Enclave

That’s the word of the day, folks: Enclave.

It’s a distinct territory or social unit within the boundaries of another territory.

Besides the fact that it’s an awesome sounding word, and should really be reintroduced into daily conversation, this word makes me think of home. It’s that place that only belongs to you and a select few others; hopefully a place where you feel safe, happy, loved, and challenged. One of the awesome things about being a wife and a mother, is that I am the one who gets to set the mood and direction for my household. My actions directly affect whether or not home is going to be a peaceful space that my husband and children want to come back to at the end of the day. Not that they wouldn’t want to come back with the way I can cook, but I can’t imagine how rough it would be to get off work or school and not want to come home to a stressful situation. I’m reminded of this responsibility as I spend more time fitting into my new roles, and I know that even if the laundry doesn’t get done, I want my house to be a peaceful place. FYI: this blog was more for me than you. Selfish of me, I know.

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To Do:

suck the helium out of your daughter’s old birthday balloons and sing to her. She may be indifferent to the tonal changes in you voice, but I promise you’ll get a kick out of yourself.

So apparently, there’s this place socks go to. I’m not sure where it is, or how they get there, but somewhere there is a giant room full of mismatched socks. When I still lived at home with my parents, all my siblings knew where that room was because I kept losing my socks. If you share a house and a laundry room with nine other people, there’s bound to be at least one person with a sock-vendetta in the laundry room at any given time. I was quite relived once I got married and moved in with AJ to find that he had no idea where this room was either, and so we lived many blissful years of matched socks. The end.

oh wait, we had a baby. Not only does she know where this room is, she aggressively searches for socks to put there. When I was folding laundry this afternoon, she crawled up and snatched one out of the pile and headed off to find a suitable portal to the sock room.

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Childhood Revisited

One of the best parts about being a parent is that you get to do all the things that adults are too old for but are still great fun.

Case in point: bubbles. Need I say more? This afternoon I got a bubble wand at Target and when AJ and I got home we took Violet out to the park to introduce her to the wonders of bubbles. I am not at all embarrassed to admit that we probably had more fun than she did because we go to do all the bubble-making. We took turns waving the bubble wand to make bubbles while the other one held Violet and ran after to bubbles to try and pop them.

When I was young enough to earn my Grandma’s nickname of “Peawee”, I remember playing in the park with my parents when they had just gotten a bubble maker. I’m not sure what it was called, but it involved using nylon cord to form the bubble shapes and the bubbles were the sizes of small cars. When you’re two or three years old, and you’re chasing after a bubble five times your size–its amazing. As you can tell, this obviously had a strong impression on me.

Other great things about childhood that adults don’t do but still like:

pushup popsicles

playing in puddles

make-believe games

couch-cushion forts in the living room.

reading in bed with a flashlight.

sleepovers.

running around naked.

mud pies

splashing in the bath

building forts in the woods.

playing hide and seek

summer break

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Best Buds

Right now, AJ and Violet are playing hide-and-seek via Violet hiding AJ’s face under a shirt and ripping it off when he says, “Where’d Daddy go?” Earlier, they were practicing and perfecting their fake belly laughs.

She’s in a pretty good mood for just having a nebulizer shoved in her face for 10 minutes. She’s pretty sick right now, so I took her to the doctor today and they gave me a nebulizer to take home so we could give her respiratory therapy three times a day. Poor baby. I know what you’re thinking, “Swine Flu!” Calm down. She’s actually doing ok, and I’m pretty sure it’s not swine flu.

Great, now you’re all freaking out.

Anyway, if you think about it, send up a prayer to The Man upstairs. My 21-year-old cousin died last Friday in a tragic accident and my whole extended family is still reeling.There are 45+ people on my dad’s side of the family just in my dad’s siblings, spouses, and their children, but there was only one Stuart Robertson.

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Here’s to my day

Here’s to my sibling that wrote “Hi” on my windshield with pieces of tortilla.

