Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Arr!

In hon'r thar 'Talk Like a Pirate Day', I off'r ye kiddies' best of all pirate jokes:

What is a pirate's favorite letter?
Arrr! (R)

What is a pirate's favorite restaurant?
Arrrby's

What is a pirate's favorite kind of sock?
Arrrgyle

What is a pirate's favorite animal?
Arrrmadillo

You gettin thar idea? Find thar pirate in you at the Portland Pirate Festival this weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bigger Fish

So my template got all screwed up but you know what I don't care.  Why, because I have bigger fish to fry.  For the past two years I have been stuck in a job that was nothing more than a job.  But one day I decided to look, just to see what was out there and you know what appeared before my eyes?  The perfect job, P-E-R-F-E-C-T job.  Problem?  It's open application period was ending the next day by 5:00pm.  I pulled out my dreary looking resume and polished it up till it was sparkling.  I sent it in at 12:30am the day it closed, went to bed, and then got up at 5:00 to get ready for work.  Within a few days they called, I went in and blew them away (or so they said later).  They called again, I went in again and blew another panel away.  The next day they tried calling me but I was on the coast and had spotting cell coverage.  All I received was a message that said "I would love to talk to you, call me back".  I call back but they are gone for the weekend, the long holiday weekend.  I waited in misery for 3 days before I got the word, the job was mine.  New problem, my boss was leaving in two days for three weeks vacation.  I had to get that offer in writing before I could tell him, I just couldn't risk it.  I got the letter, and told my boss the day before he was set to leave.  He freaked but not in a "I hate you" way, it was in a "holy crap, all of the stuff that Heather does I am supposed to be doing, what happens if the powers that be know that she has been doing my work?" kind of way.  The greatest thing about this whole thing is that everyone is really happy for me and the comment I have heard more than anything else is "you deserve it."  Even my boss told me that if I ever wanted to come back they would find me a fabulous job with the company. 
 
My new job will be great, I won't go into detail but there is a short commute involved, it is working with water resources, and it is a government position (which I love).  It will be a continuation of six years that I spent working on water issues for the State of California.  I found out that they had 160 applications for this position, and they chose little old me.  Oh I am so excited.  I started the two-week count down yesterday and my replacement starts tomorrow.  I can't wait to push all of my work on her. 

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Big Three Year Old


I know, not the most flattering picture, but it fits her wacky personality. Yesterday was Aly's 3rd birthday. When you ask her how old she is she will look at her hand, count out three fingers, then look at you and say "See I'm Three Years Old!"

Aly seems shy when you first meet her, hiding behind my leg. But once she warms up to you watch out she will try anything, and investigate everything and be wacky and silly the whole time. We didn't have to childproof things until Aly came along, Cat just stayed away from stuff. Although it scares me to death at times, for the most part I love her curiosity, I hope she never loses that sense of excitement about everything.

She is my cuddle bug, whenever I am home she wants to cuddle up with me and read stories or sing songs. She knows all of her letters and loves to call them out when she sees them. She loves to play with her dolls and carry on little conversations between them, although for some reason they don't like wearing clothes. She most pull off all her dolls clothes within minutes of getting them, what is up with that? She loves to sing songs, and seems to have a photographic memory when it comes to music. She can hear a song one time, even briefly, and will be singing along right away. Perhaps having a musician dad has rubbed off on her, or maybe it is in the blood.

Since she is my last baby, I want to treasure all of these phases in her life, even the tantrums. Before I know it she won't be wanting to cuddle up with me, but for now I am happy to cuddle anytime she wants.

Happy Birthday Aly, you always have a smile for Mama and Daddy, and I hope that never changes.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Commuting

Sometimes you meet the most interesting people on the MAX train. Case in point the young man who sat next to me on my ride home last night.

Here is just a snippet of our conversation:

Guy: Hey you are really pretty, do you have a boyfriend?
Me: I am married.
Guy: Oh, do you know where there are any good titty bars around here?
Me: No, might want to check on Burnside or 82nd for that.
Guy: Oh, do you know where a New Seasons is so I can get some fruit?
Me: Yeah, you need to get off the train and catch a Yellow line to North Portland.
Guy: Okay thanks, I really need to find a good titty bar that will make me feel good.

