a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Making a grab for it

I'm off to bed, but I had to sit down and share this quick anecdote.

Lately Evie's been all about her hands. They are always on the go, and when they aren't lodged in her mouth they are wandering all over the place. While she's eating her topside arm and hand go flailing about, searching and exploring blindly in humorous juxtaposition to her otherwise state of pure calm. There's not that much to explore while she's eating, but she enthusiastically fingers my shirt and if I look down she can reach to explore my face as well. You have to be careful or you'll end up with baby fingers in your mouth or up your nose.

Well, our bedtime routine is such that I nurse her in the dark, sitting in "The Pink Chair," one of my grandmother's old recliners, change her diaper and clothes half way through, and then continue nursing until she starts showing signs of really falling off to sleep. At that point we get up and move our way across the room to her crib. Sometimes she is still nursing at this point, as she was tonight.

So there I was, looking down at her, getting a bit drowsy myself, when BAM! Stealth Baby reached up and latched on to my glasses. She's practically asleep at this point, except for the probing arm, and both of my hands are full, holding her aloft. You can imagine my expression as I stood there helpless in the dark. I'm slowing rocking my head back and forth, hoping that she'll release her death grip and not pull my glasses off my face thereby undoubtedly waking her up and sending my glasses plummeting to the floor.

It worked....this time. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some new pics

Evie- November 2008 03 002a

Evie- November 2008 03 004a

Evie- November 2008 03 017a

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

She did it!

Evie rolled over from back to tummy for the first time today! Then, as if that wasn't enough, she completed the roll and came back around from tummy to back for the first time too! She was so amused at how thrilled I was, we just sat there grinning at eachother from ear to ear.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Odds and ends

Life is full of paperwork and red tape. You must apply and be accepted to go to college. Don't forget to apply for scholarships, federal aid, housing and all the rest. Fall in love? You'll need to get a marriage certificate and sometimes pre-marital counselling is offered. Heck, before we got Chokydar we were submitted to a puli-background check of sorts to make certain we would be suitable puli owners, so it strikes me as slightly odd now and then that you can enter into one of the most life altering and meaningful commitments--creating a human life--with no applications, screenings, or even so much as a questionnaire.

Sometimes I find myself thinking there should have been a manual issued before conception, warning of all the prerequisites necessary for parenthood. In this imaginary manual I imagine there would be a section mentioning that previous experience as a body builder is beneficial for mothers. From the actual carrying of the child 9+ months in the womb to, well, EVERY DAY SINCE, there has been a pretty tremendous burden placed on my body that I frankly wasn't quite prepared for. I consider myself a fairly active person, but as this child grows, I'm suddenly finding myself doing a lot of (what seems to my back) heavy lifting. Today I made a trip to the commissary to get a larger than usual load of groceries, lugged a large box of Christmas presents to be mailed to Justin and checked the mail to find two BIG boxes (more on this in a bit), all with babe in tow. Thank goodness I ran into a good friend at the mail room who helped me carry the boxes to the car. When I got home, it took me four trips back and forth (up and down icy steps no less) to get everything inside (not counting Evie). I was literally suffering from muscle fatigue as I collapsed in my chair and cursed the fact that my husband isn't and won't be here for MONTHS to give me a much needed back rub.


As I mentioned before, I took a box of gifts to be mailed downrange to Justin for Christmas. The mail can take forever to get there and so I was trying my best to get it off early. I hope a month is enough in advance...Anyway, you have to fill out a customs form for everything you send, and for this particular box my customs form listed 4 books and 4 DVDs. So the mail clerk is looking everything over and stops when reviewing the customs form.

Clerk: "What kind of DVDs?"

Me: "Ummm....the kind you watch?" Seriously, what kind of question is that?

Clerk: "No no, like what kind?"

Me: Racking my brain..."Well, there's a John Wayne movie..."

Clerk: "Ok, we'll say action."

Me: "Ah! Okay, genre."

Clerk: "We have to make sure it's not porn."

Me: "............."

This is when I stop and am confronted with several thoughts:

1. Do I, young wife and mother of infant, look like the kind of person who mails porn to my deployed husband?

2. If I were that kind of person, how likely would I be to admit that said porn was in the box.

3. If I were that person, and furthermore admitted to mailing porn, would they then make me take the porn out of the box right then and there??

