Monday, December 31, 2007

It's All Relative

My cousins, Sarah and Ethan, came to stay with me for a day on their way to New Mexico. It was a lot of fun to spend some time with them. Unfortunately, Dean was fussy the whole time because he's developed a second ear infection and a killer diaper rash from the new antibiotics.

I've spent time with Sarah recently, but haven't with Ethan in a few years. He's now 17 and has of course changed during the past few years from his experiences abroad and just growing up some. He's a pretty neat guy, and I hope to spend more time with him as time goes on. To sum up Ethan, he's quite the comedian, yet calm, caring, and very intelligent.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Night Out

The week before Christmas we went to our local zoo to see the Christmas light display they do every year. There were lights everywhere! They also had a train ride and carousel for kids to ride for free. The line for the train was way to long, but we did take Dean on his first carousel ride. We sat on the bench of course.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Funny Farm

I got quite a kick out of Dean's gifts this year. Most of the toys he received were around a farm theme, though no one conspired for it to be so. He received a farm lego set, a barn, a baby animal book, a cow xylophone, and Curious George riding a vibrating cow.
Dean also received some other gifts, like clothes, for which we were grateful.
We spent Christmas down in San Diego visiting my family. It was a lot of fun, but I think we're going to have to start inviting people to our house until Dean and any possible siblings get a little older. It's hard to keep babies out of things when you're not at your own house.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More Drama

I'm on a posting kick. Is it ok to post 3 times on the same day? I'm going to because I have a little bit of catch up to do, and the three posts are about totally different things.

Late last week I was putting Dean in the car when a few police cars went streaming past my house. I live in a quiet neighborhood with low crime, so I thought they must be meeting the ambulance that I could hear for a heart attack victim or something. I briefly wondered if I should bring Dean back inside and wait a few minutes to be sure. I decided against it and left the house.
As I drove, I saw more and more police cars driving very fast in all kinds of directions and beginning to block off streets. Then I pulled over for the ambulance that I had heard. Further down the road, I had to slow down for police vehicles and an abandoned car (doors still open). About a block later, I watched a few police officers handcuffing a man. By this point I was feeling a little edgy and ready to get the heck out of dodge.
Here's the story I've pieced together from various news reports:
When police showed up in response to a panic alarm, they found an injured 12 year old boy crawling out of his window to get help. Officers were told about robbers inside, one armed with a gun. Before officers could get into the house, they heard glass breaking, then the sound of cracking wood- a fence being broken down. One of the men began shooting at the officers. Police returned fire but the armed suspect kept running. Minutes later police arrested an unarmed suspect. (The one I witnessed). Meanwhile another man was sitting in his driveway when the first mentioned suspect hi-jacked his car. He drove the car just a few blocks and ran into a field. Police caught up with him and killed him after he fired on officers. In the end, we found out that both the boy and his grandfather had been shot during the robbery. The grandfather is still in the hospital in critical condition. The entire morning, police had the area shut down looking for other possible suspects. I'm glad my car wasn't hi-jacked with Dean in the back.

Steal my stuff, but don't shoot me or hurt my family.

Dean Update

I've been holding on to this picture to post for a few weeks now. Mostly because at the end of the day I'm too tired to plug in the necessary things to transfer my picture to the computer. I think some people might even call this "lazy".
Anyway, this is one of Dean's latest Houdini moves. He has figured out that he can crawl into the first side of the cabinent and unlock the other door from the inside. Cute picture!
His other Houdini trick may or may not have been his fault. He is still not sleeping through the night, so we were trying to teach him to calm himself and go back to sleep without a bottle. One such night, I went in to pat him and left. Then listened as he fussed. The whole time all of the new mother worries were going through my head. What if he crawled out of the crib? What if he's hurt? This is never going to work. Followed by telling myself that the crib is the safest place and I can always go get him if he really starts crying. Finally I gave up and went in to "save" him, only to find him on the floor. One of the sides of the crib had somehow fallen apart. Poor, poor Dean. The next day I of course hopped online to look at crib recalls. Man what a great way to scare myself. Apparently this is how some babies have been strangled recently. Anyway, now his crib has been placed back together and is extra secure thanks to Lucas' handy work. Dean is still not sleeping through the night. As for my mother worries they are the same, only now they aren't "new mother" but rather "experienced mother".
If you are one of Dean's grandmothers and this post truly scares you into thinking Dean needs his grandma to drop everything and come rescue him, please call your son. Truly, everything is ok.
I've been told the best way to write a letter or a note is to start with a positive and end with a positive.
Positive ending: Dean takes about 4 or 5 steps before falling on his well padded behind.