Aaah, I just love commuting by public transportation.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Can a Four and Three Quarters Year Old Drive You Insane?


Oh, my precious Cat. I love her dearly, but lately I feel like tearing my hair out when we are together. She has become a mini-attorney. You ask her to get dressed and it becomes a debate over why she wants to wear a party dress to go play at the park instead of her play clothes. You ask her to clean up her mess and she will argue over why she doesn't need to clean it up because she was not the last one to touch the crayons therefor it is not her mess, and therefor she is not responsible for cleaning. Last night she refused to wear her pajamas because they were inside out and she screamed for me to fix them for her. But she knows how to fix them, she just didn't want to get ready for bed. We are talking stall tactics here. So I told her the longer it took her to get her pajamas on the more time it would take away from story time. She sat in her room and screamed to everyone who would listen that "she was four and three quarters and that she did not have to put her pajamas on, and that she would yell until I came in and did it for her." Now I know this is a small little thing to get in an argument with a four year old about, oh excuse me four and three quarters, but the issue at hand is that she all of a sudden wants to argue about everything. No matter what I say she will say the opposite. I know this is about pushing the boundaries that we set for her, but I also think it is about the fact that she is growing older and she now has to do some things for herself. She sees her little sister Aly getting all sorts of assistance, but we are helping her to learn. Sometimes she wants to be completely independent and then the next minute she wants our help with everything. I know this is a hard age for her, learning so much about the world in such a short period of time, I didn't realize just how hard it would be. The good thing about this all is that a big hug usually solves all the world's problems and calms us all down again. This is the first time that her behavior is worse than her little sisters, but I guess like all other things it will pass.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Stuff

You know stuff just really gets in the way of blogging. Stuff like two people being laid off at work because the folks there think that you are so capable you can now manage three full time jobs instead of just one. Yeah, that kind of puts a damper on blogging during lunch hour. Or, your ever expanding list of home projects that compete against your "I want to just hang out with the family" weekends. Then the fact that I had been feeling like a tub o' lard lately and the only way to fix that is by, get this, exercising and not eating a whole box of Jo-Jo's in one sitting. But where does that exercise time fit into the schedule, you guessed it, blogging time.

I have noticed in the blog world that a number of folks go through quiet periods on their blog. They usually bounce back after a month or two off the webs. I think that is what I needed. A little break, to get my own act in order. Have I promised that before? I am still working things out but I am starting to feel a lot better.

The main reason why I have time today to post is because the family is gone. Out of the house for five whole days. I don't have the time off available so I wasn't able to join them on the trip to visit the in-laws. So it is just me and our ferocious dog, Mojo, who will scare off any solicitor that tries to approach the house with some request for donations (I give at the office anyway). I seriously do not know what to do with myself. Knowing me it will involve cleaning more than anything, just because it is so easy to do when there are no little kids running around.

Before I forget, one of the best things has happened in the last month. Aly is now potty-trained, in underwear full time. Of course she had one accident last night, but that was the first time since we made the big switch. We are firm believers in going from pull-ups to underwear in one big step. No pull-ups at night. It pisses her off to wake up in a pool of pee so she holds it and when she really has to go she almost always will just get up and go use the potty. Like I said she had the one accident last night, and a few mid-day accidents but other than that she is peeing and pooping like a pro. I only had to bribe her with candy that first time she pooped in her potty, after that never a problem. Oh and, knock on wood, she has never once pooped in her underwear. I so hope the trend continues, it is so great to not have to haul diapers around with us.

Hopefully I will be back in the blogging loop soon, but if not that is okay too. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dragged back into the blogging fray by a meme

MoWo (Mother-Woman) was ever so kind to tag me for a meme. Seriously haven't had one of these in a while, especially since I haven't posted in so long. Life has stepped in and said "you think you have the bandwidth to blog, think again." But I do think about posting quite a bit, I have interesting stuff to post about (at least to me), just finding time in the day to do it all.

