P365 DAY 363 – DECEMBER 29th 2008

So we bought Samuel this fun wooden bead toy from Ikea – mainly because he has one at daycare and he loves it. What we have discovered however is that he loves paper and packaging a lot more. Now that he manages to pull himself around the floor, he is able to spot a lone piece of paper or cardboard and beeline directly for it. In moments it will be reduced to a mushy slobbery mess.

In other Samuel Development updates:

  • Yesterday he sat up by himself for the first time. He does this funny thing where he is on his belly, spreads one leg out really wide and then pushes himself backwards with his hands until he is sitting upright. I went to get him from his crib after nap today and he was sitting there looking at me.
  • We are just days away from complete crawling. Not that it’s stopped him getting where he wants to go.
  • He is also pulling himself to standing more. He doesn’t stay up long but he’s definitely determined.
  • After months of  “he must be teething”, we finally felt a sharp little tooth poke through the bottom. Must be why my nipples are suddenly so sore (sorry, too much information). 🙂
  • Naomi Watts (Aussie actress) named her son Samuel Kai. We did it first (well Samuel Kei but it’s close). Does that make us trend setters?

P365 DAY 361 – DECEMBER 27th 2008

The big thaw. It’s amazing how much this stuff melts when the temperature rises a few degrees. And it’s amazing how much of a mess it makes.

It’s nice to be able to drive again, although getting in and out of our street was still a little difficult thanks to piles of snow pushed into the intersection by the plows. I agree with Portland’s decision not to use salt on the roads for environmental reasons but it sure does suck when you want to drive anywhere.

Now the 24 hour coverage of the snowstorm has turned into 24 hour coverage of the clean up. Gravel and sand needs to be scraped off the roads, late mail needs to be delivered (Kei’s Christmas present arrived today – 6 days after the original scheduled delivery), and garbage has to be collected. Oh, and we missed a garbage bill (good incentive to finally clean up the study) so we were already 2 weeks behind in the garbage pickup and now we’ve missed two more weeks. Good thing they gave us a new enormous yard waste bin a couple of months ago. We’re using it to temporarily store the overflowing bags of dirty diapers (perhaps incentive to use cloth —- maybe not).

So a white Christmas sounds all fun and romantic but, in a city where we are not at all prepared to deal with the aftermath, it’s really not that much fun at all. I know some people love it but it’s just not for me.

P365 DAY 360 – DECEMBER 26th 2008

We’re in post Christmas wind down. Which means playing with the new toys and lots of cleaning up. Kei took this photo of Thomas trying out the Wii Fit. It’s a little advanced for him but I try to help by moving his body around. Apparently the photo of me trying to help him hula hoop came out blurry. Pity, because it’s pretty hilarious.

My only request is that Kei try not to get photos of me doing the Hula Hoop. That would just be tragic and not at all funny.

P365 DAY 359 – DECEMBER 25th 2008

I didn’t take many photos Christmas day. I suppose I became too caught up in the excitement of opening presents (so many presents) and really enjoying the day to take any photos.

It was just the four of us this year which was nice and quiet. A little sad to be so far from home but grateful not to be traveling through the awful snowy weather we’ve been having. It snowed again on Christmas day so we truly did have a white Christmas – and the worst snow storm in 100 years. Not sure I need to experience that again.

Santa visited our house and left a play kitchen for the boys and some fun stocking stuffers like balloon propelled boats and balsa wood aeroplanes. The only thing he didn’t bring is the one toy Thomas had asked for again and again – a Slinky Dog. Good thing Santa left a note explaining that he had been a little disorganized and so was sending a package through the mail in a few days. Of course now we get asked if it’s arrived 100 times a day.

A few other highlights – some blocks and a stuffed knitted Monkey for Samuel and a pirate ship (maybe the favourite toy), a magnetic “responsibility chart” and kitchen utensils for Thomas who, when he opened the utensils, gave them a big hug and said “I love it”. My Mum and my Brother also sent some toys which the boys loved. Well Thomas did and we’re sure Samuel will too when he’s old enough to appreciate it.

