Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Smiths

On Sunday night we had one last family dinner with the Smiths to cap off our stay in Southern California.

We had a great trip but it is nice to be home. Megan slept terribly the entire time, which meant we slept terribly much of the time. I don't think Megan has ever slept a whole night in our bed, but during this trip we often found ourselves sharing a bed with this little wiggle worm. Naptime was also a huge struggle and usually required one of us to nap with her. It kind of makes us glad that we won't be travelling much in the next year, as we all got home from our vacation exhausted. Megan showed us she was glad to be home, too. The first night she went to bed in her crib (alone!) without so much as a peep and slept for 13 hours!

And while it was nice to bask in the sun for a week, it just doesn't seem right to have 90 degree days in November. Of course, we weren't really expecting to come home to snow, either.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


We spent the last part of the week at my aunt and uncle's house up in Lake Arrowhead. They graciously hosted the circus that is my family, which on Friday night consisted of a total of 19 people crashing at their place. Arrowhead was always the place for us to get together with my cousins when we were growing up and it seems nothing has changed for the new generation.

Three of us had girls in 2005: Megan in January, Kate was born in June and Caroline was born in September. By birth order Megan was all set up to be the leader of this posse, but it doesn't look like leadership is in the cards for her. Caroline the youngest quickly took control of this group and even Kate was more aggressive than our extremely timid Megan.

The one place Megan did shine was in the bath tub. My aunt and uncle have a humongous master tub, great for a communal cousin washing. Megan showed off everything she's learned in all of those swimming lessons that she's been taking with Dad. The rest of the kids just sat there while Megan blew bubbles, went underwater, laid on her back and kicked her feet, with enough splashing to let everyone know that at least they can't bully her in the bath tub.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The "Arburrito"

We took an extended Thanksgiving trip down to Southern California since we may not be getting down there again for over a year. We spent lots of time visiting everyone that we are even remotely related to, but on Monday we had some time for a family outting. So we decided to head to the Arboretum, or as Megan called it, the "arburrito."

We had a relaxing day strolling around the grounds that I realized I probably hadn't visited in more than ten years. I am not sure the day was so relaxing for the birds, though. Megan had fun chasing the peacocks and Mac sent a whole flock of geese into flight amidst a lot of honking protests.

Despite the more exotic birds, Megan still liked the ducks best. And she had us in stitches when the little coots started their nasally honks. "Duckie tooted," Megan informed us. Those kids say the darndest things!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Baby Brooke

This weekend we drove to Tacoma to meet Megan's new cousin, "Baby Brooke" and to visit Brooke's exhausted parents, "Auntie Sarah" and "Uncle Bryan."

Megan liked holding and watching Baby Brooke, but do you think she looks ready to be an older sister??

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Nursemaid's Elbow

Yesterday I got a call at work from Mac. Nothing out of the ordinary, except his somber tone. Mac was pretty convinced Megan had dislocated her shoulder.

"I bet it is her elbow," I told him and he agreed to call the doctor. Megan got an emergency appointment. A 3 second relocation procedure transformed a screaming Megan with a lifeless arm to a once again happy girl who waved her arm freely. And as an added bonus Megan got the once over just to make sure she wasn't being abused at home!

Megan came home completely awestruck by the whole event. Coincidentally, we had checked out Cordoroy Goes to the Doctor at the library that week so Megan was already mostly brain washed about the wonders of the doctor's office. Megan spent the entire evening repeating "Doctor fix it. Doctor fix your arm."

I tried to take the opportunity to teach Megan about mommy's work. "Megan, Mommy is a doctor, too." I tried to explain. But how could that be? I wasn't an arm miracle worker. Megan let me know immediately what she thought of my explaination: "Mommy funny." Where is the love for the pathologists??

On the bright side, Megan seriously made an instant recovery and her arm is perfect. We won't be swinging, lifting or pulling her by the arms anytime soon, though.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

20 weeks

I hit 20 weeks today. Those with a rudimentary knowledge of math and pregnancy could be easily duped into thinking I was halfway through the pregnancy. But that's where math would fail you.

One must keep in mind that pregnancy actually starts at week 2 and so I have only been gestating for 18 weeks with 20 more to go.

But I prefer to look at it from a marathoner's perspective, as pregnancy is a lot like a marathon in that the physical and mental demands increase as one gets closer to the finish. And any good harrier will tell you that the marathon has two halves: the first 20 miles and the last 10k. The two halves of pregnancy seem more like the first 34 weeks and the last six weeks. In other words, it is still a long way to the finish line.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Early X-mas

With Halloween over, it was time to dismantle the front porch and move on to the next season: Christmas!

"Oh, my God," you are thinking, "not you too!" Yes, it seems Americans spend plenty on travel for Thanksgiving, but relatively little on decorations and gifts, and so the retail stores all but skip over Turkey day. Last night when I mentioned to Mac that we should put up our lights this weekend, he had a conniption. "We are NOT putting up our lights before Thanksgiving! That is just wrong!"

Actually, I do agree with him on this, but as I reasoned, we will be gone the next three weekends and then once we get back, it'll be after TG. I reassured him that I had no intentions of turning the lights on before Thanksgiving. But putting up the lights is going to be a big task this year so we should get started early.

The reason this is going to be a huge undertaking: sheer quantity. Somehow I have inherited enough lights to at least double our electric bill this December. My mom's parents sold their beach house; I got the Christmas lights. My dad's mom passed away; I got the Christmas lights. At age 90, my mom's dad decided he wouldn't be decorating for Christmas anymore; I got the Christmas lights. Plus I already had at least 600 little white lights of my own.

I am not sure why I got all the Christmas lights. I think I made an offhand reference that I hoped my house would one day look like the Chevy Chase Christmas vacation house at the holidays, and in my family a single casual remark will get you branded for life. I spent my junior high years drowning in parrot items because I said they were my favorite animal. And my sister, she has three boxes of snowman Christmas decorations because she once mentioned she liked snowmen better than Santa.

But truth be told, I still would like my house to to have a gaudy, blinding glare of Christmas lights for the holidays. By conservative estimate, I have at least 3,000 lights and I have every intention of putting them all up.

And so Megan and I got out all the lights on this blustery pre-Thanksgiving day while Mac traveled down to The U of O game with a friend. Thus we avoided Mac's certain disapproval for the time being (such a party pooper - he wasn't into the Halloween decorations either!).

Megan quickly learned how to plug and unplug the lights, which made me a little nervous, but she didn't seem to have any desire to put her fingers in the socket.

The only decorating we actually did was to put seven strings of lights all throughout the bannister in the living room. Not only was it too cold and wet for outside decorating, but I figured that by starting inside, we'd be able to hide our crazy from the neighbors a bit longer!

Friday, November 3, 2006


Even with our best efforts, Megan still has hair in her face, but at least we are on the right track!