The Great Storyteller
Friday, February 29, 2008

Wine Selection: Fetzer Merlot
Personal Rating: ***Good***

I am a big fan of Sandra Boynton's children's books. Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs, Barnyard Dance, Belly Button Book, and Pajama Time are among some of my absolute favorites. This week we got a new Boynton book in an effort to help Wyatt master his colors (you'll witness momentarily why he could use such help), called Blue Hat Green Hat. We've only owned the book for just a few days, but I bet I'd be safe to assume that we've read it about 50 times already. So, when Wyatt asked me to read it to him today (for about the 12th time), I asked him if he'd like to read it to me.

And he did.

I truly believe that he understands his colors much more than he lets on, but he's the master of trickery and doesn't take too kindly to the idea of being completely understood by others. Wyatt...the child of mischief and mystery. Oh, brother!

Gimme an "A"!
Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wine Selection: Vendange Chardonnay
Personal Rating: ***Good***

I'm not sure about you, but I haven't seen too many 8-month old cheerleaders. Before today, I wouldn't have even taken her for the type, but apparently, being an entire month older can bring out that extra spunk (that, AND the flower). I'm not quite sure what type of trick, pose, stunt (whatever ya'll cheerleaders call them) she's demonstrating in this photo, but she was certainly proud of it, whatever it was. Then later today in the grocery store (which was a madhouse, by the way), we were checking out when she spontaneously started chanting, "Ba! Ba!! Ba!!!" over and over again. Let me tell you, ALL eyes were on her! But the funniest part was when two toddlers several lanes over started repeating her chant. I was a bit red-faced with embarrassment, but it seems as though everyone was quite entertained by the infant pep rally. Let me tell ya, I'll take chanting over tantrums ANY DAY!

So, it's amazing the things that can happen during a one-month span of time. More than any other month, this past one has left me trying so desperately to hold onto anything left that is baby. Avery has certainly started to transition to a big girl (in my eyes), as she is becoming more independent with each passing day. Just a week or two ago, I was still swaddling her in the very blanket we used from the day she was born. I was bouncing her to sleep for every nap. She had NO teeth. Today, I simply lay her down in her bed awake without her swaddle while she peacefully drifts off to sleep on her own! And we must also bid farewell to the toothless grin I love so much, as she finally has one tooth with another to follow any day. I know she's only 8 months old, but I feel her needing me less and less every day. I should be praising God for eliminating two very time-consuming steps in our nap and bedtime routine, but I can't help but feel that my little girl is growing up on me. She also doesn't like to snuggle as much, for there is just too much to see and do in this world.

I'm sure my mood next month will be much less sappy and a little more irritated that I can't keep her curious little crawling mind from exploring every nook and cranny in the house. While the Lord taketh away bedtime rituals, He also bringeth more sweeping and vacuuming of the floors (so that small babies don't choke on a crumb and die) in addition to sibling rivalry precipitated by theiving of toys--and then slobbering all over them. I hope He also bringeth a truck-load of patience.

Happy 8-month Birthday, Miss Avery Sierra!

And I must give props to my good friend Shelly for inspiring me to rush off to JoAnn's for fun fabrics to use as backdrops after seeing some adorable photos she took of her lil' Maggie. Professional photographers....who needs 'em!! :-)

Puppy Love
Friday, February 22, 2008

Wine Selection: Meridian Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ***Good***

One of Wyatt's closest companions these days is the only other little toddler on our street. Her name is Carina (not CaTrina...that would be crazy), and let me just tell you, she may just be the absolute cutest little girl I've ever seen! Wyatt most definitely concurs with his mommy's assessment because he certainly gets that twinkle in his eye every time he sees her. Lately, Carina's dad (who stays at home during the day) has offered to take Wyatt to the park since I'm homebound due to the dreaded infant nap schedule (sigh...but at least she sleeps, so I'm cool with it), which means the kiddos have been seeing quite a bit of each other these days.

The two of them are often found giggling nervously around each other, and aren't shy about exchanging hugs (and kisses, apparently!). Today, I had the great fortune of capturing their adoration for one another on camera. I've never seen anything more precious IN MY LIFE! As long as they're not talking engagement rings, I'm totally fine with it. So sweet!

