Mission Impossible
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"What are you doing with that net, Wyatt?"

"I'm 'onna' catch 'da' cat!"

Apparently, he needs a little lesson in feline kinesiology.

(You can see the cat doesn't look too threatened. :-))

Tuesday Night WWE!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wyatt gets a kick out of watching himself on the viewfinder of the video camera. While he and Eric were in the midst of wrestling this evening, he wanted to "watch Wyatt!". Just as I hit record, he gave his daddy quite a body-slamming surprise. Eric was completely caught off guard--all part of Hurricane Wyatt's devious plan!


What are we going to do with this kid?

Double Trouble


Wyatt's friend Carina lives just down the street, and is now the proud owner of an identical Tonka truck. That's one way to solve a turf war!

My first thought was how on earth we were going to be able to tell the difference between the trucks. But I then realized it wasn't an issue at all. Wyatt's is the one covered in mud.

I'm Head Over Hills In Love...
Monday, April 28, 2008

...with Wyatt's curls.

Many of you have noticed and commented on the curly locks atop my little boy's head. For those who don't know, this is actually a new thing. He had straight hair up until I buzzed it last summer following my atrocious attempt to give him a 'trim'--which I would not recommend, by the way. I was in utter disbelief when, after a few months, his tiny little head sprouted the most adorable curls I had ever seen! I was convinced that nothing could melt my heart more than those precious curls. That was, until I saw them in a baseball cap.

I just adore how they haphazardly peek out the back and sides of the cap. It's a good thing he's has cycled back through his hat phase, as there is no better solution for bed head.

Heck, with all the time I'm saving, maybe that means there's a chance of at least running a comb through my own! One can hope.

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

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My name is Catrina and I am an America's Next Top Model addict.

I have always loved this show, but I don't have enough time to watch it during the regular season nor do I have the energy to even find out what time it airs. But I had the tremendous fortune of catching the first episode of a Top Model marathon on MTV today. As I'm writing this, there are only 5 contestants remaining. Not only have I hooked myself into staying up WAY past my bedtime to watch the final episode, but I have been laughing my "arse" off for the past couple of episodes (Thank God! It's about time that booty went bye-bye). I can't help but get into this show. I'm embarrassed to admit that I have even found myself subconsciously mimicking the high-fashion facial expressions the girls use during their photo shoots. Perhaps I'm just trying to live vicariously though these young girls trying to live their dream. I am a total dork and my husband would be so embarrassed!

Wine Selection: Fetzer Merlot
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: To me, this is just a great wine to drink when you're just hanging out. It's not overpowering, but it seems to have enough flavor and balance to keep you (or me) coming back for more. For a cheap wine, this is the best by far!

Go 'Google' Yourself, Why Don't Ya?
Friday, April 25, 2008

"So, you met a new guy? Have you Googled him yet?"


"Girl, you gotta Google him to see if he's got a record!"
Conversation that took place between my two favorite grad school girls
(LeighAnn and Michelle) when we all met for dinner last week.

Leave it to LeighAnn (right) to impart her tell-it-like-it-is wisdom in
an effort to help a good friend. It's that red hair, I'm telling ya!

Although the conversation wasn't at all relevant to me (not in the market for a new companion--not yet anyway :-)), the whole idea of dishing up internet dirt on anyone of your choosing was a bit intriguing to me. "I wonder what Google has to say about me?", I thought to myself. As it turns out...not much. Just as I suspected.

But here is a picture I stumbled upon after Google-ing my dear hubby.

There is nothing very interesting to say about this photo of him (smack-dab in the middle) with his fellow residents, other than to brag on how freakin' well-dressed the boy is. This is a huge achievement for a guy who still owns (and wears) t-shirts that say "Go Hornets!" (Booker T. Washington High, 1996). We may still be working on his casual attire, but he's got the dress attire perfected! For a moment, I felt so proud that this is what people would see if he were to ever be Googled. That was, until I saw this photo on the same page.

