Tuesday, October 31, 2006

fun with rocks

Kate got a new toy over the weekend and loves it. She loves to play outside and stands at the door saying 'bye-bye' a good portion of her waking hours. Now that it's cool enough to spend some time outside we've been doing more of it, even though it means dirty Kate and bug bites. (insert cute photo here. =P)

Tim's on nights and he had her outside yesterday before lunch. She'd been a little whiny most of the morning, so when I heard wailing I didn't think much of it. Then in comes Tim, carrying Kate whose face is covered in dirt with little rocks stuck to her forehead. I guess she'd faceplanted in the dirt while trying to walk from the patio to the yard. Poor kid. Of course my thinking was, "Thank God it was on Tim's watch that Kate's first spill happened."

Then, after lunch, and just because I had been somewhat full of gratitude that I was not the bad parent for letting my child fall down on her face, Kate again took a tumble off the patio and onto - you guessed it - her head. Even better, this one drew blood. More screaming. More crying. And no Tim to hold her while I tried to clean her off.

I think she was having an 'off' day, because the rest of the afternoon she was pretty grumpy. Could be she was just mad that her face no longer looked like the autumn fairy princess face that is supposed to go with her Halloween costume. But she wasn't adjusting to a change of routine very well, and was not in the least bit happy when she got down from her highchair after dinner and wandered off in search of Daddy so she could have her bath. 'Bath' is one of the signs she actually knows and does, so she wandered up and down the hall saying 'Daddy' and rubbing her hands on her belly. It was so sad. And of course there was no Daddy to read her a bedtime story, or brush her teeth, or tuck her in. And since Tim didn't get home until 4:20am (after going in at noon...aren't nights supposed to be 'good' in that you work less?) there was no awake Daddy until just about lunchtime. We'll see how tonight goes. Hopefully trick-or-treating with me and Jessica will help get her mind off the fact that Daddy isn't home. What on earth am I going to do when he deploys?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

here she is, Miss America...or Miss Germany?

Ms. Natalie, daughter of Kevin and Tabitha, born 18 Oct in Germany

Congratulations to you guys on your beautiful baby girl! We can't wait to meet her.

October 29. That is the day, this year, that we felt it was cool enough to light our first fireplace fire. We had most of the windows shut all night, and it was still 69 inside when we woke up, so we lit a small log in the fireplace. Kate loves it. Starbuck too. It's cozy and warm, and it makes me feel like fall is really here, kinda. Just don't look outside at the palm trees, the pool, or the temperature (actually at 0930 it's only 55 outside. Not bad, not bad.).

Friday, October 27, 2006

food for the masses

For those who wanted to know the recipes for last night's meal, here are the links!

Hot Cider

Deviled Eggs

Herb-Marinated Olives

Mini Onion Quiches

Tomato Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Bacon

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Bread - a family secret!

busy? naaahhh.

I don't even know what I've been doing for the past week. We had a garage sale last Saturday (made $50 - worth it to me), went to the OSU v UA football game that evening, skipped Mango's Halloween party because we were too pooped, talked to new mommy Tabitha for 2 hours on the phone, went to the zoo, and prepped for the Dragon coffee I hosted last night. I guess that should explain where I've been. My apologies to my 2 faithful readers.

Congrats to Kevin and Tabitha on their new baby girl, Natalie, born 18 October in Germany. The family is doing well, after a crazy birth. Tabitha, you're a trooper! (here we go again, blogger. I have a cute photo of Natalie but the website won't let me upload it right now - next post.)

This morning we had our first mom's morning out co-op. Eight of us moms have gotten together, and with the help of Dana have begun a babysitting co-op at the chapel on base. Each Friday for 2 hours, 2 moms watch all the kids and the rest of us go and do ... whatever we want. It's heaven. Today was not my day to babysit. =) I went to the BX (by myself, where I tried on every long-sleeved maternity top they carried and didn't like a single one of them), rode the road runner machine at the gym (by myself) and then went to the commissary (you guessed it, by myself). Kate was not as happy as I was (she had to skip her morning nap to go to MMO), but she survived, and even made her first piece of artwork.

Next Friday I will be one of the babysitters. We will see how that goes...

