Thursday, September 29, 2011

two brothers

last friday night, b and i had a real live date night!! with a babysitter and everything! it rocked and i think we need to do that way more often. i was in a good mood for the rest of the weekend just because we had such a fun time.

[tangent: another recent revelation of having a 14-month-old is WE NEED DATE NIGHTS. we've been dragging jack along to movies, restaurants, museums, etc ever since he was born -- but holy cow, now that he's more mobile and more opinionated, it's so much more work. i still like to bring him places with us, but when we do both b and i are so focused on / distracted by jack that we hardly ever talk about anything else. now i know why parents say non-kiddo date nights are a must.]

we had dinner at lot no. 3, a swanky comfort food restaurant in downtown bellevue [i had a gruyere & carmelized onion grilled cheese, b had chicken & waffles -- yum!] and then we drove to seattle to attend a private screening of a new documentary, two brothers.

two brothers is part of the 5000 days project, a compilation of yearly interviews with hundreds of kids over the past 10 years. the director, rick stevenson, hosted a small group of us in his gorgeous sound-front home as a sneak preview and i loved hearing about his experiences in filming. mr. stevenson focused on these two mormon brothers -- luke and sam -- for this film, which debuts on BYU-TV this sunday at 4 p.m. MST right after general conference.

i LOVED this film! it is so touching to see the lives of these two boys unfold -- the bulk of the movie is about sam's mormon mission in chile [during which they had that huge earthquake] and luke's pursuit of getting a spot on BYU's football team. it's not technically a "mormon" movie -- the director isn't even mormon -- but more of a documentary of the lives of two boys who happen to be mormon. such great messages about faith and commitment and family. i seriously loved it.

in particular, all the footage from sam's mission was especially touching. mr. stevenson got permission to film sam IN the missionary training center (a big deal, since that place is typically locked down better than fort knox) and on his mission in chile. there are interviews with his companions, his mission president, families he taught. sam even kept a video diary. all of this combined creates such a unique, personal look at his mission, something i don't think we've ever been able to see on film beyond a corny "called to serve" music video if you know what i'm sayin'. i think EVERY person who's served a mission for the mormon church would love to have their work documented in this way, or at least will be able to relate to sam.

here's a peek at the trailer:

i TOTALLY recommend setting your dvr to record this film on sunday -- or you can watch it online here.

two brothers
sunday, october 2
4 p.m. MST

Monday, September 26, 2011

14-month-olds have lots of needs

now that jack is becoming less baby, more toddler, i feel like the game is changing. i've been learning and adapting my day-to-day and thought i'd share a few of my new favorite things.

a. the proper care & feeding of self-eaters

[this one's for you, leandra ;) ]
jack's pretty much only interested in food he can feed himself. usually i just give him small cut-up pieces of whatever i'm eating, minus the 8 cookies i eat daily of course. he loves blueberries, cheese, cheerios, broccoli, waffles, the typical stuff. one thing he has started to LOVE is something i would not have expected -- dr praeger's california veggie burgers. i buy them at trader joe's but you can probably find them elsewhere. the kid can eat a whole patty on his own -- they're pretty soft if you cook them in the microwave, so no choking -- and it makes me feel good that he's getting his veggies. plus i think they are sooo good. lunch for both of us!

i also love to give him annie's organic fruit snacks. they're not made with any gelatin or corn syrup or anything gross -- and every pack has 100% of daily value of vitamin c. pretty sure they're just a sugary treat, but at least they're sort of healthy. jack goes nuts when i pull out a pack.

b. transportation, via stroller

i had three strollers: cheap umbrella, snap n go car seat carrier, jogging stroller. the cheap umbrella is CHEAP and also made for short people [i am not short]. now that jack is 1, he's getting too big for the snap n go. the jogging stroller is way too heavy to carry up & down 3 flights of stairs all the time, and has a hard time fitting in the trunk of my accord. what to do? upgrade.

