Friday, January 30, 2009

It's a good place for a nap...

This is what a tired boy does while waiting for his mom to finish cooking soup.

Lucky me he didn't wake up until after the soup was finished and the kitchen completely cleaned!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Panda Mug

For Halloween 2008, I included this small panda mug as part of Jake's Halloween basket.

Since then, we have been using the mug occassionally for soups and more recently, for hot chocolate. I would just give the mug to Jake without any fanfare.

Yesterday, though, Jake asked for hot chocolate, so I made him some. I decided to put it in a regular mug, the white one. However, when I gave the white mug to Jake, he immediately asked to be picked up and pointed towards the cabinet where we keep all the mugs, and then pointed to the panda one. He wanted his hot chocolate in the panda mug. I had no idea that he was so attached to the panda mug as his mug, but now I know! So sweet!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's still beautiful, though!

It snowed again today. I didn't take any pictures. Because... again? How many times can it possibly snow in one winter in Portland?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eating Snow

We woke up to snow this morning! It seems so unusual to me to have this much snow in Portland this many times. Jake loved it and today he discovered he likes eating snow!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Random Friday Pictures

Knock, knock! Who's there?
One of the houses across the street from us got torn down and a new one is being built, just like we did with our house! It is pretty fun watching the process. It certainly entertained Jake for a good hour while they used a crane to lift big loads of wood up to the second floor!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Making Potty Time Cool

Because reading a good book and wearing your coolest monster boots while using the potty? Who wouldn't want to?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Jake loves to have someone scare him. On purpose. Seriously, you can jump out from behind a wall and scare him and he laughs and laughs and then says "again!" while still laughing. I, on the other hand, don't appreciate that at all. Please don't scare me on purpose. Where did this kid come from??

Yesterday, he asked to play the game where Mama and Daddy stand around the corner and he runs from the opposite end of the house to the corner and attempts to have us scare him. Sometimes we succeed, especially if we manage to get into a different hiding place without him seeing us. Quite funny.

So while we were doing this yesterday, I had a sudden thought: my kid is going to LOVE horror movies.

Isn't that the point of horror movies? To be scared out of your skin, knowing that you are going to be scared, and loving it anyway?

As you can guess, Mama CANNOT watch horror movies. I am the person who hides my eyes at the scariest/most suspenseful scenes. I clutch my husband's arm so tightly he complains I am hurting him. So horror movies? Just not on my Netflix list. Mike, however, can enjoy a horror movie.

This will be interesting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration!!

Hooray for President Obama!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Playtime for Jake

I decided it was time to take some more pictures of Jake!

He loves playing with his cars. He's started to get into organizing them -- lining them up and having them take turns going for a drive.
Well in this case, the train.

We went to this wonderful theatre called Play after Play, where we watched a children's play put on by 3 actors called The Curing Fox and afterwards all the children had chances to do gentle tumble play with the 3 actors on gym mats. Jake loved it! He would eagarly await each turn to go around on the mat and play. It was hard to leave, but it was already past naptime and when we got home I was able to move him from the car to the couch without him opening his eyes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Award and Run (I like those two words together!)

I got my first blogging award! Thanks to Shana at So Not Zen for awarding it to me. Shana gave it to me because she thinks I is cool. (And yes, we are both fully aware that this is not grammatically correct.)
Shana and I share a couple things in common -- we are both moms and we are both runners. Okay, we have more in common than that, but it is good that we can cheer each other on in regards to the post-child running aspect. Shana is training for a half-marathon, and I totally bow to her on that.

However, I am really excited because today I am going for a run on an old route that I used to run a lot when I lived at my parent's house. Mike is out of town in Kotzebue, Alaska, so Jake will go play with Gramma and Papa while I go for that 3.5 mile run. This should be good -- I've been running somewhere between 2.5 and 3 miles for awhile, so this will be a good push, plus it is a sunny, clear day and the views should be amazing.

So in regard to the Butterfly Blogger Award, I am to award 10 people who I think is cool (and their blogs, too).

