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

Friday, August 13, 2010


Dear friends,

As much as things are changing around here, I've been feeling for a while that my tomatobear blog is getting a bit stale. Rather than keep revamping themes and html, I've decided to MOVE my blog entirely to a new location, hosted by tumblr.com. I'm hoping this will be a great move and help me to keep things fresh and share what's happening in our lives better. Please, reset bookmarks and update mental records to show the correct new location:

Learn it. Love it. And let me know what you think!

P.S. For the time being, this blog will remain as an archive of things past. I am as of yet undecided as to whether I will import past posts over to my new blog or just let them remain here.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meh. Here are some pictures.

juice please


our house

Ouch. I woke up yesterday morning to workout (like a good little girl) and have been paying for it ever since. No wonder I stopped working out. It hurts!! And not like a normal, mmmm that's a good burn hurt, like, I would rather have Chokydar gnaw off my leg than go up these stairs one more time kind of hurt. I actually ache lying still. Like breathing makes me feel the soreness. I think working out again will help (?!?!) but I'm not sure how to manage that given my level of ouch.

As it would follow then, today has been less than stellar. I'm really tired (and did I mention achey?) and my motivation is pretty low. A couple of days ago, however, I did manage to get the kitchen put away and took some pictures of the kitchen, living room, and breakfast nook. I'd eventually like to get a couple of arm chairs to face the fireplace (which reminds me--Evie now calls fire trucks "fireplace cars") and hang some prints/art/photos/something on the wall.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Three steps forward, two steps back.


about to be undone

such a good beginning

Just a few days before Justin left I picked up a new stash of super colorful alpaca and bamboo yarn. It was definitely a splurge but I knew that it would be something fun and new to work on and occupy my mind in these first few days/weeks.

Now, it's not as if I don't already have about 5 unfinished projects going on already--and I am making slow progress on them--but I hit a roadblock on this one project in particular that really frustrated me, so I shifted gears from knitting on that one to starting a crochet baby blanket in my new yarn.

I love crochet for many reasons, one of which being how quickly it works up. I only sat down with this blanket maybe three or four nights for a couple of hours to get this far, and I guess I got so wrapped up in enjoying the mindlessness of it that it's taken me this long to realize I made the blanket way too wide for a baby blanket. I tend to do that...my blankets are always gargantuan. I was tempted to just keep going on this one and have it be a regular throw, but with the yarn being so pricey and my original intent for it to be for the baby's room, I'm going to go ahead and take it all back apart.

The past couple of days have felt like that in more than one way. I have been keeping myself busy and getting some good things done, but somewhere mid afternoon or evening time I sometimes hit a wall. I guess it's when I get tired enough to really sit down and stop to think, but sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the amount of things to do around the house, and by my fresh feelings of loneliness. It's not crippling or anything, and I do feel like I'm making progress, but like the blanket, I sometimes feel I've taken three steps forward only to have to take two back. Still, that's one up for the day and that's not bad.

It's hard for me to grasp that tomorrow will be August. That means I've got a bit over two months until the new little one arrives, and that's a tiny bit stress-making. Her room is a catch-all for toys and diapers and the crib is full to the brim of junk I needed out of the way. I have about an eighth of the painters tape on the wall where I intend to paint some stripes, a chair that needs re-upholstering, prints to frame and hang, clothes to sort and wash, and a better storage solution to find for Evie's toys that now occupy the middle of the room. That's a lot, but it wouldn't feel so overwhelming if it weren't for the fact that just about every other room in the house needs some TLC too.

On a side note, Evie is now claiming Justin as an alibi for other mysteries...when her second tennis shoe went missing this morning she exclaimed, "Daddy...tookit...Af-gan-stan." Turned out, it was actually in the kitchen.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Third time

last moments at home

breakfast together


Evie was told to smile for the camera.

Today is day #2 of deployment #3. Yesterday we dropped Justin off and began the countdown plunking off days until he's home again in a year. It's funny how some of the "deployment feelings" have been the same each time now, and some are very different. I always have this heavy, literal heartache. If you've had that feeling, you know what I mean. I always thought that was a figure of speech, but it's really not. My stomach usually feels a bit queasy when my mind wanders to the big picture of it--that he'll be away for an entire year and what that means he'll miss out on and what we'll have to do without him. But that's not how you do it--at least not how I do. I take it one day at a time, from one call to the next, happy with myself when I'm happy and strong and productive, and try not to get too down on myself when things just fall apart. They do sometimes, but isn't that the same with everyone? It just feels more lonely during deployment.

This time around, predictably, the hardest part I think is coming to terms, not with my own sense of loss, but with Justin's and Evelyn's. Our little girl just turned two and to imagine the child she will be in a year spins my head, and honestly breaks my heart. If the infrastructure is in place, which it hopefully will be, we will be able to Skype and allow for the two of them to still talk and see each other over the course of the year. Evie understands this concept and enjoys visiting with my parents via Skype, so I am hopeful it will help her cope and understand Justin's absence. As much as we've tried to explain, I can tell it just hasn't sunk in yet what this deployment thing means. Honestly, how can it? How do you explain to someone two years old that her daddy will be gone for half of the time she's been alive?