Here’s to the man out walking with a walkman and headphones.

Here’s to my daughter who stole her friend’s teething cookie and put the whole thing in her mouth till it dissolved.

Here’s to the little boy at the grocery store that made my daughter laugh.

Here’s to my husband who smacked his head on a doorjam today at work.

Here’s to my sister-in-law who named her son today; Ethan Pace.

Here’s to the cat my daughter loves.

Here’s to me holding Violet while I vacuumed to keep her from being scared of the vacuum cleaner.

Here’s to my brother’s girlfriend for forgetting her phone…again.

Here’s to friends at small group.

Here’s to family at small group.

Here’s to my life.

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Great things that come in 4’s

A four leaf clover

The Beatles

The Indiana Jones series

The Gospels

Four horsemen of the Apocalypse

North, South, East, West

Four chambers in a heart

Four seasons of the year

The number of movements in a symphony

Four suits of playing cards

The Fantastic Four

A quartet

Players needed in the game of Foursquare

The Libby brothers.

That’s right–Violet is still the only girl cousin. My sister-in-law had her baby this morning,and her track record is still going strong: boy #4. Here’s a cute picture of Violet and her new little cousin who she wanted nothing to do with.

Cousins

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random

Violet has a booster seat/highchair now, so she sits at the table with us during dinner. I made her some spinach/banana/rice cereal stuff.  Tonight we all held hands and prayed before the meal; AJ’s big hands, Violet’s tiny chubby hands, and my medium-sized hands. The first of many.

I bought paint today. So excited. The guest bathroom is going to be blueishy, Violets room is going to be winnie-the-poo-y, the hallways are going to be creamy goldish, and the master bath is going to be a lighter green version of our bedroom walls. Now I am looking for some glass tile pieces to glue to the mirrors for a faux frame.

Violet stayed in the nursery the whole time we were at MOPS today (Yay). Thats because I told them not to try changing her diaper and also there were new toys. When I came to get her, several of the babies were crying but she was just sitting there…playing with her new toy and watching them.

side note: is it wrong that it totally makes my day to see people I know driving crappy cars too?

FYI: be on the lookout–we are trying to think up an outrageous story to email Dave Ramsey so he’ll read it on the air. any ideas? (am 630, 4-7pm)

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this reminds me…

my bedroom is a mess. M-E-S-S. This reminds me of a goat named Pammy.

Goats are smart…forget dolphins or monkeys, goats are the possibly the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom.  When I was little, we lived on an old farm, with an older house. Everything about that house was like a mini-time capsule to the days when my great-grandfather was a farmer.  The walls were insulated with sheep’s wool, the floors were made of brick, and the only doors with wobbly knobs were outside doors.  Having goats, this meant that anything inside the house was not only a huge source of curiosity, but also available to any goat with enough determination and concentration. Usually, they would work on the door knob till it wobbled open and then it was a mad dash to the open bag of dog food inside the door till they were caught. Of course, if the door was open, the whole house was declared “open season” by all other nearby animals…and chickens.

The worst attack ever occured on a Sunday. We were gone to church all morning and afternoon, which meant there had been plenty of time for a determined, concentrated goat. As we pulled up the hill and the house came into view, we knew immediately something was up when the front door was open and a chicken was standing in the open loft window. Running into the house, we found 5 or 6 goats and a dozen or so chickens running out the other door and leaving a ransacked house in their wake. There were still a few chickens we caught in the kitchen, a goat that had wandered up to the loft and was taste-testing a pillow, but at the end of the house we found the instigator…the oldest…the smartest; Pammy. She looked up at us, placidly chewing her cud as if to say, “It’s Sunday! Why else would I be lying stretched out on the biggest bed in the house with an open bible in front of me?”

Pammy was a milk goat, so we didn’t eat her.