So, it's a nice photo. But if you actually read the fine print, you (and the rest of the world) will discover the ever-so-important detail that one of his interests is "grilling meat". SERIOUSLY?!?!

While we have noticed after living in the Pacific Northwest that meat-eaters can sometimes be the minority, I'm not sure the hospital website is the most appropriate venue for broadcasting your affinity for grilling and then devouring dead animals. Why don't you just parenthesize Hannibal Lecter, MD next to your name for an even greater effect?

I'm telling ya, the boy needs to clear these things through me first.

Google yourself. You might get a good laugh out of it.

Wine Selection: Solaris Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: This is a wine very similar to the one I bought while in Tulsa that was bad (as in sour). I saw this one at the store yesterday and decided to give it a try, thinking it would probably taste similar. The original Solaris I tried was a merlot and it was a special release from the Napa Valley region. This one was not. I can't really compare them since the original Solaris was sour, but overall, I think this purchase was a waste of money. If it were a cheap wine, I'd probably give it a higher rating, but it's more in the moderate price range so I guess my expectations were much higher. Nothing about this wine really stood out to me. But I was able to drink it without grimacing, so I guess that's a positive attribute. It's certainly drinkable, but not enjoyable.

Avery is 10 Months!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Avery's first real experience in a swing.
She was so tickled that she couldn't even open her eyes.

We've got a mover and a shaker on our hands now, folks! Avery finally mastered the art of crawling while we were in Oklahoma, and as of yesterday has learned to gracefully pull herself up to a standing position. It has only been a day since we've arrived back home, and she has already managed to bring to my attention various flaws in my childproofing (or lack thereof) system. She has definitely been keeping me on my toes today, as I am dreadfully awaiting the BIG OWEE! It's bound to happen sooner or later, but I'm trying to postpone the inevitable as long as I possibly can.

Here is a clip of Avery crawling to, and pulling herself up on, the train table. Please pay no mind to the little weirdo on her left trying to fit his knees into plastic cups. We are fully aware of his pathology. :-)


How does Wyatt feel now that his baby sister is on the move? I think he was quite a bit annoyed at first, since Avery was able to get her hands on just about anything belonging to him. But he quickly started to realize there was quite a bit of fun to be had, and began coaxing her into chasing him around the house by dangling a toy in front of her and just out of her reach...ornery little devil!

Aside from achieving the physical milestones, Avery now has a three-word vocabulary--"ma-ma", "da-da", and "ball". She still has only two teeth and continues to sleep LIKE A DREAM! She has also recently weaned herself from the bottle, but is showing some signs of being a finicky eater. If that's as difficult as she gets, then I think I've got it made--at least until she hits the pre-teen stage.

How is it that I can have a little angel and a little devil living under the same roof. Mindboggling...isn't it?

Wine Selection: Talus Collection Chardonnay
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: I wouldn't say this wine has a ton of personality, but it's just a pretty smooth, easy-to-drink Chardonnay. I told Eric last night that I thought it was a great sipping chardonnay. Get it.

A Day In The Country
Saturday, April 19, 2008

We spent Wednesday afternoon at Grandma and Papa Lafferty’s house, which sits on quite a bit of land in the country. They recently purchased some serious hardware to help keep Papa Lafferty busy with major landscaping projects. It is a mean, green, loading machine that, without fail, can leave any two-year old boy salivating in amazement. I’m sure you can imagine Wyatt’s delight when Grandma offered to give him a ride.

And what would a day in the country be without the timeless backyard tire swing? We spent many years of our childhood swinging from rubber tires that dangled (yes…dangled) from tree limbs, so it was fun to watch Wyatt and Avery experience such an age-old tradition for the first time.

