Monday, September 26, 2011

The Fair

I like our little county fair. You don't have to pay to get "in," there's lots of greasy food, elephant ears, cotton candy, animals to see, exhibits to look at, and even a few games and rides, if that's the sort of thing you're into.

We met up with our friends the Beckers, and got some good greasy Chinese food, followed by a delectably warm elephant ear.

I'm guessing the crazed excited look means she liked it.

Betsy and I liked ours, too. Elephant ears are the main reason I go to the fair every year.

We took Chloë to see all of the animals. She was a lot more interested than she was last year.

Baby chicks.

Baby ducks.

Then we got some cotton candy, checked out the exhibits, and Bella and Eva went for a ride on the Merry-Go-Round.

Chloë watched and held her balloon.

It was a fun evening, and it's finally starting to feel a little bit like Fall around here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Chloë had so much fun playing with Louella when the Dowers were here for a few days. Louella is two months older, and these girls have such a great time together.

They were giggling together at their reflections.

Chloë's silly smile.

Louella's silly smile.

Bath time! Chloë had never had such a fun bath.

Louella wasn't so sure. There was a lot of splashing.

A moment of calmness.

These girls really do get along. Too bad Louella lives in Seattle now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

15 Months

Our little girl is 15 months old. I think she's pretty great.

I mentioned earlier this month that Chloë started walking. Which she has. But she's a very cautious walker, and really doesn't like to walk on our hardwood floors. If we're down in the basement, where there's carpet, she'll walk everywhere. She's still a little wobbly, so she falls sometimes. Which is why she probably doesn't like to walk on the hardwood. So she still crawls as her main method of mobility, but she's making progress.

Chloë is getting more teeth! She currently has six on top (two of which are molars), and she has three on bottom, and just in the last few days had three more break through the gums (again, two of which are molars). She loves having her teeth brushed, and gets super excited when she sees her toothbrush.

You'd think with all those teeth she'd be eager to use them on food, but she's proven to be quite the picky eater. I have sort of thrown my hands in the air for a couple of things that she just hates: oatmeal, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And she's very particular about texture. Bread is great, but only if it's not too dry (or toasted), and she recently has decided she hates the crust. Oh dear. And she hates milk. At her check up with the doctor last week, this was our biggest focus of "concern." She needs the calories and the calcium, but she decided she hates milk a month ago and started refusing her morning and nighttime bottles. I haven't given up on re-introducing it in new ways, and she'll have a little with cereal, and loves cheese and ice cream, so she does get some dairy. There are some foods she loves, like her ham or turkey and cheese sandwich, with mustard and mayo (and butter, to sneak in a little more dairy).

Speaking of her Dr. appointment, Chloë is down to the 15th percentile for weight. I could stress about it, and worry and feed her potato chips all day long, but I won't. She's perfectly healthy. I don't doubt she would have a little more chub if she was more sedentary. That kid moves all the time. Even when she's sitting in her highchair, eating. And when she's falling asleep. Yeah, she's a calorie burner, alright.

Where she lacks in walking ability and weight, she makes up for with talking. She is such a chatterbox. A parrot, really, as a friend recently put it. Even if she doesn't know the word, if we ask her to say something, she'll try it. In fact, she'll echo the entire alphabet, one letter at a time, if she doesn't get distracted. I realize her enunciation leaves something to be desired. But being her mother, I understand her language pretty well. It sure is convenient to know that "cuh-keys" means hungry, despite the fact that it sounds like a very clear "cookies." She probably uses this word the most throughout the day. She'll crawl over to her highchair and say "cuh-keys! Cuh-keys!" sometimes once a second if she thinks she's about to starve to death. Thankfully I understand many of the basic things she says and asks for. "Sah" for some, when she sees something she wants. "Duts!" is cheers, and she'll raise her sippy cup and toast. Other new words this month include: spoon is "poo" or "spoo," cereal: "seh-zuh," cheerios: "choo-choos," yuck: "guck," all done: "ah nun," wipe: "why," down stairs: "tis," walk: "wah," balloon: "bah-boo," sleepy: "sthe-pah," glasses: "gah-yas," help: "ahp," Louella, "weh-wah," car: "cah," bye bye: "buh-bye." She loves shoes, and asks to wear them, pointing to her dresser saying "sue! sue!" Her daddy taught her that getting her diaper changed is getting all fresh and clean, so diaper change is called fresh, or "shesh." She's getting good at her anatomy, too. Hair: "ah," nose: "notes," eye: "aye," teeth: "teet," tongue: "tah," belly button: "beh-bah," knee: "me," or "nee," toes: "totes." She's good at saying what something is when she's pointing to it. She doesn't quite understand personal space, and if the mood strikes, likes to point out a friend's body parts.