I regain the ability to speak.

Me: ".....Yeah, unless it's some kind of freaky John Wayne porn, I think we're safe."

Clerk: "I didn't really need to hear that."


For my last anecdote of the evening, back to the previously mentioned two BIG boxes I picked up at the mail room today. Looking them over it was clear they were from Pottery Barn. I had ordered two of the same item, modular linen tiles as seen below.

Lugging the boxes inside I couldn't help but be confused. One box was about the size I would expect to house a "modular linen tile." The other box was significantly bigger and definitely heavier. I opened the smaller box first and found, yes, one "modular linen tile" and the packing slip stating that the other "modular linen tile" was shipped separately. Eying the other box I couldn't help but worry that I'd starting ordering things online during my sleep. I opened the second box and found another "modular linen tile." And another. And ANOTHER. And ANOTHER. AND ANOTHER. I kid you not. I ordered two. They sent SIX.

I checked back over the packing statement. Definitely two. I checked my credit card statement. I paid for two. Super. Maybe the funniest part to me was reading a line from the little customer service blurb on the packing statement:

"...We carefully inspect your order prior to shipment..."

Somebody dropped the ball on this one.

I just got off the phone with the customer service people at Pottery Barn. When I initially explained the situation the woman said, "Ah ok. Sorry for the mix up. I'll dispatch a pick up to retrieve the extra items."

"Ummm...that might be a bit of a challenge...I live in Germany."

"....Hold please."

About a minute later she came back on the line and said that given the circumstances of living abroad and that it was their fault, I would not be charged for the extra "modular linen tiles" and could keep them.

Merry early Christmas to me!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


42- The speed in mph which I was traveling on the AUTOBAHN tonight due to unpleasant road conditions. There was a considerable amount of snow falling, a temperature of 29 degrees, and bad visibility combined with no longer being able to see the lanes from snow coverage on the ground.

23- The speed in mph which I traveled on the secondary road (the speed limit is usually 70 kph, so approx 43 mph) due to the aforementioned conditions.

At one point the snow was coming down sideways, straight on.

0- The number of times I will willingly venture out in said conditions in the furture, barring medical emergency.

That being said, I had a super fun time at Evie's "playdate." Dumb snow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It Starts...

I went to take Chokydar out only to find, low and behold, the first snow fall of the year! It looked like a pretty considerable dusting. I wonder what kind of winter we have in store...

Monday, November 17, 2008

What exactly do you plan to do with that needle?

Today Evelyn had her 4 month well visit and, of course, the shots that accompany it. Squishy was a little confused by me waking her up for a change to make our early morning appointment. We got ready and headed out to the car where I discovered I should have built in a few extra minutes for scraping ice from the windshield. We were still 10 minutes early for the appointment thankfully.

The check up portion was fine. The doctor said Evie looks really great and that I'm doing a great job (always good to hear!). She's right on par with her height and weight for her age. After the check up we headed down the hall to the immunization room. Our last (and first) shot experience at 2 months was slightly traumatic, both for Evie and me. She wailed like a banshee for about 15 minutes after the shots were given and proceeded to be either asleep or miserable the rest of the day. By nightfall she was a warm but otherwise relatively recognizable version of my baby. This time it seems (knock on wood) to be going considerably better.

There were two other families in the immunization waiting room. We wheeled in and unpacked ourselves, Evie sitting on my lap. Things were quiet--you know how it is in a waiting room or elevator where people speak in hushed tones--and so it came as a huge surprise when Evelyn let out an A-bomb class pooty noise. This was a noise worthy of a 300 pound man, and the second of silence that followed it was broken by an outburst of laughter by everyone in the room. We all laughed for at least a minute, which caused Evie to join in with a huge grin of her own. Too, too funny.

The immunization nurse is really great and makes an unpleasant experience as pleasant as possible. As soon as the first shot was given Evie burst into her trademark banshee wail, turning tomato face red and testing her lung capacity and our hearing. Our nurse moved swiftly and I was soon able to scoop Squish up in my arms, where she was able to calm down after just a minute--a vast improvement over last time. I decided to join the fun and got a flu shot myself. Yay. By the time we got back to the car, Evelyn was out like a light and remained so all the way home, even through a quick trip to the mail room. This NEVER happens. Evie doesn't do sleep in public. When we got home, she awoke, but was pleasantly drowsy, ate and even played a little before falling back asleep, all smiles.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Four months old today!