Here are some photos of days in the life of Kate over the past week:

Do these boots go with my dress?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the downside of autumn

Political ads! They are so annoying! And so prevalent. I'm not sure if it's worse that we live in a state in which we cannot vote and are still subjected to stupid ads, or if it would be worse to actually live in the state in which we vote and end up hating all of the candidates there. Then there is the issue of the absentee ballots. Oregon's is nice and confusing. Are they all this way? I can't remember. I'm amazed at the number of initiatives on the ballot (10 for the state). And what will the legislature do if measures are passed that the state government doesn't agree with? Disregard 'em! Those silly voters: they don't know what they're doing. We'll do it our way instead. You know, I may not agree with all the laws out there, but there is a point to be made about state institutions following them, and the will of the people.

Now, more about Kate. You know how Al Roker on 'The Today Show' spends time outside with the people gathered there, waiting for their chance to be on TV and wave at their friends? Kate saw this this morning and went up to the TV and waved back. Adorable. They were waving at me, right Mom?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

it's too quiet in here...

Just a little vacuuming. That's all I needed to do. That, and some mopping, and some dishes and some laundry and some putting toys away and some showering and and and -

I always think I can get little tasks done throughout the day, and usually I can get at least a couple done without Kate getting into too many things. But I had let the cat out of his room and started the vacuum cleaner (which freaks him out) and he and Kate were awfully quiet... I think Starbuck is like Kate's practice younger sibling. I'm certain that they egg each other on: "You climb on the bed, Starbuck, and I'll dig through the garbage. Mom's out getting the mail."

Luckily, no garbage this morning. Kate has, however, discovered Kleenex.

I need a tissue, Mama.

Calling all moms: I have a question about naps. Kate is 13mo and is still taking 2 naps a day, the first about 45 minutes and the second about 1.5 hours (although this is getting shorter). These are great, and I want to keep them, but she has started waking up earlier in the morning, and this I do not wish to keep. When did your kids start taking just one nap a day? I think Kate is probably needing to start this big-kid schedule.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Last week's game against the OSU Beavers was horrible, but even more distressing is my recent finding that our quarterback, Isaiah Stanback, will be out for the rest of the season. I'm not sure that we're going to have much more good Husky football this year, folks. Stanback has been a great leader for the team this year, and I don't know that our junior quarterback can pull the team together enough to beat Cal, ASU or WSU. I hope we can at least beat Stanford.

On another note, more from the weirdo files: Starbuck the kitty likes Pirate's Booty. He also lost a tooth? teeth? last week. It? They? were on my computer chair one morning. Gross.

Not a very good photo (couldn't get close enough), and not a pretty subject, so here's a nice picture from Seattle:

Monday, October 16, 2006


Cute photos of our adventures this past weekend, and stories to accompany them. That's what I have, and that's what I'm not posting this time because blogger sucks. How can it take 18 minutes for it to 'upload' my photo (singular photo) and then tell me that the page cannot be displayed? Stoopid.

It doesn't help that I had to run errands this afternoon, and unwisely chose to start with the post office. That place alone will make someone want to go postal. I guess that's why they came up with that term. Four boxes to mail, a child in an umbrella stroller and a belly out to Texas - that was us. Was there parking near the door? No, just 6 parking spots for handicapped folks surrounding the one ramp up over the huge curb. I had Kate carry one box (she did a great job), but still couldn't get all of them on one trip. So I wheeled us down to the ramp up over the curb and saw the long-ass ramp up to the front door. Great, I get to do this twice! How fun. Up we went. No wheelchair button to help all those poor souls who are on wheels actually open the door (umm, if you are in a wheelchair, or even if you're not, how are you supposed to open the door and get yourself and all your sh*t inside?), so I sort of pulled the door open with one semi-free hand, tried to keep it wedged open with a foot, awkwardly maneuvered the stroller and packages inside, where I set the 2 boxes I was able to bring that trip. Back out the door (I was sure someone was going to toss my boxes because they were left unattended), down the ramp, out to the car where the other 2 boxes were sitting on the roof. Tried to get Kate to carry one again, but these were too big and she looked at me like I was crazy, which I was by this point. Stuffed both large boxes under my arm and wheeled the stroller with the other hand back to the ramp. Repeat entire mess above, except this time I couldn't open the door and keep it open without dropping a box. Threw one box into the building (which actually got someone's attention - what, you can't get out of line for a minute and help someone open the door?? - and he watched me shove the stroller and box into the PO before the door slammed behind me) and got into line. Then he helped. How nice. Moved my 4 boxes forward on the counter each time we moved up. Sweet. Even better, when got to the point when we could see the registers while we were standing in line, one of the 2 ladies at the desk closed her line. I kind of thought that someone else would come to replace her (it was lunchtime on base, for Christ's sake) but no one did. Just one lonely (yet nice, luckily) lady to help all of us mail our stuff.

