Thursday, July 31, 2008

repeated locking doesn't make it tighter

ryan has automatic locks on his car, a very formal and bland thing we've named ned. ned's automatic locks beep (like everyone's) when you push the lock button. in the summertime, with all of our windows open, i can hear all of the automatic locks going off (in the evening time, i'm listening for ned's). there's this woman who pushes her automatic lock button over and over and over again until i feel like leaning out the window and screaming, "okay! i think you've locked it!" at first i was mildly irritated. now i envision throwing produce at her as she walks away, keys in hand, thumb pressed solidly against the little button that wears the locked padlock. why?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

weekly mouse

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

my future

i want this:

Monday, July 28, 2008

sweet caroline

giggle with me here

the other side of things

ryan left yesterday for the week on business. yes, he is a distinguished business man in business clothes and a bluetooth in his ear. and his wife is barefoot and pregnant. take that bluetooth away and we look like some postwar world war 2 family. where's my picket fence (or, more importantly, where's my house)?

anyway, when ryan's gone, i sleep on his side of the bed with his pillow. so, after dragging all sorts of articles i've been meaning to read into bed with me, i left them happily on my side (benefit to not having to share the bed) and snuggled down with my husband's side of the bed. which was uncomfortable. in a big way. it seemed that right into my lower back there was some sort of awful lump in our mattress. after a moment's grumble, i pulled the whole bed apart to discover that in the wash a large rag had clung to the sheet in the laundry and the bed was made with this rag still attached. for the last week ryan has said nothing about this awful lump on his side of the bed.

i suspect that this lump, combined with the fact that his wife is 35 weeks pregnant and therefore awful, helped ryan see the positive side to this business trip. perhaps he even clicked his heels as he headed up the tarmac. i would have.

ps i could use some good book recommendations.

Friday, July 25, 2008

weekly mouse

we got to our hotel room and and ava hopped right on the bed, settled herself in and turned on the TV. "you know guys," she said, as she helped herself to the mini bar and arranged a spa day over the phone, "this is what i really needed. i've just been working so hard lately and this will make all the difference."

Thursday, July 24, 2008


along with my baby elephant, who will be named joy (not after ryan's aunt, but because of what she will bring me), i also want one of these. it's a galapagos tortoise and i find them to be charming. i will feed it lettuce and carrots and it will live in my backyard. ava can ride on it. i love everything about these babies except their poop. for this, i will order a poop-scoop service. and they will be in my yard, cleaning up that poop and wondering, 'what is pooping these poops?'

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the zoo

so we went to the zoo. the most tragic incident: ava lost her blankee somewhere along the way.

awhile back, when ava decided to start dragging her blankee everywhere, i cut it into two pieces to make the blankee more travel friendly. this actually worked to my benefit in more than one way: when ava and blankee must be separated for washings, she actually has a stand-in that she doesn't even know is a stand-in.

anyway, blankee is lost. ava hasn't noticed. i, on the other hand, have called the zoo every day and sat on hold with them waiting for them to search through the lost and found to find that stinky, yucky rag my daughter sleeps with every night. it's surpirsed me that i am almost as attached to her blankee as she is. when we first figured out that it was missing and then realized that the last time we'd seen it was at the zoo (i was wrestling it away from her before she went in to the petting zoo. i have my limitations, you know), my heart sank. then it broke. i mean, that's her comfort. and if i can't be there to comfort her, that blankee always has. and now what is she going to do? WHO WILL COMFORT HER NOW?? (i demanded we go back and i most likely had a wild emotional edge to my voice because ryan's eyes got big. however, we have the stand-in and i quickly gained control of myself)

anyway, the zoo: ryan's parents came with us and, after a small confusion with tickets (which involved chris breaking into his brother's house to retrieve said tickets), we were ready to follow ryan's lead (he'd got hold of a map and had plotted out our best course. is anyone surprised by this?).

the highlight: ava running into the petting zoo and giving the first goat she could find a hug. a huge hug. and then holding on. i had to keep reminding her to be gentle while hugging the goats. i'd like to spend my life not knowing what a goat does to defend itself when a toddler begins to choke it, thank you very much.

