Saturday, October 31, 2009

Penelope wishes you a Happy Halloween

So this will be the first of at least 2 Halloween videos, this was taken this morning after P woke up. The funniest part of this video actually happened while I was "editing" - Penny was on my lap and she was absolutely enthralled, she would talk back to the video and shake her head "no" in the appropriate places.

So here it is, Penelope wishing you all a Happy Halloween:

Oh! And in other talking news, nearly every time she sees Bryan she says "hi dada" - it's cute. She uses "da" to talk about the dog as well, so I don't know if we're going to count it as her first word. We may actually count "hi" since she uses it appropriately.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This morning

Penny wakes up at 6:20am... I get up, we have breakfast, play a little, and then decide that it's high time Daddy gets out of bed (it's 7 at this point). So we crawl into bed with Daddy and Penelope commences to crawl all over him. I tell her, "Penny, that's rude, you haven't even given Daddy kisses this morning! Where are your kisses for Daddy?" - so she kisses his shoulder and his eye. Open mouth slobbery kisses. Ha!

Anyway, after about 20 minutes of playing on the bed she decides that she'll go ahead and take an early nap - hooray! So we sleep from about 7:30 until 9. Glorious sleep!

After waking up, she decides to try and make Bryan take her pacifier, which was pretty amusing... especially since she kept trying even though he kept moving his head to avoid it.

We finally all got out of bed around 9:20 and are just getting around to getting ready for the day at 10:30. It feels like a Saturday!

On the agenda today: a walk, lunch with Holly & baby Lamb, @$$-load of homework, and I'm supposed to be teaching a cloth diapering workshop tonight - but no one has RSVP'd so I may just cancel the class and spend the evening hanging out with baby & Bry (which sounds like much more fun than teaching a diapering class).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Looking back: Pictures that make me cry

The title says it all



3 weeks old



There's lots more... and plenty more that just make me laugh.

This is the post for which she will hate me

When Penelope is 12 or 13 she will read through this blog, happen upon this post, and then refuse to talk to me for an entire week. I could, of course, NOT post this, but it's too damn funny and I'll get a week of silence out of it at some point in the future. Win-win, right? Besides, all moms tell embarrassing poop stories. So Penny can return the favor when she has her own kids.

Now that I've built it up, y'all probably won't find it funny. Oh well, I still do.

Penelope was grossed out by her own poopy diaper. Yep. She gagged and then covered her nose & mouth. It was hilarious... only I couldn't laugh too hard because that would require inhaling (which I was trying NOT to do as this was an exceptionally stinky poopy diaper). If she knew how to say "yucky" I bet she would have. The memory still makes me giggle.

So thanks Pen for making Mommy laugh (and gag at the same time). When you decide to talk to me again I promise not to mention it... well, I'll try not to. Love you baby!

This is an actual assignment

This is one of my assignments for the week. Try not to laugh.

*Describe your philosophy and values for creating and maintaining a positive learning environment; consider the role of the teacher, students, school administrators, district policies, ethical, and professional behaviors.
*Create rules, procedures, routines, and consequences for establishing and maintaining a positive learning enviornemnt

I also have to get this evaluated by 2 professional educators and the reflect about the whole thing.

I'm going to need a bucket to throw up in by the time I'm done. This is the most ridiculous assignment I have EVER done in college. Seriously, and one class at Sac State required me to draw my interpretation of Chinese mythology. This is even sillier than that assignment.

Why? For many reasons, one of which is that schools set the vast majority of classroom rules - a teacher gets a certain amount of flexibility - but if a school has a certain classroom policy then I'm bound to abide by it. So why in the name of all that is holy am I wasting my time creating this crap on my own???

And my philosophy on classroom management? Sweet Jebus I just threw up in my mouth a little. Ridiculous I say. Utterly.

I feel like complaining about the idiocy of this assignment, but I have no idea to whom. Oh well. I will invent a bunch of BS and pass it off as a thoughtful assignment. I'm ready to be DONE with my classes. DONE.

I have Penelope-related posts, those will come soon I promise.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear Penelope:

While I appreciate your offer to help, I just wanted to let you know that throwing clothes on the floor is the opposite of folding.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I finally have some pictures

So I finally figured out how to pictures off of my new phone and onto my computer. For some reason the bluetooth wasn't working, so I just texted them to my e-mail address.

