Monday, April 30, 2007

Just Beachy

For my last few days of freedom before heading back to work, we decided to take a family trip to Newport. We stayed at the Grey Whale Inn and got in lots of beach time in addition to a trip to the aquarium. Good fun was had by all, but none more than Megan, who is a sand junkie!

Stay tuned - hopefully this is the first of several catch up posts. With work and gardening (yay!) the blog has taken a back seat. Actually, it's more like it has been sitting in a forgotten box in the trunk!

Fun with Liam

Baby Brothers can be kind of boring, that is, unless you put a dinosaur on their chest!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Same Turtle, More Kid

We first took Megan to the Aquarium in Newport last August. She's gotten a little bigger since then and so has our family! I am happy to report that Megan was a little less fearful than she was last time around. She touched a few things in the touch pool (a one fingered touch no more than one time each!) and she loved the sharks.

In addition to the same turtle, Megan is wearing the same pink pants, just one size bigger (both gifts) - maybe she needs a bit more variety in her wardrobe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two Months (and a week)

Because Liam's doc was on vacation his two month check-up was a week delayed but otherwise uneventful (except for those three shots at the end!). Our suspicions were confirmed: Liam is gaining weight like a champ. He has rocketed on to the charts at the 25th percentile for weight (10 lbs. 15.5 oz) and is holding steady for height (22 inches, 10th percentile). In fact he's gaining weight a little better than expected and so we get to discontinue his calorie supplement - no more measuring and mixing for us!

As the doctor put it, "Look at his chins - they look great!"


Today we were at the local Fred Meyer, when I ran into someone I knew. It was a pathologist that I had trained under and greatly respected. I smiled and said, "hi." He stared at me blankly for a few moments, whether because it had been several years since we had worked together or because I was sporting a messy ponytail and less than professional attire I know not. Finally, it clicked: "Pam? Hi! How are you?"

We chatted for a few minutes before we went back to shopping.

As we were driving home, I turned to Mac,"The reason I hate shopping there is because I always run into someone I know."

"You are the most anti-social person I know!" Mac retorted. "Why does it bug you to talk to people for a few minutes?'

Yes, I admit I am fairly anti-social and I really don't care for small talk and chit-chat. But I don't think I am totally out of line here. I mean, if I really wanted to chat with the people I run into, I would have had them over for dinner, or called them to talk, or at least sent them an e-mail. And hey, they hadn't exactly been tracking me down to have a conversation either! I don't mind running into friends, but it seems awkward to force a conversation with a distant collegue or a mom from Megan's pre-school class just because we happen to need milk on the same day. So if you'd like to chat, drop me a line or send me an e-mail, but don't go looking for me in the super-market!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy Earth Day

Mac's parent's and niece arrived Thursday night to check up on Liam's growth (oh yeah, and visit with us). They were treated to beautiful weather on Friday and Sunday, so we picked the super rainy Saturday to head out to the Oregon Garden.

After an hour or so, the rain (along with tiredness and hunger) caused a bit of a Wicked-witch meltdown in Megan, a rarity for her. By that time, though, I think we were all ready to leave (except for Liam who was wrapped snugly in Mac's jacket). Fortunately, the price was right: admission was free for Earth Day celebrations.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Simple Solution

Some problems are so simple even a two-year-old can figure out the solution:

Today I was watching Megan in the bath tub when she starting drinking the bath water from one of her toys.

"Megan! Don't drink that! It's dirty," I exclaimed!

"Should we wash it?" was her reply.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What about Mom?

As an infant Megan had outfits that read "Daddy's Little Princess" and "Daddy's Girl. " This year for Valentine's Day Megan was sporting a shirt announcing "I (Heart) Daddy" and matching socks, with "I (heart) Daddy" around each ankle.

Surely these items of clothing were just capitalizing on the very precious Father-Daughter relationship and a parallel line of Mom clothing must exist to represent the Mother-Son bond in T-shirt form. But, alas, it is not so! Liam's clothes don't bare the phrase "I (heart) Mommy." No! Instead they say, "Daddy's Little Helper" (complete with embroidered tools) and "I play sports with Daddy."

Maybe Moms don't need to read their name on their child's clothing to feel connected with their adorable babes. And I guess people don't really want to see their sons wearing anything that would imply "I am a Momma's boy," but still I think a Mom might like to receive some unspoken props in the form of a T-shirt logo while she is removing said item of clothing because it is covered in poop and spit-up. I know I would. So if anyone knows where to get a navy onsie that says, "My Mom kicks ass!" please let me know.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Princess Megan

Megan has bee having a lot of fun with all of Emma's old dresses. The plastic high heeled shoes are a death trap, but Megan won't let us put them away!

