Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the weather.

when we decided to move to seattle, the first thing out of EVERYONE's mouth was "oh, you are going to HATE the weather." yes, i realize it rains 9 months of the year here [according to sleepless in seattle, my source for all seattle-related information], and for a native californian that is a bit intimidating. especially since it poured the entire time we were in town touring apartments.

but, it really hasn't been too bad so far. i think this can be attributed to one of three factors:
1. the novelty hasn't worn off yet
2. we've had a "mild winter" (according to every person in issaquah)
3. two visits to sunny utah in the past month

we still get a really nice sunny day about once a week, on average. and when washington is sunny, it is goooorgeous. i feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. however, only seeing the sun once a week has its downfalls -- i've started to realize i take certain things for granted, and when you don't have those things anymore your life feels really weird. like the moon. if it's raining, there's no moon. 95% of the time our night sky is pitch black. also, shadows. we only see our shadow once in a while and every time it solicits nonstop oohs and ahhs from jackal.

anyway, when it's NOT sunny, seattle usually looks like this:

brrr. cloudy, foggy, gloomy and WET. i take jack outside everyday unless it's pouring -- he likes to jump in puddles. i just wear my favorite boots and try not to freeze to death. then we come inside, turn on the fireplace, have hot chocolate and make soup for dinner. at night it's like living inside a white noise machine, listening to raindrops outside my window. like i said, winter is a novelty for me. so i'm making the best of it. 

sometimes it's not the best, though. i bought happy lights (available at costco!) for me & b to put on our desks -- i've used mine a couple times, who knows if they work. also, our electric bill is kind of high because i turn on a bunch of lights during the day and leave them on -- i hate being in the dark. and i've pretty much forgotten what it's like to be warm or even hot on a regular basis, which makes me sad. our trip to CA in april will probably turn me into a sweaty drippy mess...but i can't wait. you can take the girl out of california, but you can't take california out of the girl. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


it's hard to be 1. i remind myself of this fact multiple times every day, usually whenever i'm faced with a crazy tantrum from my favorite little friend.

sometimes i call jack "the dragon," as in "don't let the dragon see your cell phone" or "don't look in the backseat or you'll wake the dragon" when we're trying to get him to be quiet in the car and i don't want to remind him that i'm there for fear of a scream-fest. that last one has been happening a lot since last week i got the bright idea to wean him off using a binky in the car.

anyway. i think 92% of his outbursts have to do with the fact that he is FRUSTRATED with communicating. he definitely knows exactly what he is trying to tell me...but unfortunately i don't speak one-year-old babble-ese. most of the time i guess wrong and it makes him maaaad. he knows a few signs -- but those can't really adequately express things like "please come over here, sit on the couch and throw the red football -- NOT the brown football -- across the room so i can go catch it."

the other 8% probably has to do with pain. he still only has 6 teeth in front, but he's getting 4 molars right now and who knows what else is going on under those little gums. also, he's had a crazy penchant for hurting himself lately. in just the past 5 days, jack has accomplished the following:

1. grabbed my straightening iron = minor burns on 2 fingers (i got him before he got an actual grip on it, but he still grazed his fingers)
2. smacked his head on our headboard = bump on forehead
3. spun around & landed right on his face = bruised lip in the unfortunate shape of a hitler 'stache, cut gums, bleeding mouth, swollen eyelid
4. ran into the wall while attempting a leap onto a pile of pillows = lots of crying

he's having a rough time. but at least it's not as bad as his friend emery, who randomly tripped and fractured her little foot this week! we admired her purple cast at church today [while emery's mom and i were both unwillingly chaperoning nursery -- let's just say the nursery experience has gone steadily downhill ever since our first blissful visit, thanks for asking] and marveled over how easy it is for these little people to injure themselves. i guess it's all part of growing up and learning about their bodies, but it's still sad. as b told me when i was freaking over the finger burns -- "just wait till we have to take him to his first ER visit." guess we still have a long way to go. and that goes for dealing with tantrums too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

bloggers & blizzards

wow, sorry for the radio silence! last week, jack and i went to salt lake city so i could attend the altitude design summit, a conference for design bloggers.

we arrived a day and a half early so there was lots of time for important stuff like in n out, playdates with long lost friends, and a random visit with my mom & sister while they were in town.

i kid you not, this is the ONLY picture we got -- out of a looot of tries -- where you can see most/part of everyone's faces. oy, toddlers! :

then it was time to get down to business. ALT was a-maz-ing and i was so, so happy to be there. if we're grading my performance at alt based on my CONNECT new year's resolution, i'd definitely say i nailed it -- saw old friends, made new ones, got some new biz going, and hung out with some freaking awesome people. [for example: anya from project runway / brooke white from american idol / dooce / design mom / ben from pinterest.] if you want to know more about the trip, check out my top five moments of alt on my stationery blog.

me & ben, founder of pinterest! he may look happy in this photo, but i'm pretty sure he hated his life at that moment. after his incredible keynote speech, bloggers lined up down the hallway to meet him. let's just say i'm even MORE of a pinterest fan now than i was before.

