods when I remained alive, but may have travelled through time to future/past dates for (mis)adventures only to return to the exact same moment when I had left.

**Discussion of "daily business" makes reference to time measurement which employs a sexagesimal system. So unless one is using metric time, how could most of one’s "daily" business be performed using a decimal system? Also, my nationalist spirit makes me resent any imposition of the metric system at the expense of US customary units. So while I am forced to live and work in a metric world, I am not of a metric world. In other words, I am not a metrisexual***.

***Metrisexual – n. a term coined by me which means a person who loves the metric system.
(note: this term can be modified using the standard metric prefixes to indicate the degree of a person’s love of the metric system. For example, an average European might be a metrisexual, a high school physics teacher might be a kilometrisexual, and Bill Nye might be a megametrisexual).

Consider your mind(s) blown…………….now. (explosion sound occurring inside your head from your mind getting blown and possibly some smoke vapors coming out of your ears and nose)

Friday, August 17, 2012


Although we have internet, we still don't have a decent computer--and are still on a very unpredictable blogging schedule (which I suppose we always have been). I'm blogging from my phone which is tedious and allows for no formatting...

But I just wanted to put a few pictures up and write a few things down. This little boy of ours is changing! Most of that baby stuff is behind us; his development continues to be my biggest sadness and greatest joy.

He has become a little parrot, repeating what we say and narrating our actions. "Shirt?!" when Brandon is changing his clothes in the morning. "Cart! Cereal! Broccoli!" as we go through the grocery store."Fire truck" as a siren goes by. "Phone" as it rings and a big cheery "kids!" when he seems them at a park. His level of enthusiasm and curiosity is both hilarious and endearing.

The concepts he fixates on continue to amuse us. The other day we were driving somewhere and the whole way he babbled on and on about bunnies, puppies, and trains. I love it! It seems so cliche but I promise, his interest in those topics needed no prompting from me (I'm desperately trying to hide him from Thomas the Train junk because I'm paranoid that all children's programming is going to brainwash my child to only want to eat Doritos and Gogurt and make him start exclusively playing World of Warcraft in a dark smelly bedroom by the time he's four).

We are just starting to get a few sentences-which is kind of fun. "I did it" "I silly" "What's that?" and "I jump in" (the pool), etc. I'm amazed that he understands the "I" concept...seeing as we always address him as "you."

He is gentle and loves other children. He eagerly waves to the plane overhead or the animals on TV. He squeals in delight upon seeing fruit in the fridge and would eat it exclusively if we let him.

In other words, we are doing well. We are happy and healthy and have had a month of seeing family. It was funner and more meaningful than I ever imagined to see Russell play with and get to know his cousins. I don't have a ton of pictures and I always feel weird about posting pictures of other people--but know that it was all a blast. We are blessed and hesitate to even write because we know that so many do not have this good fortune. Nonetheless we hope you are a doing well too and send out love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ear Infections

Want to see the saddest pictures ever taken of our son?
Russell opted to lay on the floor one night during dinner rather than eat because he felt so crummy.
He quickly fell asleep.  Russell hasn't fallen asleep anywhere other than his crib or car seat since he was about four months old.

Last week Russell had double ear infections and went on antibiotics for the first time.

We knew something was up when we were up at the cabin and he didn't want to do anything other than sit on my lap and watch Shrek. It was the first time we used TV as a distraction; after dealing with incessant whining and fussiness for several hours, we discovered that this was the only thing that made him not cry!

We learned that sick kids are kind of tricky. Well, I take that back. When they have a fever, it is obvious. They are burning up so give them some Tylenol and be super loving and patient because, duh, they're sick. Russell had a fever of 103.4 for a was a little scary for me.

But when little kids aren't feverish but are still acting abnormal, it is such a puzzle. It is a never ending saga of questioning everything the child does as well as your own parenting skills. Are they throwing a tantrum because they just really don't want that type of toy or is it something else? Is his nose running because he'a teething or because he's sick? Did he just wake up in the middle of the night because he had a nightmare? Or is the house too hot? Or is he sick? Does he not want to eat because his metabolism is changing or because he's sick? Etc., etc.
This one's the worst. This is probably when his fever was the highest.

