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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

3) Less he seem uncultured…


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:


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.


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. ūüôā 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:

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

Mark and his Aunt Marissa. 

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

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

IMG_7330 IMG_7338 IMG_7374

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!]:



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

IMG_7447 IMG_7451 IMG_7460

5. Christmas with Ryan’s family

Before Christmas:

Learning how to be gentle with the tree. 
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:

Sop everything! ¬†It’s a picture of a MOM on Christmas morning. ¬†ūüôā
We’re not usually “bike in the house” people, but whatever. ¬†It’s Christmas. ¬†ūüôā
Picture with Grandma and Grandpa in the early afternoon!
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

Hooray for animals!
I’m not sure why, but I was very concerned with how he was handling this puppy dog.¬†
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. 
the next day we played in the snow. 
Me: “Mark! I’ll help you may a snow angel!”
Mark: “Ehhhhhmmmm?!”
He uber did not care about the fact that his mittens were soaked in snow constantly. 
The sled was super great when it went fast. 
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. ūüôā

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 — 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.


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.



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.


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

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.



Back (pre-meltdown):

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.

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.


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

It’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows

FYI: There are no ruff-ruffs in this post. ¬†Because if you just SAY the word “dog” near Mark, he’s looking for one. ¬†Everywhere. ¬†ūüôā

Yesterday, mark didn’t want to take his morning nap. ¬†Like, actually standing up in his crib as close to the door to his room as he can get and calling for us.

He wasn’t yawning; he wasn’t doing any of the things that he usually does when he’s tired. ¬†He’d slept in a little bit (7:30am, bless him), so okay. ¬†Maybe we’re trying to move to one nap. ¬†It happens, right? ¬†There’s always some sort of transition going on. ¬†Maybe this is what’s happening today.

So, we went on a walk, we ate lunch, and did all kinds of things. ¬†At about 12:30 or so, Mark was making “the tired face”, so I put him to bed.

And he slept.  For about two hours.

Which doesn’t seem that bad, right? ¬†I mean, it’s only an hour less than the combined three hours between two naps that he’s used to.

And he was perky.  And charming when we went to Costco.

And then it was dinner time.

Oh.  Lord.  He wanted out of the chair.  He wanted in the chair.  He wanted to eat.  He did NOT want to eat.  He would take one sip of milk (or water, we tried that too) and then throw the cup, leaving him in tears.

I¬†don’t know why you’re watching me. ¬†But, I’m highly suspicious.

Eventually, it took me sitting on the floor of the kitchen and feeding him bites with my fingers to get him to eat anything. ¬†I’m not one to bend to the will of a baby, most days. ¬†He’s not getting goldfish for dinner, let’s say, just because he wants them. ¬†But, the kid needed to eat.

Mouth open and at the ready.  All the time.  

And it’s not like it was weird stuff. ¬†Chicken. ¬†Beans. ¬†Roll. ¬†Milk. ¬†All things he likes and devours regularly.

Obviously, we’re punishing him by making him eat completely outlandish things.

So, picnic dinner on the floor it was.  And an earlier bedtime.


And today?  So far so good (she said knocking on all kinds of wood everywhere).  Moral of the story?  Two naps.  Please.

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:


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. ¬†ūüôā ¬†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?!


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.

IMG_5517 IMG_5522 IMG_5515
“I don’t have any feet and I don’t care!”

This time, he was SUPER excited about the sand.

IMG_5614 IMG_5610
“Are you guys SEEING¬†this stuff?!”

3) Mark and the water!

He was REALLY excited about the water!


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.


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


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.


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

IMG_5597 IMG_5573
“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.


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.


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. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†Another day!

wpid-20140717_112604.jpg wpid-20140717_112811.jpg

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.

wpid-20140718_124002_016.jpg wpid-20140718_124111.jpg

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


I think the one thing that Mark¬†has really developed in the last few weeks has been his language. ¬†As I’ve mentioned before, he sounds a lot like he’s speaking another language that no one can understand but him. ¬†It¬†sounds like another language, though; it’s not just the same sound repeated over and over and over again.

While he says lots of words marginally well, (“I did it”, “touch it”, “be-button”, etc.), the one phrase that he utters over and over again is “Wha’s dat?”

While this adorable and charming most of the time, it gets to be a little much when he’s pointing at the picture of the wolf in his animal book and I have to do the sound AND sat the name over and over and OVER again.

It’s also a little less adorable when he points at me, turns to Ryan, and says. “Wha’s dat?”

Wanna try that again, kiddo? ¬†ūüôā


Five Faves: Summer Part 1

It’s only the first week of summer, but already I have several faves. ¬†They run the gamut, so be warned there’s no real rhyme or reason other than it’s SUMMER!