she's totally my child. wild animal giddiness and all. it delighted her grandparents, it did not surprise me and i think it worried ryan. he knows that's just a matter of time before she's dragging all sorts of animals home and asking to keep them. i know why he's worried: his wife is already doing it and if we both start doing it, just how many pets will we have? fact: ryan's soft spots happen to be me and ava. he cannot refuse us, so you know we're in a lot of trouble.

this is outside the "polar bear plunge" where ava sat on one polar bear statue and commanded her grandpa to "play" with the other one. he then had the pleasure of figuring out what game he was playing and what the rules were. when he did something right, ava said nothing. when he did something wrong she frowned, pointed and commanded him to "play". i'm fairly certain i called the game off early and led her away sobbing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

corproate america

badly taken shot by me in our hotel room

so friday night this past weekend was spent doing what we were supposed to have gone to san diego for: ryan's company celebration of him reaching his goal. it's called the "100% club".

allow me to preface this with a quick little background: i never played on a sports team in my life. it is quite possible that i am not a "team player". ryan, on the other hand, played team sports his whole life. he actually has a team mentality and a belief in the good of a team.

so, ryan is a member of corporate america. he does sales. they're split into teams, have team building exercises (like the flight of the conchords song), grow their facial hair out together and fish. altogether, it is manly and motivating.

so ryan makes it in to the ever elusive 100% club and is treated to a weekend in san diego. part of the weekend is a friday night cocktail hour and dinner. ryan's parents came down with us and took ava (poor them, the child hadn't slept and was glass-eyed and border-line hysterical when we handed her over) so we could join ryan's fellow team members for a night of (as ryan's boss likes to put it) "gallivanting".

i can't tell you how much fun gallivanting is to a pair of sobers in a room full of drunks. especially when one of them thinks this grown up sales team stuff is silly and is 7 1/2 months pregnant (guess which one i'm referring to). so we sit there, hand off our drinking tickets, hand off our gambling money and lean backwards when one man in particular talks to us with so much beer on his breath that my hair begins to move away all by itself. he also slurred his words together. ryan says he always talks like that. i find that very hard to believe.

in my attempt to have a good time i pick one of the spouse's to talk to. he's not interested. when i ask him what he does for a living he almost refuses to answer.

"it's really hard to explain." he says, "i don't really know how to say it."

when i ask him if he's in the mob, he finds a way to explain and you know what? wasn't really that hard. he must have thought i was really stupid or something. or he has a heightened sense of career (benefit of the doubt to him, i choose the second).

later, i found out that not all wives attend. i think i gave ryan quite the stink eye. next time, i don't think i'll go unless ryan begs me and tells me he won't have any fun if i'm not there (he probably wouldn't).


so here we are: home! and i have so much to write that i'm not going to write any of it down except this:

quite possibly my favorite part was the drunk guy who shouted, "you know it!" like 5,648 times. in my ear. and i have no idea who knew what, but oh, they knew it.

there will be updates, but they will probably be throughout the week.

Friday, July 18, 2008

bon voyage!

we're off to san diego for the weekend!

i'm going to spend all my time in water, near water or at the zoo planning out how i'm going to ship myself a baby african elephant and where i will keep it.

to anyone who may feel like using this time to break in to our house and steal our stuff: PLEASE do. our computer is CRAP and the TV just broke. if you took those things we may actually purchase new ones.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

weekly mouse

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

an odd piece of advice

there has been talk among friends of bridal showers lately. we've reminisced on how ours turned out, games we've played, discussions we've had, food we've eaten and of course, the weirdest moment we had.

my weirdest bridal shower moment occurred at a shower i threw for a co-worker i barely knew. she had all sorts of family that showed up and some of them turned out to be a little odd (this woman that i am going to talk about wasn't really odd except that she was a newlywed and we're all a little weird as newlyweds, right?). we were offering advice and hers was this:

"argue naked"

after laughing hysterically until i was really red in the face, i explained why i think it's not bad to argue with your spouse (this could be another post for another time).

what's the worst/best/funniest shower moment you've had?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


apparently there are no dogs, no fires and no explosives allowed on the beach. but also, no indians. please, people leave your indians at home!

