7 Quick Takes from the last three months

I’m working on finishing Go Set a Watchman and I’ll post my thoughts on it when I’m done, but it’s taking me a little while to digest. More on that to come.

In the meantime, here are seven completely random things in honor of Katherine turning THREE MONTHS OLD! How?! When?! Where did all of the time go?!

1. We went to the zoo a couple of times. 

My parents gifted us a zoo membership for the year, and it’s one of the best things! Mark and I went about every month before Katherine was born, and we’ve managed to go a few times since her arrival.

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The penguins were really close and Mark was delighted.
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Beast mode: babywearing and pushing the kiddo up the giant hill.

I know, there are no pictures of the animals at the zoo. But, you know what an elephant looks like, right? 🙂

2. We dressed up like really cute Cabbage Patch Dolls

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3. We went on a hike when it was really hot outside. 

You guys don’t even KNOW how hot.

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“Dada, catch up!”
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We had to smell ALL the flowers.
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Katherine’s there under the little white hat, I promise.

4. We protected the baby from falling off the couch. 

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5. We went to the beach with Ryan’s family.

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Sticks are his love language.

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I don’t remember what he was talking about, but he wanted it right THERE.

6. We had some pretty awesome ice cream. 

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Kid loves strawberries. Strawberry ice cream blew his MIND.

7. We learned about personal space. 

These all happened one after another.

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But, we eventually learned, and now it’s a little more like this:

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She’s still a little wary. Can  you blame her? 🙂

Looking for more snippets of other people’s lives? Go here.

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7QT: First-two-weeks-with-a-new-baby edition

I can’t even begin to tell you how it’s the most crazy thing of my life that Katherine’s been here for two weeks already! Just like when Mark was born, I find myself thinking that I don’t remember what life was like before her and it seems so natural for her to be part of our family.

What’s the transition been like, you ask? What have the last two weeks entailed. Oh, so much. (You’ll have to excuse the photos because they have not been processed AT ALL.)

1. First family photo

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I just die of happiness every time I look at photos of the four of us.

2. Newborn pics

The fabulous Caitlin of Tales of the Elders was kind enough to take some newborn photos of Katherine and a few of the rest of us as well. 🙂 You know I’ll be posting them all over everything (the blog, the house) when I get them, so stay tuned!

3. Lots of visitors (both in the hospital and at home)

I can’t possibly include everyone that came to visit us, so here are a few:

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4. Mark turns 2!

Lest we forget the Little Man, he had a birthday and turned 2! We had lots of celebrations (on his actual birthday, the weekend before his birthday when my sister Laura and my dad were in town, a few days after his birthday when we celebrated with some friends, etc.) and he was in a fair way to be spoiled. In fact, I asked him if he wanted some coffee cake with his breakfast this morning and his response was singing “Birthday to you!” over and over again. 🙂

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The bubble lawn mower was a big hit — here the kids are trying to figure it out.

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This was on his actual birthday with an ice cream cake (excuse the out of order-ness of the photos… wordpress and I got in a fight).

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Ice cream cake is goooood.

 

 

 

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Four kids all two or younger… it was pretty great!

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5. The most beautiul weather

Ryan is on paternity leave right now (hooray!) and the weather has been great for taking Mark outside and letting him dig in the dirt and play ball to his heart’s content.

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6. Remembering all of those things that I forgot about the “Fourth Trimester” the last time around. 

There are so many, many things. I forgot how helpful chocolate is for dealing with everything, that my hair would start falling out (I thought that started later? maybe not), that I would feel like a zombie a fair amount of the time, how Ryan is amazing at diaper changes (even in the middle of the night!), how amazing friends and family are for bringing us dinners (yum!), and how sweet baby smiles are.

7. Getting to see Mark as a big brother

It is so sweet to see Mark as a big brother. He’s always asking to hold the baby (he calls her Baby Katherine) or kiss the baby, and he’s sure to let us know when she’s crying, as if we were unaware. 🙂 He’s been very helpful, too. The other day, she spit up after I fed her and he yelled, “Dripping!” and ran (pat-pat-pat-pat-pat) to his room to grab one of the burp cloths from the drawer and brought it to me. Adorable. 🙂 I’m not foolish enough to think the honeymoon phase of his adoration is going to last forever, but I’m certainly going to live it up while I can!

Want to check out other Quick Takes? Head on over here and get your fill!