This constant questioning also happens because for ten minutes he could be the fussiest, most inconsolable being ever and then for the next twenty minutes, he's as happy as a clam to rearrange rocks on the patio. When that happens, you're like, "Well, I guess he's not sick, because he seems OK right now!" But then a few hours later you are perplexed when your otherwise ravenous toddler won't eat.

So last week was tricky like that. Actually, things got rougher for us after he started the antibiotics. I think I expected them to make everything better within 24 hours; when he continued to act so crazy (tantrums, picky eating, waking up at night) several doses into the antibiotics, I started to accept the fact that Russell was just moving into his terrible twos and that I needed to get a grip on this parenting stuff--Ignore those tantrums! Remember, you're the parent! All that sort of self talk. I was getting so frazzled and down right terrified for what might be in our future of toddler behavior that I promptly checked out several toddler parenting books from the library because I was sure I was messing my son up royally.

But then, Russell became happy again. We started going whole days without any meltdowns and now it has been over a week and we've had many of these types of moments:

Hindsight is always so clear. A big fat "DUH" keeps sounding in my mind because obviously, our little boy was still feeling icky. I don't know why I was so set on second guessing everything. I'm still interested in reading those books but I'm just grateful that I don't have to have such a handle on that tricky behavior quite yet.

Fun with Grandma on her birthday celebration

"Mom, I think I just got stuck in the cupboard!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012


This may or may not be our last post for a while...we are cancelling our internet until we can update our technology. I can still post from my phone but the editing is a bit of a bear. So is writing via a small touch screen. But, that's the way things go. No complaints here.

Before Comcast cuts us off, I wanted to share some fun videos. Russell is at this stage where not only does he seem to just "get it," but he can access the world like never before. Between climbing, talking, and manipulating objects, he's exploring as much of this wide world as he can. His memory is improving and he is connecting the dots like nobody's business. Just last  night I watched him put together a puzzle without any help whereas a few days prior it was really frustrating him. I still get sad that he is outgrowing some behaviors, but watching him pick up others is, quite simply, really cool.

His verbal skills are some of the most entertaining. Russell is constantly trying to use and say new words. There are many things he can communicate without a hitch and then there are many many more than leave both of us stumped. That must be so frustrating for him, because he really is trying, but our toddler translation skills are not as up to par, apparently.

This first video is of Russell at dinner the other night. If you can't tell from the video, he LOVES strawberries...only he doesn't call them anything close to that. Once we figured out what 'bila' meant, we were able to make him a lot happier. The instant he sees a strawberry carton while we are at the grocery store, he starts to practically shriek, "Bila!"  We've gotten to the point where we have to keep them away from the dinner table after he has eaten his veggies or protein because he'll refuse to eat (or talk about) anything else.

The next video is one I took when I thought my camera was on picture worked out perfectly, though, because it captured him saying his version of 'airplane.' He is very consistent about this word. Every time an airplane flies overhead, he smiles, points excitedly up to the sky and says, "Mungy!" He can say "apple and plenty of other 'A' words, but somehow 'airplane' and 'mungy' are homophones to him. Did I use that word right? I don't think so, but maybe you know what I mean. Watching it might make you a little motion sick, sorry about that.
And the final one is of Russell and his beloved ice water. It doesn't really have anything to do with language acquisition, but the way he breathes during the drinking process is hilarious to me. He doesn't do it quietly, that's for sure. Actually, it does illustrate something about his current developmental stage. At one point, he very concretely says, "Ice."  He tends to do that...when he sees or hears something that he knows the word for, he'll usually say it. So when he hears a dog, he says "Gog". When he sees someone in a hat, he'll say "Hat" etc. It's like what he used to do with the sign for lights. Only now he has that same fascination with fans..."Pan, pan!" he'll say. 
All right...good riddance crappy computer! Hopefully next time I publish from a computer it'll be from one that is not 7 years old. Although if the time it took us to decide on a phone is any indication on how long it will take us to decide on a new computer, it might take a while. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

18 Months

Our boy is one and a half years old!