Carina is all puckered up and ready to plant one on him,
in which she was ultimately successful.

Ode To My Onionhead!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wine Selection: Meridian Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating:***Good*** (for the $)

It's a special day for my dear friend, Sara (aka Onionhead). She's turning 30. We've celebrated many birthdays together, which have made for some very memorable moments. Since the miles between us are too great to actually be together for such a milestone event, I thought I would compose a special (and slightly entertaining) tribute to my dear friend of many many years.

Sara and I met during our senior year in high school while working on the school newspaper. Upon first impression, I took her to be somewhat of a sweet, delicate little flower--as evidenced by her public fascination with Tweety Bird, and clothing that often featured some type of fruit. It wasn't until I really got to know her that I discovered she had an incredible quick wit (in addition to being incredibly sweet) and a sense of humor that would bring a roomful laughing to tears! It wasn't long before we started hanging out during the lunch hour and singing happily along to Presidents of the United States of America. To this day, I'm still really not quite sure why we were having such a grand time singing about a "little blue dune buggy" and spiders that were "all brown and hard", but WHATEVER!

Since high school, we've managed to live in different cities (except for two years in grad school) while maintaining such a close friendship. And as I was looking through my old photo albums searching for the perfect picture to post for this little tribute, I found myself giggling as memories of each photo flooded my mind--the way we dressed, our "trendy" hairstyles, the way we posed for pictures, and how we always had a story to tell (or not) about our grand adventures together. So, instead of choosing just one, I organized a little slide show to the tune we designated as "our" song back in 1996.

Hope you have a very special birthday, Sara! Wish I could be there to celebrate with you. Love you always and forever!


O, Glorious Sunshine!
Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wine Selection: Mirassou Merlot
Personal Rating: ***Good***

Today was a great day. We finally got to see the sun, in all of her radiance! Woohoo! Flocks of Oregonians climbed out of their dark winter abodes this afternoon to frolic under the bright blue skies. We decided to head east of the Cascade Mountains to the Deschutes River. It's a much drier climate than we are accustomed to, so it was a nice change of scenery.

The river was absolutely breathtaking, and for the second week in a row, Wyatt was a champion hiker. He walked at least 3 miles today, which isn't too shabby for a two year old that hasn't had a nap! So, it was of no surprise whatsoever that the ever-so-powerful vibration of the moving car sent him into a snoring slumber in no time at all.

Avery and me taking a rest break

Yay for sunny days....keep 'em coming!

Bed Head and PB&J

Wine Selection:
Mirassou Merlot
Personal Rating: ***Good***

This is what being a two year old is all about.

Down for the Count
Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wine Selection: Concannon Merlot
Personal Rating: **Fair** (very fair at this point!)

Eric was post call today, meaning that he was home for the day early this morning after spending the previous night at the hospital. Even though he was a bit exhausted, he volunteered to put Wyatt down for his nap. As you may recall, Wyatt has regressed a great deal in regards to both falling asleep and staying asleep. Couple this with a week-long (and very persistent) cold/infection and you have what we commonly refer to as Hurricane Wyatt.

At any rate, Eric picked up his son and proceeded to the bedroom and closed the door. I then heard some loud crying and a lot of thrashing around, which is completely normal behavior for Wyatt when transitioning to sleep mode--hence the nickname, Hurricane. What I heard next however, was very out of the ordinary:

(Bedroom door opening)

Eric (in distress): "Oh!...Catrina...Oh!"

I ran into the hallway to find Eric lying on the floor struggling to move or speak.

Me (a bit panicked): "WHAT is going on?!?!"

Eric (covering his face): "I think he broke my nose."

"Oh, Lord" I thought to myself.

Meanwhile, Wyatt was still crying hysterically in his bed not even realizing that his violent thrashing had potentially caused major facial trauma.

Eric managed to make it to the bathroom to try and assess the damage while I attempted to calm the kiddo. Moments later when I went to check on him, most of the bleeding was under control but his poor nose was incredibly swollen! We're still not completely sure if his nose is broken, but one thing we know for certain is that our two year old is a force to be reckoned with! To be quite honest, I'm surprised it took him an entire two years before knocking at least one of us down for the count. I must admit that I'm glad it was Eric and not me! Hehe!