Monday, July 14, 2008


the worst thing about having a little girl is all of the little girl hair. it's everywhere! it's wild! it also doesn't help that the minute i sit ava down in her car seat and get in to my own seat she reaches back, finds whatever hair thing is there, yanks it out and chews on it for however long the car ride is.

but when i see those two little piggy-tails curling so sweetly and bouncing as she runs for a corner-any corner in which she can huddle and start pulling those blasted hair things out, i melt. i'm looking forward to a small boy that must merely have his hair trimmed. i look forward to pinning his wailing, writhing body while some poor hairdresser attempts to trim his hair with sharp instruments.

it's amazing more of us aren't one-eyed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

young love at its best

one time when ryan and i were dating (new dating) we were sitting at a stoplight and he was thinking about how much he wanted to impress me and i was thinking about how impressed i was and then ryan, with a look of complete confidence, pointed at the stoplight, snapped his fingers and said, "green."

and the light turned green.

then he looked at me with all the omnipotence in the world and i said, "you're a dork."

but secretly i was thinking, "I MUST MARRY THIS MAN."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


this last week ava's language abilities have greatly developed. apparently, not fast enough for ryan. the other night at the park he said, "can you believe it took her two whole years just to say some of these things?"

yes, he's going to be one of those parents.

it's as though in the last week ava's stopped chewing all those gummy bears and has finally swallowed them. her mouth is opening wider when she talks, there isn't as much saliva and, eureka, i can understand her! the feeling is grand.

even her MOMMYMOMMYMOMMYMOMMYMOMMY!!! has changed into something more sophisticated. now she's saying, maMA!maMA!maMA!maMA!maMA! as though she were french. perhaps madeline's been giving her lessons.

when she calls me by my french name, i feel a little bewildered by the change. what was wrong with mommy? why must she constantly be growing and changing and improving on what we had? i look at this little body that is just so full of life and besides from feeling an overwhelming urge to both squish her and eat her, i feel my heart cry out, when will she just stop growing?

as i tend my tomato plants, i find myself relating the soil they're rooted in. the soil just lays there, flat and alone and watches helplessly as the plants grow away from it towards the sun.

my greatest joy is the growth of my own little flower, yet it is also my deepest heartache.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


also from the 4th

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July

ava's first power wheel experience. ryan and i were green with envy.
this is the bunny ava tried to free. and scare to death by shaking the cage. she was entranced.
the child spent the majority naked despite the dress grandma kristine purchased. her tan line is so distinct, though, that it kind of looks like she's wearing clothes. so in a way, i win!

despite toddler ava's appearance, i love three-day weekends. i love having ryan around for an extra day and i love being able to relax a little (read: did not do a single dish all weekend--awesome!!). this morning rolled around and it was sad to see ryan get all dressed up for work and leave, breifcase in hand, bluetooth in ear. when's the next one?

ps the fireworks this year? lame. but hearing ava's, "ooh!" was pretty cool. poor thing didn't know how lame they were.

how was your fourth?

meet toddler ava

this weekend i met someone i thought i knew already: toddler ava. funny thing is, all those times i'd encountered who i'd thought to be toddler ava was really just grumpy baby ava. this new toddler ava came over for the fourth of july weekend. i hope she's left because frankly, i don't like toddler ava all that much.

you know, they look so similar, i wouldn't really have been able to tell much of a difference except one big thing: toddler ava SCREAMS. and kicks. and flails. and WILL NOT BE CONTROLLED. also, she has a hidden agenda and she won't tell us what it is. we have to guess. it's toddler ava's favorite game.

some of the rules that we have figured out so far:

1. do NOT look at toddler ava.

2. do NOT laugh in toddler ava's direction. this will be interpreted as laughter at her and will not be tolerated.

3. no snuggling, hugging, kissing or cuddling unless toddler ava says so and then you must do it RIGHT AWAY and STOP IMMEDIATELY when she's ready. unfortunately the only way to tell that toddler ava is ready is by a loud scream emitted DIRECTLY INTO YOUR EAR.

4. while you are not allowed to not look at toddler ava, you are also not permitted to ignore her. DO NOT DO THIS.

