30 June 2011

The House

I have finally gotten to the point where I feel like my living/dining/kitchen area are presentable enough that I took pictures and am sharing them with you. For those of you who've been dying to see my house, besides just a stairwell, here it is:
This is obviously the living room. We love the fireplace, but I'm still not sure what I'm doing with the mantle. I like the framed pictures that are currently above the mantle, but not nearly enough to poke holes in my wall to hang said pictures. We could also really use some sort of nice box to store Ike's toys in this room. One day I'll find something I like to fill these voids.
We got this table and chair set off of KSL Classifieds for $125. Take that! We have finally sent our card table and folding chairs to the basement.
Yeah, that wall needs something more than what it's got as well. We're making do with what we have. Pictures on the walls are not a huge priority for me.
I will never be able to express to you how much I love my cabinets.
And here's the view from the kitchen.

28 June 2011

Bed and Breakfast

We moved into our house March 26. The next day, Eric's brother's family came to stay with us for two nights. (Eric's parents were in house-transition at the time, so it wasn't possible for Eric's brother's family to stay with them.) After that, my brother and his family came to stay with us for one night. Then toward the end of April Eric's sister came to stay with us for a couple of nights with her little boy. In May my brother and his wife came again, this time for the U2 concert, so only his two older kids were with him. This week my brother is coming again (just with his wife this time). The next day my sister will arrive for a fun stay. Right after that Eric's two older brothers are coming into town, and the one who stayed with us in March will stay with us again. Then my brother will be in town again. It sounds like more than it is when I lump it into one paragraph like that, but I like to be dramatic, so there you go.

Having a house is fun! I feel totally inept at hosting, though. I really don't do breakfasts. (The idea that I will get up and cook breakfast for people is actually quite laughable. That's Eric's forte.) Plus, I'm unaccustomed to cooking for groups and doubly unaccustomed to cooking for children. Will people be satisfied with food I have to offer? Will the beds be adequate? The spare beds came from Eric's parents' house and are all without bed frames. (They will soon return to Eric's parents' house, by the way.)

I know that most guests are probably not picky. They came to visit (or maybe visiting was just a perk on their list of errands they are doing while they are in town), so they are happy with any accommodations. But I still feel totally inadequate as a hostess.

What sorts of things do you do to get ready for guests? What sorts of things do you wish people would do for you? People who are coming to stay or who have stayed with us, what sorts of things should we do (or should we have done differently) to be better hosts?

All suggestions welcome.

(Please don't get me wrong! I do not want this to be a diatribe against guests! We love to invite ourselves to go visit people, and we love having visitors. I just don't feel like I really know the ins and outs of being a good hostess.)

26 June 2011


I've been wanting to grow cilantro for ages. I use a ton of it in cooking, and Eric and I both love it. I started growing it without even bothering to read about it online or even asking people who know a lot about gardening.It started out great, and has continued to do well. So excited to just start picking the leaves right off the plant!

23 June 2011


Did I freak you out? Neither Eric nor I have been laid off, but Ike has.

Last Wednesday my boss called me into her office to discuss making arrangements so that I wouldn't bring Ike into the office anymore. Truthfully, I was getting to the point where I didn't feel like bringing him in with me in the mornings was really working. He needs more attention from me, and he needs a quiet place to nap - a place where my co-workers do not walk in loudly and start chatting with my other co-workers.

It was still a let-down, though. I've so enjoyed having him with me as much as I have. It was great that I started taking him to work with me when he was eight weeks old and continued full time until he was sixteen weeks old. Once we moved to our new house I dropped to part-time because making the 45-minute commute every day would make me crazy. I also wanted to have more time to be a wife and mother. Admittedly, during those eight weeks of working full time, my attempt at being a good employee, a good mother and a good wife were not super successful.

So, for the last few months I've been working from home three days a week and taking Ike to the office with me twice a week. But that came to a halt last Wednesday. My boss told me that I could take as much time as I wanted working from home until I found somebody I felt good about to watch Ike. Fortunately, I already had somebody in mind. I called her and asked if she'd be keen to watch him twice a week, and she was.

I took Ike to her place (which is in my old apartment building, so it's just a few minutes' walk from my work), in the morning. Then I proceeded to be incredibly anxious all day. I couldn't pinpoint why I was anxious. I wasn't the least bit worried about him being taken care of well. Obviously I trust the person who is watching him, or else I wouldn't leave him there. I really don't know what made me anxious, but that was the longest I'd been away from Ike at one time. He survived, and when I went to pick him up he didn't really even seem to care that I'd been gone all day.

Wednesday was much better, and I'm really excited about the arrangement.

I've also found that on my work-at-home with Ike days, I enjoy his company a lot more than before. Perhaps this enjoyment will wane, but I find myself telling him throughout the day how much I like having him around. I don't think I realized before how much I like his company.

17 June 2011


I have managed to capture some video footage (digital video external hard drive space?) of Ike laughing. Don't get too excited. It's not the hysterics of Lewis or the pure joy of Ella kind of laughter, but it's the best we can get from him thus far. He's just not a giggly baby.

11 June 2011

Facebook Tagging

I have been told that Ike looks just like me about as often as I have been told he looks just like Eric. Usually the people who tell me he looks just like Eric are more firm in their opinions than the people who say he looks just like me. A handful of people tell me that he is a healthy mix.