Grand Finale

We had our last weigh in for the Biggest Loser competition at work today. I won second place ($200), with a total of 13 pounds lost. They are talking about starting a new one in the spring. I might go for a second round. I do have about 15 more to lose to reach my goal. The first place winner lost 29 lbs (wow!).

Sunday, December 2, 2007


To my beloved family members,

If you receive a present from me, it will most likely be in crinkled wrapping paper. Dean helped wrap the presents this year.

Also, if you are a member of my family with children of your own. It is likely that your children will receive gifts this year and you won't. I hope no one is offended, but man do we have a large family! I know, I know I'm doing my part to increase the size.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Three Times Running

I have yet again won the Biggest Loser. It really wasn't fair this week because I forced my in-laws to eat a healthier version of Thanksgiving dinner. I'm sure most others didn't have that option. Another three pounds down.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Tree

10 Steps to Set up for Baby's first Christmas (scroll down for pictures)

Step One: Treck out to find the perfect tree, then attempt to place it safely in the trunk of your car.

Step Two: Turn on Christmas music and get ready to decorate.

Step Three: Hose the neighbor cat's "holiday cheer" (poop) off of your driveway and shoes.

Step Four: Place the tree in a corner of your living room. Give baby a safe ornament and pray that it keeps him busy while you decorate.

Step Five: Untangle the lights that baby has so kindly tangled.

Step Six: Place lights areound the tree, while refocusing baby away from the plug outlet, water bin, and tree needles.

Step Seven: Place ornaments on the tree while refocusing baby away from the outlet, water bin, tree needles, and ornaments that dad placed too low.

Step Eight: Place the burgandy sheet you found in the hallway closet around the base of the tree for a little cheer.

Step Nine: Push as much furniture around the tree as possible to keep the baby out of trouble.

Step Ten: Enjoy the tree and other decorations around the house that you finally managed to put out before Christmas Eve.


I now have to follow up on the after Thanksgiving weigh in. I weighed in this morning at -3 lbs. Yay for me! I don't know if I've won or not because the woman in charge of this had jury duty today. I have to wait for her return to find out. The suspense is killing me. I have worked so hard this past week to pass up a ton of yummy food.

The true confession is my Reeses Peanut Butter cup indulgance this morning...yeah, before breakfast. I ate 10 mini cups. They were great and I thoroughly enjoyed them! yummy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Feast

The race is on with the Biggest Loser competition that I'm participating in. We have 4 weigh-ins left. Then we'll know who the BIG winner is. When I weighed in yesterday morning I had GAINED a pound, due to the pre-Thanksgiving meal I had last weekend with my side of the family.

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving Feast is with Lucas's family but at my house, so I feel like I have a little bit of control over what I eat. I am thinking that it is the easiest week to win because everyone will most likely eat a turkey day dinner and maybe some leftovers. Tonight I planned out what I will eat tomorrow and what I will skip. I've been tracking my points via the Weight Watchers method, and have planned mine out for tomorrow ahead of time. We'll see how it all goes. I suppose I will have to confess to my gain or loss after I weigh next Tuesday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An Enjoyable Dinner

There's nothing quite like having dinner with family, a nice drink, some great food, and your finger up your nose.
Lately, Dean has had his finger in his nose at every meal. Kind of funny now, but it might be pretty humiliating later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Biggest Loser

I am the biggest loser. No, I'm being serious and I'm very happy about it. At work we are having a competition to see who can lose the largest percentage of their body weight. I decided to join the fun as I still need to lose the rest of my baby weight. We weigh in every Tuesday and the person who loses the most weight for the week wins some cash. At the end of our game, the person who lost the highest percentage of their weight during the entire competition wins a larger pot of cash.
I am proud to say that today I won the weekly competition for the second time. During the past 2 1/2 months I have lost a grand total 7 pounds in a very healthy way. 7 more and I'll be at my pre-pregnancy weight. 17 more and I'll be at my ideal weight. It's a slow process, but I have to remember that every half pound will eventually add up.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I'm becoming a coffee addict. I never used to drink coffee, but since I've had the baby it's become a habit. I keep saving it for the mornings I REALLY need it. You know, the mornings after I've been up all night with Dean. The problem is, that for the past few months that has been every morning. I never make New Year's resolutions, but I think this year cutting off the coffee will be mine. If not, I guess I'll have to quite during the next pregnancy round.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I chose to be Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter thanks to a very helpful niece and sister-in-law. Dean was a horse. I had difficulty turning the picture, so just turn your head. Haha!