This meme comes from BlogRhet and like I said before MoWo passed it on to me. This is a good thing I think. Getting me back into the swing of things and in touch with why I started this blog in the first place.

1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days?Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?
In my very first post I said that i was writing for me. I needed a space to write and get thoughts, ideas, frustrations out there. I wanted something more than a journal that would just be put into a box when I finished filling it out.

2. Do you remember when you received your first comment? What was it like?
My first comment was on my second post which City Mama referenced on BloggingBaby (now known as ParentDish) . It came from IrishTwinMama, who did not have a link to blog or email, otherwise I would have contacted her right away to say thanks. I was shocked that someone who I didn't know was taking the time to read my blog not to mention that it was put in the spotlight after one not so great post. But my little rant about wanting to knit while I watched a movie hit a chord with someone else and that made me realize that there was this great community out in the interwebs.

3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers?
Right with that second post. When CityMama mentioned my blog I felt like I was welcomed in to a new community. A community that I was fully aware was there but that I was never a part of before. I was an outsider reading all these blogs, shaking my head in agreement to what was being written. After that post and especially once I started receiving comments on a regular basis I did feel like there was this bond being formed, and conversations being started.

4. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write?
This question is tricky. I think one of the main reasons why I haven't written much this year is because I started writing less for myself and more for what other people would find interesting. I would start a post and think, this is so boring, who else cares about this stuff but me. But I have to get past that, get back to that first post when I wrote this:

"Yes, this is all for me. Not for my kids, not for my husband or my work or my dog or my friends. This is for me, the queen of Mamaland, the land where I can feel exhausted and euphoric at the same time. So if you want to read then do, but just remember this is me, me, me. Not yours, all mine."

Now the hard part, who do I tag? I will tag Stephanie of Expressions of Love and Granny of RocRebelGranny who were two of the folks who responded to me when I first answered similar questions from MoWo back in March 2006.

So what have I learned from answering these questions? Got to write for myself just a bit more. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Kindergarten '08

Well after much deliberation we have decided to wait one more year and have Cat start kindergarten in 2008 instead of pushing for this year.  Even though the principal of our neighborhood school feels like she would do well she leaves it up to the IQ test performed by a child psychologist.  Currently the Portland School District only allow kids early admission if they test in the upper 97% and according to the child psychologist it doesn't happen that often.  After speaking with Cat's preschool teacher and the school principal we feel that Cat will be fine in a pre-K program next year.  If she ends up going into Kindergarten next year and is way more advanced than the other kids then we will deal with it at that time, but for now we will just let her be a kid.  Plus this way she and Aly will be only one year apart in school and I think that is pretty cool.  Hopefully they will be even closer friends/sisters that way.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Our kids love Dan Zanes and other stories

We took the kids to their first official concert on Sunday.  Dan Zanes live at the Aladdin Theater.  I had never been to the Aladdin before (I know I have lived here almost two years now and haven't got out much), but I will be back, it was a great place for a concert.  The kids danced the whole hour and a half that Dan and his friends played.  It was a sold out show, every kid there was enthralled the entire time.  All in all great times were had by all. 

We are meeting with the principal of our neighborhood school on Friday to discuss kindergarten early admission for Cat.  Her birthday falls in September but the deadline for enrollment is September 1st.  I am really hoping she will be able to get in early.  I went back and forth on the issue earlier this year.  Part of me just didn't want to deal with the hassle of it all, but after listening to my heart I know she is ready.  I think she is going to be bored if she has to stay in preschool another year, we would really need to supplement with other activities for her if she isn't accepted.  Keep your fingers crossed that the principal thinks she is ready, if she gives us the go we will have Catriona go through the psychiatric evaluation they require (I know it is crazy) to test IQ.