5. if she doesn't like the fact that you have told her not to do something, she will do it anyway. get over it.

all in all, there were a few times ryan and i looked at each other with complete exhaustion in our eyes and held hands because we weren't sure toddler ava was ready for us to talk to each other yet. i'm so glad he was there. i'm not so sure he was.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

weekly mouse

my shaggy dog

Thursday, July 3, 2008


i am a tomato grower. it is very satisfying. and delicious.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

in response to hernan's comment

funny story about finding out i was pregnant with seth. i went in to the bathroom on new year's day with a pregnancy test, took it, watched the little pink line appear and came out of the bathroom. ryan was sitting at the computer in the bedroom so i said, "dude, i'm pregnant."

it turns out ryan was really hernan, our friend who was staying with us for the holidays. he turned around and said, "WHAT???"

so yeah, with baby seth my husband was the second to know. the third person was whoever was on the phone with ryan at the time. i'm awfully good at spreading good news to the right people.

pregnancy tag

being in the getting-ready-to-give-birth mood that i'm in, i'm really excited i got tagged to do this. most likely it will be questions i won't want to answer and facts that you don't want to know, but i am so excited to have a baby (that's why i got pregnant in the first place) and this waiting game is dirivng me crazy! i figure it'd be good to remember some of the happy things about his sister's entrance in to this world.1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED? yes


3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? i was so excited. i wouldn't let ryan in to the bathroom when i initially took the pregnancy test (watching someone urinate on a stick is so undignified) but as i waited for that pink line to appear, i threw open the bathroom door and shouted for him to come in--and he fell in! turns out, he was so excited, he was standing RIGHT outside the door in the hopes of hearing a happy noise.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU? no. i'd have to say that being pregnant has made me more pro-life than i ever was.


6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? i took a pregnancy test. how else do you find out you're pregnant?

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? ryan. and then we decided to wait until christmas to surprise our families, but i had a really rough trip out to california and was bleeding a little by the time i got there. i was so scared, i told my mom. plus, there was absolutely no way that i was going to keep that one inside until christmas. that meant that my dad knew right away, too.

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? yes. i hate anticipation and surprise. i want to know right away.

9. DUE DATE? august 4, 2006 all the way until my ultrasound when they pushed it back TWO WHOLE WEEKS to august 17, 2006 and i almost killed the entire office.


11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? before i knew i was pregnant, i made enchiladas and ate them for about four meals in a row (poor ryan). they just tasted so good! now when i eat them, i think they are gross (that is just too bad).

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? people who wanted to touch my stomach and just held on. sometimes with two hands.


14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? i think i secretly wanted ava to be a girl a tiny bit more than i wanted her to be a boy. but only a tiny bit. so, no, i didn't wish.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY? i'm not answering this question.


17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? not a surprise.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? ava's umbilical cord fell off and they had to manually remove the placenta. it was so awful that i sent ryan out of the room.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? mt. timanogos hospital

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? my water broke at about midnight and ava was born at 4:15 in the AM.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL? ryan. i kept saying things like, "these contractions are really strong!" and he kept throwing me the most terrified looks, but i was excited, so he kept changing his terrified looks to happy ones. poor ryan, he didn't know what to do. neither did i! we were expecting something so horrible!

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? ryan. and my midwife. and about ten nurses (slow night at the hospital) who were so wonderful. they were motherly and excited. they were so encouraging and kind. i loved having them there (although at first i wasn't so sure).





27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? ava christine

28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? almost 23 months old.

i tag: shannon, brendi and anyone else who wants to trip down memory lane.

now i'm off to research alternative diapering methods.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

call her headstrong

we spend a lot of time out and about, but on the particularly hot days, we come home to find this:

it's madeline, as limp as a wet rag. perhaps her coat is a little too thick for the summertime, and it may be merciful of me to shave her. we'll see. she's going to have to do a lot more snuggling if she wants to be "clean shaven".

my favorite part about madeline is that i can call her name and she'll lift her head and mwor?

i'm not one of those people who thinks their cat can understand them. but it is as if she's asking me what i need before she comes over. and i'll tell her, "i want to scratch your ears." and then she weighs out her options in her head. . .and settles right back down.

as much as i delight in my own child's independence, i am disappointed in my cat's.