Friday, July 31, 2009

The NBA won't be knocking on our door

Today was Nate's 12-month well-baby appointment. I've been dreading this appointment because it's the first time he was to receive his immunizations in his arms instead of the thighs. Seriously, I started getting nervous about it three months ago when I made this appointment (have I shared that I really, really hope Nate doesn't end up Type A like his mother...). I can't stand watching his face when he's in pain and screaming. It's torture.

Lee and I have gone to all of Nate's past well-baby appointments together. Nate is too squirming for one person usually, so one of us tries to entertain him while the other parent converses with the doctor. But this time I went solo because Lee is in Texas for Jerry's funeral. Skip to the bottom if you don't want to read all of the appointment details but want to know if I needed a sedative before Nate got his shots...

The nurse took Nate's measurements when we arrived. He wasn't too fond of this part. He doesn't like laying down on his back in strange places....I've noticed this when I've had to change his diaper in any random ladies room. He looks panicky, he tenses up, and you can see that his little brain is thinking "danger! danger!" So he cried when she measured his head and body and when I put him on the scale. I thought "kid, you have no idea what's in store for you later. This is a piece of cake." Anyway, he calmed down and then giggled a bunch so the poor nurse felt better. We waited about 20 mins. before Dr. Henry came in. Here's a picture of Nate's pediatrician:

Okay, so that isn't really Dr. Henry but Nate's toy that we pretend is our friendly pediatrician. I took my camera but didn't get a shot of the real man. I digress --- Dr. Henry and I talked about a variety of stuff (Swine Flu, vaccines, nutrition, sippy cups, multivitamins, etc etc) before Nate had his short examination. He didn't cry during the exam and the doctor said he looks perfect (yes, we think so too). We also discussed at length Nate's projected height at this point. Doctor Henry assured me that we'd have a better idea at Nate's 24-month appointment but, just for curiosity sake, it appears that Nate would end up growing to 5 feet, 8-9 inches. I said "really? that's all??" in a very depressed sort of way. And then I realized, oops, Dr. Henry is probably shorter than that -- let's not insult the doctor. I'm going to hope that Nate has a banner 2009-2010 and will make up for his premature birth. I don't want some tall 9th grader beating up my short son down the road from now...

Dr. Henry left and the poor nurse who's solely responsible for the immunizations came into the room (doesn't her job suck??). Nate had his finger pricked first for an anemia test (it was negative) then he had 3 vaccines -- 2 in the left arm and 1 in the right. He was upset but didn't really cry super hard. Big tears rolled down his cheeks but in 30 seconds he was smiling at the mean/nice nurse. I was pleasantly surprised. No, I did not need a sedative after all. Didn't faint or cry either (I'm a little hormonal this week so I was expecting one of those things at the very least). We made our next appointment for October, Nate got a Scooby Doo sticker and off we went. If he had more teeth, I would have taken him out for a hot fudge sundae for doing so well at the doctor's but we'll just have to save the ice cream for future visits.

Fruits of Our Labor

Dinner one night last week consisted of homemade pizza with tomatoes, basil, and green peppers from our garden. It was delish! Because we had a bumper crop of heritage tomatoes, we also had BLT sandwiches last week...oh, so good! I don't really like eating tomatoes straight but I'll eat them when they're mixed in with something or baked in a dish. I'm not a picky eater, honest!!

Remembering Jerry

Taken at our wedding, 2005

Lee's stepdad, Jerry, passed away this week after having a major stroke (he was 56). We will miss him. Jerry was a very gentle and kind man. I am sad that Nate won't have any recollection of Jerry. We're so glad we got to spend time with him and Linda in May.

Jerry -- we miss you terribly. It will take a long time to get over the fact that you left us to be with the Lord at such a young age. But, that you are no longer suffering is a great comfort to us. We will see you again one day!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

#1 Party

I wish I could say I made this but I didn't.
The letters are made of felt...cute, huh?

Nate wearing the onesie I made for him using the freezer paper method that was popular on the Internet, oh, back in 2006. I just discovered this form of stenciling now...I'm slow.

I did make these fabric gift bags. They're all boy-related fabrics. It's my way of being economical and "green" (bye bye gift wrap paper).

It's a Kodak moment when you meet your new best friend.

"I hope these Pumas are in my size."

Nate, his folks, and all of his birthday loot.

Clean tray, tidy cake.

Hmmm. He was a little wary of it at first.

There he goes....

Sugar coma stare.

What an awesome birthday!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Coming Soon

Nate says: "Birthday cake rocks!!"
And, yes, that is a sprinkle on his nose.