Rebekah at Waffles, Waffles All Day Long
Candice at her new blog, Beatrix McQueen
Leah at Milk and Ink: From the Lap of Mama Nomad
Mrs. G at Derfwad Manor
Savannah at Mindfully Mothering
Amy at Syma Says
Breana at Urban Hippie Mama
Dani at Ellie's Madre
Laura at Cliff and Laura's Family Blog
Sara at A Little Radish

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Potty Talk

My friend Sara sent the link to this article to me the other day...

Toilet Rebate Program

This program (only available in Portland, Oregon) gives you financial assistance to trade in traditional toilets that use 1.6+ gallons of water with each flush, to a newer, more water-efficient toilet that uses no more than 1.28 gallons per flush. You can replace up to 2 toilets in your house this way!

Luckily, when we built our house we installed dual-flush toilets in each bathroom. That means that the small button only uses 0.8 gallons per flush, which we use the majority of the time. The big button uses 1.6 gallons per flush and is only for desperate measures. I'm really glad we are already able to use less water .

If you're not able to replace your current toilets with more water-effecient ones, you can always do the old trick of filling plastic containers with rocks, sand, or water and placing them in your toilet tank. Click here for some tips.

Just what you wanted to think about today... :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Not much adventure around here, lately, although we've been plenty busy.

There's been the usual child taking baths... (and yes, the towel is on the floor because he's discovered how to splash and swim and generally get things outside of the tub wet).

Cats napping in drawers...
And boys taking naps.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sign Names

In American Sign Language we use sign names for people, places, etc. instead of having to fingerspell those things all the time. Some sign names are common, such as 'Daddy,' 'Mama,' 'Portland,' and the like. Other sign names are very specific to a person, for example we have a friend named Tom who has a sign name, but if we have another friend named Tom, we do NOT use the same sign name for that Tom. We'll either fingerspell it or use his own, specific sign name for that Tom.

Jake has by now grasped the concept of sign names. He knows our friend Tom's sign name, as well as Sara's, Corky's, Skylar's, his own, and other friend's, and he uses them.

Jake is also very into Thomas the train engines and loves to watch the DVDs and play with the trains. A few weeks ago we were astonished to discover that Jake had come up with his own sign names for 2 of the trains -- all on his own!! Thomas the train gets 2 pats on the chest, and Gordon the engine gets 2 taps on the forehead with a flat hand. We have NO idea how he came up with these, but he did. So impressive.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Green Goals for 2009

Another year! Another chance to make new habits or change old habits so that we reduce, reuse, and recycle better, and become better stewards and citizens of this planet Earth.

First, looking back on 2008. In January I posted here my 13 un-green habits. Surprisingly, some of them have changed for the better!!

1. Hot showers. Those have actually decreased in time slightly since Jake hasn't been interested in taking showers lately. And I learned a new green trick -- when taking baths, don't drain the bath water until the water has turned cold -- the heat will be used to help keep your house warm, instead of just (literally) going down the drain.

2. Facial tissues. We officially made the switch over to cloth hankies and I love it!! Of course, seems we never have enough, but that can be remedied.

3. Using the car. Umm... I haven't been using public transportation any more BUT I have gotten really good at combining trips. The other day I hit the lamp repair store, picked up my reel lawn mower, returned something at Target, and went grocery shopping, all in the same trip. Yeah!

4. Compost. Argh... well the very good news is that Portland rolled out new compost bins, meant to be used for yard/garden compost. In it I throw things that could have come out of my garden and haven't been cooked -- like the stems from kale leaves that we don't eat. Or tomatoes that we just didn't get to in time before they started to go bad. So that has definitely helped.

5. Cats eating meat. I don't think that one will change, and with the cats only being 6 years old and very healthy, it will stay that way for a long time.