Deep breath.

Aah, blogger, you might not be good for uploading photos sometimes, but you are great for venting.

Mere minutes later (yes, I am impatient), blogger allowed me to finish my story and post photos. See below. It was still nice to vent.


We went to Apple Annie's orchard in Willcox yesterday with Dana, John and Eric to pick pumpkins. It was a bit of a blustery, overcast day, so Kate got to wear her mittens again. We had lunch first at the orchard - burgers, beans and pie - and then headed to the pumpkin patch to find a nice pumpkin. Kate had never seen a field of pumpkins before. I'm not sure I had either, for that matter. As we were getting on the hay wagon to ride to the pumpkin patch, I commented to Tim that this was Kate's first hay ride. Then I realized that it was probably mine, too. Tim just smiled. "Not your first, right?" Nope. I'm pretty sure that's how he rode to school as a boy. ;-) Aah, growing up in a small town.

It's a good thing I wore boots, Mama!

We wandered around the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin. We didn't find it, but we found one suitable enough for our front porch. Kate thought it was fun to play the pumpkin drum. She also liked picking up the rocks and dirt in the field. She didn't like the little stickers on the pumpkin vines.

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

We rode the hay-tractor back to the parking lot, and before leaving went over to look at the goats. Goats go 'baaaa'! She even got to 'pet' a horse (she grabbed his nose) that was helping to direct traffic. It was a big day of firsts - lots of fun!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Maybe I should stop drinking coffee. I just don't think I can do it, though. Love the stuff. But the stress is rising. I have just over 100 days left until the baby is born, and this is what Kate's new room looks like:

Not bad, you say. I would agree with you, for the most part. This room is currently the guestroom, and is mostly in order. However, it needs:

  • to be painted
  • to have the guest bed moved to the den
  • to have a crib ordered and placed in it
  • to have a set of shelves from the den painted and moved into it
  • to have Kate's stuff moved to it

In order to do many of those things, the den needs to be...organized.

This room is probably the source of most of my stress. It is a disaster. There's too much furniture for the room already, and we have to move the guest bed into it. This will be a challenge mostly because the desk you see cannot be moved. It weighs about 800 pounds, and for some reason Tim refuses to slide it down the wall a few feet. So, this room needs:

  • to be organized
  • to have some furniture removed, and put ??
  • to have the guest bed moved into it, and put ??

I have decided to have a garage sale next weekend to try to get rid of some of the stuff we don't use anymore. I have tired of giving stuff away. Afterall, I could make money off my junk. I'm positive.

Maybe I just need more coffee.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

whatever you say, doc

I had my 24 week OB appointment this morning. I took Kate for the first time, and she did surprisingly well. She only glared at the nice doctor a few times. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat again, and he said I'm measuring exactly 24 weeks, so I'm doing fine. I feel HUGE. Not all of me, just my stomach. Everyone with more than one child has told me that they felt the same way after the first one. But, damn.

I'm only 24 weeks, which is supposed to be the 'comfortable' time in your pregnancy. Now is when you feel good! You are big, but not too big to be uncomfortable! Enjoy this honeymoon stage! I think they are full of it. I huff to put my shoes on (so I wear a lot of sandals, thank you Tucson), bump into things, and I've already entered the 'drop everything' stage. Did any of the rest of you go through this? It's not as bad as with Kate, but I can't hold on to much. I grab something and it falls through my fingers. I guess if that's the worst of my problems, I'm doing well.

Except for this:

This is what my kitchen looks like several times a day. Normally I think this is cute. But with each passing day when it gets harder to bend over comfortably, this mess is not so fun. Kate loves to remove things from drawers, as you can see. She has not yet learned the art of putting things back. Must. Teach.

Yesterday she helped me unload the groceries:

Oops, I dropped a box Mama. Can you pick that up for me?

I think we're going to be finding cans of soup and boxes of rice around the house for the next several months.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

no, no, no, NOOOO!