Every time we are at their house, I’m amazed by the completely random and unique items they have just lying around that just so happen to provide endless hours of entertainment for kids. This visit, it was the old bongo drums. RANDOM. How is it that in the past several years I’ve been frequenting their house that I have never laid eyes on them before? It’s amazing what my mom seems to just pull out of her magic hat. Nevertheless, she pulled them out, dusted them off, and the kids went to town. Wyatt even got to take them home with him, which thrilled him to pieces.

Wine Selection: Solaris Merlot
Personal Rating: N/A
Comment: When the cork completely disintegrated as I was opening it, I should have known better than to even take a drink. Getting a bad wine just really stinks (literally). I was really looking forward to trying it too, as it is another affordable Napa Valley wine. I'll have to keep my eye out for it when I go back to Portland. Better luck next time.

A Little Taste of Heavenly Goodness

One thing Wyatt has learned very quickly is that birthdays can be Mmm...Mmm...GOOD! So we were all very excited to be able to celebrate (in person) Papa Edgar's "35th" birthday in style...frozen custard style, that is.

"Mmmm...", he says as his eyes start to cross in anticipation
of the first heavenly taste of his ice cream treat.

Life doesn't get any better than this.

Except when you're sharing it with some very special grandparents.

Happy Birthday Papa!

Trains Galore!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Whether you're a train enthusiast or just craving some good 'ol southern comfort food, then Ollies is certainly the place to be. One of Tulsa's oldest family restaurants, it's completely decked out with several trains that run the length of the dining room and through scale model cities and towns. To a two-year old train fanatic, Ollies is also referred to as "heaven".

Wyatt could not take his eyes off of the trains for a single second. In fact, food had to be strategically placed in front of his mouth for him to even take a bite. He was so overwhelmed with excitement, that every time he'd see a train (which was about every few seconds), he'd point with his fingers and shout, "Derr it is!"...kind of like this.

The walls and shelves were loaded with moving trains and other railroad memorabilia,

and they had some awesome model towns and cities that housed moving trains as well.

Of course, the only way to coax Wyatt out of the restaurant was to remind him of the big train outside on which he could climb and play. He was so excited that he ran full speed out the door. The only problem was that he didn't realize there was a second door, and ran full speed directly into a window! Both he and the window were just fine, but while Aunt Stephie and I were laughing hysterically, he managed to gain major sympathy points from Grandma. PUSHOVER! Once we were able to wipe away a few crocodile tears, he went to town on the big, black train. Even Avery got in on some of the action!

Wyatt got a t-shirt (compliments of Grandma and Papa Edgar) to take back to Portland so that he can be reminded of his favorite choo-choo hot spot in Oklahoma.

Wine Selection: Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: This wine looked really cool, so I thought I'd give it a try. To me, this is a very complex wine and would be much better enjoyed with a nice, juicy steak. I certainly do appreciate its boldness though. While the first sip was a bit overwhelming, it eventually became much easier and smoother to drink. It's a great wine, just better paired with food, in my opinion.

I've Turned Vintage
Sunday, April 13, 2008

I was very excited, after two years, to finally replace my old running shoes today. As my deformed, post-pregnancy feet were being fitted for their new, slightly larger (not to mention wider) running shoes, the young guy helping me chuckled as he recognized the shirt I was wearing from the marathon training program I had participated in a few years back.

"Wow! That shirt brings back so many memories...it's SO vintage", he remarked.

"Vintage?!?!", I inquired embarrassingly.

"Yeah...in a cool kind of way", he answered, trying to make me feel better about my dingy duds.

I know I've been on a running hiatus for a few years, but vintage?!?! I guess I'm somewhat thankful he chose "vintage" over "antique", but nonetheless, I still felt compelled to nonchalantly take a new shirt off the rack and slip into the dressing room before anyone else commented on my outdated attire.

Armed with my new running shoes, I hit the trail for a leisurely 3-mile jog--unable to shake the whole vintage comment. "Since when is clothing considered vintage after three years?", I thought to myself. I was convinced the "kid" in the running store had no clue what he was talking about.