 

7 Quick Takes: Some toddler stuff and some videos (of not toddlers)

Every once in awhile I’m tempted to post some stuff that isn’t related to the kiddo. Today, I’m doing a (little) of that, so hooray? Also, it’s in video form which means… no reading on a Friday! Woot.

1) Toddler yoga

Mark and I went to a storytime/toddler yoga thing today with some friends at one of the libraries in the area. If ever you wondered whether or not Mark likes to dive right in and play with kids he doesn’t know, well, this is essentially the look he had on his face the whole time:

Not to say that he didn’t like it (Lauren and Ensley)! He liked listening to the stories and singing the songs, but I think he was a little lost as to why all of the other kids were standing on their heads and stretching out in funny ways. 🙂

It’s okay because…

2) There were dirt and sticks later on!

Yes, I had that unfortunate moment with an unknown mom when Mark kept yelling “Stick!” over and over and over again as he banged them on the play structure (that’s what those poles are there for, right?), when “stick” doesn’t sound like “stick” every single time.

But, man, that kid loves his dirt, sticks, and rocks. Takes after his Mama wanting to carry sticks all over the place. 🙂

3) Less he seem uncultured…

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We went to the mall to walk around (and look at the fish in the pond) and found ourselves in the children’s section of Barnes and Noble where Mark got to spend a good twenty minutes playing with Thomas and his friends and Mama got to rest and stare into space for a few minutes. We might have even looked as some books, too!

4) I don’t think you understand how much he likes waffles. 

Hint: It’s this much:

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Yes, our Christmas decorations are down now, but they were still up circa January 9th — we like to keep them up until the weekend after Epiphany in these parts.

5) Being pregnant the second time makes it seem like forever. 

I don’t know why this is and I promise not to whine about it anymore, but sheesh.

6) Video 1: What I Would Love To Do If I Was Famous

I can’t stop watching this video, for realz. The grooms new about it, but no one else did. It’s just awesome. The song is whatever and the band is meh, but the video is great.

7) Video 2: Probably because I’m pregnant, but this made my cry. 

If that doesn’t sell watching this, I don’t know what will. But, seriously. I had no idea that is is what “Closing Time” was really about. He does some showmanship blah-blah in the beginning, so if you’re pressed for time, skip ahead a little. If you have the time, watch the whole dang thing.

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Then, if you want more Quick Takes, head on over here.

7 Quick Takes: The holiday version

Well, it’s a new year, so here’s a blog post. 🙂 In all honesty though, I’m trying to be more intentional with my time (I don’t really waste a lot, my life is full enough!) and make sure I’m not using my time repetitively… if that makes sense. If it doesn’t, don’t worry and let’s look at the craziness the last month has brought us!  [Warning: this is going to be a very picture-focused post, so if you were hoping for some words of wisdom or several hundred words of me waxing eloquent… you’re not going to find it here.]

1. Thanksgiving (yes, we’re going back REALLY far here!)
This year, we spent Thanksgiving with Ryan’s family. Usually, we switch every other year, so we would have been with my family, but flight prices were RIDICULOUS. So, we elected to go visit them the day after Christmas for a little while when prices were much more reasonable and all of my siblings would be home.

A few pics from the day:

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You’re going to see this outfit a lot… it’s one of his favorites. 
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Hooray for a family shot!  🙂

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Mark and his Aunt Marissa. 

2. St. Nicholas Day, getting the Christmas Tree, and seeing Santa

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St. Nicholas knows Mark well — all this kid needs is a clementine. 🙂
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‘I love these, but they’re so dang hard to open.’
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Me: “Mark! Look at the trees!”
Mark: “Stick!”
Oh, he’s not his mother’s child AT ALL.  
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Much to my chagrin, he likes to say ‘Cheese!’ when he gets his picture taken.  But, he almost is never looking at the camera. 
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This was my view while we were carrying the tree to the truck.  It took him forever.  🙂
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Mark could say Santa and liked pointing at him, but was not wild about sitting on his lap, hence my presence in this picture. 

3. The Grotto
To continue celebrating the season and preparing for Christmas, we went to the Grotto with Ryan’s family.  Mark LOVED the lights!

