Saturday, November 26, 2011

tour guide x2

we love having family come to town!

this week we hosted my parents and it was awesome. i forget how nice it is to hang out with the fam. b had to work on monday and tuesday, so jack and i played host. we did lots of sight-seeing -- snoqualmie falls, space needle, REI flagship store, bellevue restaurants, old town issaquah -- some of which jack liked, and some of which he hated. here he is, mid-meltdown at the top of the needle:

probably because he had to skip his nap that day. sorry buddy, we had places to go!

at the falls:

we also did lots of relaxing. my mom helped me sew jack's christmas stocking [more to come on that!] and my dad and i went running each night. b, my dad, and i went to a shooting range one night and shot a bunch of guns -- it was crazy and i pretty much loved it. we went black friday shopping and played games and watched the middle and went out to eat. staycations are so fun, especially when you have cool people to share it with. it was a perfect week. and now i have a LOT of catching up to do -- and we're missing you tons, grammie and pop pop!

grateful weekend

it's officially the christmas season! hooray. but -- before we get to that -- i have to say that i love thanksgiving. i've always felt a little bad for this non-commercial holiday, the one that usually gets lost between halloween and christmas. i never put my xmas decorations up or start listening to christmas music before thanksgiving, just so i can actually pay attention and reflect when thanksgiving day comes.

my parents were in town all week, and we spent thanksgiving day with extended family in redmond. my mom's long lost cousins and aunts live here with their families, and it's fun to be with a large group for a holiday again. we got to know some new people and even observed a surprise marriage announcement [turns out the host's son has actually been married to his live-in "girlfriend" for the past 18 months, surprise! enjoy your turkey!]. jack was the hit of the party and i didn't have to watch him at all, thanks to two 10 year old girls who played mother's helper all night. loved it.

last night on the radio [b and i only listen to talk radio now, we're soooo exciting] they were saying we should just do away with thanksgiving all together, that everyone ignores it, that you can be grateful all year long. it made me a little sad. sure, we can be grateful all year long, but are we?? i don't think so. i get so caught up in day to day life that i forget to pay attention to all my blessings. i love taking a time out on thanksgiving each year to realize and thank god for all the good things in my life. i feel happier and start to realize that what i have is enough.

so, in light of that, here are some of the things i'm thankful for. like a cute husband who works hard all day, comes home and plays with jack, compliments my dinner efforts and then does the dishes. and an adorable little boy who gets smarter, funnier and bigger every day. i'm thankful to live in a warm apartment with nice carpet and kind neighbors. and to be in a beautiful city, to have new friends who have welcomed us right away, and to see autumn leaves everywhere i go. i'm thankful to live in a free country even though our financial situation scares the crap out of me.

i'm thankful to be able to pray everyday and know that god hears and responds to what i say. i'm thankful to go to church every week. i'm thankful for technology that allows me to continue my career AND stay home with my baby. i'm thankful for toddler time at our community center that lets jack get all his energy out even when it rains. i'm thankful for trader joe's new multi-flavored joe joes [peppermint, dark chocolate, peanut butter and gingerbread!] and heck, i'm thankful just to live in the same city as trader joe's again. i'm soo thankful for the sun and that it still makes a regular appearance around here. i'm thankful for clients who make work fun, and naptime that makes work possible. i'm thankful that jack has four grandparents who adore him. i have so much to be grateful for, and i'm thankful i could spend this weekend paying more attention to it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

t-giving & another video

thanksgiving is ONE week away! my parents are coming to town and i'm totally excited for a week of playing tour guide, eating yummy food, and taking a break from the day-to-day.

while this could be my first opportunity to actually cook + host thanksgiving dinner, i'm actually off the hook thanks to some long-lost extended family in redmond. BUT, if you're hosting the big meal this year [or just need some good decorating / activity ideas], i highly recommend checking out this month's parents magazine.

one charming party designed some super cute thanksgiving DIYs (there are even how-to videos!), like the paper bag turkey and kix corn-on-the cob, as a perfect addition to your celebration this year. and i'd be saying that even if they weren't my client :) [do you read parents mag? it's my favorite.]

and, while we're sharing adorable things, here's a little clip of jack showing off his latest tricks.

Monday, November 14, 2011

farewell regis

this friday is regis philbin's last day on "LIVE with regis and kelly." if you aren't aware of that, you're probably under the age of 50. [i have a tendency to love media also adored by older generations. see also: readers digest.] but for me, this is a big deal.

i've watched LIVE almost every day since i was 10. i loved summertime as a kid because it meant i got to watch regis with my mom each morning -- she always had it on while she did laundry, cleaned up breakfast, etc. as an adult i dvr the show daily; i used to watch it while i made dinner after work, or during my lunch break when i worked at american crafts and actually came home for lunch. last year i'd watch it while i nursed tiny baby jack and got used to the stay-at-home-mom routine.

in 2002, regis was the grand marshal of the rose parade and we were there, sitting on the street waving at him when he drove by. in 2006, i interned in NYC and finally made it to an actual taping after dragging my friend brittany out of bed at 4 a.m. one day -- and, figures, neil patrick harris was guest hosting because regis was out of town. wah wah. [i actually tried to dig up a stealth photo i took of us in the audience at the taping, but it is lost to cyberspace. sad.] regis' grandbaby was born two days after jack. we're practically family.