But as I continued to pass by what appeared to be various high school track girls (who looked like they were about 12, by the way) with their fancy ipods, stylish running gear, and rock-hard abs, I started to inspect much more closely how I might have potentially been perceived by them. Did I look like the fit, recent college grad that I felt like on the inside? Let's examine.

*The shorts I was wearing were most likely purchased when those track girls were still wearing diapers.

*My shirt had already been labeled as "vintage".

*I probably didn't earn any youthful points for the old-school, bright yellow walkman strapped to my arm. Although it could have been worse. At least it wasn't one of those bulky cassette players that attached at the waist. Remember those? I don't own an ipod, nor would I even know how to operate one.

*And let's face it. I've had two kids in the last 3 years. There is a little less rock and a little more roll when it comes to my abdominal region.

*Finally, I can't say that many "youngsters" jam out to Bill Withers' Lean on Me when they get into their car post-run.
I can now say with absolute certainty that the young little whippersnapper in the running store may have hit the nail right on the head. I'm sure he had no idea how powerful his words would become, as they prompted some much-needed scrutiny into the person I've become versus the person I would like to be. I certainly appreciate him for that, for it sometimes takes a complete outsider to help you recognize certain aspects about yourself that you never knew existed (or wanted to accept).

I don't want to be THAT person. You know, the one that still wears the MC Hammer balloon pants just because they're comfortable.

As functional as they still are, I think it's time to ditch the 12-year old running shorts and vintage shirt and trade them in for something a little more current. And maybe...just maybe I might work up enough courage to go techno and figure out how to work an ipod! I said MAYBE!

Wine Selection:
Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: This wine looked really cool, so I thought I'd give it a try. To me, this is a very complex wine and would be much better enjoyed with a nice, juicy steak. I certainly do appreciate its boldness though. While the first sip was a bit overwhelming, it eventually became much easier and smoother to drink. It's a great wine, just better paired with food, in my opinion.

Chicago Isn't the Only Windy City
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Although the skies were dark when our plane touched down in good 'ol T-Town, we awoke this morning to the most radiant sunshine we've seen in months. While Wyatt and I were basking in its rays with smiling faces, Avery was a bit unsure of what to think when the only gray skies she had ever known (or remembered) had suddenly turned a magnificent shade of blue. Even more shocking were the incredible gusts of wind that took her breath away the moment we stepped outside. The poor girl was helplessly flailing her limbs and gasping for air as we made our way to my nephew Hayden's soccer game. I had forgotten how bone-chilling the Oklahoma wind can be, and at that very moment started to reconsider any possibility of ever moving back to a climate of such extremes. Nevertheless, we all managed to survive the elements and were thoroughly entertained as we watched a bunch of 5 year old boys kick the soccer ball (or pick their noses) around the field.

Hayden is the boy in the orange hat, and apparently, is quite the joker on the field. I guess it's not too uncommon to see him faking an injury,

or playing Superman on the sidelines when he should be cheering on his teammates.

But occasionally you'll find him making great plays and really going after the ball. Hey...you gotta love a kid who doesn't take things too seriously. Life is entirely too short to be doing that when you're in Kindergarten. Now, first grade...that's a completely different ball game.

Wyatt and his cousin Emily enjoyed hanging out on the sidelines with Grandma Lafferty (my mom) but were definitely ready to retreat to the nice, warm car after the game.

Regardless of weather, it sure is great to be with family again!

Wine Selection:
Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: This wine looked really cool, so I thought I'd give it a try. To me, this is a very complex wine and would be much better enjoyed with a nice, juicy steak. I certainly do appreciate its boldness though. While the first sip was a bit overwhelming, it eventually became much easier and smoother to drink. It's a great wine, just better paired with food, in my opinion.

9-Month Stats
Thursday, April 10, 2008

I realize that most of you could care less about Avery's 9-month measurements, but I'm posting them specifically for my own personal record-keeping, and for those very few inquiring minds who just want to know.