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4. Cookies!
My friend Lauren and I have a tradition of baking Christmas cookies the week or so before Christmas. They turned out pretty well, I think [disclaimer: there was one more red velvet crackle cookies that I forgot to include; sorry, Lauren!]:

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Then, we decided to let the kiddos decorate some of the gingerbread cookies.They were very good at spreading sugar everywhere.  🙂 Mark, who almost never likes things sugary, went to TOWN on the frosting. And fed some of it to Ryan.

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5. Christmas with Ryan’s family

Before Christmas:

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Learning how to be gentle with the tree. 
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With lots of helpful phone calls with my mom, I made Mark this wall Christmas tree.  It’s been minorly successful in keeping him from the real tree, but he’s enjoyed it. 

Christmas morning at our house:

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Sop everything!  It’s a picture of a MOM on Christmas morning.  🙂
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We’re not usually “bike in the house” people, but whatever.  It’s Christmas.  🙂
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Picture with Grandma and Grandpa in the early afternoon!
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The kiddo had a cough and a slight fever when we opened presents in the evening, but this is after some Motrin and dinner when he rallied.  What a fun tunnel!

6. Christmas-ish with my family

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Hooray for animals!
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I’m not sure why, but I was very concerned with how he was handling this puppy dog. 
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It snowed!  My mom took Mark outside and got some snow for him to play with in a bowl in the house.  He was very intrigued. 
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the next day we played in the snow. 
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Me: “Mark! I’ll help you may a snow angel!”
Mark: “Ehhhhhmmmm?!”
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He uber did not care about the fact that his mittens were soaked in snow constantly. 
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The sled was super great when it went fast. 
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Snowmen! I didn’t make any of these. Ryan did the middle one and the one on the right. My mom did the one on the left. She’s had a little more practice. 🙂

7. New Year’s

And so it’s that time for resolutions. I don’t make very many of these because I have a hard time keeping them. But, I’ll throw these out there as the things that I want to work on this year:

1) To post more than once a month.
2) To make the bed every day (I’m SUPER bad at this).
3) To not get in a rut with my time — to spread out my activities more.
4) To pray on my own more often.

I know, not all of these are measurable, but it is what it is. Wish me luck!

If you’ve made it through all of this and you want more Quick Takes, go read more of them here.

Seven Quick Takes in a busy time

Next week, I’ll have the whole week off.  Woohoo and hooray for Thanksgiving Break!  In the meantime, things are busy ’round these parts.  Much has happened (I realized I never did a post on Halloween… how?!).  So, I’m going some Quick Takes to catch up.

1) Halloween!

Halloween was pretty great. Mark went as a monkey and it was adorable.

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He also was a skeleton for part of the day — a gift from my sister.  They’re supposed to be pajamas, but I think he’s pulling it off as an outfit. 
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Little monkey butt!
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Monkey face!
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Mark LOVES pumpkins and he was fascinated that these glowed.  The one on the far right is his.  I let him give input on where the eyes go, so… I turned it into an emoticon. 🙂

We went trick or treating at my in-laws’ house and at a few of the other houses in their neighborhood.  Clearly, we were showing off Mark way more than we were actually getting candy (he didn’t eat any, so we didn’t seem like it would be fair to trick or treat for us!).

2) Soccer season is over.  :-/

Unfortunately, Ryan’s team lost in the semi-finals a couple of weeks ago.  I’m always sad to see soccer season end, but I’m always a little bit happy to have a husband again. 🙂

3) Mark likes hiding in boxes.  

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I don’t know what it is with this kid, but he really likes hanging out in here.

4) We took some decent family photos!

My lovely sister-in-law agreed to hold the camera and press the button if I posed all of us.  While I’m anxious to try out the remote shutter control that I got, it seemed like a little bit of pressure to try it out for some family photos.  We turned out pretty well, all-in-all, I think.

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5) New words and phrases (and technically a sentence!)

Oh, goodness, the kid does not stop talking.  He repeats SO MANY of the words we say (battery, potty, book), but he has a lot of other new words he uses on a regular basis: shoes, bat, ball (okay, that one might be old, but I don’t have my list in front of me), Costco, please, cheese, yes (sometimes), no (much more often), silly, neck, and back.

He’s also started stringing together some sentences of two or three words.  The other day, Ryan was making faces at Mark and I said to Mark, “Dada is silly, huh?” and Mark said, “Dada silly.”  Then, he was with my mother-in-law and he turned to her at one point and said. “Mama went bye-bye.”  I have to admit, seeing his language develop is one of my favorite things!

