Sunday, January 31, 2010

10 Months Old!

I just love this little face! It just brightens my whole day every time I see it.Oh, those big blue eyes....
Enough said.

OK, not really enough.
Here's Peter at 10 months: He has 6 teeth. He pulls himself up to a stand on everything. Fortunately, he also just learned to sit himself down again. (We're not at 100% on laying himself back down yet, but making progress.) He is on the move, crawling everywhere, and has figured out that he can follow us. He has a very strong magnetic pull toward any dirt, rocks , potted plants, dog dishes, or shoes that he sees and then, upon arrival, promptly puts said item into his mouth. He still breaks into a huge grin when any of us walk into the room.

He is no longer always the happy, go-lucky, complacent baby that he has been. He makes a lot of noise when he wants something. He just yells - loudly! If we aren't feeding him fast enough or he sees something on our plates that he wants, he lets us know. He never has taken to baby food, but seems pretty happy with our food. And changing his diaper or getting him dressed has turned into a full-on WWF wrestling match. Really, it requires either a 2nd person to hold him down or I have to pin him with my leg while he still wiggles, writhes, yells and tries to escape. (Ditto with putting him into his car seat.)
He loves banging things together to make noise. Loves to put both arms up into the air when we say "sooo big", and lays his head down when we say "night-night." He claps and waves "hi" or "bye-bye", always with a big smile. Along with saying "woof", I'm pretty sure he is trying to sign "dog" as well.

I already can't imagine our lives with out him. We're all pretty glad to have him here. This little boy just melts my heart.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Wasn't Worried Until He Started Barking

Really, I do my best to keep an eye on him, but with all of the other distractions around here, occasionally I lose track of him. After pulling little rocks and dirt out of his mouth so many times, I finally moved "the plant." But the dog food is another matter. Peter loves to splash in the water dish and play with and eat, yes, eat the food. It can't be all bad, after all, it has wholesome grains for energy, helps build strong muscle and supports a healthy immune system, not to mention the glossy shine it will give his hair.
But, probably a little over a week ago, he started saying his first word, and wouldn't you know, it's "woof." (Although, his version is a little more "'oof".) He says it every time he sees or hears the dog. So now I'm thinking maybe I need to be a little more vigilant. He's clearly been eating too much dog food!

Friday, January 29, 2010

No More New Running Shoes?

I just finished reading this book. I found it to be very intriguing. After being continually plagued with running pains and injuries, it definitely left me with something to think about. I kind of like the idea of running barefoot. I'm still not 100% convinced that I was made to run, but it makes a pretty convincing case for humans in general.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rabbit Ears Gone Bad

Sometimes I feel so bad for this poor child. He's so little but sometimes the other kids seem to forget this. He's doing his best here to hold his own, but......he ended up being overpowered by Duffy's "rabbit ears."
I guess she didn't quite understand that you only have to hold your fingers up behind someone's head, not pin them down.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Living in a Forest

Since I'm too tired to come up with a new photo of the day today, here's one in tribute to the old homestead. This was the year some of my brother's friends Christmas "treed" our yard. We went to bed with only a snow-filled yard and woke up in a forest. It's been a long time since we've had enough snow to be able to pull off a prank like this. Plus, there aren't nearly as many real trees put out after Christmas anymore. I guess that's the purpose of taking pictures - to keep memories alive.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Photo of the Day

Another cold, dreary January day. Nothing to lift your spirits like discovering that your childhood home has a For Sale sign in the yard. Really, when it was just talk, that was one thing, but the sign makes it real. Too real. It makes me sad. I'm excited for my parents to have their new place, but I am so sad to see it go. I am sad for me (and for my parents and siblings.)
One day soon we will only be able to drive by and say,"that's the house that I grew up in." I better start storing up my memories.

Why I love Melissa.

One of the many reasons why I love Melissa is that she occasionaly says "yes" to statements like: "Hey, tomorrow morning at 5:30am, lets go up Millcreek Canyon and run Pipeline, in the snow. It will be fun!" Well, it was actually 6am and there was 2 inches of fresh snow on top of the packed trail, with it still snowing. In my world, it was awesome. Melissa is an Uber Mom. Here is the photo to prove it.