Wanted: Toddler Translator

Nate's verbal switch has been flicked!
This kid does not stop talking. Mind you, most of it is just jabbering but the two of us just had a 5 min. conversation that went back and forth while I was trying to get him to relax before going to bed. It went something like this:

Nate: bajamurstur bali dumba dumba
Me: rastamindo polibob vorsay

His little baby voice is adorable and melts my heart. But it also makes me want to laugh so hard because it really does sound like he's trying to communicate with the Mother Ship. My kid has got to be part-Martian. I don't know how he combines vowels and consonants so mouth just doesn't work like that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Here's Lookin' at You, Kid

Our little Benjamin Button has grown into quite the spirited boy. Happy Birthday, Nate. Your mom and dad are so thankful to God that you are part of our life. We love you with all of our heart and can't wait to watch you grown into a compassionate, generous young man.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Taking Care of Grandpa Joe's Lawn

Nate walks! Well, he walks with the aid of a toy. Thank you, Aunt KJ, for the walker. It moves too quickly on the wood floors in the house but the grass out back helps slow it down to the perfect speed. He walked the whole length of the lawn without much help from his folks. Now, if we could just get him to handle a real mower, we could say goodbye to our mow-and-blow gardener and save a little dinero. If we hadn't run out of tape, this video would have been a little longer. Shoot!

Update: Lee has now watched this clip and just said "man, your legs are white!" Thanks a lot, pal...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Never Got to Eat Any of the Rice

July 15, 2008.
Approximately 6pm

I arrive home from work and start the rice cooker. I'm hungry and thinking rice will be a nice treat for my tummy. I haven't felt so hot all day and want to eat something bland. As the rice is cooking, I go into our bedroom, turn on the television, and lay down on the bed. Hmm, I think, something feels a little weird. I go into the bathroom. After thirty seconds, I look up at the ceiling and have a little heart-to-heart with God. "This can't possibly be happening now. I have one month left to go. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away." The responsible voice inside my head says, "uh, let's be smart about this. Call the doctor now!" I listen to the voice and speak to the doctor's answering service. Within two minutes, my OB calls me back. Two minutes after that, I'm leaving a desperate but calm message for Lee. Two minutes after that, I call my mom. The phone rings and it's Lee wondering where we're going to meet for our last parenting class that starts in thirty minutes. Change of plans - you better come home. My water just broke. I try not to sound scared but I am. After Lee arrives (wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that drive home!), we immediately head to Pasadena and a hospital we weren't prepared to be at. In the parking garage Lee heads for the stairs. "I think I should probably take the elevator, " I say. "Oh right," he replies. We find our way to the Maternity Wing. Tests are run, blood is drawn, paperwork is submitted, and IVs are started (ick!).

This is night #1 of 9 spent in the hospital before Nate arrives.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Sewing tips from a novice:

1) If you buy thread from an estate sale, put the thread in a decorative vase or jar and put it on your shelf. Don't use the thread because undoubtedly it's pretty old and will break when you use it. It'll break repeatedly. And you'll be frustrated from having to thread your needle over and over. Trust me on this one.

2) Plastic baby food containers from Gerber are great for storing your bobbins!

3) If for some crazy reason you stick your thumb under the sewing machine needle and you cut yourself, don't keep sewing. Stop what you're doing and, for goodness sake, get a Band-aid. You'll get blood on whatever it is your working on. And then you'll be depressed because you've been working on this project for over two hours and now there's blood on the material. Again, trust me on this one.

Monday, July 13, 2009


This is my Auntie Ruth. She was married to my grandfather's cousin so she's not really my aunt but everybody calls her that because my grandpa and his cousin were as close as brothers. She lives next door to us. Today is her 93rd birthday so Nate and I took her some cookies and visited for a while. Isn't she adorable? She's had quite a busy day what with surprise visitors, lunch with her daughter, and all of the phone calls she keeps getting (3 times alone while we were there) wishing her happy birthday. Her living room was filled with birthday cards and flowers. I told her "you're the most popular person in town" and she replied "only the most popular on the corner of Oak and Parish." I know she's often lonely and bored most days so she's probably wishing all of these friends and relatives would visit her on an non-birthday day. So if you know somebody who's living alone and is elderly, why not give them a jingle tomorrow to wish them a Happy Tuesday. They'll be glad you did!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Picnic

Thursday night our church had its' annual BBQ/picnic at Dunsmore Park. Can't believe a year has gone by already -- last July, I was pregnant and somebody gave me a knitting lesson at the picnic. Fast forward a year, and I'm bringing toys, bottles, a stroller, etc. to the park. I felt like a pack mule!

We had some good food, chatted with friends, and Nate got to hang out with his buddies. He did pretty good for staying out 1 1/2 hours past his bedtime. He only got fussy at the very end and was asleep as soon as I started the car.

Here are some photos courtesy of our friend and photographer Paul Hofmann.

Nate's wearing a t-shirt I made for him with the letters LCPC on the front (La Crescenta Presbyterian Church). I was going to sew the letters on but, shoot, when was I going to find time for that? So I glued them on -- I know, I cheated....

Look! The pastor is feeding his baby a bottle. Let's all stand around and "ooh" and "ahh."