Anyway, here they are:

Pink Poodle
Penelope in the pink poodle costume Tami gave us at my babyshower. It's sized 2T so I never thought she'd fit into it for a Halloween, I figured she'd be too small this Halloween and too big next Halloween. I was wrong, it fits perfectly! Maybe Penny has been growing so fast so she *could* fit into the costume, in that case the fact that we have a giant baby is all Tami's fault :)

The Face
I like to call this "The Face" - and she makes it all the time.

In other news, my parents had her last night so I could surprise Bryan with a night out to a comedy club. She did great for them (slept from 8-7:30) and Bryan and I had a really wonderful time - we laughed for almost two hours straight. All in all, a very wonderful night! Now it's Sunday and football will be on soon! Go Steelers!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gimmie 2 Steps...

We had our first unassisted steps today! She took 2 steps for Daddy and then was nice enough to repeat the performance so Mommy could see. Go Pen!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

I dropped the ball

So I set up the poll, surveyed everyone I knew and we decided on Penelope's Halloween costume: Ewok.

Only I didn't order it in time and so now it's either out of stock or won't come in until 11/1. Oops.

So we have to make the trek to one of those Spirit Halloween stores and pick out something - which is what I was trying to avoid since I'm not really a fan of those places (they get super crowded the week before Halloween). Oh well, this is what I get for procrastinating. So her Halloween costume will be a surprise - to everyone.

Next year will be different! I promise. I already have the costume picked out (and my Dad's complimentary costume). It will be EPIC.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I should be doing homework

So I have to write a unit lesson plan and I have a paper due by Saturday. I should be doing those things... obviously I'm not. Although I think I'm going to take a lesson plan for my last class (revolving around the novel The Death of Ivan Ilyich) and expand that into an entire unit. It shouldn't be too hard to do. So I have the groundwork done, but have to get into the specifics for this assignment.

I am SO DONE with school. Unfortunately school isn't quite so done with me. I will preserver however, especially after my Uncle Wes' memorial service. We were all reminded that day how much my Uncle prized education (he was a high school Principal) and so my Master's Degree will be dedicated to the memory of Uncle Wes. I'll probably even make the trek down to San Diego for my graduation ceremony (I didn't walk when I got my BA, which disappointed my mother). My ultimate goal is to get my PhD, but I have to wait until the kids are in school before I do that. I can work as a teacher for 6 years and then go back... and then I can be one of those tweed wearing super liberal college professors - only I don't really love tweed.

Speaking of Uncle Wes, the memorial was Sunday and like I noted on Facebook - I really enjoyed spending time with my family, even though the occasion was a sad one. The memorial and the reception afterward were very cathartic, at least for me. I hope that others felt the same. In a lot of ways it reminded me of my Grandpa Vern's memorial, Uncle Wes and Grandpa Vern went to the same high school (Uncle Wes' brother, my Grandpa Larry, was my Grandpa Vern's best friend in high school... in fact, my Grandpa Vern ended up marrying Grandpa's Larry's cousin, my Grandma Ruth. The story is long and involved, but very, very interesting).

Anyway, Wes has grandchildren who were the same age as I was when Grandpa Vern passed - and it brought back a lot of memories about how I felt when Grandpa died. It sucks having someone you love pass away, but quite frankly it sucks even more when you're a preteen/teenager. In my opinion, the most difficult time to loose a loved one is between the ages of 12 & 17. I think it's because at that age you're old enough to understand what's going on, but not yet old enough to be able to process things like an adult... maybe it's puberty that does it. Maybe it's emotional maturity - heck, it could even be brain development. Whatever it is, my Grandfather's death when I was 12 hit me much, much harder than the death of any subsequent loved one. Of course, I'm basing my opinions off of my own personal experience - so I could be totally and completely wrong about the whole 12-17 thing.

Ok, that was quite the tangent... to get back on track: the memorial. I cried, but I also laughed - it's hard not to when hearing stories of Uncle Wes' shenanigans, the man had fun and got into trouble (and had fun getting into trouble). He was very smart, very loud, very opinionated, and very well loved. The high school gym was overflowing with people - and there were still more who couldn't make it that day.