He learned tonight how to open dad's sock drawer. He spent the evening playing in the sock drawer and greeting trick-or-treaters.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Send for Help

Ok, so I need some help. As most of you know, I am a teacher. At my current school we have Literary Day on Halloween to help student's pick appropriate costumes. Students and staff members are encouraged to dress up as a Literary Character. I don't have any ideas and would love to be something "cool" for my fourth graders. Also, the teacher with the best costume wins a prize. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I don't know what the rules are in blogging. Is it ok to blog about someone else's life?

Here's a picture that my dad took in front of his house at 3AM the other morning. No, the orange sky is not from the sunrise. It's from one of the fires.
My family members are all ok. So far, they are safe from the S. California fires and no one has been evacuated yet. I hope it stays that way.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Dean got his first tooth over the weekend while at Grandma CC's and Grandad's house. The second one is working its way in also. If you look very closely you can see a white line in the middle of his gum. What a nerdy mama to take a picture of his tooth.

Another picture of the weekend, because I really like it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

8 Month Old Set Loose with Pumpkin

I bought Dean his first pumpkin tonight. Who knew it would be so much fun? First he tasted it. Judging be his face, it tasted fairly gross. Being an 8 month old, he couldn't help but taste it repeatedly every few minutes as though it might change it's flavor at any given moment.

After his sampling session, the results were in! Apparrently, the flavor was so horrible, the pumpkin belonged in jail. Dean quickly grabbed the laundry basket and placed it on top of the pumpkin. He spent quite some time trying to take the basket back off again, but after a while he gave up and moved on to better things.

This year I delved into homemade corn flower. I know what a corn-y joke. I can't help myself.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Baby Walkers

Now adays baby walkers are considered unsafe by some, as well as a great way to impare children as they learn how to walk independently. I can't help but laugh as Dean's managed to find his own unsafe walker with out any help from us adults. He likes to use the dining room chairs to help him cruise around. Smart little goof.

Dean's favorite toys:
any old shirt, chairs, blinds, and trash cans.

Items he's scared of:
vaccuum cleaner

To make him laugh:
make growling noises into his sides, and play peek aboo with sunglasses

To make him cry:
walk out of the room, turn on the above mentioned vaccuum cleaner, make him try on his Halloween costume (I guess he wanted to be a Ninja and not a Giraffe)

To make mom laugh:
Dean blows rasberries on my cheeks. Gets me every time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Stuck on Pictures

I feel like I always have to post with pictures, and so I wait to post. Now a month and a second new computer later, here I am thinking of not posting because I only have a few minutes and the camera parts aren't all out of their box yet. I now realize that I have missed some important posts over this silly requirement of mine. Time to post picture free in my few minutes.


We are all unpacked except for the garage. Our house that we own is clean and ready to be rented. Dean has started his second new day care because the one he was attending in our new town was crummy. He seemed much better when I picked him up today, but is adjusting to the new routines and providers. He's been saying some words and can stand unsupported for a few seconds. I just adore him and want to stay with him all of the time.

We visited with my family this weekend, which was really nice. Dean and I hung out with Mom while Lucas and Jon (my brother) hung out with Dad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Town, New Computer

Well, we're finally here. I'm sorry for those of you who have been awaiting another post from me. About the time we moved in to the house (1 1/2 weeks ago) our computer went kapooey. We had to break down and buy a new one. It's up and running, but the rest of the house isn't yet. We've got boxes everywhere. I think it'll stay that way for a while,as I'm also starting a new classroom. I'm teaching fourth grade this year and I've started the year 2 weeks late. It's been challenging, but I'm really enjoying this years batch of kiddos.

Dean is doing well. He's pulling him self up into a standing position. Last night he did this, then he tried to climb into the bathtub. Scary, but fun. I'll try to post pictures as soon as we unpack the box with my camera pieces in it. I've got photos, but no way to load them. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bath Time Stories

It is amazing how much he has grown. The first picture was taken when he ws 3 days old and the second picture was taken when he was 6 months old.