I skinned up my knee a couple of weeks ago, and since it's been warm, I've been wearing shorts. Chloë is an attentive and sympathetic girl. About a hundred times a day, she would see my knee, stop whatever she was in the process of doing, and point to it and tenderly say "atch."

For as much as we understand, there is still an awful lot of chatter that we don't understand.

We've established that her pacifier is only for naps and bedtime. She still prefers to sleep on top of or right next to one of us. But if she has her binkie and Bear, she'll give Bear kisses, pat and hug him, and snuggle on a pillow and fall asleep. Often times in the afternoon, when she's starting to get sleepy, she'll ask for Bear and binkie, and say "nie nie," and then will have a moment of relaxation on the couch. After the moment passes, she'll hand me her binkie and hop off of the couch, on to her next adventure.

She still loves reading. Recently she has been patient enough to let us read through an entire children book. She used to get too excited about turning the pages (and sometimes still does), but she'll actually listen to the story now.

She's discovered her nostrils, and occasionally sticks a finger up her nose. (Don't have a picture of this. Oh well.)

She figured out her Radio Flyer toy this month. She can get on and off the thing, and she even figured out how to make it move.

She absolutely loves sunglasses, and will snag them any chance she gets and try to put them on. Here she actually has the earpieces on her little pigtails.

One of my friends had a baby a couple of weeks ago, and we've had the pleasure of seeing Baby Sam a couple of times now. Even though Chloë doesn't quite understand what qualifies as gentle, it has been heartwarming seeing her being so affectionate to the new baby. She'll light up, and point, saying "bay-bee!" and kiss his head or some part of the blanket he's wrapped in. She'll sweetly "pat" him, although I've had to intervene, because as sweet as it is, it's still just a little bit too much like gentle hitting. If Sam is in his car seat, she likes to rock him. I feel pretty confident that she's going to be a great older sister.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Runaway Symphony

We got to see my brother Daniel last weekend for the first time since June. He's been touring the country with his band, Runaway Symphony. I know I'm biased because I'm his big sister, but I really do think he's talented. And the guys he plays with aren't bad, either.

His tour is actually what brought him back to town. His band was one of several to perform at the annual NuArt Block Party.

Daniel is the lead singer, plays guitar and occasionally the piano. Yeah, he's good.

Watching the fun.

They cover Josh Ritter's song "Idaho."

One of their original songs, Broken Bones.

Some of their merchandise. The t-shirts were designed and screen printed by Daniel himself. The CDs contain a few songs that they recorded last Spring before they started tour. They didn't have time to put together a finished product, so they ripped some songs on to some all purpose CDs, and Daniel got out the sharpie and drew on each one.

Check out the page they have set up with a few of their recorded tracks. I like Broken Bones.

Friday, September 16, 2011

We're having a...


Chloë is going to have a sister.

And we're going to have two little girls!

(We went to the mall after the ultrasound, and oh, whaddaya know, I found myself picking out some cute dresses on clearance for my daughters for next summer. I am so very excited.)

I've been sick with some weird flu and cold bug this week, which landed me on the couch for a few days. Yuck. But I managed to make it up to Spokane yesterday and keep our ultrasound appointment for Baby #2. Bryan took the day off from work so he could come, and was a great chauffeur for my sick and tired self.

As soon as the ultrasound was up on the TV screen, Bryan pointed and told Chloë it was a baby. "Bay-bee! Bey-bee!" she kept repeating, and pointing to the screen. She did this periodically throughout the hour long appointment. We thought it was so sweet, but also curious, since there really wasn't anything on the screen that resembled any baby she'd seen. But she was obviously excited.

Everything looked perfect.

There she is. Our beautiful little girl. With brains, too.

She's got a fist against her nose.