It didn't take them long to make amends, as you can see from this post-incident photo of Eric snuggling with Wyatt and Avery in the chair.

And Valentines Day was meant for seeing hearts--not stars!

Teething BITES!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wine Selection: Concannon Merlot
Personal Rating: **Fair**

Even though Avery still doesn't have any teeth, her mood these days has been quite indicative of perhaps one or two making an appearance in the very near future. Today was an exceptionally fussy day for the little princess, as there was not much I could do to alleviate her grumpiness. But thankfully, I remembered how much she loves to chew on crackers and decided to give that a try. Wouldn't you know... she was just as happy as a clam from that point forward! And I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit (although I'm not sure many moms would blame me) that I continued to let her devour cracker after cracker until she was good and ready for that afternoon nap! Hehe! As long as she's happy, why screw up a good thing, right?

As we were sitting at the table for about an hour or so (hehe), I was able to catch a glimpse of her superb multi-tasking ability.

I must say, I was quite impressed to see a 7-month old holding a cracker in one hand while drinking from the other . I don't know, maybe that's completely normal. But my only experience from which to draw comes from that of my two-year old, who still hasn't quite figured out why his hands are even attached to his body! Yep, he's definitely flunking in the fine motor skills department.

Another thing I noticed was that in addition to crumbs, bibs are also apparently useful for catching fish.

Hmmm...perhaps Daddy should experiment with this method, for the whole rod and reel thing just hasn't been working out too well for him lately! :-)

Finally, I felt compelled to share the song that Avery so lovely sang to her mommy today during her cracker feast. I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet she's going to sing soprano just like her mommy.


Spooky Forests of the Oregon Coast
Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wine Selection: Concannon Merlot
Personal Rating: **Fair**

This is the time of year when living in Oregon (in my opinion) just stinks. It has been raining for 4 months, and frankly, I'm getting just a teensy bit bored with my everyday, purple rain jacket look. I'm just itching to see more of the sun, but each new week seems to bring a 7-day forecast even more grim than the week before. But rather than let the rain get the best of us, we decided to venture out onto the soggy trails of the Oregon Coast this weekend.

The Falcon Cape Trail was a new one for us, and it certainly did not disappoint. However, we were absolutely exhausted when we finally finished, as it took us an incredible 6 HOURS to complete the 5-mile expedition! With Wyatt in the backpack and Avery in the Bjorn, we planned on making good time. However, we didn't expect that Wyatt would become so intent on walking most of the way. After we mistakenly gave in to his request to get out of the backpack only 1.5 miles into our hike, any attempts to get him back into the pack were foiled. He amazingly (and very slowly) hiked 3.5 miles on terrain that an adult would consider moderate to difficult. Eric and I were both in shock but very proud that he had enough determination to go the distance. What a trooper!

In addition to beautiful scenery, you sometimes have the good fortune of stumbling upon wildlife if you keep your ears open and eyes peeled. Over the years, we've come across things like snakes, frogs, grouse, chipmunks, marmots, and quail, but this is the first time we've ever seen a mouse. I must say, it was the friendliest little mouse you'd probably ever meet. And it wasn't one of those creepy-looking house mice--it was so adorable. We decided to call him Templeton since we've been watching Charlotte's Web lately (I know...Templeton is a rat, but it was the best way for Wyatt to make the connection). We watched the mouse for a good 15-minutes as he (or she) inched closer towards us--until finally becoming brave enough to climb on my shoe! We could not believe it--what a treat!

One of the most spectacular sights of the hike was when we came across a roaring waterfall that emptied right into the ocean. What a sight, indeed!

This was our view from Cape Falcon. It was rather cold and windy, as it usually is on the coast, so we stayed just long enough to marvel at the turbulent waters crashing against the magnificent cliffs before making our trek back through the spooky forest, as Wyatt likes to call it.

It's Potty Time!
Friday, February 8, 2008

Well, hopefully!