Evie- November 2008 04 031a

Evie- November 2008 04 027a

Evie- November 2008 04 023a

Dear Evelyn,

November? November?? Weren’t you born in July? Where has this year gone? I can’t believe you’re four months old today.

It’s been another jam packed month, baby. On one hand it’s gone by in the blink of an eye and on the other October seems light years away. You started out your 4th month kinda rocky. You’re a fantastic baby. I don’t have any other babies to compare you to, but so far as I can tell, you’re incredible. Because your daddy has to be away and I’m flying solo, I am so astutely aware of how kind you are to me by not crying excessively and having good sleep habits. This being the case, when you do have a rough patch, it really sticks out in comparison. When you go through a growth spurt it really kicks your butt and you make sure I know about it. You go from sleeping basically through the night to waking 3-4 times. It’s exhausting for me and I know it must be for you too, because you turn around and make up for lost sleep during the day.

Of course you're growing; you weigh 14.1 lbs now and I'm starting to look for other ways to carry you besides in the car seat carrier. That thing is getting really cumbersome.

You have a bunch of new tricks this month, Evie. You haven’t quite yet mastered rolling over. Your arms are getting in the way…pesky arms. You make it three-fourths of the way and hit the old arm-road-block. One of these days you’ll figure out what to do with them and then there will be no stopping you. You’ve begun scooting on your back, just by thrusting your legs heel first into the ground. You can maneuver 90 degrees in the crib and considerable inches on any flat surface. Your motor skills are improving in general and you now have this great move where you pull your hand through your fluffy little fluff head of hair. It is such a grown up little action, it cracks me up.

You’re more sensitive to sounds now. Early in the month you began to be frightened by Chokydar’s barking. I can’t blame you—she is loud. Honestly, I’m surprised it took you as long as it has to be startled by her. When Choky first started scaring you it would induce tears, but now you’re a little hardened to it. Her impromptu maniacal barking will shock you, but you’re easily soothed by me mocking her. Your tiny scared face changes to a grin when I respond to her nonsense with a quiet “woof woof woof woof woof” meant just for you. I think it’s a little therapeutic for me too when she won’t stop. You’re more interested in where sounds are originating and you can be soothed more readily by the sound of my voice.

You cried when I left you with Julia earlier this month to run a few errands. Definitely nothing against Julia—you just now are showing real preference for me, and kid, I have to say, after those first few months of blank staring, it is wonderful to have another little sign you love me in return. New people can be scary to you, and a couple of times well intended admirers have pushed you to tears trying to get you to smile.

If you do honor someone with a smile, it is a sight to behold. Your gummy grin is eye-wateringly beautiful and this month it was joined by the newly developed “half-giggle.” I say half-giggle because it is not quite fully realized, but it is obviously the first step toward a whole hearted guffaw. It is short—usually about three little “heh heh heh”s when the gummy grin is overwhelmed with the joy of the moment—but powerful.

Along with the half-giggle, your repertoire of sounds has expanded once again this month. My favorite new sound is a variation on the “th” sound. It’s hard to describe, but there’s a lot of tongue action and often ends in bubble blowing. You’re really cooing now, and often you’ll stop mid-meal to look up at me, have a little conversation and then dive back (seriously head first) to continue nursing.

Daddy got a set of headphones this month and has been able to watch and listen to us on Skype. He is amazed by how much you’ve grown and all the progress you’re making. He loves you so much and can’t wait to come home to us. You’re going to love him too. He’s better at rough housing than me—just ask Chokydar.

Sweet, sweet Evelyn, the seed of love that was planted in my heart when you were born has fully bloomed, and the roots are inextricably intertwined. I love you more every day.


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Evie- November 2008 02 002a

Evie- November 2008 02 013a

Evie- November 2008 02 016a

Evie- November 2008 02 018a

Evie- November 2008 02 021a

Evie- November 2008 02 026a

Today was Thursday. I couldn't think of anything else to make today particularly stand out. I managed to workout and went out to check the mail. I've been feeling a little blah lately. I can feel the winter blues start to creep in with the continually grey skies, chilly temperature, and limited daylight.