Penelope did pretty well for being 10 1/2 months. Bryan took her out near the end to walk around, but I was proud of her. She thought that the loudspeaker was hilarious and would laugh almost every time a voice would be projected out of it, she would also laugh when we would laugh at one of Uncle Wes' "Wes-isms" (my favorite being: Are you working at being a smart ass, or is it a natural talent?). She didn't get the joke, but she just wanted to laugh along with the crowd, Uncle Wes probably would have found it incredibly amusing.

I am sad that Penny never got to meet him - she would have LOVED him. She'll never get to meet a lot of really wonderful people... but such is life.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Babycenter vs. a Speech Therapist

So I got an e-mail today from about Penelope's development. I get one every week (and one for the pregnancy), sometimes they have tips on how to handle common problems or issues at the child's stage in development and sometimes they're just informative. Today's was on vocalization, here's what it said (fyi, they switch genders all the time so don't be confused when they go from "he" to "she" mid-sentence):

Your baby's ability to vocalize is improving, and he may say his first word any time now. When he does, repeat it softly and clearly so she can learn the correct pronunciation. (Bear in mind that many babies won't utter an intelligible peep for several more months, and that's normal, too.) First words don't always have precise definitions, by the way. "Dog" may mean anything with four legs, and "ba-ba" could signify bottle, teddy bear, bye-bye — or all three.

Now, the last part is the part I'm most interested in, and I've bolded it, mostly because it I think it's a load of crap. If you count a first word as anything semi intelligible but that is NOT used consistently with meaning then you can count Penny's first "word" as uh-oh when she was 4 months old. Ha.

One of my very good friends (who has a daughter 4 months older than Penny) is a speech therapist - with a Masters (she works with infants and children). And her line of thought, backed up by her degree, is that a first word is when a child uses a word consistently with meaning - so "mama" will count when baby is using it to refer to mom, and only mom. If baby says "mama" to her mom, food, and teddy bear then she's just playing with sounds. This is a good thing, but it's NOT a first word.

Penelope says mama, dada, and baba pretty consistently but not exclusively for mom, dad, and bottle. She just likes to use the sound combinations to babble - which is great, but I'm not counting ANY of them as her first word. She's also said tights, wookie, and work - so she's repeating things I've said - but she has no idea what she's saying so they don't count either.

Some people think I'm being too strict with what to count as a first word. I think I'm being realistic and much more accurate than websites like babycenter. If I followed their guidelines then Penelope has been "talking" since 6 months - which is a little ridiculous. She's a smart kid, but not even Einstein talked at 6 months.

This morning's changing table conversation

Here was my conversation with Penelope this morning at the changing table:

Penelope: Ah, Daaada
Me: Yes, you love your Daddy
P: Daaaa!
M: MmmHmm, Daddy
P: Ah Dah
M: Daddy's at work
P: Work
M: Did you just say 'work'???

Sunday, October 18, 2009


So Uncle Wes' memorial was today, and there will be a long blog post on it later... but I had to address todays football (and I know Uncle Wes would understand, and would rather I go on and on about football as opposed to wax nostalgic).

Anyway. The Raiders beat the Eagles? What the hell? They stopped McNabb from throwing ANY touchdowns? Is this bizarro world? And the Titans were SHUT OUT? Really? 0-59? That's not a professional football game... did the Titans send their grandmothers out there? Holy crap.

And to briefly address baseball. Dear Yankees, I hate you. Dear Dodgers, go Phillies!

Ok, that is all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nose and standing up

Penelope's latest "trick" if you ask her "Penny, where's your nose?" she will take your finger and bring it to her nose, or conversely lean her face forward until her nose makes contact with your finger. Hilarious.

She's also started to stand on her own. Never for very long, a couple of seconds - and sometimes she doesn't even realize she's doing it. We though she might be walking by Halloween, but that may be a tad optimistic - although who knows. She'll definitely be walking before her first birthday. Her Pediatrician said she'd be walking by 10 months so he won't be too far off.

I should really be writing a paper... the baby is napping and the house is picked up. But I'd rather watch Bryan play Guitar Hero 5.

Friday, October 16, 2009


So it's been a rollercoaster of a weekend and it's only Friday (our weekend started Thursday). So much has happened that I really haven't had time to process it all yet, most of it was good - and some of it was not. I guess the best way to sort it all out is to start at the beginning.

Thursday morning. We had our 14 week appointment with the midwives. This means I'm in the second trimester (yea!) and it was a really great appointment. We heard the heartbeat (and Penelope, standing next to the "exam table" was dancing to the whump-whump-whump of the baby's heartbeat - too cute). I put exam table in quotations because the table at our midwives looks and feels nothing like the exam tables at traditional doctor's offices. It's much more comfortable and inviting, but I really can't think of another term for it.