I guess it is time to start using the tub when they start crawling out of the sink.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes

Today Dean crawled on all fours for the first time. He also went from a lying down position to a sitting position unassisted. He's learning in leaps and bounds!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Twister anyone? Dean's ready. His favorite place is still the front door. He's taken to talking to people and cats outside.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Dean is going through another change and having difficulty falling asleep at night. I'm sure this is because of all of our changes in his routine during the past few weeks more than anything on his part. Every once in awhile he changes, and I find myself back on the internet searching for advice on the best way to help him fall asleep for the night as though I'll find some new piece of information or a black and white manual of the one right way. I never do.
I know this is unimportant in the broader scheme of things and that I will never figure it out. If Dean is anything like myself or my brothers, this will be an age old problem, taking on different faces over the years. Right now it is wanting to play with mommy when she's rocking him to sleep, or crying if placed in the crib to go to sleep on his own (does this well during naptime with no crying). Later down the road it will be asking for water or wanting to climb out of bed to play with toys. As a teenager, I was still difficult as I wanted to stay awake reading or worrying about life in general.
I also know that most parents can tell me a way that worked for them, but they wondered at the time if it was the right way to do things. That said, I'd still love to hear your methods.
Please don't misunderstand. This is not something I am overly stressed about. Tonight my method is to create a new post on my blog while he talks himself to sleep. Of course we've been at it an hour and he's only now calm enough to talk himself down.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What's that smell?

After a long weekend looking for housing and daycare, we've got a bit of a feel for the town we're moving to. IT STINKS. No, really, it smells bad. Apparently if the wind blows one way you get the smell of sulfur and the other way a manure smell. Yummy. I don't mind the manure smell so much.

It's the biggest small town I've ever seen. Lucas and I found many thing that brought us humor. One of which was the Post Office/Liquor store.

One of the selling points for some of the apartments and homes that we were looking at renting was their location next to the river. Here's the river. Maybe it has water in it at other times in the year, but the no diving sign gave us a good laugh.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

On the Road to...

I'm well on the road to recovery! Thank goodness. Solids, though rough on the throat, are a go. I guess it's about time to put away the icecream and pudding and start eating healthy again.

We're also on the road to a new town. Lucas' boss finally gave the green light to start looking for somewhere to live at his new job location. We were told that he'd start in 3 weeks, so we've got to start hopping. I'll be sending my resume out this week as well. I've got my chin up and am holding onto a positive outlook. What else is one to do?

Friday, July 27, 2007

In Gratitude of a Brother (or 4)

My family is full of loving, caring people who want to help me succeed and live a happy life. Four of those people are my brothers. They are always there to offer me support, a realistic perspective, and basically anything else I need to get through a rough patch. This year, I've really needed this support between recovering from childbirth, recovering from a tonsillectomy, and difficult decisions like resigning from my job and moving weeks before the school year starts during a tonsillectomy recovery. Here are just a few things they have done, some of which would have been difficult to offer without the support of their wonderful wives.

* offering to fly half way across country to help me through post-pardum depression
* hours on the phone and internet to check and see if I was ok (they called me)
* advice and shared stories of silly things they've done with their babies
* shared stories of scary things that have happened with their babies
* honest perspective on being overprotective and when to chill out
* encouragement for surgery
* it can't be THAT bad attitude for surgery
* it can't be THAT bad attitude for packing up and moving
* reminding me that I've got more time than I think
* check ups to see how I'm feeling and healing (it wasn't THAT bad)
* jokes and funny You Tube videos to lighten up
* a chance to see them being parents on vacation, I need to lighten up (and have)
* a feeling that I'm respected, loved, and cared for
* some time together as a family playing

I may be a little bit high needs lately and possibly spoiled, but I hope that my brothers feel as supported as I have felt. You guys are awesome!

PS I'd like to thank one of those wifes for letting me borrow the picture from her blog. I hope she doesn't mind. *grin*

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Waking Dreams

Medicine is still working pretty well for me. I feel some pain, but it's managable. I'm also very itchy from head to toe. I'm unable to eat solids today because I'm so swollen there's not a lot of room for the food to go through.

