Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Reindeer Mountian

(photo is public domain)

The other morning while driving south on I-5 I noticed Mount Rainier (pronounced rain-near) was gleaming against the bright blue sky. Us natives were taught at a relatively young age to keep a look out for this looming mascot of sorts. It's what makes this little bit of the country so beautiful; the water, trees and mountains all in the same spot! It is a finicky view though, as some days like today it's as clear as day, others it's only partially visible circled with mist and clouds, and still others it's just raining too darn much right where you're standing to get a good view of anything. But Tuesday it was out in all it's splendor, and I commented to E "Oh look, our mountain's out."

And she casually questioned, "Which one is it?

I said, "Mount Rainier, right there. Sometimes we see it from the airplane too."

"Mama," she started in "it's not just mount, you have to say mountain (pronouncing very emphatically)."

"Well, there's different words for the same thing, lots of mountain's are called mount," I gently reminded her.

She looked concerned for a bit and then asked "Does Santa like the mountain?"

I was puzzled, "What do you mean?"

As she casually looked out the window she said very seriously, "because it's Mountain Reindeer."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Come on in, the water's fine!

(photo by Kristin)

I decided to start E in swimming lessons at our local outdoor pool this summer. She is doing better than I had anticipated. The class is a small, parent/tot and teacher assisted time basically designated to familiarize the kids with water, and increase their comfort levels. We splash, toss toys and practice kicking, reach and pull, and blowing bubbles. By the end of last week she was comfortable with me dunking her completely under water. And later we practiced using both her arms and legs to propel her with a floatie around her waist (without me!) I was so proud of her! She's going to be so prepared for our annual camping trip to The Lake in August! I love being in the water, and it's definitely rubbing off on her! She'll be swimmin' laps in no time!

Our instructor Casey, has become somewhat of a celebrity around here, E talks about her all the time. Today when we were leaving the locker room to head out to the side of the pool Casey was walking in. She stopped in her tracks, mouth agape, and whispered "Look Mama, it's, it's it's her!" Kind of like seeing a school teacher at the grocery store I suppose, E must think Casey sleeps in the pool...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

El in Review (2)

- She has taken to the water like a fish. Like her Mama before her she loves Swimming Lessons! We take the class together in our local outdoor pool, there's only 3 parent/tot couples and she has learned so much already! She kicks, paddles, blows bubbles, jumps to me off the edge, and even willingly let me submerge her today. Big stuff for a little one, and in only 4 lessons so far.

-She makes up songs. Dave of course loves this. She sings about anything, there are a couple lines and then she makes up an ending. Today's ditty went something like:

"I love you everytime,
I love you this time,
I love you everytime and this time."

-She has also been making stories up, and when I say stories I mean I usually respond with "Well, that sounds like an interesting story, was that the truth?" What's great is that she will respond with "Yes, it's a story," or "I telled you the truth." She knows that difference, very exciting milestone.

-She's using scissors.

-Her imagination is taking off, she usually pretends one of her stuffed animals is sick, and takes care of them.

-Still says "mu-ze-zum" for museum, love it!

-She'd still rather watch a Wiggles video than any other because of Taptin (or Captain Feathersword). She exclaims "He's larious (hilarious) Mama," or "It's a riot!"

-She's excited about flowers, "Ahwww, they're growing up Mama."

-We play 'Think of an Animal' in the car. When I describe an animal and she guesses based on the clues. Now she wants to describe an animal, usually this leaves me very frustrated because the clues will go something like:

"My animal has no stripes, and no ears, and no legs, and no neck, it's brown and white, and eats fish and has no eyes..." Geeeeze...

-She's starting to grasp the concept of board games, we play Candyland sort of, and we play Memory sort of, and Hi-Ho Cherry-O, sort of. She does understand the concept of taking turns though, which is great.

-She for the most part dresses and undresses herself

-She can use the potty without assistance, although still working on the toilet paper amount. She'll tear off the teeniest corner and attempt to clean-up, I've instilled a 5 square rule.

-She checks her e-mail. This is us opening up Word, changing the font size to HUGE and all capitals and let her type away, she knows all her letters!