6) Current Favorite Reads

No, not mine.  Mark’s favorites right now are The Escape of Marvin the Ape and Goodnight Gorilla.  I think these are his current favorites because he likes making the monkey noise (AH AH) and the other animal noises (blowing raspberries and moving his arm like an trunk for elephant and kind of roaring like a lion).  Luckily, they’re both pretty great books, so I don’t mind reading them over and over and over again.  🙂

7) If you’re a friend or family member, you’ve already heard, but…

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Yup!  We are so excited to become a family of four in April!  It’s crazy to think that soon there will be a little baby girl in our midst, but we are super excited!

Seven Quick Takes — Idaho and the End Of Summer

Hi, friends.  It’s been awhile.  Things have been crazy here lately.  Mark and I spent a few days at my parents’ house, and since then I’ve been throwing myself into getting things ready for the new school year.  Some of the prep work is done now, so here’s your Quick Takes:

1) Ducks!

Mark is completely in love with ducks and loves pointing them out and saying their name over and over and over again.  My parents live in a subdivision that has a creek running through it.  There are LOTS of ducks around and they were eager to come see us when we went out on our morning walks.

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2) Pool!

This was a new word for Mark on this trip.  I blew up the pool for him (mostly on my own — it’s like a rite of passage for all parents, right?) and he loved splashing around and throwing balls and cups in and out of the pool.

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3) Bounce!

My parents have a trampoline and we let Mark bounce up and down and try walking around on it.  He thought it was pretty much the greatest thing ever.  I wish there was a way for me to post his laughs for you, because I’ve never heard him laugh so much for so long.

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I’m really beginning to think that Mark’s going to think that his grandparents’ house is more fun than our house.  Oh well.  🙂

4) Plop!

Another new word!  In the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (who is just so, so great), there’s a page where some snow lands on the head of the little boy and goes “Plop!”.  Whenever we read this book, I make my hands go “Plop!” on top of Mark’s head when I read that word.  Now, when he sees that book out, he points to it and does the “Plop!” thing on his own head.  Adorable.

5) The plaaaaaaane!

Not a new word, but definitely worth mentioning.  Mark loved the plane on the way TO our destination, but was not so much a fan on the way BACK.

There:

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Back (pre-meltdown):

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Also, yes, my child has a giant head.  90th percentile.  Takes after his mom.  

On the way there, he gladly played with the tray for about half and hour and was mystified by some of the new toys that I packed for him.

On the way back, he sat still for a few minutes, ate a little, cried for about twenty straight minutes, and then passed out.

As Ryan pointed out, I batted .500 for the trip, which is pretty much a Hall of Fame score.

6) Hike!

No, this isn’t a new word, either.  Ryan went on a team-bonding hike with his soccer team and his assistant coach.  I opted not to go; hiking with 18 or so high school girls sounds like… work?  So, Mark and I went on our own hike instead.

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You and I both know what he’s saying…”What’s that?”

7) Work, work, work.  

Alright, it’s not a post about Mark, but I’ll tell you that I’ve been working super hard this last week or so on stuff for school.  There’s a lot of prep work, especially since this is my first time at a new school and teaching online (a new mode for me).  I’m excited about starting a new job, but very nervous about starting the new year.

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Okay, that’s All The Things from over here.  If you want some more, go check out Jen’s.

Seven Quick Takes from the Beach and the Heat

It’s been a little quiet here because we were enjoying some time with Ryan’s family out at the beach over the weekend.  It was really, really fun and we had a blast.  This week was full of some relaxing, sweating in the heat, and playing outside!  Perfect for summer.

Before we get too far in, the obligatory family photos:

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The top photo may very well be on our Christmas card and I don’t even care how much there’s sand on my pants or my hair is a  mess.  Mark is smiling.  Near the camera.  🙂  The bottom photo has all of Ryan’s immediate family in it.  Awesome!

 

 

1) There are beach people and there are mountain people.

I am now, and always have been, a beach person.  Sure, I like mountains as much as the next person, but if you can give me sand, water, and fog (yes, fog), I’m about the happiest clam ever.  Seriously, how could you think of mountains, when you can have this?!

 

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Oh fog, how I love you!

2) Mark and the sand!

This was not Mark’s first time at the beach.  We went when he was about four months old; he thought the sand was really great, but wasn’t so much a fan of the water.

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“I don’t have any feet and I don’t care!”

This time, he was SUPER excited about the sand.