It started out so nice, this morning did. It was 55 degrees outside - lovely weather - and I thought we should go walking around the neighborhood after having more pumpkin pancakes. Kate thought it was a good idea, too, especially since she got to dress up in a hat and mittens. It was cold outside, afterall. I put her sweater on her, slid on each mitten over those pudgy little hands, put her hat on, and set her down while I got the stroller ready. I was gone but a minute. But it was a quiet minute, and you moms out there know what that means. For Kate, this morning, it meant that she would find a new toy to play with. I mean she had new clothes on, so why not find a new toy, right?

The new toy:

Yes, that is Starbuck's litterbox. Notice the dirty mittens lying next to said litterbox. I came into the den to find Kate down on her knees digging through the cat's toilet. Treasure, Mama! I know there's treasure in here! AAAACK! All I can say is thank GOD she had mittens on.

Luckily the rest of the day has been less eventful. I hope to keep it that way.

Monday, October 09, 2006


The weather here last week was warmer than normal - high 90s - and I was starting to wonder if we would see autumn this year before November. I bought pumpkin spice candles, mini-pumpkins and gourds and Halloween candy (mmm, Peanut Butter M&Ms. Yes, I have a problem.) to make it feel more fall-ish, at least inside the house. I tell you, the Halloween candy really helps. Then a few days ago it started raining. Thunderstorms with lightning, to be exact. And that has cooled things down a lot! It's almost like being home in Seattle, except our thunderstorms were always around Thanksgiving and it was significantly colder outside. Still, I'll take what I can get. It was below 60 this morning when I woke up. Below 60! And then it started pouring, with loud thundering boom boom booms (Kate loves thunder, because Mr. Brown makes thunder), and a cool breeze. We stood at the door and watched the rain come down in sheets. Now we have bright blue skies that the TV weatherman tells us won't last, because they will be replaced with more thunderstorms later today. We're even getting the beep beep Severe Weather Alerts on the telly. Sweeeet.

Tim has today off. The military believes Columbus Day to be a good family day, I guess, and I'll take it. Especially since we'll probably only get a 3-day weekend again this year for Christmas. So today we'll work more in the yard, try to get more of Kate's new room set up, and enjoy our day off.

So far this weekend we have:

  • attended the Hogtoberfest party at the Lobos on Friday night
  • came home to watch the premier of Battlestar Galactica (if you have not yet watched this series, I highly recommend you start. Try the miniseries from Netflix and tell me you aren't hooked after watching it.)
  • trimmed the trees and bushes in the frontyard
  • burned weeds in the frontyard and backyard
  • sat through all 75 painful minutes of Chicken Little, the movie (don't waste your time)
  • watched college football games, in which the Huskies had a fabulous game against USC (we almost won), the Beavers lost a close one (?) to WSU, the Wildcats had a bad day against UCLA and Oregon got CREAMED by Cal =D
  • took Kate shopping at the BX, where she oohed and aahhed at the balloons (ba-ooons)
  • had pumpkin pancakes this morning

Aren't you glad to know all that? Useful information, I say.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

a new expression and lessons learned

Kate's latest facial expression is ... cute. ? Most people smile at me when she does it, asking me with their eyes why I would teach my child to do such a thing. They say, "It's cute." "Funny." "Where did she learn that?" I find it amusing sometimes, but mostly I wonder where the smiles went. She used to look at people and smile, or scrunch up her nose, or even, sigh, stick her tongue out at them (thank you Daddy). Now she scowls.

And what a scowl she has. It's a frown and a glare and a 'how dare you' all rolled into one. And I'm not sure where she learned it. I hope it's not something I subconsciously do.

Last night we went to Stubby's fini-flight. She scowled at everyone. Stubby, Sydney, Stubby's mom, Tim. Even me. Kris thought it was cute. Everyone smiled back at her, trying to see if she would smile, or just glare. Mostly they were rewarded with more scowls, but then she began smiling. Maybe she was hungry. She seemed to smile more after she had pizza and cake with blue icing. I didn't get a photo of my little Smurfette, unfortunately; she had smurf-blue streaks on her cheeks and hands. That was cute.