Our nanny will be leaving us at the end of the month and we are all sad about losing her. It looks like we will be using drop in care at Grandma's Place over by Lloyd Center for this last month that we will need someone.  That is until S goes back to work in the fall.  The kids and S went on a tour today and they didn't want to leave, they are really excited to go to a new "school".  So even though we are going to miss our nanny we were happy to find something that the kids are excited about.

We have been doing a lot of house project lately.  S painted our entire paneled basement, which was a huge undertaking.  I took the kids up to my parents for a few days while that was going on just to get them out of the house.  It is so much easier to get things done when the kids are not there.  I finished our bedroom, we added some new furnishings to the living room and we got the kids' room all organized and decorated.  We have officially owned our house for two years now and we are just getting to decorating it, we are lazy folk what can I say.

Hopefully I will have an update Friday afternoon on the kindergarten issue.  I just want to get next fall situated, I have been so confident that she will get into kindergarten early that I didn't set up a back up plan, hope that doesn't bite me in the butt later on.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

waiting for paint to dry

I am literally waiting for the paint to dry on my bedroom ceiling. That is the one task that has stopped me from painting my bedroom. I had never painted a ceiling before last night (I was scared), and after the second coat this morning I may never do it again. Oh wait there is still a hallway to paint, crap. I will get S to do that one. I have put off and put off painting the bedroom (kind of like posting an entry in the month of February) and it never got done. So this weekend with the kids away I am finishing the job. I needed to get the ceiling painted, walls and trim done, and one wall of fabric put up before everyone gets home. We have had all of the supplies forever but regular life and that aforementioned fear of painting ceilings has always stopped me from getting things done. S and I have come up with a new plan for getting stuff done around the house, we schedule it on the calendar. Because when we say "oh, next weekend we could get out side and clean up the garden" it just doesn't happen. But if we say "next weekend we are working from 8-12 outside in the garden" and we actually write it on the calendar we manage to get it done. Funny how that whole scheduling thing works outside of the office as well. Do you think it would work for posting to this here blog?

Shipwreck at Fort Stevens

What else have I been up to? Not a whole lot, just living life and loving my family. S and I have made a pact to reconnect with each other and the kids, so every month we plan a weekend family trip away from home. Last month we went camping at the coast, this month we will be going to a friends cabin on Whidbey Island up in Washington, one of my very favorite places that I spent a lot of time at growing up. Here in Oregon we love staying in the yurts and cabins that you can rent through the Oregon State Parks, and the kids love it as well. They have electricity and heat which means my one pet peeve about camping, being cold, gets nipped in the bud. Plus the fact they have beds to sleep on, saves me from sore back the next day. They even have teepees you can reserve at a couple of parks in eastern Oregon one near John Day which I would love to go explore one day. Plus the kids would love it just for the dinosaur aspect.

Speaking of dinosaurs, my kids love them right up there with their other current love of pirates. Have any of you read Captain Flinn and Pirate Dinosaurs? We got it from the library and have already renewed it once, I think I need to go to A Children's Place and pick up a copy. It combines pirates and dinosaurs in one great book. Did I mention the princess phase has cooled off a bit? Since I am not a pink and glitter girl, I am a little happy about that one.

Well, back to see if the paint is dried yet, and most importantly cross my fingers that I don't have to paint it for a third time. We bought cheap ceiling paint so the coverage is not so great. Oh well, by the end of the weekend I will have a nice new bedroom to sleep in and a dresser to sell, if anyone is interested I will be putting it up on craigslist sometime next week.

Oh, one more thing before I go, we got tickets to go see Dan Zanes in April. I think S and I were more excited than the girls, but they haven't been to a concert before. I guess two more things, one of the bands that S plays in TRay and the Shades is playing the last Thursday in April at the Kennedy School. It is all ages and should be really fun.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend Recap

Things I didn't do this weekend:
  • Go to the Crafty Mamas Bazaar at Milagros
  • Paint our bedroom
  • Sort through my fabric to sell (I will be putting some up on Ebay soon)
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Return books to the library, they are due today, so I need to go after work, I promised myself no overdues this year
  • Get some window coverings for the basement made
  • Do laundry
Things I did get done:
  • Went to the park
  • Played outside
  • Went for walks
  • Had family movie night
  • Read stories
  • Went swimming