Medicine making me loopy? Yes. I've spent most of the last 24 hours with some really weird dreams. The oddest part is that I'm dreaming them with my eyes open and aware of everything that's going on around me in the "real" world. Basically, I'm still awake.
Examples of Dreams:
1.) Lucas has a fro and I've got long hair parted down the center.We're wearing 70's clothes. Suddenly we realize we've been tense around eachother because we've arranged the furniture in the wrong way.
2.) I'm thinking about how to make a milkshake without waking Dean and begin to wonder if the milk and the icecream are offended about being mixed. Suddenly there is an image of a talking milk (deep voice) and icecream (high voice) asking what the problem is. Don't people like them just the way they are?

Dean's been doing well with all of the daddy time and daycare. He had an injury this morning though. It was one of those "I told you so" moments. Dean's mommy (yeah that's me) is always talking about not setting the carseat on the couch or other high surfaces. Today, after Dean toppled off of the hopechest in his carseat, we found that mom was not in fact being over protective about that one. He's got a pretty good bump on his forehead, but I think he's ok.

Monday, July 23, 2007

In a Fog

No pain yet. Drugs are good. I'm still under the surgery medication, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow. I've been able to eat two real meals, which is a great way to start out. I am so glad for modern times and medicines.

Rubik's Cube

For those of you wondering what Lucas has been up to, this is it. After two weeks, he finally solved it. This one was tricky because each side had an image on it, so not only did he need the colors to match, but each square had to face a certain way. Dean and Lucas spent lots of quality time together. Mostly Dean chewed on toys and played with dad's scratchy beard (who has time to shave when there's a puzzle to be solved?).

This is my last post for a bit. Today's the big day. By about 3 this afternoon I will have no tonsils and be on my way home.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Daring Stunts

Dean has been very grouchy this week while working on his new stunt. I finally got a few pictures of him. Notice the first one his knees aren't on the ground. He yelled at the floor for awhile and then finally figured out how to get his knees down. It's a lot of hard work.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Tribute to My Mother

My mother has a way of taking things in life and putting them into perspective for me. She is always doing this in a way that leaves me feeling calm no matter what the situation is. Most recently she has helped me with the plans for my tonsil removal. I'm go into surgery a week from today and find myself nervous for a number of reasons. One reason is the scary description from my doctor telling me of "the horrible pain" I'll be in. Thanks a lot doc. The other reason is the need for plans for Dean during all of this. I am a planner, so of course I made this a bigger deal than it is trying to over think everything. Before Dean, my mother would have just had to help me overcome the fear itself. I'm good at planning to lay around the house and not do much of anything. I'm also great at feeling sorry for myself and moaning about how uncomfortable I am. No help needed there. As usual after a short conversation with my mother on the phone this morning, I have confirmation that my plan is a worthy one and will work for me. She's a great problem solver.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Booster Chair

After many shopping trips we finally found a booster chair that Dean fits in. We've been using his bouncy chair to feed him. Dean generally spends this time bouncing because that of course is what the chair is for. We play a game to see how talented his parents are with their aim and pray that we don't take an eye out or something.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Boy Named Sue

Dean has a new favorite place to hang out. It's a prime location for spying on the neighbors and getting into mischief. Notice the "danger" factor. I've really got to keep an eye on him and get the fan off before he scooches too close to his new target. Excitement to be had by all.

Dean's first name is actually Leslie. Though I have men in my family with that name, I know many people think of it as a girl's name. Whenever we go to the doctor's office and they ask when "her" birthday is, I always think of the song "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash. He'll probably have to have some thick skin while he's growing up.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fireworks and Family

We had a 4th of July to remember this year. It was Dean's very first. I was sick (darn Strep), but we didn't let that get us down. Lucas' parents came up for dinner and fireworks.

Dean was asleep when the fireworks started and his nervous ninny momma was worried about them scaring him. I, of course, was wrong. Dean loves lights of all sorts. Apparently fireworks are not an exception. When he finally did get upset, I think it was due to being tired.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Joining the Craft

Well, I've finally joined the ranks. Not only am I starting a blog, but I've actually completed a sewing project. Oh, the pressure. Now people will expect me to actually update my page with pictures and crafty words on a regular basis. We'll see how I do.

As for my sewing project, I truly hope no one expects me to do that on a regular basis. My simple project was challenging enough for me. I even had difficulty picking out the fabric and had to take Lucas along with me. He did a nice job and picked two lovely patterns (stripes and floral).
When I finished, I felt that I must add more patterns so I went to the store with Dean and chose two more fabrics. Dean did his best to help.

They don't look so bad.