We got to see her practicing her breathing, which was amazing to watch. Her little chest and abdomen moved in quick repetition for a few seconds. Breathing! My tiny baby that is the size of a banana, and doesn't even have air to breathe. We saw her yawn a couple of times. Big, open mouth, regular old yawn. She kept putting her hand up to her face and mouth. She wasn't actually sucking her thumb, but she really seemed to prefer a hand next to her face. Her little heart was galloping along in the 160s again. Perfect little heart with four chambers. And we saw her liver and kidneys... it's impossible not to be overwhelmed at the beauty and goodness of our Creator. There's a little person, living and growing inside of me!

Kind of a sideways shot of her lower arm and slightly closed hand.

Look at her perfect little foot!!!

The baby had her legs together and even crossed throughout the ultrasound until the very end. I kept praying that we would get a glimpse of the gender, since we (probably) won't be having any more ultrasounds. Bryan and I were so convinced that we were going to find out we were having a boy. This pregnancy has just been so different than the last, and surely there was a logical explanation for it. Besides, we both just had "that feeling," and all of our instincts were right with the first pregnancy.

We were wrong.

So there you have it. She's definitely a girl.

This is a long video, but here's your very first video of our beautiful second daughter. (At least check out a few seconds right after the 2 minute mark. You can see heart and then you hear it beating. And at 5:45 you can see her little chest contractions of her practicing her breathing. How amazing.)

Only 4 1/2 months, and we get to meet her! I am so excited.

Monday, September 12, 2011


We've been a little busy the last week and a half. I also managed to splash milk on my laptop (yes, it was me leaning over the laptop while holding a glass of milk), and so we left the computer off for four days hoping it would be completely dry when we turned it back on. A couple of the keys are a little finicky, but everything seems to be running great. I'm very thankful that I didn't ruin everything.

Two weekends ago we drove over to Seattle to visit friends and just enjoy a little vacation out of town. Bryan took Friday off and had Monday off for Labor Day, and we had a grand ol' time.

Friday afternoon we went to a used car lot and poked around looking at all sorts of different vehicles. We decided that we really can't get by without a main vehicle with all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive for the winters here. We just didn't make it up the hill to our street a few times last winter, and we would like to avoid that this winter... especially if we have a newborn in February. Needless to say, we looked at lots of different options, but didn't walk away with a new-to-us car. We've been doing our homework all summer, and will keep looking until just the right thing turns up for us.

We stayed with our dear friends Joel and Mary Dowers and their little girl Louella. They moved from Moscow a couple of months ago, and we really miss having them around.

Saturday morning we met up at Greenlake Park with our old friends Luke and Katie, and their three kids Kay, Noah and Marae. The kids enjoyed the big playground for a while.

Chloë and Kay playing together in the sand.

Katie and adorable Marae.

Luke and Bryan with Chloë and Noah.

Chloë really enjoyed the sand.

But I think she liked the swings even better.

After lots of good playing, we took a short walk along the lake. I've discovered that if I walk very much, my body protests by giving me lots of little contractions. Probably not a big deal, but I've been trying to avoid lots of walking and being on my feet.

Stopping on the edge of the lake for a rest.

We spent the rest of Saturday with the Dowers, and Mary and I even did a little shopping while our girls napped, and had a nice relaxing evening.

Louella and Chloë played so well together. It was interesting to see Chloë inspired by Louella's walking abilities, and Louella trying out new words that Chloë was using.

They aren't exactly playing together here, but this is the only footage I got of them together, so here ya go.

On Sunday after church, we took a picnic lunch to Gas Works Park and tried to stay cool in the unusually warm Seattle weather.

Louella looking gorgeous and playing hide-and-seek games with her mama.

Sitting on the edge of Lake Union.

Downtown Seattle.

The girls enjoying the water.

Everyone cooling off a little.

We heard a constant drum beat, and upon investigation found a small crowd of people dressed up in medieval attire having some sort of duals. It was interesting.

Louella munching on some pears while we watched.

We went back to the Dowers, let the girls nap, and then ventured into the downtown area for some dinner. We were going to check out a Cajun restaurant, but they were booked, so we ended up at T.S. McHughs Irish Pub & Restaurant. It was wonderful, and we all extremely full when we left.

On Monday, we went to a fun little park down the street from the Dower's. There were lots of ripe blackberries along the way.

Chloë really like them.

Bryan having a little fun.

As usual, Chloë was thrilled to play in the sand.

This is how she fell asleep on the way home from the park. Poor sleepyhead.

Then the men went to a brewery while Mary and I stayed with the girls while they napped, and then we said our goodbyes and hit the road for home. We had a great weekend in Seattle, and as usual, can't wait to go back.