All in all a very productive weekend.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

It has been a whole year since I started this blog. One year doesn't seem that long, but a lot can happen in just a year. Look what happened to Cat and Aly:

Then (traveling the aisles of Fred Meyer)



and Now (on my aunt's beautiful couch at Christmas)

Fabric Friday - with update

In the Oregonian home section yesterday they had an article on what colors will be hot this year. The number one was pink, it was just named color of the year by ICI paints. Have they been talking to Cat? So as I was looking at fabrics I concentrated in the pink family and found this one that I like. I am not a huge pink fan but being a mother of two girls I have bought a few yards of pink here and there. I found this one on Cia's Palette. It is currently sold out so I guess they are right, pink is hot so far this year.


Update: I stumbled upon the site of the designers of this print, Prints Charming out of Australia. What is it with all of these talented folks down there, I am drawn to more and more Australian sites everyday. This fabric is one of the lines being produced by Free Spirit Fabrics who also puts out Heather Bailey's great prints. Like this one:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Ogre Post

Scott took Cat to a new ballet class on Monday through the Parks and Rec. During the class each child was asked to pick an animal to be for part of the class. As they went around the class you heard “cat”, “dog”, “butterfly”, “lion”, and then you get to Cat who says “I want to be a big ogre!”
When I got home from work and Scott told me this story I asked Cat if she thought ogres were animals. She said “no Mama, ogres aren't animals but they would make the best pets. Oh, I wish I had an ogre for a pet.” I love that my kids are silly like this, not afraid to stray from the norm. I am sure when she said it she pictured Shrek living in our house.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fabric Friday

Kristen Doran Design has just updated her site with the sweetest owl fabric.  I love it and since I am selfish like that I put in my order before posting about it online.  I mentioned her blog Cheeky Beaks on Monday when I saw her link to Publisher Textiles, and when I saw that she had this owl fabric going up for sale today I knew at once that she would be my Fabric Friday post.
 


owl_orange
owl_tree
owl_coinpurse

All bags and prints are copyright to kristen doran design 2006

Monday, January 15, 2007

Material Monday - Publisher Textiles

Publisher Textiles based out of Australia has some beautiful fabrics. I am guessing they are way out of my price range, probably more in the "if I win the lottery and take a trip to Australia I would buy this fabric" range. I found them through a link at Cheeky Beaks another crafty blog that I discovered, she picks out some great fabrics, and designs them herself.

I finally got back into my sewing room and organized a bit plus got some pillows done for the girls room. I ran out of the fabric I need to finish them up so I will have to put an order in for some more yardage (that last ones needs to be on sale before I buy it). I am hoping to finish the pillows and the rest of their bedding by next weekend, guess I better go order the fabric now.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Nintendo DS = Hip Mama or Hip Wife?

You know when someone asks you a question and an answer comes to mind right away but you really aren't sure if that is the answer the person wants to hear so you bury it back in and pull out a new answer. Or am I the only one? Well that is what I went through when I saw this post on Crazy Hip Blog Mamas.

Why would a Pink Nintendo DS Lite make me a hipper mama?

Here are a few answers I came up, all of them being true but not my first thoughts on the subject:
  1. It is pink and electronic, my girls would flip and I think I was a total hip mama. Is there something in the little girl brain that equates pink to all things cool?
  2. I have so been out of the loop on video games ever since Nintendo 64 or Colecovision. Does anyone remember Colecovision? That was about the last time I played video games on a regular basis. If I had my very own little video game system I could become so "now", so "with it".
  3. It would give me that techno edge to talk to all the guys I work with about video games. I am literally the only woman working on a project with 20 guys. Feeling a little "in" with this group would definitely increase my hipness factor. Plus, they might take me a little more seriously when I discuss work topics. Also what is it with guys and video games? Although this does relate a little more to my answer below.