Last week I uploaded a handful of photos of Ike to Facebook. If you aren't aware, Facebook now will attempt to identify and tag the people in your photos for you so you don't have to do it manually. Sometimes Facebook gets it right - sometimes Facebook gets it wrong.

I was pleased to see this suggestion when the tagging stage began:
Of course, there was also a photo of Ike that Facebook suggested I tag as my friend, Jennifer. So maybe Facebook isn't all-knowing after all.

07 June 2011

Saturday's Loot

  1. Stroller. It's nice because it folds up really small, but it still can hold an infant carrier on top. $2.
  2. Backpack carrier for hiking. $5
  3. High chair. The black thing on top of it is a cushion so the high chair doesn't scratch the kitchen chair that the high chair sets upon. Also, it has a tray that pops out and is dish-washer safe. $5
  4. Monkey Halloween costume. $2.50
  5. Office chair! No more sitting on a folding chair while I work at my desk all day! $5.
  6. Various books. $1.25
  7. Brand new earplugs. $0.25
  8. Sledge hammer. $1
  9. Puzzle. $0.50
  10. Bathroom scale. $1
  11. Cloth diapers (eight newborn size, never used). $2
  12. Spinny toy thing. $0.50 (We got this because I loved them as a kid and never had one.)
Total: $26

Eric has been hitting up the garage sales on his own for a few consecutive Saturdays. He convinced me to come along this time. It was a lot of fun. Ike was very well behaved, and we're really happy with our purchases - especially the stroller.

We had purchased another stroller that was used and came with a carseat, but I wasn't with Eric when he bought it. I told him to buy it if he though it was a good deal, which it was. But the carseat itself is not really stellar. (We have a carseat that our friends lent to us, so at some point we need our own.) Plus, the stroller that came with that carseat is enormous. It's very impractical. So, I'm happy to have a smaller umbrella stroller that can hold a carseat but can also just hold a child independently and doesn't take up my entire trunk or coat closet.

Also, so dang excited about the monkey costume.

06 June 2011

Six Months

Good heavens! Has it really been six months since Ike was born? Yes, it has.

I still think my kid is the best in the world. He goes to bed at six and wakes up about six. He takes three naps per day. He usually plays pretty happily between naps. He comes to work with me still, and he is my best little buddy. I feel odd when I go places without him.

This month he has really taken off with rolling. Because of that we stopped swaddling him and switched him to a regular crib very shortly after the five-month mark. Whenever we go get him out of his crib, he is found in a completely different position than the one we left him in.

Along with the rolling, if we put Ike on the floor with a toy just out of reach, he will scoot forward to get to it. I'm not very eager for him to crawl, so I don't do this exercise with him much at all.

We've gotten a few giggles out of him this month. He actually does this very funny thing where he tries really hard to control his laughter. You know when something is funny and you are trying not to laugh? That's what he does when we tickle him. It's adorable, but we like it even better when we actually get a chuckle from him.

He's on the verge of sitting up on his own, and I'm excited about that. I also started giving him solid foods this week, and he pretty much thought it was the best idea I've ever had. (Three cheers for butternut squash!) He loves to hold the spoon and suck on it when I'm done feeding him. His spitting up has really abated this month, and it has been very nice to clean up far less spit-up than I used to.

Ike has finally really gotten control of his binky. We can hand it to him in just about any position, and he can get it in his mouth right-side up, as long as he doesn't lose his focus in the process. (If something else distracts him, he will abandon the binky altogether.)

He loves being thrown in the air. He loves staring at people. He loves to grab anything he can reach, especially hair, necklaces and paper. He loves to stand with support; he'll almost always push himself into a standing position when anyone holds him. He loves to stare at mirrors. He loves the exersaucer that I keep for him at work.

His favorite toy is his orange monkey (see below). The below picture is also the one that I think best captures Ike's most regular face. It's the face he makes when he is neither happy nor sad - when he just is. It also happens to be when he looks most like Winston Churchill.

03 June 2011

Mother's Best Advice

A few weeks ago while I was on my deathbed with some stomach bug, my mom called me to ask me what the best advice she'd ever given me was. I told her I'd have to think about it and then write a blog post. I'm pretty sure I also told her I was dying. She is familiar with my hyperbolic rhetoric, so she basically ignored me. (And she probably thought to herself, "Where did she learn to be so dramatic? Can't ever imagine who taught her that.")

I've had ample time to think about this and finally am getting around to writing a post about it.

The best advice (or at least the one I try to apply most often) is this: An unsaid compliment is an insult. When I hear things I like or see things I like or somebody does something that impresses me, I tell them.

One time when we were going into a grocery store (the grocery store where I worked as a teenager, actually) my mom complimented some stranger on her purse. I was mortified. My mom had just gone up to a total stranger and told her how beautiful her handbag was. A STRANGER! How embarrassing! And that's when my mom told me that an unsaid compliment was an insult. (I believe that it was her mother who told her that.)

While I don't necessarily agree that an unsaid compliment is equal to an insult, I do think that pretty much everyone likes compliments. Why not brightens somebody's day by giving them a meaningful compliment? It doesn't have to be elaborate, just sincere.

01 June 2011

Ike's Friend

This is the stairway in our house. It holds Ike's most favorite light. He likes most lights, but he loves this one. He looks for it whenever we are going up or down the stairs. Once his eye catches it, he has difficulty looking away.

Meanwhile, I need something to do with that large window on the landing. That vacant place is what I stare at when I go up or down the stairs. Suggestions?