Saturday, August 30, 2008

Amazing Jake

Jake has been doing so many new things lately! He is definitely growing and outgrowing his clothes. Luckily the Hanna Andersson outlet store was having a big sale today so I was able to go and get him clothes for this fall and winter.
It's a good thing I got him some new clothes.
With growing comes some growing pains. He's had his share of falls and scrapes, and yesterday he fell down the stairs for the first time. I didn't see it happen, but I was on my way to the stairs so I was there immediately. He was crying, of course, but was fine except for a few bruises on his face. Ouch :( He'll see his chiropracticer on Monday, so she'll make sure he's okay. He had been going down the stairs by himself for quite some time, and doing well. I think he just got a little overconfident and slipped. So we're going to make sure we give him some more help on the stairs for awhile.
If you look closely, you can see the bruise on his cheek (on the left side in the picture). On the right side is evidence that he gorged on strawberries at the farmer's market!
For a long time, he LOVED books. Read them all the time and wanted to be read to. Then in the past few months he lost almost all interest in books. Took a long break from them and focused on other things. Very recently he has returned to books, but with a developmental leap -- he is reading them out loud to himself and to us and remembers the context on individual pages. He is also ready to be read to -- he's actively listening to the story. As Gramma suggested, I'll have to look into taking him to storytime at the library now!
Jake has both bottom 2nd year molars fully in, and one of the top 2nd year molars partway in. We measured his height recently at 34 1/4 inches. Not sure how much he weighs but he's definitely heavier now. When we go walking he sometimes prefers the stroller, but other times wants nothing to do with it. We are so thankful to have the yamo for those times -- he can walk all he wants and then as soon as he gets tired we just pop him into the yamo and we're all happy.

How did he go from a tiny little baby to a walking, talking, thinking, lovable person in 26 short months?!?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Apples make... Applesauce!

I made applesauce today! I never knew how amazingly easy it was to make. The best part is that the apples came from the tree in our backyard. I'll definitely be making more as long as there are still apples on the tree.

First Jake and I picked the (good) apples off the tree.

Then I peeled and chopped them up.

Put them in a pot with half water, half pineapple juice.

Cooked on low-medium heat for 20 minutes.

Mashed them up.

Added a bit of sucanat (type of unrefined sugar) and cinnamon.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yes, this is my idea of fun

This past week I've had some unexpected free time without Jake. I thought that I was going to be traveling for work, but that got canceled, and so now I am waiting to hear when I will really start traveling. Anyway, when I still thought I was going to be traveling, I went ahead and arranged for Jake's new nanny to take care of Jake on Tuesday from 9-4 and on Wednesday from 9-1 (with Gramma taking care of him the rest of the times).

Even though the travel was canceled, I decided to keep Jake's time with his nanny, Kayla, to get some practice in and see how he would do with me not far away. (He did great. He LOVES Kayla and they have so much fun together.)

So what does one do with 11 hours without a toddler??

Tuesday I shopped all day. Was so nice to be able to go clothes shopping with my mom and without Jake in tow. We went to 2 different places and found new work clothes for me. These were sorely needed as my pre-pregnancy work clothes are all at least 3 years old. After shopping for clothes, I then shopped for food to fill our empty kitchen cabinets and refrigerator.

Wednesday I went and had a cup of tea with my best friend, whom I haven't seen in a few months! Then I came home and did something I am THRILLED about -- I cleaned my refrigerator.

It looks so beautiful and I had to document the moment. Of course, I hadn't put everything back at this point but still, wow! Gave myself a pat on the back :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

BBR Weekend

We went to Black Butte Ranch (BBR) last weekend. It was the first time that we had gone to BBR this summer with my parents. We were so lucky that Amy joined us as well! We took many, many pictures of Jake on my Dad's awesome Nikon camera. It was hard to choose which pictures to post!

Jake had so much fun playing with his truck/car in the dirt.

He would make the truck and car roll down the hill and then run after them.
He practiced lots of running this weekend. He is so fast now! I have to actually run to catch him if he is running away from me.

The dirt was a big attraction. There were daily baths/showers and multiple clothing changes. Even the truck and car needed baths.
V8 moustaches were a big hit.
The swing was cool -- for the bears. Jake, at this time, will not go on swings.
There were cool animals to play with that used to belong to my sister and me. Here he is making sure the cows drink from the trough.
He had fun helping Aunt Amy husk the corn.