She's doing fine so far...she claimed this morning when I went in to change her diaper that "Daddy checked it" already. You might be afraid this is some kind of delusional coping mechanism, but it's just a sneaky two year old trying to get out of a diaper change. The "somebody else checked it" game started about a week ago...she first claimed to Justin that "Mommy checked it" and when he brought her in to ask me, confirming I had not, she switched gears, suggesting instead, "Bebe checked it!" You remember Bebe from The Inner Circle? She's not exactly capable of diaper changes...any more than Justin is for the next year.

Then there was this morning when Chokydar heard a noise outside the house starting her usual reaction and alerting everyone to the disturbance. Evie's eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "Daddy's home!!" with such joy, my tongue caught in my throat for a moment.

"No, honey, Daddy's not home yet. He won't be home for a long, long time, but he will come back and he loves us very much."

"He loves us VERY much," she agreed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

28 Weeks

I found a photography series via Oh Dee Doh today called The Walk to 40 Weeks by The Panic Room and felt immediately inspired and guilty.

This beautiful series chronicles one woman's pregnancy from week 16 to the birth of their son. I love the creativity of it being staged as a walk, capturing the journey aspect of a pregnancy, and I love this gorgeous woman's maternity fashion. Where, oh where, did she find these non-frumpy gems?

The guilty part comes in as today marks my 28th week with our second. With Evelyn, I faithfully took simple pictures every few weeks chronicling my growing tummy, although that was before I had returned to maintaining this blog, so they never saw the light of day. Here's me at 28 weeks with Evie:

28 weeksEvie

And so, today I took a couple of quick shots to capture part of this pregnancy. I know the second child is supposed to kind of get ripped off in terms of sentimental documentation, but I hope to do a little better for the poor dear...


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This and that

Our house

So, we're down to the final week. Every moment seems precious, but I ache to keep them mundane--normal, so that I don't feel that some impending doom is on its way. We're going about life...errands, work, chores, catching some Netflix here and there, and getting the house in order, but the deployment looms on the horizon and you can't help but count the minutes we have left together on the same continent.

We had a busy week with two birthdays. We celebrated Evie's on Thursday with just the three of us, and then again Saturday with a group of friends. I attempted to make Cookie Monster cupcakes, and was grateful to have years of practice before Evie gets more discriminating in her assessment of my cupcake-decorating skills.

Sticker Girl

No. 2

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

She's been a real hoot lately. I know I've completely fallen off the wagon for my monthly letters. This time I didn't even bother to go back and see how long it's been. In any case, she's grown and changed so much it is impossible to try and communicate it properly, and I really do kick myself for not keeping track of some of the funnier things she'll say. She's speaking in more or less complete sentences now, although she will often get frustrated when we can't quite understand a new (or invented) word. Her speech is charmingly and purposefully enunciated, like she's trying to communicate with someone who speaks another language and may misunderstand her. Lately, she's taken to announcing, "It's...too...hot!" when we go outside (it's been in the 90s...).

This morning, when it was a pleasant 70 (hallelujah!), she already was making her forecast as I opened the door, "It's...too...hot...Mommy!"

I replied, "Actually, I think it's quite nice out Evie!"

"It's...too...nice...Mommy!" she corrected.

Having a two year old will certainly alert you to some of your bad habits, as I also learned this morning. As we left the Super Target, passing by the Starbucks, Evie exclaimed, "I...need...Starbucks...right...now...Mommy!" Oy vey.

She also is enjoying rhymes and songs at a new level. "This Little Piggy" and "Little Bunny Foo Foo" top the charts, along with the ABC song. She will request them in the car and gets no end of entertainment from listening and participating in their recitation.

Another random anecdote: We went to Texas Roadhouse last night for dinner, a favorite in the Watson household for many reasons. Personally, I like their ribs and cinnamon butter, but Evelyn is most fond of the "Piggy"--the costumed mascot armadillo that sometimes makes rounds at the restaurant. He of course is not always there, but when we go, she is instantly on the lookout for the Piggy, craning her neck and inquiring as to his whereabouts. I didn't hold out much hope that he'd be around last night, but sure enough, he appeared out of nowhere (a little frightening to me, but thrilling to E) and proceeded to mime some interactions with Evelyn, who was completely in awe. When he left we postulated on his activities...most likely he was hungry too, and needed to sit down and eat his macaroni and cheese, not unlike someone at our table.

Today, again in the car, Evie chimed in from the back, "Mommy? Piggy...not...here. Piggy...hungry...eat...macandcheese!"

Sunday was my 27th birthday. Twenty-seven, for me, is/was possibly the scariest of ages thus to date. I know this must sound silly to many of you, but somehow it feels more like turning a corner than I think 30 does. I don't really know how to explain it beyond that, but I find myself reflecting on the past year and where I want to be by 28, and I have a lot of ideas...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Second Birthday, Sweetheart

Day 1:


Day 365:

First Birthday

Day 730:

Two Years Old

Two Years Old

Two Years Old

Two Years Old

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hi again...