Weight: 19 lbs 10 oz (60th percentile)
Length: 28. 75 inches (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 17.5 inches (60th percentile)

I'm not sure why mothers obsess about this kind of information, but it really is the highlight of a well-child checkup. Will she EVER really care how big her head was when she was 9 months old? Highly unlikely. Although, considering that her head is currently the same size as Wyatt's is right now (and he's almost 2 years older), then I guess she could potentially use the information in the future as leverage when she threatens to reveal (with proof) to his Jr. High crush his cerebrally-challenged condition. But of course, she's entirely too sweet to do anything like that! :-)

Besides, "small heads don't equal small brains!" boasts their father who, by the way, was also blessed with a small head. He does make a pretty valid point. While Eric may have been the only player on his adolescent baseball team not able to fit into the smallest size baseball cap, he did manage to make it through 5 years of college and 4 years of medical school having earned straight A's. So, there is definitely hope for our tiny-headed Wyatt yet!

Wow...how on earth did I end up on this tangent?

Wine Selection:
Screw Kappa Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****
Comments: I've never been a huge fan of cabs, but this one seriously has me savoring every sip. It's like the Godiva chocolate of wines.

Change of Plans
Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our original plan when we left the house this morning was to hike Dog Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge. It is a very popular trail due to the abundance of wildflowers in bloom this time of year. It is a very steep and strenuous 3-mile climb to the top but completely worth the effort, as hikers are greeted at the top with such a vibrant bouquet of flowers (or so we've heard). The best time of year to go is in May, but we decided we'd give it a shot today, as we guessed the weather would probably be most cooperative for us there. Not so much. We made it about half-way to the top before we decided to turn around. It was raining, and the higher in elevation we climbed, the colder it got. The wildflowers weren't even at their peak yet, so we just decided it wasn't worth the hassle. Apparently we made a wise decision because we ran into a group of hikers who had just finished, and they told us it was actually very cold, windy, and SNOWY at the top. We definitely felt better about our decision after hearing that. We'll try again next month and hopefully get to share some amazing photos.

Instead of making the hour drive back to Portland, we decided to grab some lunch and take the kids to a park near Mt. Hood. Wyatt had a grand time climbing on top of various structures and then jumping to the ground.

His very proud "Ta-Da!" pose

Of course, Avery thought she was pretty big stuff being able to stand next to a tree without help. Since she is usually confined to some sort of baby carrier, she took full advantage of the opportunity to showcase her big girl skills.

Standing is her "thing" right now. Lately, approximately 80% of her waking hours are spent standing and holding on to something. The remaining 20% are usually spent in her high chair sampling various finger foods, as it seems to be the only break I can get these days. I'm sure you can imagine her delight when Daddy offered his hands to help her do what she does best.

The Hat

I'm a little sad (not really..shhh) to report that Eric's most prized possession (and the kids' favorite plaything) was accidentally left behind. Eric is understandably upset, but is hoping it will still be there when he goes back that way to fly fish tomorrow morning. We'll keep our fingers crossed. These may very well be the last photos we'll ever see of the kiddos with "Daddy's Hat!".

Even though our plans had changed, we were still able to get in some good, quality family time. I'll take that any day!

UPDATE: The hat has been retrieved. Shucks! :-)

Wine Selection:
Fetzer Merlot
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****
Comments: The more I drink this wine, the more I love it. It is very flavorful, but not too powerful to drink without food. Another plus--it's under $10...you can't beat that!

Another Birthday Wish (Clean Version)
Friday, April 4, 2008

Given Wyatt's recent track record in sending virtual birthday greetings, I decided to take a much safer route in wishing Aunt Stephie a very Happy Birthday today. Call me boring, but there is no telling what embarrassing tactic Wyatt might employ if given the opportunity...AGAIN!

Hope you had a special day!!



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