1. The free section of Craigslist!

We’ve been searching for a play structure for Mark¬†for a few weeks now. ¬†Most of the ones we liked online that were new were SUPER expensive, or they were the wooden ones that would take up literally our entire yard.


When I was searching Craigslist the other day, I found one of those really sketchy listings where it doesn’t show the picture of the “free” thing; you just have to come and check it out yourself.

Naturally, I sent my husband. ¬†ūüôā

After it got the Ryan seal of approval, he brought it home, employed the power-washer from the farm, and voila!  This will be where he plays for the whole summer, I think.

2. Sunriver Resort, OR. 

Recently, my mom came to visit, and she watched Mark while Ryan and I went and stayed at the beautiful Sunriver Resort just South of Bend, OR.  It was the first time that we have been away from Mark, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the trip.  There were some rough times where I missed Mark tons, for sure, but it was really nice to be able to connect with Ryan as just a couple instead of couple-but-mostly-mom-and-dad.  Here are some photos (and if you ever find yourself in Oregon, you should definitely check out the resort):


We were playing bocce. ¬†He’s explaining something about triangles and geometry, but all I can hear is that I didn’t score any points this round.


This is Tumalo Falls just outside of Bend.  Beautiful hike!


The marina at Sunriver.


While we were playing bocce, there was a deer not ten yards away from us. So cool!


Mark obviously had a great time with his Grandma while we were away.

3. All the delicious green things.  

I know I said green things, but I LOVE salads with berries.  This is the first one I made this year (baby greens, berries, almonds, olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar).  Why, yes it was as delicious as it looks, thanks for asking!


4. This yarn.  

I’ve been trying to de-stash my yarn by making baby hats to donate (to the hospital? a maternity home? I’m not sure yet), but I’m swooning over this yarn that I found on Etsy. ¬†You should totally go check out this girl’s store. ¬†It’s amazing.

Hand Dyed Yarn-DK weight MCN-"Glacier"

5. This guy.


Today, I’ve been married to Ryan¬†for three whole years. ¬†I know in the world (even the blogging world), that really isn’t too long. ¬†But, it’s important to recognize our commitment and love to each other, so that’s what we’re doing tonight. ¬†Soon, we’re headed out to our favorite dessert place and having something that is totally going to destroy my calories for the week. ¬†Oh well. ¬†ūüôā

If you’re up for reading some other faves, go check out Heather’s host-post. ¬†

A weekend of firsts

Mark had a couple of fun Firsts things this weekend!

The first First: Sunday Mass was not his best hour. ¬†He was squirrely and generally all over the place. ¬†I try and keep him in the main part of the church for as long as possible, but sometimes he has to go to the “cry room”, which is really more “let me touch all the chairs room” for Mark.

There are some short steps that go up to the bathroom from inside the cry room, and¬†Mark managed to go up one of the steps all by himself (while hanging on to the wall)! ¬†This may not seem like a big deal, but¬†Mark¬†has basically seen stairs only a handful of times in his whole life, so this was a pretty big deal! ¬†I don’t have any pictures of this because, well, Mass, but trust me. ¬†It happened.

The second First for Mark¬†was Using A Spoon For Its Actual Purpose! ¬†Woot! ¬†I have picture evidence of this, so I’ll let the photos of him eating mango yogurt speak for themselves (sorry for the not-great focusing… I wasn’t really paying attention to my phone as I was taking pictures).

wpid-20140526_121233.jpg wpid-20140526_121234.jpg wpid-20140526_121235.jpg wpid-20140526_121239.jpg


Hooray for proper tool usage! ¬†Also, side note, see the balloon in the background there? ¬†We’ve had that up for a month now — it was a present for Mark’s first birthday. ¬†Apparently, it’s from… wait for it… the DOLLAR STORE! ¬†Gasp! ¬†Some high quality helium over there, yo.

The last First for Mark¬†is really amazing. ¬†Mark is starting to communicate with us and react to us in ways ¬†that show he understands what we’re saying! ¬†I asked him if he wanted some milk, and he went to the refrigerator, which is in the OTHER ROOM. ¬†Then, a few days later, I asked him if he wanted to go Night-Night and he walked to his room and banged on his door to get in. ¬†And I put him down! ¬†And he went to sleep! ¬†Amazing.

Okay, enough of my mom-gushing for now.  Enjoy the short week!

The incredibly lazy only-photo post.

There’s just no way that I’m going to be able to put together a real life post.

Instead, here are some pictures of Mark¬†when we went outside after dinner. ¬†ūüôā

(Note: Yes, I am personifying the voice of Mark. ¬†No, he can’t make full sentences, or anything close to them, yet.)


“I’m just gonna sit here and think for a little while.”




“Tree! ¬†I will MOVE you!”



“Check out this long grass! ¬†It’s awesome!”




“I really want to eat this. ¬†How would I go about doing that, exactly?”



“Mama! ¬†I’m gonna get you with this grass!”