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“Are you guys SEEING this stuff?!”

3) Mark and the water!

He was REALLY excited about the water!

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We did “one-two-three” (which I used to think was just fun, but now I realize that it’s both fun and a way to shave about an hour off of the time it takes for you to walk anywhere) to the ocean, and Mark was RUNNING to get there.

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He even stuck his toes in and didn’t cry this time.  Hooray!

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4) Mark on his very first carousel ride.  

When I was little, we used to go to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and ride the carousel there.  I loved it.  I was hoping that Mark would have as good of a time on his first ride.

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He totally did.  From the first up and down of the horse, he was super excited and smiley.

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“I’m so happy about this, Mama, that I just have to eat your face!”

About halfway through, he started to get a little dizzy, so I had him focus on the pinwheels and the lights so it wouldn’t affect him as much.

5) Taking his shoes off!

Okay, so I’m late on this one.  Mark’s been able to do this on his own for about a month now, but I keep forgetting to take pictures.  As soon as we get in the door, Mark will take off his sandals.  He’s still working on the whole getting-your-foot-out-of-the-sandal thing, but he can usually shake them off.

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Not pictured: in the last month, he’s figured out how to go from standing to sitting (he doesn’t crawl, remember, so this isn’t as natural for him).  We practiced on the bed in my room.  He stood up, I gently poked him in his belly till he fell back into a sitting position saying “sit!” while I did it.  He thought it was a great game and we played it for several minutes.  After that, it was just a matter of practicing it on the hardwood and he was good to go.

Oh, if only all kinds of training were that easy!

No pictures of this because it’s really not interesting to take a photo of a kid trying to sit.  They just look… weird.

6) Splash pad fun

It’s been a bit hot here the last several days, and we went to hang out with some friends of ours at the splash pad near their house.

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Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of Mark and Ensley together, as they didn’t both want to be in the water at the same time.  😦  Another day!

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Clearly, Mark was super excited.  He kept running back to Ryan and I after he got went and yelling in his incoherent toddler language: “a bdad blida bib da!”.  We think we meant: “Oh my gosh, guys!  Look at ALL THE WATER!”

7) Sand in the City

Considering what a good time Mark had with the sand at the beach, we figured it would be fun to take him to the Sand in the City thing downtown.  There were all of these teams competing in sculpting their piles of sand.  They were pretty impressive, and I hope I can find their final products online (we left before they were done).

They also had a huge pile of sand off to the side for the kids to play in.  Mark was a little tentative at first, but liked raking the sand and destroying the makeshift sandcastle Ryan made.

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Whew!  So much in so little time.  I hope you aren’t overwhelmed by photos.  If not, you can see more 7QTs here.

Seven Quick Takes (of the last week-ish)

Hi hi.

It’s been pretty busy over here.  There’s been much stuff going on and it’s been HOT out friends.  It’s usually not that hot here in the PNW, but we have about a month of really hot weather (over 90) sprinkled throughout the summer, and some of this last week was in that category.  Before I use up all of my material before I even get to the quick takes, here you go!

1. Last Saturday — Ice Cream!  And beer!

Ryan and I try to go to as many brew fests as we can during the summer.  We homebrew (we’ve talked about this), and we are always excited to try some new brews.

The summer usually starts off with an organic brew fest (because, hi, PNW).  It’s pretty family-friendly and we took Mark last year when he was a babe.  This year, we brought him as a toddler, and it was still pretty fun.

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No, there’s nothing in the glass. 🙂

On our way out, I had to get some ice cream.  I love, love ice cream and I love even more trying out new places and new flavors.  I decided on the apricot hefeweizen (which was AMAZING) and we decided to give Mark his first taste of an ice cream cone.

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What?  You have to SHOW them what to do… right?

He’s not too sure about cold things and, as you can see, he still needs to work a little bit on sticking his tongue out, but we’re making progress.

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He can stick his tongue out, I swear.  

2. “Is it hot enough for you?  Is it hot?—” on Tuesday

So.  Hot.  100 degrees.  Ugh.

We busted out with this sprinkler thing that Mark got from some friends for his birthday.  You’re supposed to turn it on really high and then run through it while the little spouts go all crazy and get you all kinds of wet.

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Getting wet is really serious business.  

He did not care for that idea.  What he did want to do was sit (squat) in the grass and point the hose at both us and himself.