Anyway, the heartbeat was 152 beats per minute which is very good. More good news, there's only ONE heartbeat :) No twins for us. Other good things: My uterus measured at the right amount of weeks (which is another indicator that the baby is growing normally and there's only one in there), I gained 1 lbs since last month (which puts me at 5 under from my weight before this pregnancy - although no where near my weight pre-Penny), and my midwives think everything sounds and looks good. My blood pressure was pretty low (90/60) and Marlene remarked that she didn't know how I was standing upright - although low blood pressure isn't abnormal for me during pregnancy (or when I'm not pregnant) but I have been getting dizzy a lot lately so I just have to watch myself.

After our appointment we met up with my parents and drove to Tahoe for my cousin's wedding. The wedding was at a casino, and it was really nice - both Jodi and Ken seemed really happy... Ken even got a little teary during the ceremony :)

The only downer was that during the dinner we found out that my Uncle Wes (my Grandpa's brother) had passed away. It wasn't unexpected but it was still very sad... and this is the part of the weekend (thus far) that I haven't really gotten the time to process. I don't know how much I'll get to tonight (since we're all exhausted) but I need to talk a little bit about my Uncle before I sign off.

I have very fond memories of my Uncle... growing up we didn't see him all the time since he lived in Chico and we were in Sacramento, but we saw him often enough for me to grow to love him very much. He was a bit larger than life - literally - the man was TALL. And bald (well, I'm sure he had hair at one point, but the Uncle Wes in my memories was always bald). He was incredibly intelligent, had a great sense of humor, and was (at least for us kids) a gentle giant. He was a high school principal and could be stern, but that wasn't really a side of him I ever saw. I saw him at holidays or at my great-grandparent's house (both of whom were also very tall and very loving) - and those times Uncle Wes seemed to always be laughing.

Of course, talking about Uncle Wes always reminds me of my great-grandparents who were wonderful wonderful people. I miss them a lot - they passed away when I was in high school and if I remember correctly they were both in their 90s... I have some very wonderful memories of them both and it makes me a little sad that my kids will never get the chance to meet them. But I'm very, very lucky that I got so much time with them, many people never even get to meet their great-grandparents.

Back to Uncle Wes... after my great-grandparents died we saw less of that side of the family. This was for a variety of reasons, one of which was distance. We would still see Uncle Wes on occasion; mainly for holidays.

When Bryan and I got engaged, we had a couple of conversations about who we wanted to officiate our wedding. I felt very strongly that I wanted family involved - someone special... and Bryan gave me the go-ahead to ask whomever I wanted. So I asked Uncle Wes.

He said yes. He even went online and got ordained from one of those non-denominational churches so it could be official (our ceremony was not religious, unless you count Dr. Seuss as a religious leader). He performed his son's wedding a few months before ours (he told me it was his practice ceremony, although I'm quite certain that he did an amazing job and no one would have been able to tell he'd never done it before).

Our ceremony was perfect. I couldn't imagine a better ceremony - it was funny, touching, and delivered in his wonderful speaking voice. It meant so much to me to have my Uncle (well, great-Uncle) be the one to pronounce Bryan and I husband and wife...

So to honor my Uncle Wes - and because I really love watching this - here's our wedding ceremony. The video is a little shaky (we didn't have a tripod) and the sound is so-so in spots, but it's really the only thing I have and I feel the need to hear his voice again. Thank you Uncle Wes, we love you very much.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Vote for Penny's Halloween costume...

See the poll on the side... (for those reading this on facebook, you have to actually come to the blog:

Forgot 2 things

1. Last night was the first time we ordered a separate meal for Penny off the kids menu. She got a cheese tortilla crisp and ate about 1/3 of it... a week or so ago we were out with friends (including baby Sophia) and we ordered the girls a salad to split (avocado & tomato) and she chowed that down. So she's had her first split meal and her first separate meal!

2. She's starting to repeat words. Daddy is one, but others she's said have been: tights, wookie, and cat. None of these actually count as first words, she's just repeating sounds. It's still fun (and funny).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

And here it is!

Earlier than I thought I'd have it up... this video has funny faces, laughing, clapping, touchdowns, and an upsidedown baby. Forgive my choppy editing.