We were getting ready to leave to go back to Portland. Jake was pretty tired and cranky and was ready for a nap. We were keeping him awake so he would nap in the car. Luckily he came across a lego advertisement brochure. He took himself outside, sat among the aspen trees, and read. Awww.

Gramma helping Jake ride his bike. (You read that right. Gramma now, not grandma.)
He rode his bike a lot this weekend, and is now able to pedal it! He still needs a little push to get going and keep going, but he has figured out the motion now.

We also went for a few long walks and to the swimming pool. Such a good weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2008


It seems that soon I will begin traveling for my job again. I have been doing many things to prepare, including setting up nanny/day care for Jake.

Another thing I did was to buy some travel-size toiletries since I plan to carry-on my baggage the majority of the time. So everything has to be 3 ounces or less so the TSA can see them in the little plastic bag and declare that you are safe to fly.

Jake was fascinated with the travel-sized deodorant, I think he thought it was a kid-sized one for him!

I caught him pretending to put the deodorant on (the stuff hasn't yet been moved to the top). So I grabbed the camera and asked him to do it again. He flat out-refused to perform and got all shy looking at the camera. So I stood up and put down the camera. He started to do it again, so without him knowing I started recording again...

I laughed really hard at him catching me recording and trying to hide what he was doing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Neighborly Love

We first brought the property we are on in 2002, and on it was a small, one-story house with 5 rooms (kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, and office). Plus a 1 car garage attached with the washer/dryer in the garage.

Directly behind our house was a drab gray house that was (and still is) in need of some major TLC. The owner of this house was 92 year old spry Donald, who was pretty much deaf. We had some very interesting conversations over the so-called "fence" that separated our yards (more on the fence later). Donald, being deaf, would come out and talk whenever he saw us in the backyard, but he would neglect to put his hearing aids on beforehand. Mike and I would do our darnest to understand/lipread him, and always fail, despite us having our cochlear implants/hearing aids on. So the conversation was very one-sided, with Donald going on and on about his days in the war, his health issues, and other subjects that I was unable to understand. One or both of us would stand there, nodding politely, desperately trying to think of some way to excuse ourselves. Whenever we would say something, such as "I need to go back into the house and check on the cake in the oven" we would be answered with a hand cupped to his ear and "I'm sorry I can't understand you, I forgot my hearing aids". Eventually we'd have to use gestures to tear ourselves away. There were times where we'd see him starting to come out of his house and we'd make a beeline for the inside of ours. We weren't trying to be mean, this was a nice old man in need of company, but for goodness sakes, the man could have put his hearing aids on so we could have actually had a conversation!

Fast-forward to 2006, when we had our little house demolished in order to start from scratch building a new house on the property. While the house was being built, Mike prepared to put a new "good neighbor" fence between Donald's yard and ours. He went over one day and tore down the "fence" that was there, which was some stakes, some wire, some wood, and other various types of materials to make a patchwork barrier separating the 2 yards. It was pretty darn ugly, and I was glad to see it go. Then he dug holes for the cement and called it a day.

The next day we got a call from our builder. There was a business card on the front door of the house from the police, requesting that we call. So we called them. Turns out that Donald had called the police to say that someone had torn down his fence! (What "fence"?) So with my Mom and with 2-month old Jake in a pouch sling, we walked over to Donald's house. The doorbell was broken so we knocked on the door really loudly. "Go Away!!" is what my mom heard. She knocked again and yelled "we want to talk with you about the fence!". Silence. We started to leave, but then I noticed Donald slowly making his way from the side door of his house. So we explained what we were doing with the fence and he was totally fine with it. And then he kept talking. And talking. And talking. Talking in such a way that it was impossible to interrupt and get a word in. Talking about random things. About the beautiful siding on his house that has upheld so well for 40 years (ugliest siding, ever). About his health problems. About things we really didn't need to know about. Jake was totally happy and content in his pouch sling, and I was rocking from side to side and occassionally kissing the top of his head. At some point I stopped rocking him and actually started poking him gently, to try and get him to start fussing! He finally started to fuss and gave us an excuse to leave.