Height: 31.7", 24%
Weight: 25lbs, 61%

The pediatrician's office measured him three times at our past visit. The first two times showed that he was exactly the same height as our 15 mos visit, which put him in the bottom 3%. When the pediatrician came in, she remeasured him and was able to get him another inch or so out of him. Don't ask me how because I watched all three measurements and they looked the same. The point is that he remains a little on the short side.

Favorite past times: drinking ice water from a cup (he could do this all day!), going "outie" (outside), and showing off for visitors (often in the form of running into the couch or ottoman with his tummy, like sort of lucha libre, or frantically pointing to his latest fascination while babbling rapidly).
Taking a toddler to a ranch just as they are understanding that animals are real is probably one of the cutest things ever.  
Fave foods: "Banas" (bananas), ilk (milk), eese (cheese)...pretty much anything that falls into the lunch or snack category.

green smoothie face

Teeth: All of them except for those two year old molars. The canines are just slowly pushing their way through those gums. He's handling it like a pro though.

Haircuts: Zero. I'm just about ready to cut it...not only is it starting to look a little silly but more people are mixing up his gender than when he was an infant. Not that I care too much, but the kid has a serious mullet (no we have never cut his bangs).
Food storage, cokes, a new bottle of ibuprofen, our son...all we need!

I had to post this video because in it, he his makes a dog just have to be real quiet while you watch because it doesn't sound like the typical dog sound. He just kind of breathes in and out. It was probably my favorite thing that he did for a while. But alas, he's already moved on as he's learned how to make a real, "ruff ruff" sound. Now my favorite thing that he does is reach up for me to take his hand as we walk around. Not a bad replacement if you ask me.

PS: Shelley, months ago you gave him that outfit that he is wearing in the video and it now fits better than ever! It is the gift that keeps giving. :) Thanks!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Russell's 5...

Today I was driving and the thermostat said 95! Aiye!

The following are pictures of things Russell has been up to:

1.) Putting things down his shirt. I believe in this particular picture he has all 12 of the blocks to his shape sorter toy in his onesie. The other day i watched him attempt to put an entire Tupperware container down his shirt. It didn't work. Sorry for the blury pic.

2.) Trying to do summersaults. He can't quite do it but he loves to get in position and squeals with delight when we flip him all the way over. Again sorry for the blurry picture. He's not too good at holding position for too long. And I hate flash photography.

3.) Picking flowers. Believe it or not 'flowers' is one of the words he knows. He always points them out in books and says "flawa". It sounds a lot like how he says "water," but as his trained and certified interpreter, I can assure you he is actually saying "flower." He has a tendency to pick a flower while we are out in our yard and carry it around as he explores. It is pretty cute to see him toddle around with a solitary flower in his fat little hand. He has started to do the same with snacks, actually. I'll give him a lone Ritz cracker after nap and he'd rather delicately hold in that eat it. Don't worry, it is eventually eaten. That boy has never been one to deny food.  And he no longer wears that shirt. It is obviously too small, I just had to have him wear it that day to 'make sure.' Don't ask. I do weird stuff like that some times.
4.) Food is the perfect segue for this next this pic. I snapped this while at a big family gathering a few weeks ago. Yes, he is eating food off abandoned plates. He is always the one to try and dig a bag of snacks out of another mom's purse or continue to ask for snacks during a play date long after the other kids are done eating. I call him "Forager Extraordinaire." He can hear a package of food being opened or a food item being crunched in a closed mouth from a mile away, I swear. And of course, the instant he hears those noises, he puts his pointer finger up to his mouth and taps his lips. As his trained and certified interpreter, I know that he is saying, "I want to eat that."
5.) Bubbles. He is more into the act of blowing bubbles than the bubbles themselves. He asks to do "babus" almost daily. He loves to hold the wand, dip it in the bottle and 'blow.' The blowing is somewhere between licking the wand and hyperventilating and it brings him great satisfaction. He no longer allows us to even hold the bottle while he dips the bubble wand...he wants to do it all by himself. Luckily bubbles are cheap and a fairly benign mess.
On this week's agenda are: finding an inexpensive tricycle toy, nursery for the first time, and maybe a dip in the pool for the first time this season. He also has his 18 mos pediatric appointment and I'm anxious to see how much he's grown.  Hope you all are well!