6. Shoes. Humm... I think I brought just 2 pairs of shoes this past year. One pair I have used a LOT. So not bad :)

7. Automatic lawn sprinkler system. No change there. Pass.

8. Batteries. Something I still need to tackle for 2009.

9. Turning off electronics. I am really good about turning off lights, and we are awesome about unplugging the blackberry charger and toaster when not in use. I still need to get some smart strips and hook them up in my office. A goal for 2009.

10. Thermostat to be set lower. Still working on this one. After I saw this, I got up, turned down the heat, and put on a sweater. Sigh.

11. Clothes drying rack. I was awesome at using it this past summer. Harder to use in the colder months when it takes all day. I need to start trying again, just one load a week or something.

12. Using the vegetables. I think I've gotten a little bit better.

13. Reducing plastic bottle use. I have done really well on this one! I've actually been using baking soda to "wash" and apple cider vinegar to rinse my hair for 6 months now, and it is working really well. It also resulted in not buying all those plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles. I do buy Dr. Bronner's liquid soap, but have been refilling those bottles at the store.

So all in all I did really well this past year.

Some things I want to focus on for 2009:

1. Keep using cloth bags at the grocery store but more importantly, learn how to not accept bags or tissue paper at ANY store/market where I shop. Having two of these ultra-compact bags in my purse at all times has greatly helped with this goal. The other day when I did my multiple errands in one trip, I actually didn't know I was going to the grocery store at the end, so I didn't have my cloth grocery bags with me. Fortunately, all my groceries just barely fit into the 2 ultra-compact bags that I keep in my purse!

2. Get some smart strips and hook them up in the office to save on energy drain when things are not in use.

3. Be mindful of when we don't need the thermostat on and when we can at least turn it down. Kind of hard to have the heat down when you have a toddler who loves to run around naked!

That is it for now. We have other projects that will keep us busy this year, so want to keep it simple. What is YOUR green goal for 2009?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Welcome, Maude!

This past summer, at the Oregon Country Fair, I met this wonderful, sweet, and dynamic woman who asked if Mike and I liked teas. We love them, we told her, and she asked if we would be willing to be taste testers as she was developing some herbal infusions. Thus began our relationship with the self-professed "Queen of Tea."

Soon she brought a bunch of different infusions over to our house to try, and one of them, her Summer Lift, was especially wonderful. We couldn't get enough of it. More, we said, more! She wasn't ready to start selling her infusions, but that was too bad, we told her. So she set a price and a method and we started getting our fix of Summer Lift and other infusions from her on a weekly basis. Soon others were, too.

Mike started taking the tea to work (he's a glazier, helps put glass in buildings so it is like construction, he wears a hard hat and all). Prior to this he had tried many different energy drinks to give him a boost of energy during the day. None works as well as the Summer Lift!!! So now he greatly prefers to take Summer Lift or another herbal infusion to work.

The infusions gave our bodies something we didn't know we needed, and why not? The infusions are full of vitamins and minerals -- calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, D, E, K, and others depending on what herbs have been used. All in a form that is more readily available to our bodies than popping vitamin pills which sometimes wash through our bodies without being absorbed. What is awesome is that Jake LOVES the teas, too. 'Cold tea' he calls it, and sometimes he drinks more than Mike or me!

Now, when we go for a week or more without drinking infusions, we can feel it. Our bodies lead us back to our friend, who has by now become "Maude's Herbal Infusions." Thankfully she has worked hard to make this a reality, and I am so very pleased to present to you Maude! Please check out her site, and if you are in the Portland area, try one of her infusions (if you come to my house, I can give you a sample!)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Yay 2009!

Our New Year's Eve...

There was happiness,
Cuban cigars (I think someone smuggled those out of Mexico. *whistling*)
Pretend play-sleeping...
More playing,
A little imp who decided that coloring himself with green marker was the thing to do...

Pasta, salad, cheese, wine...
Dishes that needed washing...
And an overall great time with some very happy friends!
At the end of the evening we had large bowls of coconut bliss ice cream, shots of amaretto, and a fantastic game of Cranium. We watched the ball drop in Times Square, had long kisses with our partners, and generally had a great time ringing in 2009!