Mike resumed working on the fence. He put the posts in cement and left them to dry. Then he started attaching the boards to the fence. He put the boards up on Donald's side first. As he was doing this, Donald came out of his house and became totally hostile with Mike. "Get off my property! I have a gun in the house and I'll use it if I have to!" Mike simply responsed with "How are you today, Donald?" and completely flustered Donald and calmed him down. Mike reminded Donald that he was the owner of the new house that was being built, and we had agreed that it was okay to build a good neighbor fence.

We were so happy when the fence was completed. And we later found out that the old "fence" was actually on our property line, not his. The new fence is, too.

Donald passed away sometime later that year. We were hoping that some nice new people would buy the house and make it pretty. Instead, the people are not very friendly and have put a refrigerator in the back of the sunroom that is on the back of the property. So now, instead of looking at torn white curtains, we get to look at the back of a refrigerator. The 40 year old siding has been left as-is, with nary a splash of new paint in sight.

At least they don't try to talk with us without hearing aids on.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pajamas and Airplane

This boy is growing quickly -- he is 26 months old today! He needs more new pajamas so I got him this pair. I still need to get at least 2 more pairs before the cold weather starts.
He loves playing with airplanes. You can see that he just "landed" the airplane in this picture.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Playdate with Ruby

Ruby came over for a playdate!! Jake and Ruby were excited to see each other and immediately got down to business playing. Such cuteness, these 2.

Then Jake and I, along with Grandma, went over to a friend's house and picked blueberries! Thanks, Barbara, for letting us have your beautiful blueberries! (Barbara was out of town and had 2 bushes just full of berries, and needed help using them up!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hot Days of August

So lots of things happening around here lately. Friday night I hosted my first Zola party which was awesome. I truly had fun being around a great group of women talking about eco-friendly products and ways to help both the earth and our wallets.

Saturday was the 100th anniversary of the Multnomah Village parade, and we went to watch. Was lots of fun. Afterwards Jake wanted to look at the chickens.

Other than that, we've just been trying to survive the 3 days of 100 degree heat. The kiddie pool was set up each day and saw lots of use. The fans were on constantly in the house. We wore as little clothing as possible. Theo the cat even felt sweaty, a first! So weird to feel a sweaty cat.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Do Not Mail

Interrupting our regular posting cuteness for this important message...

Do you like the Do Not Call Registry? You know, the one that prevents you from getting unsolicited phone calls about insurance quotes during dinnertime?

How about the same thing with Junk Mail? Want to help stop those credit card offers, flyers telling you that you can buy 2 pizzas for the price of 1? I hate junk mail -- it is a waste of trees/paper that goes directly into my recycling bin. So silly.

You can do two things:

1. Go to and sign the petition to ask our politicians to help support a Do Not Mail registry.

2. Go to and sign up to have them help stop the flow of junk mail into your house. It is drastically reduced my junk mail and unwanted catalogs; there have actually been some days where NOTHING has come through my mail slot. Awesome.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun with Flour

No captions needed! (Oh, but notice his hair -- he got it cut in the morning.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nap Frog

A few weeks ago I found out that I need to start traveling again for work (it was either that or be out of a job). This will be a huge transition for our family, but we are taking steps towards this change.

One of the things I have done is introduce Jake to "nap frog". Nap Frog has a frog head and arms and a soft, silky blanket for a body. Actually really cozy. So now whenever Jake is ready to take a nap we make sure Nap Frog is with us. That way when someone other than me has to put him down for a nap, Nap Frog will be there to help Jake .

Now he often sleeps holding Nap Frog. So sweet.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Oaks Park

We made an impromptu visit to Oaks Amusement Park today! I went once in a while growing up but haven't been there in years.

Jake rode on this rocket ship ride.
At first he wasn't too sure about it, during the middle he wanted out, but then at the end when it was all over he said he liked it.
Then Jake and Mama went on this tugboat ride together. He didn't like it very much. Mike and I have always LOVED amusement park rides, especially the ones that spin all over the place really fast. I hope Jake will grow to love them, too.
So then the three of us went on this "hot air balloon" ride. Jake kept his eyes closed the whole time. We decided that was enough (but we enjoyed it!).

We decided to do the train ride at the end. Jake LOVED it. It was just his style.

Then we went to Laughing Planet for some yummy food. (I'm thrilled because a Laughing Planet will be opening up soon just a mile away from my house!!!)
Jake always loves playing with the dinosaurs there.