This morning I learned a mommy tip. Why do I learn these things the hard way? Anyway, my lesson: don't give a 1-year-old shredded wheat. Especially if that shredded wheat has come out of your cereal bowl and is thus drenched in milk. This is what you end up with:

Kix in the hair, shredded wheat on the face, arms, ears and chair.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


My sister catsat Starbuck when we went to Oregon last month for 2 weeks. Before we left, Starbuck was feisty. Somewhat mean. Very bitey. Scratched us a lot. Hissed at himself in the mirror. We thought that maybe it was because he was gender-confused. We got him in June thinking he was a she (the base vet 'confirmed' this observation) and then later found out when we went to get her spayed that she was a he.

After Starbuck spent 2 weeks with his brother kitty, Duke, and George, the huge black and white cat my sister has had for a year, he came back to our house all lovey. He is now a lap-cat. Loves to sit on you and lick. Gross. He purrs and purrs, and is happiest whilst licking your arm, your neck, or whatever other skin he can find (the crook of your elbow is his favorite - he can nuzzle his head in there and lick away). I am not sure what Jess did to my cat, but he's gone weird on us. I am not complaining; I would rather have a licker than a biter, especially with a toddler in the house. But it's just weird.

Last week I found him in his new favorite sleeping location:

Kate loves this new Starbuck. She calls him Buck Buck, or something like that.

I have not seen Buck Buck this morning (he spent the night outside because he refused to come in when we were going to bed), and I hope he's okay. There have been coyote sightings around lately, and I am beginning to fear the worst... Starbuck, come back and sleep in the sink! I'll even let you lick my arm. For a minute.


Addendum at 1pm: after arriving home from lunch (and after driving around the neighborhood looking for the remains of our kitty), I called Starbuck's name and he came running. He seems to be fine, no scratches. Phew.

Monday, October 02, 2006


It's October. Yahoo!

Oktoberfest at Mt Lemmon's Ski Valley.

We went to Mt Lemmon yesterday to celebrate Oktoberfest with Jess and Mike, have some German food, and dance the polka. We took Vanessa with us to give Nicole a break for a few hours so she could get some errands done. This was an interesting learning experience. It has been a very long time since I have had 2 children to care for; how do other moms do it? It's hard enough keeping your eyes on one child; how do you actually have conversations with other people while 2 children wander about your feet? And these 2 kids were good! The drive up was the most challenging part. I had put sunscreen on Kate's face to protect her pale skin from the sun, and she rubbed her eyes on the way to Vanessa's house and got sunscreen in them. She screamed and fought me off as I tried to use a wet wipe to get the lotion off her face and out of her eyes. A wet wipe was probably not the best idea. Note to self: start carrying a bottle of water in her diaper bag again. Then on the drive up the mountain (most of the 30 miles or so), Kate tried to get used to having someone in the backseat with her. Someone who was more interested in taking her toys away momentarily or touching her than entertaining her. Vanessa is almost 4, and Kate is a year. Kate didn't like Vanessa touching her Lulu spider and tapping Lulu's belly to make her sing songs. That's her job. Vanessa didn't like Kate crying. Sibling rivlary! I'm going to need lessons from other moms out there on how to appease 2 children at once. It probably didn't help that we were pushing lunchtime all the way up the windy mountain road and Kate was getting hungry. Kix only satisfied her for about 5 minutes. Finally we made it to Ski Valley and the restaurant. We sat down for brats, and the kids settled down, happy to be eating and entertained. Vanessa and Kate both enjoyed a corndog and applesauce.

Insert cute photos of the kids and me here. Deep breaths, deep breaths. #*@& blogger. What, am I over-limit on my use of centered photos here? Come ON.

We wandered across the street to do some dancing and listen to music. We found Jess and Mike, and Kate found friends. There we were, on top of Mt Lemmon dancing the polka, and another little girl and boy attached themselves to Kate, trying to dance with her. Kate of course wanted nothing to do with them, but they were oblivious. Kate is still a magnet.

Run away!

We got to attend the Husky game on Saturday at Arizona Stadium. We've gotten lucky the past 2 years, and the Huskies have played Arizona here. And we've won both times, this time 21-10. It was a night game, 7pm, but it was 91 degrees when we got to the stadium. So much for those sweatshirts! Last year's game was in November and I remember being freezing (it was probably 70 degrees, after all) by the end of the first quarter. This year we got seats in the Husky section, just a little behind the band. It was a sea of purple! Go Dawgs!