i did some research [i.e. read amazon reviews and put out a few facebook queries] and the verdict came back clear: i can't afford a BOB stroller. haha. no, really, the consensus was that maclaren strollers are the front-runner. i found an awesome one on craigslist and snatched that puppy up -- and i LOVE it. it's super lightweight, i can steer with one hand, it folds easy & fits in my trunk. everyone needs a maclaren.

c. transportation, via self

i'm a non-zealous baby-wearer -- i liked toting jack around in a sling or the baby bjorn when he was tiny, but i was never obsessed or anything. now that he's pushing 23 lbs that's definitely no longer an option. no big deal, since he prefers to walk on his own anyway [most of the time he'll reach for my hand when we're walking and i melt on the spot, so cute!] -- but this is washington. there are trails everywhere and plenty of hiking opportunities, and i'm not going to pass those up because of the kid.

enter my kelty child carrier. i was given this product to review for blogher, so i can't say for sure i'd have bought it on my own because i never really did any research -- but we LOVE it. both brandon and i can wear it comfortably, jack seems to like riding in it, and it definitely makes it easy to tote around a squirmy kiddo. i prefer to let b strap it on [i threw my back out in august and am still feeling the effects] but i've worn it on a hike and had no problem. i highly HIGHLY recommend this child carrier if you're in the market.

d. mommy entertainment

lately, i can't get enough of this song [seriously weirdo lyrics but it is SO freaking catchy]. i've also been spending some time shopping online -- cheap shoes! baby rain boots! -- and reading blogs that make me snort out loud like this one. and now that i'm working less hours, i have more time to hang with b -- we've newly discovered the middle and i love it. [parks & rec is back!!!]

there you go! a few of my favorite things. anything to add?

Friday, September 23, 2011

the fair

this week we went to the puyallup fair! we got a sweet 2-for-1 groupon deal and i was really excited to go. considering my last fair experience involved the LA fair and my high school boyfriend bringing another girl along with us on our "date," i'd say this time around trumped.

what's the best part about the fair? wearing plaid and cowboy boots of course.

second best thing? gorging yourself on fried food. we opted for the deep-fried oreos.

jack was in HEAVEN checking out all the animals. he got to pet a dog and a pig!

he especially liked poking the bunny cages. what do people feed rabbits? some of those things were as big as jack.

jack walked up and down the rows of bunny cages like he owned the place. he is getting so big! i feel silly calling him "baby jack" these days because he really is more of a toddler.

we went with our seattle bffs, friends from MBA school who also moved here this summer. [they have twin babies and jack really wants to play with them...he never understands why they won't crawl around too. haha.] the fair is full of some serious weirdos, so people watching is always a good time. guess we just got a little too into the whisky-tango spirit and decided to take some awful out-of-focus pictures of ourselves. oh well -- for posterity's sake:

i think my fair quota has been filled for another 10 years, but it was fun while it lasted. and now i know how to properly pronouce "puyallup" [i.e. = PUGH-ollip]. all in all, a great night.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

my projects

just a couple things i've been working on lately -- i told you i've been busy!

in august, i threw a little seattle blogger party with my friend jenny from the blog hank + hunt. [hey, if you don't have any friends, why not throw a party and make some?] it was SUPER fun. i can't take credit for how freaking adorable the party was because that was all jenny, but at least the party and the goodie bags were my idea :) more details on the party on the stationery place.

today my latest mormon women project interview is live. i interviewed lindsey redfern, author of the adoption blog the r house. she was totally inspirational and i'd love it if you read the post and leave a comment. read it here.

speaking of mormon women project, before we left utah i did an interview for the "mormon identities" program on the mormon channel, an online radio station run by the mormon church. i was interviewed with mwp founder neylan mcbaine (and fellow contributor marintha miles, who called in) -- you can listen to the interview here to learn more about what MWP is all about and our work with the site [my section starts around 15:55 and again at 19:20 if you care].

i've also learned how to streamline my schedule and only go to target 2x/week. so basically i'm very productive these days :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

my new nightlife

jack likes to take baths, finally, and we have a lot of fun together when he's in the tub. he especially likes when i smack his toys into the water.

that laugh is the best sound EVER.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

our weekend

the weather lately has been SO beautiful here [though the past few days have been gray and cloudy -- i actually kind of like it, but that's a story for another day] and i've been feeling super motivated to get out and enjoy it before seattle's month of summer is over.

saturday we drove out to alki beach in west seattle. we had lunch on the patio at duke's...

