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.

The penguins were really close and Mark was delighted.
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


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

You guys don’t even KNOW how hot.

“Dada, catch up!”
We had to smell ALL the flowers.

Katherine’s there under the little white hat, I promise.

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


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

Sticks are his love language.

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

6. We had some pretty awesome ice cream. 

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:


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

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

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

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. 🙂
‘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.  🙂
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!]:



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:

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.  🙂
We’re not usually “bike in the house” people, but whatever.  It’s Christmas.  🙂
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. 🙂

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.  🙂

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.

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.


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



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.  

7 Quick Takes for 5 1/2 months

Okay, so we’re really closer to six months than we are to five at this point, but I wanted to share some of the 5-month-things before we get into the six-month-things.  

1) Little Man LOVES going around in his walker!  He has almost no interest in being on his tummy or crawling or anything; he just gets frustrated and cries when we try and get him to do it.  BUT, bring out the walker and he is king of the castle!  He’s also slowly starting to learn how to make slow, wide turns.  He hasn’t figured out how to back up yet when he gets stuck, which makes it all pretty funny for me.  His feet go and go and go and he can’t get anywhere.  🙂

2) When Little Man gets tired, he’ll do the cutest thing.  This isn’t just sleepy, this is “Hey, lady, you’ve totally missed all my other cues, so hopefully this will get through your thick skull that I’m tired.”  He’ll put his head next to mine, put his hand on my other cheek, and pull the cheek closest to him to his mouth, where he’ll give me kisses by sucking on my face.  It’s adorable.  

3) Some friends of ours recently had a new baby boy (I haven’t come up with a clever nickname for him yet) and he’s almost a month old.  It’s so crazy to see him and think that Little Man used to be the same kind of ball of squish that this new baby is.  Little Man has so much personality now that I can’t always remember what he was like before.  

4) Our velociraptor is back!  Little Man has taken to screeching sometimes when he’s particularly happy or when he wants our attention.  He used to make this noise a lot more when he was very little, but he’s got quite the pair of lungs on him now, so it carries a little more than it did before.  

5) He babbles constantly.  In the car on the ride back from the sitter, when he wakes up in the morning, when he’s cruising around in his walker… he is a talker!  It’s wonderful to see him expressing himself and acting like such a big kid.  

6) In non-Little Man news, Teacher Man’s soccer team is doing really well, and they play one of their major opponents tomorrow night.  Teacher Man is a little nervous about it, but he’s glad that the girls are doing as well as they are.  

7) Finally, in Mama-news, I cam still struggling with the balance of being a Mama and working outside of the home.  Things have been crazy at work and they’ve been asking so much more of us.  I feel myself to be “like butter spread over too much bread” as Bilbo Baggins would say.  People keep telling me that it gets a little easier, but it just isn’t happening as fast as I would like.  

There’s your quick recap for right now.  Blogging has officially made it onto my calendar and To Do List, so hopefully I’ll be a little more regular here.  Until then, I need to get ready for bed so that I can function in front of the kids tomorrow.  

It’s been awhile… 5 Quick Takes

Okay, I know.  It’s been forever since I’ve blogged.  Almost three whole weeks, and when your Little Man is only 3 months old… that’s actually quite a bit of time!  

So, I’m jumping on the bandwagon that so many other bloggers have going on out there: 5 Quick Takes.  There’s no way that I would be able to update you on EVERYTHING that’s happened (including some work with sleep! which is HARD! and will be its own post!), I’m going to give you the seven most important highlights.  

Let the summarizing begin!

1) Aunt L and Grandma and Grandpa P came to visit!  At the end of July, my sister came to stay with us for a few days, just for fun.  It was wonderful to see her and I appreciate our relationship more and more as we get older.  She’s also Little Man’s godmother, so it’s extra special to have her around!  My parents also visited overnight one night when they were on their way to move my brother down to San Diego for grad school.  It’s crazy how much Little Man has grown since they saw him last!  He just grows and grows.  

2.  Speaking of growing,  Little Man is getting much better about holding his head up while he’s on his tummy.  This works especially well, when his blanket faces the television.  🙂  I’m all about making sure that he doesn’t watch tv, but if it encourages him to hold his head up, it might be okay, right?  He’s also starting to wiggle his hips back and forth like he’s getting ready to roll over.  We’ll see.  What he REALLY likes doing is standing on our laps.  I seriously think that this kid is going to walk before he can crawl.  If we let him, he would stand all day long.  He gets the greatest look on his face like, “Look, guys!  I’m doing it!  Just like the big kids!”  It’s adorable.  

3. Teacher Man and I are godparents!   My friend, L, and her husband, M, picked Teacher Man and I to be godparents to Peanut!  I’ve never been a godparent before, so it’s definitely an honor.  Her baptism was last weekend and it was great.  So small and perfect and Peanut was adorable.  We had a great time hanging out with her and her extended family.  I’m so excited to know that we’re going to be connected to that family forever!  

4. The beach!  As we’re getting closer and closer to school starting, Teacher Man and I decided that we needed to take a day and go to the beach with Little Man.  He was a total champ on the drive (it’s a touch under two hours) and slept most of the time.  We zoomed him around the small coastal town in his umbrella stroller (his first time in it) and he did well.  Of course, we took him to the water as well.  We don’t live in a place where the beach is warm and sunny — most everyone was wearing sweatshirts — so Little Man was a little skeptical of the wind.  Then, we put him on the sand and he liked that A LOT.  He did NOT like the ice-cold water and was very shocked when we put his little feetsies in the ocean.  🙂  It was kind of awful, but it was also kind of hilarious.  

5. Airplane!  It’s his new favorite thing.  But, we have a strict “Must Wait 60 Minutes After Eating Before Airplane” Policy.  

Alright, that’s most of the news for now.  As I mentioned above, there’s a lot going on with sleeping, but that’s going to be its own separate series of posts (which will be coming presently, I assure you).