The best answer of all is that I would be become the ultimate hip chick in the eyes of my husband. Talk about something working better than lingerie to get a guys attention. It is probably one of the only things that is pink & electric, that would get him that excited (that is unless it came in a plain, brown paper box, but that would be something completely different). He wouldn't even care that it was pink. He would care that his smart, beautiful, sexy, and incredibly hip wife won it online. And let's face it, there is no one in this world other than our kids who can make us feel more beautiful and hip than our husbands. A hip wife = a hip mama = a hip lady.

Fabric Friday - Amy Butler Lotus

I heart Amy Butler fabric, I don't buy many of them, but I love them so much! She has a new line that according to her website comes out mid January. It is called Lotus and it is fabulous. I think I like her fabrics so much because she always puts out designs that I would love to have in my home. But the sad truth is I don't, I spend way too much time dreaming and not enough time doing. 2007 things will change.

A few of my faves:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is she ready?

In our house the topic of most of our conversations (at least with my husband and I) have to do with Cat and whether we should follow the Portland Public School District kindergarten cut off age of five by 09/01/07 or push for early admission. At first we were going to push for the early admission but the more we talked and the more research I did (I tend to over research things) all signs seemed to point toward waiting that extra year and starting kindergarten in 2008. But then I talk to Cat and watch how she plays and how she is learning so much and how much she wants to learn and I do think she is ready. But is this just mama pride? You know thinking that your kid is the smartest, wittiest, cutest kid in the world? I mean sure there has to be some of that in there, but I really think she is ready. Is she really going to feel like the littlest kid in class? She is already taller than a lot of her preschool classmates so that won't be an issue. If you ask Cat what school she wants to go to she says kindergarten. We've read Ramona the Pest and all about her going to kindergarten and not being a little "nursery school baby". I just keep going back and forth on what to do. If we pursue early admission it means meeting with the principal, letter from her preschool teacher, and a psychological evaluation (costs about $300-500). I keep waiting for a sign to appear that says she is ready or no way keep her home as long as you can. I also keep thinking that no matter what we decided it might not be the optimal decision for her. I guess this is our first step towards screwing up her life in some way. Come on you know that all parents do that to their kids sooner or later even if they have the best of intentions. I think at some point you just need to forget what all the research says, you know your child best, and follow what seems right. But I don't know what that is yet.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A four year old mind at work

S was vacuuming the family room when Cat said "Daddy, what are you doing?
S answered "I'm vacuuming."
Cat thought for a minute and said " why, is someone coming over?"
She is turning into a little smart ass just like her mama. I'm so proud.


Cat and Aly at Vancouver Lake

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Under Construction

I need to fool around with this site until I can figure out why it is not showing up normal in Internet Explorer. Can anyone help me out?

For now Life in Mama Land will be under construction.

Update: I changed the look around, again, but now it looks good in Internet Explorer and not so great in Mozilla. I think I know the problem but enough work for tonight, I am going to bed, I will work on it more tomorrow.

Error

What is up with my new look? Using Mozilla it looks great, using Internet Explorer it looks like crap. Maybe I need to update my Internet Explorer. Oh I hope that is it, because right now it looks so bad.

I will work on it tonight, hopefully I can fix the problem.

Please stand by for the regularly schedule program.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year, New Look, New Name

So I changed my site around a bit, made it a bit more girly. It was what I could do without hiring someone else to do it. I will probably tweak it a little more, but for now I am happy with it.

As you can see I changed the name as I talked about in my last post. Hopefully it will suit me a bit better. Oh who knows if it will be any better, but it makes me happy to see my name up there at the top of the page.

A few other changes you will notice, my picture in my profile, it is of me when I was 3. I love that picture, I look so happy. Hopefully it will inspire me to surround myself with things that make me that happy, like my family. Also, I will start signing my comments "Heather Bea" instead of the "HeatherJ" you are used to seeing.

I am so optimistic going into 2007, I feel that this will be a year of great changes, tons of inspiration, and lasting memories of my girls.

Happy New Year!

Oh, one last thing, I want to start posting more photos this year, so here you have my two girls. Are they super cute, or is it just me?