Look a cheerleader princess! What could make a dad more proud? :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

8 Weeks

Liam is eight weeks old today! And while Mac and I have complained ten times more than we did with Megan, up until now Liam has been the easier baby. But then I have always said the toughest period with Megan was between 3 and 6 weeks; Liam just hits the adjusted age of three weeks today... Knock on wood for us!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


We do lots of "art projects" at our house - markers, crayons, glue and buttons, glitter, and paint. These activities are certainly helping her creativity to blossom - just look how she found a novel canvass to paint!

Silly me! - I thought taking her shirt off would make less of a mess!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My two kids

Recently I have been using the term "my kids" and "my two kids" a lot with Megan: "I am holding my two kids" and "I love both of my kids."

Today Megan sat down next to Liam and asked,"Do you want to get the camera and take a picture of my two kids?"
It is common for toddlers to see their moms breast feeding a new sibling and then imitate breast feeding with their dolls, but not in our house. Yesterday Megan informed me,"The Teddy Bear has to go pump." I knew I was using that breast pump too much!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A slow start

Once upon a time, I could run a sub-six minute mile without batting an eye; 6:15 pace was considered "cruising;" and I never ran anything, even the really long runs, slower than 8 minute pace. I lifted weights or swam a mile before breakfast. Once upon a time, a twenty mile run didn't seem particularly challenging and I perused race calendars to find local marathons and ultramarathons.

Sadly, this time wasn't too long ago, and yet, based on my current state of physical fitness, it seems like eons ago.

And then last month, the back page of an airline magazine had a fluff human interest piece about a 76 year old nun who also happens to be an Ironman competitor. The story was motivational both by way of admiration and shame. I admired the strength of the elderly Sister Madonna Buder, but was also ashamed that she was accomplishing such amazing feats while my more youthful body was languishing on the couch. And so I decided it was time to get in shape.

The logical thing to do would be to pick a short and easily manageable 5K to train for as my first step toward getting in shape. And so I printed off the entry form to the McKenzie River 50K(yes, that's fifty!) ultramarathon the day before it was due and told Mac I was going to get in shape for this race. Mac rolled his eyes and said something to the effect of "why can't you ever just set small goals." And then he went on to complain that that kind of training would take too much time away from the family. Anyway, it turns out we are already scheduled to go on a trip with my parents the week of the race, so it was out of the question. But, I reckoned, there's always the Portland marathon, and so two weeks ago I started "training."

The thing is, I can't just go out and run five miles like I used to. In fact, two miles seems like a long distance these days. And man am I slow! In my two weeks of running, I have done exactly two minutes at 8 minute pace. I am not even sure I qualify as a runner; I am more like a jogger, a term that all real runners despise.

One nice thing about starting slow is that the progress seems very dramatic. In just seven runs, I went from ten minute miles to nine minute miles. If I keep up that kind of improvement I should be setting a world record sometime next month! And if I always ran fast, I never would have discovered that Aha's "Take On Me" has the exact beat as running a 9:13 mile!

When I was in my running prime, I used to tell myself It's not where you start; it's where you finish; the tortoise was my personal running mascot. So hopefully this slow start to my training doesn't accurately portend where I'll end up - slow and steady...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Look who's talking

Our little Monchichi is only making monkey sounds, but still it is fun to hear him make a purposeful "goo" or "aah" every now and then while he is staring off into space. Also, Mac and I think he is making a few bonafide smile attempts, not just the I-am-passing-an-incredible-amount-of-gas smiles. This isn't such a big deal for a seven and a half weeker, but not really consistent with his adjusted age of two and a half weeks - just one more thing to confuse me about the expectations for his development.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Movin' On Up!

Don't worry, we aren't moving Liam out of the closet and into the attic! But Liam is moving up a clothing size! The preemie clothes are long gone and now he is out of his newborn stuff, too. Actually*, he doesn't fill any of these things out at all, but our butt-less son is too long for these smaller sizes.

Meanwhile, 2T is a size of the past in Megan's closet. It's all 3T's now (and even possibly 4T in Carter's brand, which seems to think kids are smaller than every other clothing company does).

*The actually aside: Megan now says "actually" several times a day.
Me: Megan, be careful, the peas are hot.
Megs: Actually, they're warm.
The clumsy way this word tumbles out of her little mouth has made me aware of how I use this word myself. Actually, Megan has made me see that I actually use this word too much!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Buenos Noches

In my grand parenting plans, I envisioned myself introducing Megan to Spanish. But the only phrase I ever taught her was "buenos noches;" I say it to her every night.