-Really has nailed the "Excuse me Mama," when addressing me, and "May I," if asking for something. Very proud of her when she speaks in public.

-in case



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Medical Update

For those that are interested in my latest phase of my ongoing throat issues (I call it that because it has yet to be determined exactly what the problem is) news is hopeful. I met with my endocrinologist about a week ago and he's stumped. My MRI showed nothing of concern (no tumors cancerous or otherwise, no ulcers, no nothing. Very good news (deep breath). However after reviewing by blood work from about 2 months ago it appeared that one of my numbers (I don't understand it all either, just go with it) seems just off from normal, indicating that my thyroid my be slightly inflamed in such a way that I feel like someone is choking me (it's the feeling of having that lump in the back of your throat when you're trying not to cry...all the time). So I'm now on a trial low dose of hypothyroid medication for 6 weeks in hopes that will be the end of it. Well not the end of it, because people on thyroid medication are destined to remain on it for the rest of their lives, yes, a pill every morning for the next 40-50 years. What is that...14,600-18,250 pills? Pharmaceutical stock anyone? Anyhow, I'll keep you posted. Hopefully the pills will help, or I'll be fated to have someone shove a camera down my throat, lovely.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hell Yes, Helsing!

So a few months ago D and I decided to support our local organic farming community and become members of the CSA. I have long awaited our first box of locally grown veggies, flowers and fruits from Helsing Junction Farm! This afternoon after her swimming lesson E and I hopped in the car and headed to our designated pick-up site. After a couple wrong turns I finally located a shed off the side of the road, holding our box of fresh produce! Hooray! I eagerly unpacked our plunder at home finding 5 pints of strawberries (might have to do Tania's recipe), 1 bunch of red chard, a handful of arugula, 5 or so radishes, and a head of lettuce! Along with my box they offer a newsletter containing recipes, and updates on the crops, so, so, so exciting for me! Another plus is that my pick-up site sells fresh eggs too, amazing! We will be getting fresh produce every week, all summer long and into October. You make me sing, Helsing!

Find a participating CSA farm near you!

PS Anyone have a good recipe for radishes?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Friends in Far-off Places

I've been back on the West Coast for about 48 hours, and you'd think that'd be enough time to get a post up about our fabulous trip back east to Massachusetts, but no, all I've got right now are the photo's. I'll add little descriptions soon, as I kept a bit of a diary for each day.

a little bit of pink

Noah's graduation

summer food

the kids eating their first round of dessert

round two!

indoor water park

yup, hooked on the stuff


make way for ducklings

much needed Tania time


beach buds


itty-bitty beach buds



chasing the sun

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I went to an appointment this morning. I've been having some throat issues for the last 3 months or so, and this latest test was the next step. After filling out an extensive questionnaire (including whether or not I have random metal bits in me, gunshots etc.) I was escorted to a tiny room to change into scrubs, and lock up my belongings. I was then introduced to the MRI machine that would encapsulate my entire body as I lay unflinching for an hour, yes an hour. And let me just say it's enough to make an un-claustrophobic person quickly turn. As I lay flat on my back listening to the jarring buzzes and crashes, my breathing quickened and I truly had to talk myself down from the frenzy and panic that was ensuing.

Because the images they were attempting to capture were of my throat, swallowing, coughing, clearing one's throat, was prohibited for 5 minutes at a time. Ummm...not swallowing? It was all too much, tears were streaming down into my ears 1/2 was through, I was going crazy. Fortunately after 30 or so minutes they slid me out to give me an injection for contrast. I was able to refocus my eyes, take a deep breath, and then in again I went. The whole process all over again. Hopefully that will be the last time I ever do that again. I tried to relax, really I did. I went into it thinking this is a rare opportunity to just lie here, not be needed for anything or one, but when you're caged in like that? I dunno. When all you can see is white, and your nose is a couple inches away from the ceiling to this groaning, clanging machine. I dunno.

I will find out the results of this test after I return from our little upcoming vacation to Boston. Until then, I will relax, enjoy my time away and the fact that I'm not stuck in a tiny tunnel in a doctor's office.

To hear a snippit of what I was hearing go here and scroll 1/2 way down.