Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Overconsuming in every way

We also took family pictures with about 12 other families camped out at the same barn door in Scottsdale. My kids were by far the worst behaved. (Next worst, constant complainer Jon.) I was really hoping to dye my hair blonde this weekend and have someone who doesn't use kitchen scissors to trim my bangs, but it didn't happen. Such is life. And I'm going to proudly add that Theo got a haircut and was a perfect saint while doing so, probably because he was sitting in a fire engine. (last three pictures by Jon's sister Geri)

I have never been one for car trips--our longest growing up was Boise to San Francisco and my most vivid memories are 1. eating Boudin soughdough 2. seeing my first cross dresser 3. crying and covering my ears with pillows as my parents refused to stop playing Richard Marx (it.was.torture.). I loved flying from Salt Lake to Boise during college, and don't even ask me about the few times we attempted to drive from Portland to Boise. Ok, I'll tell you. Crazy ice and snow and almost getting hit by deer. We hit a deer on a trip from Utah to Arizona once and it was terrifying. I hate deer.

But things have changed. Suddenly a six hour trip (luckily in the desert with no snowy mountain passes) feels like nothing. A deer even ran into Jon's car right outside our house last week, no biggie. I was so excited for this trip. I needed it. So we rolled into the big city and I made some pumpkin pies for Jon's pumpkin pie hating family. Thanksgiving was filled with homemade rolls and feeling sick, and light sabers gifted by Jon's Aunt Joan. We went to Costco on Friday and it was one of the most exhilarating, joyful moments of the weekend. That sentence sounded so horrible, but I've got to be honest. It's true. I really needed a new Belgian waffler. I really needed some new glass food storage containers. I really (really!) needed a complete set of Roald Dahl books. Then we went to Trader Joe's and spent over $100 on a cart 90% filled with treats. We saw movies, Bond of course and Theo still won't stop talking about Wreck it Ralph. More than anything what made me happy was seeing him play with his cousins. He loved it so much keeps asking us to go on another car trip to visit them. This kid does not play with other kids enough, and it makes me feel a bit sad. For some reason at Stake Conference a month ago I had the idea that we would make magical long distance friends, (which didn't happen of course) but we sat next to a boy Theo's age and all this kid did was get freaked out by Theo's sticker gift and his mom made sure she was a barrier to his trains. So depressing. Our precious train loving baby boy sat for two long hours inches away from a full train set and never touched one. C'mon! Anyway. We didn't even have a chance to see the 7 movies we wanted to and I didn't make it to visit friends, but it was a good weekend. A six hour drive is nothing when Theo gets to see grandparents and ride a trike.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Missy Marg.

October 17, four months
November 15, five months (hasn't changed too much. Still got those pointy ears, wide eyes, with a little added chub.)

Margot Geraldine! Can't believe she is almost six months old. She has really become active in the past month or so, loving toys and the package of wipes and trying to eat everything in her path. She starting rolling around at five months, and now that she's better at it we are weaning her from swaddling. (Boo! She loves her swaddle. I'm sad to give it up.)

She loves to smile and stick out her tongue--she is constantly happy. Goes to bed early, between 6:00-7:00 (if you were to check on Theo at this age, it was more like 11:00--not his fault. I've learned a lot between kids.). She is starting to sit independently, and if I leave her on the rug in one spot she will be a few feet away and turned over when I get back. She is a master at putting up with Theo. He loves to throw clothes over her face, walk over her like Ellen dancing over a coffee table, and give her no personal space whatsoever.

I'm not very good at putting headbands, bows or what have you on her head. This is mainly due to laziness and lack of supply (I mean, have you seen me? Accessories are not my strong suit.) and the fact that I personally get anxious when headbands are squeezing a rapidly developing baby skull. So we generally reserve them for Sundays. When she gets enough hair, we'll do some clips, but until then most people will likely assume I have two sons. But I'm not going to suppress my love of blue stripes. They look good on her. 

Margot is my little gem. When Theo is climbing up the pantry and smashing play dough in his hair, saying "MAMA! I NEED PHONE!!! I NEED IPAD!!!", I can just look at her and her calm eyes say, "It's alright mama, be cool." Maybe that's a lot to insinuate for a baby, but she's just what I need right now. For all of my own crazy genes in Theo, Margot seems to have a lot of zen Jon genes. I probably thought this when Theo was six months, so don't hold me to it when she's two and a little diva.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Incident free for 5 days

The bean.

Much like any toddler, Theo is gradually becoming aware of boundaries and danger. Very gradually. He regularly walks into corners, tables, and walls. He has bruises all over his legs, hits his head when he's mad, bites his fingers when frustrated. I like to pinch myself really hard when I'm in pain, so I guess he takes after his mother. A week ago he jumped into a laundry basket, shearing the skin off the back of two of his toes (those holes are razor sharp!). It looked as gross as that sentence just sounded. Give me my mom badge, because Jon could not even look at it. I was a bit confused, seeing as he (as a doctor, technically) had just talked to me about his love of slicing open pus-filled gums...but "This wasn't teeth!" he exclaimed. Ok. So I took my political science degree, assessed the damage, and bandaged his toes up. (Tip: If you have a toddler, have non-sticking bandages and pads on hand, you'll use them one day.) He spent the rest of the night walking gingerly on his heel. It was the most heart-breaking thing I've ever seen.