in january, regis announced he was retiring in the fall. not going to lie, i wasn't entirely surprised [the man is basically checked out and totally crochety] but i was still really sad. this is the end of an era!

every day the past two weeks jack and i have watched the show, live, at 9 a.m. each day. they've been doing a countdown to regis' last show, with guest stars and hilarious sizzle reels of past episodes and funny moments, and i've been eating it all up. and once friday comes, it will all be over.

i'm not quite sure what i love so much about regis and LIVE. maybe it's the familiarity of being able to count on that show being on, every day, no matter what else is going on. maybe it's the memory of hearing regis' queens accent signalling the start to my summer mornings as a kid. maybe it's a show that generated my freakish obsession with pop culture and celebrities, or my love for new york city.

whatever the reason, i feel like i'm losing a friend. i'll still tune in to watch kelly [i like her too, of course], but my mornings just won't be the same without that cute little old guy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

the rock thief

look at me, staying up super late! i should really be in bed right now, it is sooo past my bedtime [also, daylight savings time really sucks if you have kids] but hey. guess what. jack did something funny today.

our apartment complex is very nicely landscaped with lots of small rocks. also many large grates, draining to nearby creeks. bad combo for a kid who loves to sort things.

i take jack outside every day -- some days we go to the park if i'm feeling overly ambitious, most days we just run around the parking lot and up to the mini-park on a hill nearby. sad childhood for a kid who lives in an day you'll have your own backyard, jack. he has his favorite little routes to take to the mailbox, to our neighbors with the awesome halloween decorations, to the clubhouse, to the bridge. but lately the route always ALWAYS involves rocks.

he grabs a rock, runs to the nearest grate [he only runs now, walking is for babies!], leans over, drops his rock, waits for the plop!, then runs and gets another rock. it's pretty funny and really cute...until he does it 20 times in a row and i start to get nervous that he's destroying the landscaping.

last week i announced to b that rock-dumping was OVER [after all, it was b who taught him this in the first place] and so far it's been going okay as long as i keep the distractions going. but today jack was cranky [see: daylight savings] and therefore i was cranky and therefore i let him dump a couple extra rocks. then he started dumping leaves which i figure is okay because they're all biodegradable and stuff, and plus he's probably doing the maintenance guys a favor by cleaning up the leaves right?

after 20 rounds of rock dumping [up the hill this time, away from organized's okay if it's at a park, right?] i made him stop and carried him home and jack threw his first all-out tantrum. arched back, flailing limbs, swiping fists aimed directly at my face. that was pretty fun. no need to send me to prison for letting my kid destroy rock gardens...just turn me over to the wrath of jack and i'll definitely get due punishment.

anyway, the walk wasn't all bad. i can't get over how incredibly gorgeous the leaves are here. we sort of live on a mountain and you can see millions of trees of all different colors on the nearby hills. i love it. but i still miss the dry barren wasteland of california.

the end. i'm going to bed.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

family photos 2011

i met a fantastic local photographer, adele cabanillas, at our blogger meet & greet this summer. i checked out her website, fell in love with her amazing photos and asked if she'd take some family portraits for us. we hadn't taken "official" family photos since jack was born [plus it's almost christmas card season!] so i figured a shoot was in order.

however. this is seattle. we literally rescheduled the shoot FIVE times due to inclement weather & other issues. ugh. by the time we fiiiinally got a semi-sunny day a few weeks ago, i was ready to jump on it. and -- of course -- the sunny morning turned into an overcast afternoon by the time we met with adele. blast! but, i guess they show an accurate depiction of seattle, so that's okay. [and, naturally, this week it has been sunny every day! oy.]

anyway. we shot these in gas works park, right on lake union. despite the clouds and the freezing temps, i love how they turned out. i love my little family and i love that we've been able to preserve this moment in life.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

on a mission

sometimes mr. jack makes me laugh out loud. on halloween, i was putting laundry away and had a few drawers open. he really likes to sort / organize things. it was a match made in heaven.

my favorite part was his determined little run back to the bedroom to get a new item to add to the stash. so focused.

i love this kid.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

sugar-high aftermath

our halloween ended up better than anticipated. jack and i spent the afternoon crunching through leaves and visiting target, where everyone was already dressed up. then we got together with some friends from LA for chinese food and a 6-house trick-or-treating extravaganza in their neighborhood, which was FILLED with small children in costume. just the way halloween should be! jack had no idea what was going on [and let's be real, i don't think he's ever walked anywhere in the dark before] but was such a good sport to collect candy for mommy & daddy try it out.

are these not the cutest little trick or treaters ever? ewok & skeleton:

we were home by 7 p.m., put jack to bed, and i headed to the gym to work off my halloween bounty.

today we visited one of my best friends from high school, who lives in puyallup. puyallup is far. it was so so good to see her and i love catching up with longtime friends. and jack loved playing with her daughter.

since jack was such a good boy for our crazy day of road-tripping, i took him to the park when we got home. supervising a one-year-old at the park kind of sucks. his whole up the stairs / through the tunnel / down the slide routine gets old by the 20th round, and i crawled through that plastic tunnel ONE too many times because now my knees are killing me. geez i'm getting old. we did, however, meet another mommy with two little kids and had a nice little chat. it's amazing how easy striking up a conversation can be once kids are your point of contact.

by the time we got home i was WIPED. it was all i could do to get a mickey mouse clubhouse episode going before i landed a power nap on the couch. [oh come on, you know you've done it!] is it the weekend yet?