me & brittany from one charming party -- i'm SO lucky to have a client who has become a good friend! we hung out the whole week and i loved it. 

anya is sooo pretty and nice. i didn't tell her i only watched 3 episodes of her season :) 

a major highlight of the week was seeing my friend dana! (yes, THAT dana -- she's a bonafide internet celebrity.) we were friends in pasadena, then both moved away the same summer and i hadn't seen her since! can i just say how GREAT it feels to catch up with old friends -- we chatted for hours just like we used to. dana taught a sewing class at the conference and is pretty much having a baby this week. way to squeeze in the important stuff!

while i was gone, jack spent his days with b's parents and had a BLAST. they went to an aquarium, played with cousins, shopped at costco, and climbed up and down the stairs 20x / day. basically a toddler's dream. i was SO happy and grateful to know he was in good hands -- but i missed my little buddy!

and meanwhile...
b was SNOWED IN during the worst seattle snowstorm in 30 years.

it snowed a little before i left, but everyone was saying a giant storm was due to hit on wednesday. we had no problems leaving on tuesday and i was so glad! a bunch of my seattle blogger friends ended up scrambling to change flights so that they could make it to utah in time for ALT.

the snowstorm hit on wed and dumped 8ish inches of snow on the greater seattle area. luckily the roads were plowed on our mountain, so b could still get around. thursday the power went off, and stayed off for THREE DAYS! b grilled steak with our neighbors for dinner, lit our newly-purchased candles (glad i stocked up on emergency supplies!) and tried not to open the refrigerator. he went to work -- they still had power -- and charged up his cell phone, kindle, etc. friday night he spent the night with our awesome friends the davises because he was bored and sick of being in our cold apartment. then saturday the power returned and we came home.

the snow was mostly melted by the time we got back to town -- i missed the WHOLE thing! not going to lie, i was a little bummed to miss the adventure, but it was probably for the best. so many of our friends ended up going to hotels for a few nights or suffering through the darkness with their little kids, so i'm glad i didn't have to deal with that. the only evidence i have of the whole thing are giant snow piles in the target parking lot and a bunch of rotten food in my freezer.

crazy! so, anyway, i'm happy to be home safe and so grateful that a.) i got to have a successful, fun trip and b.) that we survived snowmageddon without major issue. what a week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

18 monther

last week was me & jack's half birthday! it's a totally weird reason to celebrate, i realize this, but it has become a fun tradition in our family so i figure we might as well keep it up. we got some party hats and blowouts and some yummy rice pudding [i didn't get my regular half-bday cupcake until saturday night, on my date with b] and had a great night.

i can't even believe how tiny he looks in last year's half birthday pictures -- jack is a grown up now! not to mention that apparently he thinks 18 months is the age to begin the terrible 2's. in just the past week, he's developed the most hideously grating whine-scream [used whenever he's mad about something, so pretty much = every 30 seconds], hates to share, and PUSHES other kids when they get in his way. what happened to my easygoing, friendly, happy baby?! ugh. this is one phase i can't wait to get over.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

snow day

today we got our first seattle snowstorm! pretty exciting, since it only snows a few times a year here. we know this because, since we arrived, people have told us that over and over. if i had a dollar for every person who has told me "no, seriously. snow is CRAZY," i'd have a lot of dollars.

seattle's formula for snow is as follows: rare weather occurrence + no investment in snow plows & maintenance + people who don't know how to drive in snow = major disaster. all my friends here tell me about how when it snows, it takes 12x as long to get anywhere as it usually does, people abandon their cars on the side of the road and walk home even if they are miles from their destination, etc. coming from 2 years in utah i find all of this comical, but whatever.

so when we looked outside this morning and saw THIS, we were pretty excited to see what the day would bring:

all it brought us was an early exit from church (they told everyone to leave when it started snowing heavily) and some really beautiful winter wonderland views. luckily, even though we live on top of a mountain, we didn't have trouble driving back up. i don't plan to go anywhere until it all melts [or until tuesday, whatever comes first] but poor b has to work tomorrow. can't wait to take jack out to play in it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

magic ketchup

jack has always been a pretty good eater, but some days he's definitely more picky. b discovered a lovely trick last weekend, which we now use to get jack to eat lots of food. ketchup! he will eat anything as long as he can dip it in ketchup first -- and i mean an-ny-thi-ing [thank you anchorman]. including but not limited to scrambled eggs, meatballs, macaroni and cheese, blueberries, toys. 

he is definitely his daddy's boy. b has been known to go through fast food drive thrus and request THREE times for more ketchup. they never give him enough. i'm a ketchup fan too, don't get me wrong -- so i guess jack was destined for it. i'm just happy we found a way to entice him to eat -- for this week, anyway. 