A few days later, we had just returned from town after library story time. Theo and I shared a bagel and a cookie afterwards--it was a magical morning. After we got home, he was looking forward to his new Clifford book, I was looking forward to his nap. I was changing his diaper when he grabbed a dried pinto bean on his bed from his sensory bin.  Then he said, "Where'd the bean go?" It had, indeed, disappeared. After a few seconds of searching, I spotted it in his nose, and decided to mildly panic. After a few minutes with some tweezers and the flashlight on my phone, it was still in there. Every time I asked him to breathe out, he sniffed--so don't ever do that if you find yourself in a similar situation. I called Jon, more panicked, and called our doctor and headed to the office. Midway through googling "bean in nose," I headed back to town. There the doctor offered up an option where she would plug the side of the nose without the bean while I gave a strong CPR-style breath in his mouth. Next thing I knew, the bean shot out and hit the wall, and Theo had a slightly dazed look on his face. Crisis averted! For now...

Friday, November 16, 2012


This Halloween was the first holiday in my attempt to decorate for all holidays. Made some bats, a few fell down, as you can see.

I have to say, it felt wonderful to let him eat a bunch of candy, cupcakes, get a glowstick and run around a patch of grass with other kids. He was having the time of his life.

(Here's more phone photos--as I went to take pictures with my camera that night the battery was dead of course.)

The past four Hall Halloweens have had a common overarching theme--facial hair. Theo's never had a costume without some, and I didn't think this was the year to stop. I saw a strongman costume on the blog Oh Happy Day, lest you think I am creative and thought of this idea myself. I was stumped for ideas, saw the strongman and that it fit the ever so important theme, and decided it was the one. Plus we had a large cardboard tube at the ready. Theo really got into it, and we loved buying a plastic pumpkin and practicing "trick or treat!" I wanted Margot's costume to be related, so she went as the bearded lady (actually my idea). The beard was leftover from Theo's gnome costume and colored with washable marker (which wasn't a good idea, it rubs off.) The yarn wig was leftover from our Hulk Hogan costumes of 2009, so Margot was a hodge-podge of several great Halloweens in one. I think all her future costumes will have yarn wigs, because they look so ridiculous.

Our branch had a trunk or treat and a total of 6 cars showed up, so I had a lot of Reese's Lover's Mix to eat for a few weeks afterwards (I could eat my weight in Reese's Pieces. Truly.). Theo never asked about his candy again. I don't know why kids do that, but it's amazing.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fall on the mesa

Just another Sunday at the Truth or Consequences LDS branch, blue dogs and all.

I am becoming more adept at toddler crafts.

Theo experiments in cross dressing, decides it's not for him.

The fair smelled like poop. There, I said it.

At Sparky's in Hatch, our go-to when we are on the road to the big city, Las Cruces. (or Cruces, as the locals call it)

Pumpkin patch in Cruces, the highlight of October for all of us.

Right before the cavity, don't worry, I wasn't smiling for long. And do worry, cause yes I am cutting my own bangs.

The first day I got to wear a sweater. I was so happy.

I have been very busy for the past few weeks knitting on a deadline. I like knitting, you can do it anywhere--in the car, sitting in the playroom, watching tv. Turns out one thing you can't do while knitting is blogging. Which is too bad, cause believe it or not, things are happening in this family! We are starting to hit more of a stride here in New Mexico. It still has its hard days where I'm feeling lonely and nostalgic for, well, a lot. I must admit some of the time I feel like a bit of a square peg fitting into a round hole. I may never be a mom acquainted with 4-H, but I am on the lookout for a killer bolo tie. We have met some really interesting people, and have probably scared some people.  Jon and I were talking with a member of the branch, telling him we came from Portland. His first (serious) question was, "Do they have good chile there?" After cooking with the chiles here a while, I understand the seriousness. I may love living somewhere with a good pizza place, but the people here would relocate for the chiles. My white bean chile has hit a new level of awesome.

Jon has been busy too--he is loving his job. He's spoken Spanish maybe once? but he interacts with most of the town on a daily basis. I even got into the office for a check up. While I was pregnant with Margot, flossing became painful and I stopped, which resulted in my first ever cavity. I guess I thought I was immune at this point, but I'm never dropping the floss again. The enthusiasm Jon had for filling this cavity was bordering on inappropriate. He only regrets that it was a perfect filling for the board exam, but I was pregnant then anyway. I have to say, his work was great except the shot huuuuurrrt. Like I went into shutdown mode like I'm having a labor contraction and start rocking side to side. But Dr. Hall does good work, I recommend him.

This past month we also got to attend the Sierra County Fair, which is a real live fair. No rides, no corn dogs, no carnies. Just blue ribbon pigs, jars of jam and quilts. And the like. I entered two things I had made, and it turns out 99% of categories go uncontested, so I won me some fair ribbons! I lost in the hand quilting division to some lady who made this thing that looked like a placemat in a bat shape. Can't win them all, I guess.

Our house has been nice, the view is beyond description--I am just still figuring out how to keep something clean that is not 700 square feet and three rooms. I mean, we jumped from one to three toilets! And I have a dining room table. It's way more work, and Theo doesn't help much. But these desert vistas, they are amazing!  Aside from the occasional missile/bomb testing, it's very peaceful out here. (Don't forget, this is New Mexico. Land of a million uses by the government.) Families of raccoons peep in through our back door and families of deer almost run into our car, but it's finally cool enough that I feel like the rattlesnakes are gone for a while. I have waited long for this day.