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I need these on Post It notes…

  1. I’m thankful I get to drink filtered water every day.
  2. I’m thankful my daughter is healthy.
  3. I’m thankful we live in a nice house–better than the majority of the world.
  4. I’m thankful we have so many good friends and family.
  5. I’m thankful my husband loves me.
  6. I’m thankful for accessible healthcare.
  7. I’m thankful for our car.
  8. I’m thankful that I get to be a stay-at-home mom.
  9. I’m thankful that both my parents and in-laws are still married.
  10. I’m thankful for second chances.

Some days I get too caught up in looking over at the neighbors’ grass, or wondering about that new house the “Jones’s” bought. Thanksgiving is really more a constant battle than an annual holiday for me. Today was one of those days where I kept finding myself frustrated by all my “have-nots’ until I got an envelope in the mail from World Vision. On the back of the envelope it said: “3,800 children die every day from water-related illnesses.” Reality check.

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I think the tooth fairy skipped our house…

Violet still has no teeth. nada.

New Rule (for everyone): Just Because the Carpool Lane is Not the Other Other Fast Lane, Doesn’t Mean it’s the Other Other Slow Lane.  I’m just saying.

You ever think up new things and wish you could make your ideas a reality? Like flying cars, for instance. Mine? Fart Bells. Thats right, Fart Bells. I have this theory that if everyone knew how much everyone around them in public farted, people might fart less in public. or something like that. Here’s how it would work: A bell over the intercom or on the wall that goes off anytime anyone in the room farts. People could maintain their anonymity, but we’d all know that someone had just farted. seriously, if you’d been at my family’s house tonight–that bell would have been ringing off the hook!

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Sunday is a fun day for playing in the sun day

except that it rained as soon as we got out of church.

anyway. After church was over, AJ and I were planning on going out to lunch and wanted to see if any of my siblings wanted to come too. Funny thing–since my parents weren’t there and they would be paying for themselves, they weren’t interested.

side note: Coloray looks right at home in the drivers seat of a minivan, with a pretty girl next to him and a bunch of smelly kids in the back. hmmm…

Fun Fact: Violet stood on her tippy-toes to reach the cards we were playing with today.

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Today was the first sunny saturday in way too long…

because there’s a reason Washington stays so green.

Five interesting things about today.

1. Violet hollered with a hot temper when strapped in the car-seat. thats right, she hollered.

2. I watched the cat sit patiently in front of her while she shook with excitement and patted him on the head.

3. AJ bought more vw bug stuff. yes, more.

4. I learned a great secret about something i can’t say.

5. someone that i can’t name, did something that i can’t tell you, for someone that you don’t know.

keeping secrets is my cross to bear, my everest. I love them, but oh they eat away at my very spirit.

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Snapshot into my day

Time: 1:30pm

Place: My kitchen

Me: in the middle of making pie crust for my blackberry pie and my peach banana pie. still wearing pj’s.

The counter-tops: covered in mess from pie crust, and melting bags of last summer’s fruit.

Violet: sitting at my feet waiting patiently between spoon-fulls of melting blackberry bits as a bribery so I can bake.

 

Side note: this happened right before she discovered that the walls in the kitchen could open to vast chambers containing an amazing new toy apparently called “Tupperware”.

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Fine Dining

Tonight we went here for dinner. We normally don’t spend this much for dinner, and so in order to fully enjoy our dining experience, we may possibly have introduced a ton of new foods to Violet to keep her happy.

This is a baby who has only previously eaten a couple fruits, some veggies, rice, and oats.

Bread

Couscous

Kiwi

Mango

Green Beans

Strawberry.

Yes, that might make me a terrible parent.

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All the world her stage…

So today Violet discovered that when she makes noises in the bathroom, they are amplified by the acoustics in the room. Yes, that means bath time is now going to be a very loud affair.

I found this the other day, and am posting it so I can find it again. Its my new favorite website

Anyway, here’s the one-million dollar question of the day:

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My Funny Valentines

are both in the bathroom right now.

One is in the tub covered by bits of broccoli, and the other is endeavoring to catch her and clean the broccoli out of her ears.