Sarah and Hannah entertaining Nate with peekaboo.
All 10 year-old girls LOVE babies - it's a fact.

Nate's first girlfriend, Ashley. She's our Children's Ministry Director. Nate thinks she's pretty (he told me). But now that she's dating somebody else, he's going to have to find a girlfriend his own age.

Poor Brent. He's a friend of ours who loves babies. And he swears that babies love him too. But our son isn't so fond of Brent. Anytime Brent tries to play with Nate, he ends up crying. I think he's starting to take it I said, poor Brent.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa

Our day began on the later side....7:15am. Nate was kind enough to let us sleep in on a Saturday morning. Before I got up, I had a dream that this family was moving into the vacant house up the street from us:

In my dream, I was excited that Sarah Jessica and I were going to start a Moms Club together. Lee was excited to be living close to Ferris Bueller.

Lee fed Nate his breakfast while I cleaned the bathroom, watered the lawn, and baked cookies. Phew! I was lucky and caught on film Nate making this face:

It reminds me of this scene from this movie, especially the guy on the right:

Anyway, after breakfast, I went to the market. Then Lee and Nate went to the mall so I could clean the house thoroughly and in peace (we're having friends over tomorrow).

After lunch, we took a break and ate cherries and watched some of this while Nate napped:

Love that movie. Kevin's so good in it. Why don't they make movies like this anymore??

When Nate woke up, we walked up the street to 7-11 because, well, (1) today is 7-11 and (2) it's crazy hot and we wanted to refresh ourselves with one of these:

It was nice and cold but SUPER sweet. Still, we were refreshed.

Tonight we're having this Trader Joe's feast:

and will probably watch the rest of the movie mentioned above. That's our day! :) Hello Summer heat!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cabin Fever

When your husband is gone for 3 days and you're the only adult in the house, you get desperate for company. That's why I named my son's stuffed animals. Allow me to introduce:

Patches, Petie, and Dumbo (left to right).

The four of us had some nice conversations....did I mention Lee was in Mexico for 3 days???

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

The Cook family went on an excursion today. After making a list of possibilities (they're soooo Type A), they settled on shopping here:

at the Citadel Outlet Mall in Commerce. It used to be rundown but it looks really great now. They were impressed. When you're blown away by nice bathrooms, well, that's saying something. Anyway, I digress.....Nate got this for the Fall:

because his dad loves the NFL, the NFL draft, etc. etc. And Lee got this:

because he loves popcorn. Besides, the word "healthy" appears on the box so he just had to buy it. Nikki went in here and wanted to buy everything in the store:

but she came out empty-handed when she discovered that 1 top costs the same as a child's carseat or 2-months worth of diapers. So she was a little sad. But she cheered up a little when she and Lee split this as they left the Citadel:

so things were looking rosy until they hit a lot of traffic on the freeway. But they made it back home safe and sound. Later in the afternoon, Nikki introduced Nate to the wonderful summer tradition of running through these:

but Nate had a very furrowed brow and was quite displeased. Perhaps he'll like it better another day.

And so ends our tale....have a happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tale of an (estate sale) impulse buyer

Every once in a while, I glance at the classifieds to see if there are any interesting ads for local estate sales. Most sales now start on Friday mornings. I don't work on Fridays now -- yippee. But I have a childcare issue....hmmm. So if there is a sale within a 5-mile radius of our house, Lee has volunteered to watch Nate before he leaves for work while I hit 1 or 2 sales.

Last Friday all of the stars were aligned because there was an estate sale only 5 blocks from our house. The ad sounded amazing -- the buzz words for me were "material," "sewing supplies," and "crafts." I knew I had to go to this one.

It started at 8am and I was one of the first people there (typical Californian - I drove the 5 blocks). What a jackpot! This woman's house had a TON of sewing stuff -- boxes of buttons & zippers, patterns galore, yard after yard of fabric, etc. But let's be honest -- a lot of it wasn't really my taste. The fabric was mostly polyester and the majority of the sewing patterns were from the 70s and 80s. But it was still a lot of fun to look at. I guess I enjoyed myself because I was there a whole hour and made poor Lee a little late for work. Oops. And I still found a bunch of things to buy. Looking at my purchases now, I probably got a little carried away. But at the time, I was pretty excited. Here's what I got:

I don't know why I was draw to these embroidery transfer patterns but for some reason they called out to me. I don't embroider. Good grief. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with them now. Silly me. See, I told you I got carried away. Anybody out there embroider??

Unrelated to sewing -- I bought this picture too. It's hanging in our dining room. After a good cleaning, I think it turned out sweet.

My new fabric. All cotton, no polyester, thank you very much. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Save it for something interesting, I hope.

I also picked up a great pair of pinking shears and 2 embroidery hoops I'm going to use as pseudo picture frames on the wall...unless, I decide to start yet another new hobby and take up embroidering tea towels. Maybe after I finish the Christmas cross-stitch I've been working on for the last 10 years (I'm not joking).