I was lucky enough to get a spa certificate with no strings attached childcare which is definitely something I will enjoy later. Kei got his ipod touch a few months ago so I just added to it with The Flying Conchords on DVD. I also ordered Ironman which was supposed to arrive on Christmas eve but somehow got lost after being put on the delivery truck. They’re sending me another one.

We also received a couple of games for the Wii from Kei’s sister’s family – Wii Music which is fun for us to play together, and Wii Fit which is going to help me lose 20 pounds (really!). I have been playing it for a few days now and if the pain through my belly is any indication, then it’s definitely working.

We were able to catch up with my family on Christmas eve (Christmas Day in Australia) using Google Video (which is awesome!) and then we called Kei’s sister and mother, and my family again, on Christmas day.

Oh, and I also cooked dinner – Prime Rib with Mushroom, Rosemary and Red Wine sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots. It was tasty but the sauce was a little gelatinous because I added too much cornstarch. Good thing we have a lot of chocolate to wash it down. Santa is always very generous with the stocking stuffers for me and Kei – I make sure of it.

Hope yours was a good one too.

P365 DAY 358 – DECEMBER 24th 2008

Christmas Eve and Thomas was responsible for leaving a snack out for Santa – cookies, brownies that we made a couple of days ago, a cup of milk and a beer. The beer is an Australian tradition that we started this year, inspired in part by An Aussie Night Before Christmas and also by the fact that the poor guy probably needs a cold one by the time he reaches us in the Pacific Northwest. I mean think about the miles he’s put in. He deserves it.

Thomas took his job very seriously. The cookies spelled out a special message. Oh, and the carrot is for the reindeer.

P365 DAY 357 – DECEMBER 23rd 2008

Day nine of this winter storm and it’s really starting to get old now. I’ve been watching the weather report – which isn’t difficult since the news channels are covering the storm 24/7 – and it seemed that Tuesday was going to provide a brief break in the weather. So Thomas and I joined our Neighbor and her son in a little trek to the grocery store. I don’t think I could have got the car out of the street if I’d tried so it was an adventure on foot.

I was so grateful to get out of the house that I didn’t mind that it took about two and a half hours to get two bags of groceries. The main thing is that I got everything I needed for Christmas and we restocked our supply of essentials like milk and bread…and red wine.

Thomas and his friend decided to make snow angels when we got home.

And I took photos of the icicles.

Because I’m Terrible at Sending Christmas Cards

Click below for our special Christmas happy dance.


And can I just say phew! Looks like I am really going to enjoy Christmas this year now that my conscience is clear.

Chocolate, Wine And Tea Improve Brain Performance

Have a Merry Christmas or if you don’t celebrate – just have a great day anyway.

P365 DAY 355 – DECEMBER 21ST 2008

Day seven and the snow is starting to get old. Now there’s ice on top of the snow. Sure, it looks pretty but it’s really not very practical for driving. Walking is not too bad. Thomas and I walked a couple of blocks to a friend’s house to decorate some cookies and we discovered that if you stamp hard enough you can break through the thin layer of ice on top with a fun cracking sound.

We hitched a ride on a friend’s sled on the way home. Well Thomas did anyway.

And when we got home we discovered that not only is it fun to stomp through the ice, it’s also fun to pick it up in big chunks and the throw it on the ground and watch it shatter.

I’m thankful for the fact that I took advantage of a brief break in the weather to do some grocery shopping on Friday. I felt guilty about leaving my computer (and work) for a couple of hours but now I’m just relieved. I bought the prime rib roast for Christmas Day as well as some wine and chocolate so I think we have all that we need in case we have trouble leaving the house over the next week or so.

What a difference a week makes. Last week we were laughing in the face of this excuse for a snowstorm. Now the city’s paralysed by it. ha ha bloody ha.