Photos taken with my phone. Not great quality and obvioulsy no flash. If you want some serenity from the 1.5 million people in the valley, travel up Millcreek Canyon 4.5 miles. You are the only one there.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just Too Many

Why? WHY does school have to involve so many stinkin' papers everyday. I just barely get things picked up around the house before the kids get home, and then they unload. This isn't even all of it. (I already discreetly put a handful of papers in the recycling.) And this is only 3 kids!
Just exactly what am I supposed to do with all of this?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Cookie Making

This is a memory I have from my own childhood. Many Sunday afternoons or evenings were spent making cookies. Or at least cookie dough, which the maker had to protect to the best of their ability from all of the scavenging hands. Any remaining cookie dough was made into cookies. I don't eat the dough anymore - that was an ability I lost with one of my pregnancies, but I still enjoy warm cookies out of the oven. (Too much I'm afraid.) Fortunately, this "tradition" is being passed along nicely to my offspring, who also seem to enjoy making cookies on Sunday afternoons.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Powder Day

Today was everybody's favorite kind of ski day. Lots of fresh powder. Shawn was the 10th chair up on a lift that was closed yesterday, so no tracks. He said it was epic. Every Saturday in January, Shawn and the 3 oldest kids go up to Brighton for lessons. (Shawn teaching, the kids taking.) The pictures of the kids were at the end of the day so their fatigue shows in their skiing. Everyone had a great time, though.

One day, hopefully I'll be up there again, too.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I had a total flashback today when I found Peter standing at the window watching the dog. This is totally how I remember Jonas at this same age.
Peter (1/22/10)

Different window (and house), different dog and different decade, but still the same photo.
Jonas (5/7/99)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Personal Peter Breinholt Concert

Every month, Duffy's preschool has a little field trip. This month, instead of going somewhere, Peter Breinholt came, so we ended up having our own little concert. How cool is that? Peter played different music for them and talked about how some songs make us happy or sad or scared or peaceful, etc.. Megan kept saying, "Hey, Mom, we have that song."
This song clearly made them want to dance.
And this song was a nice quiet peaceful one to put them all to sleep. They played along nicely.
He let them play some percussion instruments along with him so they could be part of the band, and they got to write a song together and record it on the computer.
We were all clearly enjoying ourselves.
He let all of the kids take a turn strumming his guitar. He also played his ukelele and banjo so they could hear how different they each sounded. He did a great job keeping the kids engaged and interested. They had a great time, and frankly, so did I. (My Peter "petered" out at the end, but he was overdue for a nap so I can't hold that against him.) Now, that's my kind of field trip!
*All photo credits go to Michelle who took photos for me while I held my Peter. (Don't want any confusion on which Peter I was holding.)

So Sad

It's not very often that we see this sort of face from Peter. Sure, he cries sometimes, but generally doesn't reach the point of being heartbroken like this.
This only happens when he crawls up to take a closer look at the dog and the dog barks at him. Oh, it is so sad. Another opportunity for me to pick him up and cuddle him!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Growing Things

I had fully planned on having my picture of the day be about bread making since I went to Michelle's house to learn a new recipe for bread in my (Mom's) Bosch, from one of Michelle's neighbors. We managed to finish the whole process without a single photo. Then I thought that I would take one of the actual bread or of the kids enjoying it - which did happen but without photographic evidence.

So instead, I posted photos of the kids Science Fair projects. (Ugh.) In theory, I think the idea of the science fair is great. The kids come up with a question and explore different ways to find answers and learn stuff along the way. In reality however, I think it is a HUGE pain. I hate having one more thing to add to the daily to-do list. I did luck out this year in that Grandma Cathy and Doug presented an idea and provided all of the needed materials and even assembled the "grow lab".

Of course, Amelia and Megan wanted in on the fun, too.
Jonas with all of his seeds planted and ready to be experimented on.
Doug helping Jonas.
Samantha displaying her planting prowess.
Grandma Cathy helping out.

Jonas is trying to find out how different colored lights affect the growth of plants. So he has his control group in the grow lab, and other groups under different colors of lights. (For future reference, black light does not provide a healthy growing environment and may kill your plants within 24 hours.)