Megan has recently started pretending (she cooks a killer batch of dirt pancakes). Yesterday after the Easter Egg hunt, we were laying around in bed and Megan started pretending to sleep. I thought I'd play along by going through the bed time routine. I pulled up the covers to tuck her in with an "I love you" and a "Buenos noches."

Megan immediately sat up and got really serious at that point: "I am not going to Buenos Noches!"

Today we were watching the chicks when Megan turned to me and said,"They have beautiful noses."

Megan loves doing "art projects" but often wants someone else to get involved. Today while coloring she asked me,"Do you want to draw a snail?" (Megan's requests are always phrased as "do you want to ...?" or "should we...?") I drew a little spiral and added a head.

Then she turned to me and asked,"Do you want to draw a sloth?"

(my upside down teddy bear hanging from a branch got harsh criticism: "That's not a very good sloth." But in defense of my very minimal artistic talent, Mac was able to correctly identify my drawing as a three toed sloth almost instantly!)

Happy Easter!

Easter Egg Hunt

After yesterday's sun, we were a bit disappointed to see grey skies this morning, but we didn't let the rain dampen our spirits. We traded our sunscreen for rain jackets and set out some more family togetherness. This time it was off to church! Don't faint yet, we were only there for the very pagan Easter Egg Hunt.

I'd like to give my very best Easter Accolades to the Salem Heights Church. If it wasn't a religious establishment, I'd say they put on a damn fine production.

After a short prayer, Megan was off (like very cold molasses) to collect some of the 11,000(!) candy filled plastic eggs.

Megan soon realized she'd rather be opening eggs and eating candy than picking up more eggs of the wet grass.

Megan found one of the eggs with a prize ticket in it, which allowed her the choice between a small stuffed bunny and a new CD. My techno-geek girl was adamant about taking the CD; on the way home we had the pleasure of listening to toddler-ized Bible stories! Actually, they were somewhat educational for me; good thing, since we have 32 more stories to go!

Friday, April 6, 2007


With gorgeous, near-80 degree weather today, we donned our shorts and headed up to Woodburn for the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.

Afterwards we had dinner with Jenn and the kids. Megan was the lucky recipient of all of Emma's outgrown princess gowns - an entire wardrobe with all the accessories! After some initial skepticism, Megan was parading around in floofy dresses, plastic heels and tiaras.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


It's spring: the tulips are blooming, the sun is shining, and the days are getting longer. Mac is cutting carbs from his diet so we have been eating lots of eggs. And we just happen to be fortunate enough to have an old bath tub not getting any use. What better reasons to get some new chicks?

Megan was so excited as we perused the stock at Wilco, but she was disappointed that we didn't get a duckling. I tried to explain that ducks needed a pond, but she pointed out that we have a pond. In the end, we got five baby chicks: 2 buff sex-linked, 1 aracuana (blue eggs, like our old chicken Pearl), 1 black sex-linked, 1 barred rock, and 1 Rhode Island red.

Until about a month ago, Megan didn't understand the concept of giving things an actual name, which is why her stuffed animal collection includes Blue Elephant, Seal, Little Bunny, Little Bear, Brown Bunny, and Orange Doll. But then Cousins William and Kate sent Megan a big stuffed dog when Liam was born. 'Big Dog' was the front runner for a while, but then we pointed out that the dog kind of looked like Rusty in the book Rusty's Red Bone and so the dog was dubbed Rusty. This has opened a new phase in Megan's naming scheme: The unnamed character opposite 'Sam-I-am' in Green Eggs and Ham? In our house his name is Rusty. The little boy who plays with grandpa? Also Rusty. And so when we asked Megan what we should name the chicks, it was no surprise that Megan's response was "should we name them Rusty?" Mac and I told Megan we could name the red one Rusty. Just then Megan had an epiphany,"Should we name the black one John Jacob?" Hey we are the Smiths, so why not? The other three remained unnamed.

Unfortunately, one of the chicks didn't make it more than three hours after we got it home (50% mortality is not uncommon with chicks, but still, 3 hours??). Wouldn't you know it, it was the black one. This morning Megan went out to check the chicks. Her first words,"Where's the black one?" It made me want to cry! We tried to explain:"It was sick so it had to go away"
"It had a tummyache?" Megan asked. We agreed this is what happened. Then we decided the aracuana could be called John Jacob. But still Mac and I are left wondering if we should have gotten another little black chick.

Anyway, the chicks will be hanging out in the bathtub (covered to protect against the cats) in our garage for the next 6-8 weeks, which should give us enough time to build them a coop.