Friday, January 6, 2012


one of my favorite friends bloggers [can she be my friend if i've only talked to her IRL 3x?] wrote a post a while back about CPW, or cost per wear. i had never heard this term before but once she identified it i realized i'd already been using a metric like this in my head for years.

upon further inspection i discovered there's an actual formula for determining CPW. total cost of the item / estimated number of days you'll wear it = cost per wear. and who said i'd never use algebra and economics in my real life? i usually don't realize the full CPW until i bring a purchase home. wish i could be psychic while shopping and do it in my head because right now i'm sitting on a regrettable anthropologie shirt that's gotta be looking at a $36 CPW. ugh.

luckily, i've also scored some SERIOUSLY great CPWs the past few years. take for example these boots. i bought them on gojane.com in early fall for around $18. I KNOW! they were a steal. since then i have worn them oh, approximately every single day. they are super comfy, my feet stay warm & dry, i don't have to tie any laces, and i can pull them on and off quickly whenever jack's little heart desires an outing. which is often.

anyway, the CPW on these babies has got to be down to $0.03 by now. i tell myself that every day when i wear them AGAIN and think, wow, the checkout people at target probably think i'm a total loser for wearing these boots... and for going to target three times already this week.

another sweet CPW? this leather jacket i got for jack. bought it at h&m when i was barely pregnant, spent a mini-fortune on it [$40 i think? i can count on one hand the clothing items i've bought jack that cost more than $15...just doesn't make sense when they'll outgrow it in like 2 days] but have never, ever regretted it. it fit him last winter AND this winter, we get stopped in the street every time he wears it with people commenting on how cute he looks or asking where i bought it, and i think he looks adorable. gotta be a $0.20 CPW at least.

Monday, January 2, 2012

resolutions 2012

woo hoo! our new year's is off to a great start. we rang it in with friends and tons of food in issaquah, and then went to bed as quickly as possible -- apparently i am getting old because staying up late is too hard these days. we spent january 1 in church [and at nursery] and spent the REAL new year's, today, crying during the rose parade and watching lots of football. and eating more. yay for holiday weight gain!

anyway, all of this means it's time for new goals. i was happy to discover i pretty much reached all my 2011 goals -- see notes below:

1. stop committing to things i don't want to do [or stop complaining about it if i do say yes] 
eh, kinda. can always get better at this one, but i DID manage to stop double-booking myself this year.
2. figure out how to wear red lipstick & then actually wear it. also, dress up more. 
CHECK! i purchased mac's "viva glam cyndi" and wore it whenever i was feeling sassy. sort of dressed up more, but can do better. 
3. use my bosch
uhh...sort of. i think i used it 3x, which is 3x more than 2010! win.
4. plan & execute our first family vacation as wells, party of 3
DOUBLE check. we went to san diego and vancouver this year. 

thus, we're on to 2012. here are this year's goals:

1. talk to a far-off friend ON THE PHONE once a month
2. take better -- and more -- pictures
3. start playing my flute again
4. dress up more
5. make a difference

i think i'm most excited about #1. i've been doing this randomly lately -- we've moved so many times over the past few years that i really miss the good friends i've made, so i've started calling people up once in a while for a nice catch-up call. i'm pretty good about keeping in touch via email, facebook, text, etc. but there is just something about hearing a friend's voice and chatting for 30 minutes that makes my heart feel good. 

CONNECT -- my buzz word for 2012. this will be my year of keeping up with old friends, making new friends, building professional relationships, networking, being a more present mommy & wife -- and i can't wait. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

hello, nursery

today was jack's first day at nursery! at our church, kiddos get to go to nursery as soon as they turn 18 months -- it's like a toddler paradise, with zillions of toys and games and snacks and songs. we had basically been counting down the days till this milestone ever since jack could walk -- well, b more than me, since i now teach the 5-year-old sunday school class each week, leaving b to chase our cranky mobile baby all over the church. but still. we were excited.

i had to go to my class, so i asked b to take jack over there but stay with him -- mostly to spy on the nursery activities and see what it's really like in there, but also to avoid a potential meltdown. b didn't even have to stay 20 minutes -- jack went right in, starting playing with toys and making friends. the teachers said b could leave so he did.

i had little spies report back to me throughout the day, and apparently jack did awesome. my friend leads the singing time for nursery and she told me jack lit up when they started singing "itsy bitsy spider" and when they had snacks. another nursery leader told me he was totally happy the whole time, EXCEPT the two times they sang "i am a child of god" when his little eyes would well up with tears. that's the song i've sung to him at bedtime every night since he was born, so i'm thinking he either a.) thought it was time for bed or b.) realized his mommy wasn't there with him and got a little sad. i hope it's b. because that just warms my heart.

anyway, i went to pick him up at the end of church and he was sitting on his knees in a circle with all the older kids, watching everyone sing like a perfect little student. i was so proud! here's to a MUCH more uplifting and peaceful service at church every week from now on.

we came home and celebrated with chocolate milk, his favorite treat in the whole world. jackal definitely isn't a baby anymore...he looks so big in these pictures!

now, if only i could have gotten him to stop drinking the bath water he peed in during his tub tonight, the whole day would have been a win.