I took video today...

But haven't uploaded it yet. I'm only telling you this because I need to be held accountable and if I don't put it out there it'll sit dormant on the video camera until Penelope's second birthday.

It's really cute.

Anyway, we have some new firsts. Today was the VERY FIRST TIME Penelope has EVER fed herself. I am so beyond excited... part of me was convinced I was going to be feeding her until she was 13. But nope! Tonight at dinner she picked up a tortilla chip (we were at a Mexican Restaurant) that we had given her to play with (she likes to crumble them into little pieces and throw them on the floor - we are the bane of all waitstaff). Anyway, she picked it up AND PUT IT IN HER MOUTH! And then ate it! And picked up another one and ate some more!

I seriously got teary eyed at the restaurant. I wish I was kidding.

Other new-ish stuff (I cannot remember if I've blogged about this before and am way too lazy to go back and check).
*Playing with the shaker egg... so we've been going to music classes for ages. She dances and is absolutely fascinated with guitars, but has never really taken the shaker egg and given it a good shake. But today (incidentally, NOT during music class) she picked one up and went to town. Shaking it to her own special rhythm, and even clapping with it in her hand. Cute!
*Clapping - all the time. If I ask her to show me "Yea!" she claps like a mad woman.
*Kissing on command - that sounds awful, but it's not. If I ask her for a kiss she'll give me one. Of course, then she won't stop. She sometimes tried to eat my face. I can't tell if I birthed a Jezebel or a Zombie. Maybe both. She doesn't do it for everyone though, so far it's just a few people - so it's not like she's making out with random strangers... just mommy *lol*
*Kissing BOYS. Well, just Orson. The two of them are hilarious... Orson is just hilarious - he'll kiss whatever girl is sitting next to him. Kim & Matt are going to have their hands full, I wonder whose karma this is coming back to haunt them? Hopefully my karma never comes back to visit me, otherwise I'm locking both of my children up in convents until they're 30.

Pictures and video later, I promise.

Stroller mania

So we still have awhile before we need to get a double stroller, but I went browsing today and I think I fell in love... with a $400 stroller.

You can snap an infant carseat into the top (if I read the site correctly) and attach a toddler seat to the bottom. There's also a bassinet for infants. It looks awesome. It costs more than a car payment.

There are others out there... the Sit 'N Stand looks like it would work pretty well, but I have an aversion to 4 wheeled strollers. I've heard good and bad things about the stroller - I guess it all depends on how P likes it.

Was going to post more, monster just woke up from her nap...

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Rat Pack

Anyone who knows me knows that I love jazz music and Frank Sinatra. Heck, I named my cat Francis Albert Sinatra and at one point had the name-changing paperwork all filled out to legally change my name to Sinatra. In fact, a good chunk of my friends still call me Sinatra.

I don't think there's any question that Sinatra was the the greatest vocalist of all time. He just was. End of discussion.

However, Sammy Davis Jr. often gets the shaft when talking about the Rat Pack. Well, Joey Bishop REALLY gets the shaft since most people have no idea who is is or that he was a member of the Rat Pack... but Sammy Davis Jr. often gets overshadowed by Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Sammy Davis Jr. was one talented man. While I don't think he was as good as Sinatra (vocally), he was still a wonderful singer and a fantastic dancer. He also dealt with a lot of crap for being a black entertainer pre & post Civil Rights, and for marrying a white woman. He suffered a lot for his career - and I really admire him.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I just put Penelope to bed and added a little Sammy Davis Jr. into our lullaby mix. Usually I sing her Sinatra standards, James Taylor songs, and the occasional Joni Mitchell song - but tonight I mixed it up (ok, so there was still a Sinatra song, but Mr. Bojangles was also in the mix).

Our routine at night is (usually) this: Daddy gives her a bath at 7:30 and gets her ready (lotion, p.j.'s, etc) and then he passes her off and I give her the night-time bottle, rock her a little, and sing her to sleep. It's one of my favorite times of the day, and I think she loves it too. After her bottle she twists around so she can snuggle with me (we're tummy-to-tummy) and stares up at me until she drifts off. Love. Love love love.

I really hope that we can continue this routine as my belly gets larger (and as Penny gets larger as well) - and that when New Baby gets here we can incorporate him/her into the rocking and singing routine as well.

Popular Posts

Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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