Samantha is exploring whether music affects the growth of plants. So she has her control group in the grow lab in relative quiet (other than the general noise of the household) and one group that listens to Led Zepplin for hours each day and one group that listens to Mozart.
Here is the aforementioned grow lab.
I really can't complain and in fact I am very grateful because I had so much help this year , but I still have to nag daily to remind them to water and watch and measure and take notes or turn on the music. It will be interesting to find out how things turn out, though.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let It Be Known....

Okay, Michelle, I am going to take your challenge and try to post a "photo of the day". (I really hope I can keep this up for more than 3 days.) Since I had planned on starting this challenge Sunday or at least yesterday, I will have to start with my photo from the weekend.

Unfortunately, this is a little humiliating for me, but its real life, so, oh well. On Saturday, I drove up to Brighton to drop Amelia off for her ski lesson. Already, this is a rather difficult undertaking. (Really a pet peeve I have with the whole ski school system.) There is never anyplace to park - within easy walking distance. It might not be that bad if it were just me dropping off Amelia, or if I were planning to stay, but since I also have a 3 year old and a 9 month old and the skis, and Amelia walking in ski boots etc.., easy walking distance becomes very important. So as I have been known to do before, I parked probably somewhere I wasn't really supposed to. (However, there were a few other cars there as well.) So leaving the younger kids in the car, I ran Amelia up to the lift where Shawn (also breaking the rules by leaving his class) came to get her and drop her off at her class. Then I came back to the car and attempted to leave. Umm, not so much. Instead, I managed to get the suburban (yes, the suburban) stuck. (Seriously, who manages to get a suburban stuck in the snow? Oh yeah, me.) Anyway, I finally found some help in the lift maintenance shed. When I told the guy I was stuck he said, "well let's go take a look," kind of like he didn't believe me. When he saw the car he just said, "Oh yeah, we're going to need a truck." And yep, that's what it took. Someone to dig my front tires out and two guys in a truck to pull the car out. Humiliating. This picture was taken after they had dug around my tires.I was tempted to take pictures of the whole event but I was already pretty embarrassed so I didn't. But I was really glad to drive away. In fact, if there are any volunteers, Amelia needs a ride to Brighton next Saturday. (In keeping with my attitude of gratitude, I am very thankful for the fine gentlemen at Brighton Ski Resort that helped me get my car unstuck without laughing at me -too much.)

And since I'm on a roll of admitting my shortcomings, these following pictures are a prime example of my wonderful mothering skills. This poor child put himself to sleep while I was changing the laundry. I don't know if I just didn't hear him crying or if he (hopefully,) just put his head down and fell asleep.
All of my kids hit this particular phase at one time or another. A few weeks back, he learned how to sit himself up from lying down. However, he has not yet developed the skill set to lay himself down. This always translates to less sleeping during the night for us. (With my other kids this phase has also hit when they first learn to roll over, or when they first pull themselves up to standing but don't know how to get back down.) So, of course, whenever Peter wakes up at night, he sits himself up and then cries because he is still very tired but doesn't know what to do about it. Anyway, I felt so bad when I saw him folded over like this - sound asleep. I'm pretty sure this would never have happened with Jonas. I do wish that I were that flexible, though.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This Is Not The First Time

Is it just me or does it seem that Shawn has in inordinate amount of car trouble? After the car had been sitting in the driveway for over a week, he was finally able to find a spare moment to get it taken care of.Really, this is not the first time that he has had to have his car towed from our driveway because it wouldn't start. (Although this may be the first time with this car.) There always seems to be a check engine light or a funny sound or something. Maybe he just has bad car karma. But it would be nice if everything could just run smoothly for a while - at least as far as the car is concerned.

In other news.....
This is Jonas participating in his school geography bee. He casually mentioned one day - as an afterthought - that he had won his class geography bee and would now be competing in the school one. After some prying, I learned that his class had had several rounds over a couple of weeks until everyone else had been eliminated. I find this a little entertaining because it was such a boy way to find out about it. If this had been one of my girls, they would have been telling me every detail of it all along the way and would have just burst through the door with the news that they had won instead of just kind of remembering about it on some other random day.
Anyway, he didn't win at the school level, but I couldn't answer the questions that he missed either. (Of course, I am already well aware this year that I am probably not as smart as a 5th grader, so this was not a shock to me.) I think being in the top ten out of 300 or so students isn't so bad. Although when I asked him a couple of times if he wanted to study a little bit before the geography bee, he said, no because he had managed to get this far without studying and it seemed to be working out for him. (We may have to work on that attitude a little bit before junior high and high school.)