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Also, please ignore the brown grass.  That’s what happens in the summer when you have a lawn with no sprinkler system.

3. A boy and his perch

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We’ve been keeping the front door open, but the screen door locked, the last week or so to get the air circulating.  Mark has decided that this is the best place to checkout the outside world.

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Also, bonus, he likes to lead Ryan around the house like this.  It has nothing to do with this Take, but I had to include this somewhere.

4. Hiking in nature on Wednesday

It was going to be warm on Wednesday, but we decided to go hiking in the middle of the day when it wasn’t too bad.  There was lots of shade, we enjoyed a picnic lunch, and Mark had a great time in the backpack.  As I mentioned in my previous post, he LOVES saying “wha’s at?” to everything.  So, on the hike, that’s what we heard over and over and over again.  “Wha’s at?” “A leaf, buddy.”  “Wha’s at?” “A tree.”  “Wha’s at?” “Another leaf, sweetie.”

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Also, carrying a 23lb toddler in a backpack up steep switchbacks makes you feel like you’re on the episode of Biggest Loser where they have the contestants strap on a vest of all the weight they’ve lost and make them run a 5K or something.  Hard.  Work.

5. Fourth of July Friday!

We went over to Ryan’s parents’ house on Friday and had a barbeque.  Mark, as always, loved being outside.

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We didn’t do fireworks with Mark this year.  He LOST IT at about 7:20 and was super tired.  We put him to bed, and he was out like a light.  Don’t worry though!  There were LOTS of fireworks in our neighborhood at about 11:30pm (BECAUSE THAT MAKES SENSE) and the poor guy woke up a bunch of times.  But it was great because I LOVE losing sleep.  Uuuuuggggghh.

6. Mama thing: Books

I’ve been tearing through the novels I’m going to be teaching next year, and spending a couple of hours each day reading.  It feels a little bit like college again when my roommates would walk through the living room and think I’d been relaxing for the last couple of hours with a nice beachy read, when really I’d been slogging through chapters about dorsal fins in Moby Dick.

There’s no picture of this because… boring.

7. Mama thing: Baking

The best BEST thing about it being summer is that I actually have some time to bake.  I’ve made ALL of these things in the last week or so and every single one of them is delicious and going to live in my baking rotation forever and ever and ever.

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Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread from Joy the Baker

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Pink Lemonade Bars from Smitten Kitchen

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Peanut Butter Banana Bon Bons from Joy the Baker

Mark likes the bon bons:

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That’s it for me this week, friends.  I hope you have a good week and if you’re up to looking up some other Quick Takes, check out the link-up over at Jen’s.

Seven Quick Takes: toddler snacks, the letter “S”, ceiling fans, and it’s so hot I might melt

I’ve had a few posts in the last week or so (if you didn’t see my review of Something Other Than God, go read it), but I thought it would still be good to look at the seven things for the week:

1) Toddler snacks

This isn’t something that happened, but a plea.  Could someone (anyone? everyone?) give me some good snacks for a one-year-old?  Mark is prepping for his teenage years by eating us out of house and home.  I’m looking for some good snacks to give him in the morning and afternoon.  The trick is, he doesn’t have very many teeth yet and the idea of “biting pieces” to him means “shove as much as I can of it in my mouth and then spit it out” which is just so not, not attractive.  Ideas?

2) Car sounds

Mark LOVES making the “car sound” that seems to be innate to every little boy on the planet.  He especially enjoys making it while playing with his toy turtle (it has wheels, so it’s kind of like a car, right?) and it’s precious and adorable and I don’t ever want him to stop.

3) Speaking of those teeth…

Mark has three (but almost four) teeth and has realized that he can make the “ssss” sound with his front teeth.  He’s getting really good at it and I need to find some things that start with “s” so he can try saying them.  I finally settled on doing this scene from Singing in the Rain.  (Skip to 17 seconds in for just the part that was making Mark crack up before his bath tonight.)

4) It’s been REALLY HOT…

… for the PNW.  Like, I don’t even want to go outside kind of hot.  It’s supposed to cool down for the weekend, but the last several days have been in the high 80s and low 90s.  With no air conditioning, it’s just too dang hot.  So…

5)…we turned on Mark’s ceiling fan!

Yes, we obviously used the ceiling fan last year when it was hot out, but he doesn’t really remember that (obviously).  Now, he just looks at it over and over and over again when we’re in Mark’s bedroom.  This is especially helpful when I’m changing Mark’s diaper, which he HATES with all of the hate his little 22 pound body can hold.