Interesting point for the whole Nature versus Nurture debate. Babies are born not liking vegetables. Trust me on this one. I’m not saying the battle is over–she will eat vegetables and she will like it.

I like Valentines Day. I’ve never not liked it, although in retrospect that may be due in part to the fact that I really like chocolate. When I was a child, we would always get a little box of conversation hearts to exchange with each other and sometimes my dad would come home with some chocolate for everyone to share.  We didn’t have a lot of candy growing up (read: very little) and that might be partly to blame for the fact that I really don’t remember much else about Valentines Day as a child except for the prospect of candy.

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My child might grow up to be a bully

Yes, its true.

Here’s how it started.  Violet doesn’t have a whole lot of contact with babies in general. A couple of weeks ago though, a friend of mine broke her back so we’ve been spending a day a week with her to help her with her one-year old son. He’s big for his age–and all boy, and Violet is small for her age, and definitely all girl. He’s very nice to her, but its taken her several times to get comfortable around this gentle giant that takes her toys and sits on her. That being said, we had some friends over tonight with a baby girl Violet’s age. Isla is a little bigger than Violet, but Violet is more mobile, and no sooner were the two of them on the ground together then she was crawling all over poor Isla. I looked over and Violet was literally on top of Isla. She looked pretty happy.

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Baby Rule

I’m certain of this: just because that spot of gunk stuck to the carpet won’t come up with the vacuum cleaner, doesn’t mean it stands a chance with the determined, tenacious picking of a patient baby. Eww.

Murphy’s Law: Just because a baby is sick and cranky and tired, doesn’t mean she will want to sleep at all. At all.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before: She’s better at this…yes, I’m being outsmarted by a baby.

 

Quote of the day: “Hmm! I have a white chest hair that I can see!” Thank you, AJ.

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Nicoderm for Babies?

So…Violet has a fake laugh. It would be cute and funny, except that her fake laugh is strangely akin to a smoker’s laugh. She has many forms of this laugh; ranging from a hoarse, throaty chuckle to a full…smoker’s laugh. I’m sure you know what I mean. If you smoke, I’m sorry–your body deserves better, and I make no excuses for finding humor in the similarities between your laugh and my daughter’s.

Of course, this should come as little surprise to me because she also growls. That’s right, she growls. Which is a little scary, because her cousins also growl, so apparently this is genetic.

Second soapbox for the day: when people live together because they say they “can’t afford” to get married, I do not understand this.

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Game Time

When AJ and I play cards together, we gloat over each other terribly. We just finished playing “Phase Ten,” a card game like rummy with ten different rounds. It went something like this.

Round One: AJ wins. “Oh yeah! Sucka Foo’! Can’t Touch This!”

Round Two: I let AJ win again. “AAAAAAnd that’s what I’m talking about! Ha!”

Round Three: I win. “Oh Yeah, you wish you could have played as good as I just did!”

I’m sure you get the idea. In the end, AJ won this set (closely), and after a kiss and smile to show each other we never meant all the mean things we had just  finished saying, we packed away the cards.

I just realized that a preliminary glance at the title of this post might make you think I was writing about the upcoming Super Bowl. oi. The only(only) time I actually cared who won that humanistic display of materialism and decaying cultural ideals was when my home team, the Seahawks went a few years back. I promise not to go off on a tangent here about how the game was stolen by terrible (terrible) calls, resulting in a deep depression that smote the larger Seattle area for some time.  Great. Now I am writing about the Super Bowl.

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We did our taxes today…

Apparently, babies make a big difference in tax returns. Who’d have thought?

Breaking News: If you feed a baby a blackberry-banana smoothie, their “spit-up” is the same color as the smoothie. Purple Urple! The good news is, she was just as entertained by the smoothie the second time around. I found her sitting on the carpet swishing around a little purple puddle with her fingers.

In other news, C.S Lewis is always better the second time around. We’re currently reading his space trilogy, and I’m finding it much more interesting than I did at 13 or 14.

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