...rented one of THESE bad boys:

...and drove all around the boardwalk & surrounding neighborhoods. i think jack was a little too little to sit back there in the big kid seat and i was nervous the whole time, but he did great. he pretty much loved every second.

we rode up to constellation point and walked on the beach. since throwing rocks is one of jack's favorite pastimes, he was very happy. and very focused.

it was a perfect day.

then we ran a few errands and went home to watch the utah/usc game. it was bad news, don't ask b about it ;)

and if that wasn't enough fun for one weekend, sunday was great too. after church i drove up to snohomish to go to jolee's baby shower! she and i worked together in LA for a few years; she is still one of my best friends. lucky for me, her in-laws live in seattle and threw her a baby shower, so i got to go!! it was SO so good to see her and celebrate little secret-gender baby liepman.

THEN we had dinner with another former golinharris co worker who moved to issaquah with her family last year. this place is turning into reunion central. it's crazy. but i'm so glad to still keep in touch with all these people -- so nice to see some familiar faces!!

and that, my friends, is the way a weekend should be done.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

my dream come true.

so, on labor day, we took the in laws on the ducks of seattle -- a perfect tourist opportunity, if you're in the market. we felt a little dorky, but it was seriously so much fun.

i'd never done a city tour like this (similar to the big red bus tour in NYC, which i devotedly shunned while living there) and now i'm wondering when i'll do my next one. we learned a bunch of fun facts about seattle [i.e. seattleites are 4 times more likely to have a dog than a child], our driver was entertaining, jack sat still the ENTIRE 90 minutes, and we got a brief drive-by of a bunch of cool landmarks.

and, because it was a duck boat, we toured seattle by land AND sea. well, kind of. halfway through the tour we drove right into lake union. it was a totally gorgeous day and i'd been seriously jonesing to get out on a boat the past few weeks so i loved being able to float around and check out the lake.

i had heard rumblings that the duck boats took you near the sleepless in seattle houseboat so that was basically my main selling point for taking the tour. and guess what? WE SAW IT!!!

my life is now complete.

i've had a slight [/severe] obsession with that movie for at least the past 15 years. i've seen it easily more than 50 times, can quote the entire thing, use it as a main reference for how i live my life. b even proposed to me at the top of the empire state building because of it. i was totally fine with moving to seattle, even though i'd never been here before, just because of that movie. so there you have it. yeah, i was excited.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

labor day weekend

in case you didn't know, college football season is HERE!!!

poor jack. he doesn't really have a choice.

a bunch of my friends have posted facebook statuses in the past week saying something like "i'm so glad my husband doesn't care about football." to which i say, HA. you have no idea what you're missing. it cracks me up to see how revved up b gets about college football and i wouldn't have it any other way.

also, we see university of washington fans all over the place and it warms my heart. i love that we still live in a college town.

the in-laws are in town this weekend so we're busy playing tour guide. yesterday we went to downtown seattle and bellevue, today we visited snoqualmie falls. the weather has been absolutely beautiful -- washington is on it's best behavior and i love it.

and jack loves having the grandparents dote on him :)

in other news, jack's two top front teeth are coming in!! just when i thought he'd be a little two-toothed wonder for life, they pull through. guess that explains the little cranky-pants i've been living with for the past few weeks. BUT he's back to two naps/day, so i really can't complain.

[just blowing bubbles on the balcony -- in the background you can see the parking lot that is jack's playground. poor kid.]

jackal is also walking [/occasionally running] all over the place, will never sit still, eats blueberries like there's no tomorrow and throws a fit every time i change his diaper. we love that monkey.