Up to this point, Wyatt has shown absolutely no interest in potty training. I can't say that I'm necessarily looking forward to it, but just really wanting to get it over with. I think Wyatt has started to sense that I'm getting a little bit impatient, which means his rebellious nature has kicked into overdrive. We never push him, but simply encourage him from time to time. Every time we do, however, he scowls and turns his head. We realize that he's just not ready--and that's okay. But we're hoping Elmo might just peak his interest a bit. It's such a corny little video, but he's at least been willing to sit on the potty while watching it. By the way, he does actually have a diaper on in this picture (in case you were wondering). I don't think I trust him quite yet to be in the living room without major protection!

Any tips from you veteran moms out there would be greatly appreciated!

'Thirsty' the Snowman
Monday, February 4, 2008

Wine Selection: Vendange Merlot

We surprisingly got enough snow in the valley over the weekend to build a snowman! Once we FINALLY convinced Wyatt that he really did want to get dressed in all of his snow gear, the boys were off to play. I'm always a bit uneasy when I leave the two of them alone, as I'm never quite certain what kind of trouble they're going to get into. Yes...I am also referring to my husband--for he is usually the one who facilitates such mischief! Sure enough, when called out to photograph their masterpiece, I was introduced to 'Thirsty' the Snowman who was enjoying a nice, and somewhat hoppy, beverage.

Apparently, Eric figured that if the snowman was going to spend all day in such frigid temperatures that he should have something to warm his tummy. I probably would have gone for a cup of hot chocolate or something, but what do I know!

While we're on the topic of mischief, I thought it would be a good opportunity to sneak in the story of how Wyatt ended up sporting the lovely camo duct tape you see on his not-so-inexpensive snow suit that has only been worn 3 times! It certainly isn't there because he's trying to make a fashion statement--but more so to cover the holes he sustained when he was nearly set on fire (minor exaggeration) during a (you guessed it) father-son outing. A couple of weeks ago, I very reluctantly agreed to let Eric take Wyatt fishing on a friend's boat. I'm personally not a big fan of water, and the thought of my very curious toddler being on a boat without me there to supervise him 100% was absolutely terrifying to me. But somehow, Eric convinced me that my fears were completely irrational and that our little boy would be just fine. Like all mothers, I tried to anticipate everything he might need in order to keep him safe and comfortable during their outing without Mama Bear. He had plenty of warm clothing, food, drink, diapers, wipes, and most importantly a life vest. But one thing I've learned is that it doesn't matter how much I plan, if there is trouble to be found, Wyatt will be the first to seek it out--especially if his father is twiddling his thumbs and not paying attention. Hehe! Apparently Wyatt just decided to cop a squat next to the space heater in the boat until it burned holes in his snow suit. Sheesh! Of course, Eric played it off as no big deal, but I'm just wondering how long it took him to realize that our son was melting before his very eyes. Oh, that's right....he wasn't actually looking, so maybe that's why!!!

Now you know why the two of them alone spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E! Trust me, I have many other interesting stories about Wyatt while in the care of his father, but I'll save them for another time.

Beans of a Different Color
Friday, February 1, 2008

Tonight at the dinner table.

Me: Wyatt, what color are your GREEN beans?

After several moments of examining them...

Wyatt: ORANGE?

I know what we'll be working on tomorrow. :-)

Where Is YOUR Graduation Tassle?

Wine Selection: Fetzer Merlot

If you're like most people, the graduation tassle you at one time hung so proudly from your rearveiw mirror as a high school senior is either tucked away in a very special place along with your cap and gown, or you have no clue (or could care less) where it just might be collecting dust.

I'm sure when Eric received his medical school graduation tassle, he had no clue that it would someday be used by our toddler as a type of lovey while enjoying his milk (which is serious business, by the way), or as an accessory for his train track.

Wyatt has been so obsessed with the tassle that we find it incredibly comical as we watch him creatively incorporate it into his imaginative play. It has seriously become a permanent fixture on the train table.

I've been dying to know how exactly the tassle contributes to his train play, but every time I ask him, he goes into a very long and detailed two-year old explanation where only every 4th word can be understood. Nevertheless, it makes for a good laugh.



My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771