It's been a real struggle lately to do my daily workout. I know I'm making progress; I've lost 35 pounds since Evelyn was born (I'd gained 60), and even though I know that's awesome progress, I can't help but fixate on the 25 left to lose. My knees are a little achey from doing jumping jacks and sometimes I feel so Groundhogs Day about it all. I'd been feeling much better about my body, but I think I've turned some kind of corner. I've stopped feeling light in comparison to my pregnancy weight and have started feeling heavy, remembering what it once was to weigh my pre-pregnancy weight. Even as I type this I want to slap myself for being so "glass is half empty."

That being said, even when I get down about stuff, it's amidst this incredible sense of joy. I am SO blessed and when I stop to remember that, the grey skies don't look so bad anymore.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

First of all, thank you to my husband and all the men and women who serve with him or have served our nation. Because of the last few years I better understand the sacrifices service requires and appreciate even more those who voluntarily make the choice to give of themselves so deeply.

On a very different note, I have a story to tell today. Funny story--true story--

As it is Veteran's Day, most places around were closed today, but I felt the urge to get out of the house. I thought the Java Cafe would be open, and the idea of a chai latte was very appealing on this cold and dreary afternoon. Having made up my mind, I began preparations to leave the house:

1. Find shoes and put them on--check.
2. Feed the baby--check.
3. Change the baby--check.
4. Make sure the baby is appropriately attired for outdoors--check.
5. Remove the toilet paper roll from the dispenser in the bathroom so Chokydar won't eat it while we're gone (this is learned from experience)--check.
6. Make sure wallet is actually in purse and location of keys verified--check.
7. Put baby in carrier and strap in--check.
8. Grab spitty cloth--check.
9. Get a treat for Chokydar so that she will willingly go into bathroom while we are gone--check.
10. Put Choky in the bathroom--check.
11. Carrying baby, leave the house & lock the door--check.

All of this for a 48 second drive 3 blocks away to get a chai. Please don't judge--sometimes it's the little things in life that can get you through a rainy day.

I've got Evie secured in the back seat and plop myself in up front, key in the ignition and....

Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, more like vvrrrclickvvrrrclickvrrrclickvrrrclickvrrrclickvvvr.

Maybe it was a fluke...


Nope. No fluke. The car won't start. Joy.


Okay, just checking...

Dreams of chai dashed, I get back out of the car, go back around and get Evie out (who is rather amused at this new game of pretending to go for a drive) and go back inside, where Chokydar greets me as if I've been gone for weeks.

I called the German repair guy, as the only on-post auto service place requires prescience and only sees those who have booked weeks in advance. The car will be towed tomorrow morning. I'm thinking it's the starter, and hope that it isn't too complicated or expensive to set straight.

I can't help but be grateful that this happened on a day when the only thing at stake was a latte and we were at home rather than, oh say, at the commissary with a car full of groceries or 45 minutes away somewhere.

Daily Doodle

I started this drawing last night because I couldn't think of anything to draw, so I started drawing my empty hot chocolate mug. I continued working on the drawing in Sketchbook Pro today and it began to evolve into an entire still life of the corner of my desk. The paper with the yellow lettering and the linen bag I scanned to include in the stack of papers. I think maybe my favorite part of the drawing is the reflection of the wire on the side of the mug.

Oops...I just spotted a mistake I didn't see before...can you find it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Illustration Friday: Wise

Here's my entry for this week's topic "wise." I'm actually hoping I might do another for this week. I drew this one using Sketchbook Pro--I'm totally loving this program...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Daily Doodle

Saturday, November 1, 2008

'Vacant' Process

How Does this work







Illustration Friday: Vacant


After two weeks of not participating I'm early this week! Woo hoo! This week's IF topic is 'vacant' and it reminded me of a photo I'd taken back in Oklahoma. I was playing with our new camera and took this accidental picture that I ended up saving because my blank expression was priceless. I am REALLY enjoying playing with my new Bamboo Fun tablet and played around in Illustrator for this one. I saved along the way so you can see my progress in the next post.
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