And finally, I really like Michelle's idea of having a picture of the day. So I am considering copying her once again. We'll see. I'm not sure if I can really commit to one everyday, but I may just give it a shot.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

To make up for yesterday's complaining, I'll focus a little more on being grateful. As mentioned earlier, we are trying to focus on being grateful for all of the things that we have. So, I came up with a couple of ways to help us do that. The first is our "grateful tree" which I finally finished after being reminded by the kids - daily - for over a week. The idea here is that any time we are feeling particularly thankful for something, we write it on a leaf and stick it on the tree.Before too long, I hope it will be sprouting full foliage and be a visual reminder of all the things that make us happy.
In addition to the tree, each of the kids got a gratitude journal where they can record things that they are grateful for each day. So far, they have enjoyed doing this. We try for a minimum of 3 things, but they can certainly write more if they think of them. (This is where the difference in my kids' personalities shows up. Samantha will write several each day, Jonas doesn't want to use all of his up, so limits himself to just 3. Hmm, I wonder who is like Shawn and who is like me?)
I'm hoping that this will help us all to remember that even though we sometimes have bad days or even bad weeks, and sometimes we have to do things that we don't like (such as go back to school, do homework, clean up the kitchen, or slog through January,) life is not in fact, horrible, and we are still so fortunate and have so many blessings to be thankful for. It's doing us all some good to focus on the good things in our lives and not so much on the bad.

And look at that, the tree already has some leaves. I had planned on this being a focus for January, but if all goes well, we may extend that a bit longer.
Oh, and here's a little something that is making me happy right now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January, Oh How I Dislike Thee... Let Me Count the Ways

Hmmm. Where to begin? It always feels like I have to slog through January. There's such a let down after all of the build up to the holidays.
Then there's the air. It is so disgusting. You can see it and taste it and feel it in your throat. (It burns.) Isn't it the worst in the nation? Not to mention that it also completely covers my view of Mt. Olympus.
Then there's the cold. The bitter, bitter cold. Every morning when I wake up and go to turn on my kitchen sink, I get no water. That's because it gets so cold every night, that the pipes to my kitchen sink and dishwasher freeze. So, I have to trudge outside with my handy space heater, plug it in, and point it into the vent on the wall behind my kitchen sink and let it blow until the water starts flowing again. This gets a little old, you know? I live in a day and age where I expect to get water when I turn on my faucet! (It is no secret that I would have been a terrible pioneer.)
Then there's the disgusting layer of dirt, grime and road salt that covers every inch of my car, so that I can barely stand to touch it when I have to open and close the doors.
And then, there's the problem of my wild kids who get so pent up from being inside all the time that they drive me crazy trying to drive each other crazy. And I can't send them outside because of the disgusting air. Yep, pretty much I'm already in my countdown to spring. (Or at least until the next storm shows up to warm things up a little and clear out the air!)

The most ironic part of this post is that as a family we're trying to have "an attitude of gratitude" this month. Clearly, I am failing miserably right now, but I am grateful to have a space heater, and a car, and to have a view of the mountains on the good days, and I love my kids even when they need to get out! Really, I have a million things that I am grateful for, I'm just not sure that January makes the list. And hey, the sun is shining! (At least I think it is, it's a little hard to tell through all the haze.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And It Begins....

This would be one of the many reasons why I was in no rush for Peter to start crawling. I'm sure this is only the first of the 459 times I will have to clean up this dirt in the next several months. I really wish I had the picture just before this, when he was lying on the ground covered with dirt, with the plant on top of him. But he was pretty upset so we had to help him up first. Then of course, I had to pry dirt out of his fingers and unfortunately, out of his mouth. Yuck. Apparently he thought it was fun, because he just kept going back for more until I got it swept up.And another photo opportunity I just came across. They were hanging out together on the bed listening to Jack Johnson. Apparently, it was very relaxing.....or it could just be that they are both exhausted. Either way, I don't really want to disturb them. They both seem pretty content.