All in all… win.

6) It’s BERRY SEASON!

This is a scene that is pretty much going to be repeated a thousand times in the next few months.

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7) This is amazing.  

I don’t know anything about the science behind it or whether or not it’s really feasible in the long run or anything.  But, if we can use the measles vaccine to combat some forms of cancer… woot!

Hope you have a great week and remember to check out the other Quick Takes over at Jen’s.  

Seven Quick Takes: A book, a job, more of Mark, and #bringbackourgirls

This week has, again, managed to take me through the ringer.  This time, it wasn’t the focus on school that did me in (though, I’ll be honest, grading four of these To Kill a Mockingbird papers tonight it slowly sucking out my soul).  I’m hoping for some time for rest, rejuvenation, and a Mark who isn’t completely sicky sick.

1) Like everyone else on the Internet…

… I’m reading Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler.  It’s just so awesome I can hardly talk about it.  I’ve never read a modern conversion story, and I’m really liking hers.  It’s brutally honest, well-written, and inspiring in all kinds of ways.  For example, it’s been awhile since I’ve been to confession (it’s just what it is, okay? I’m trying to be better), and hearing her story has made me want to be a better Catholic in so many ways; I’m planning on going to confession this weekend.  In addition, the way she talks about realizing what it really means to live for someone else has come to mind multiple times in the past week and has given me pause in difficult moments.  Thank you, Jen, for inspiring me!  If you haven’t picked up her book yet, you definitely should.

2) I’m also reading, for the tenth time,…

… Romeo and Juliet.  One of the things I like about teaching is getting the chance to share stories that I love with my students.  But, one of the downsides is having to read something you aren’t  completely in love with over and over again.  While I love Shakespeare, this is not my favorite play.  I have to almost physically restrain myself from being snarky about how depressed Romeo is in Act I, scene i.  Teenage angst… uuuuuuugh.

3) As I teased in the title…

… I have a new job!  I actually got the job awhile ago (and quite my current job, yipes!), but I was waiting to tell my students until more toward the end of the year (sort of now-ish).  While I’m sad that I won’t be standing in front of a classroom anymore, I am proud to announce that I will be working for an online school teaching English and Literature classes at the middle school and high school level.  This will mean some financial sacrifices on our part, but it means a lot less work for me and I’ll be able to spend MUCH more time with Mark.  I’m nervous about being good at my new job and translating my teaching to the online platform, but I know it’s the right decision for my family for right now.  Thank you to those of you who prayed for me while going through that discernment process — it helped so, so much!

4) Prayers for…

… my current coworkers.  Things are a little stressed at school, and people are starting to feel it.  If ya’ll could offer up some prayers for them, that would be amazing.  Thanks.

5) Mark is still…

… sick.  As I kind of mentioned above.  He was pulling at his ears and all cranky and stuff on Tuesday, so Ryan took him to the doctor on Wednesday morning.  He got a bill of “there’s nothing for him to do, we just have to wait it out”.  Then, we went BACK today (because, apparently to Mark, I’m out to ruin his life) for his well-child appointment.  Where he got SHOTS.

I am not on his list of favorite people today, for sure.

6) Like uncle, like nephew.  

Recently, I’ve been talking with my mom and my sister about how much Mark is like my brother John.  When John was younger, he loved nothing more than to go outside.  He would bang on the door to the backyard and yell “Side!  Side!” over and over again.

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My brother also couldn’t eat enough bananas.  My mom put the bananas on top of a small cabinet (near the back door, now that I think about it) and John would cry for the “Nanas!” all the time.  If Mark would get his way, he would only eat bananas all day every day.  You and I both know this would be the Worst Plan Ever, so I limit him to a few pieces every day.

7) #bringbackourgirls

If you haven’t been hearing about the tragedy occurring in Nigeria with the schoolgirls being kidnapped, you can read about it here.  While I’m not entirely sure that the whole hashtag movement is really going to make a difference, I do know that the power of prayer is amazing.  Pray for the girls, their families, and their abductors.

If you want to pray for a specific girl, you can choose from the list.  I’ll be praying for Ruth Amos.  Pray that they all return to their families and are safe.

If you want to link up or read the other 7QTs, you can go read Jennifer’s post (which is always good, but is particularly funny today!).