Hmmm, it's me! I haven't updated my header since April, posted since May...what is this June? July? I think it's safe to say we've been living a bit of a whirlwind these past few weeks/months, and although the dust is starting to settle, that never lasts long around here.

We closed on the house on June 30th without complications and moved in to our new home after 42 days in an extended stay hotel (I'm sure the cleaning staff was as glad to see Chokydar leave as we were glad to go!) Our belongings arrived the following two days, as well as my parents to help us unpack and begin settling in. I've taken shamefully few pictures, but hope to remedy that. Here are a couple from our Independence Day cookout, celebrating our new digs with my mom, dad, aunt and uncle:

Fourth of July

Fourth of July

Fourth of July

We're far from being completely unpacked, but most things are at least out of the moving box at this point. With me, things often get a lot worse before they get better; cleaning is a messy process. We've had help installing ceiling fans and fixtures, and I'm adding hardware to our cabinets and drawers (only one or two disaster moments so far). Again, pictures to come...

I have a long shopping list most days when we go out, including everything from potted plants (several of which I've already managed to kill...), bath mats, screws, charcoal, and rugs. Today I added another item, to be picked up in the coming week: Gobstoppers. If you've followed the blog for over a year, you may know what that means. Justin is getting ready to deploy again, this time (the third) to Afghanistan, rather than Iraq. As a means of visually passing the days, I count out 365 Gobstoppers and put them in a jar, to be eaten once daily beginning the day he leaves. Sadly, that day is quickly approaching, although for you, dear reader, it could actually be a good thing, because I think I tend to update the blog about 11 times as much when he's away as when he's here.

I'm going to have a lot to share, because Evie is growing like a weed, I've got a household to set up, a new community to explore, friends to make, projects to tackle (and complete), and, oh yeah, a new arrival in October that should keep things lively.

Stay tuned, loved ones, and while you're at it, send a prayer my way.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Under construction

Our new home!
A couple of shots of the front elevation. The house faces east and will have stone where the plywood is around the bottom on the front.

Our new home!
Here's a shot of the house from behind. We are the second house in. The back yard isn't as big as we'd imagined, but I'm sure it will be plenty.

Our new home!
This shot is taken from the dining area looking back towards the front door down the entry hall. There is a study, powder room, stairs leading down to the basement and up to the second floor off the hall.

Our new home!
Here is the kitchen. The doorway in the corner will be the pantry. The window will be over the sink.

Our new home!
We have an 8 ft. sliding glass door from the dining area out to the back yard.

Our new home!
This is a view of the backyard through the glass door. The houses behind us block some of our view, but as you can see, there are mountains back there!

Our new home!

Our new home!
This is the living room. The fireplace will have an upgraded stone surround. I'm excited to see it finished.

Our new home!
There's a nice window that lights the stairwell as you go upstairs...

Our new home!
The master bedroom is at the top of the stairs and has some neat upgrades that came with the house including french doors, a raised ceiling, and the "deluxe master bath" with a large tub and double sinks.

Our new home!

Our new home!
This is one of the two extra bedrooms upstairs. We'll have to decide which one will be Evie's and which will be for the new little one.

Our new home!
These are samples of our design choices. We actually haven't seen them in person...I chose them all by pictures sent via e-mail from our design consultant. Hopefully they'll look good in real life!!

Our new home!

It's only about a month now until we are expected to close. I am like a kid waiting for Christmas. I am anxious to see the transformation as they continue building.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

An update...

May 4-5: We had our things packed up and moved for the third time.





May 8: We drove to Houston and stayed almost a week visiting friends and family. I took shamefully few pictures.


May 14: We jumped in the car and drove to San Antonio on the first leg of our road trip to our new home in Colorado Springs.


May 15: We drove to Carlsbad, NM and arrived that evening in time to go to the natural entrance of the cave there in order to watch the bat flight as they leave for their evening meal. Unfortunately Evie got too tired and we left before seeing the bats. I remember seeing the bat flight as a child and was disappointed that we couldn't stay to see it again, but it will just have to be something we save for when the kids are older.


May 16: We went back to Carlsbad Caverns to take a quick spin around one section of the cave. Since Chokydar waited for us in the facility's kennels and we had E in tow, we took the elevator down the 750 ft decent, saving us a 1.5-2 hr hike down the natural entrance. The cave was just as impressive as I remembered. Of course, pictures were difficult to take, but to give you an idea...





Still May 16: We headed out from Carlsbad and drove through Roswell, NM, which was larger than I expected and full of funny signs and billboards regarding alien encounters. We stopped for lunch (didn't see any aliens...) and then carried on to Santa Fe that evening.

I was really surprised by Santa Fe; I thought I would like it, but I hadn't realized how very beautiful it is there! I imagined that it was located in a flat expanse of desert, but it was outlined by gorgeous mountains and full of art and color, despite all the stucco architecture, which was also quite charming. We decided to dine at a local steakhouse listed in the hotel's restaurant guide...the guide unfortunately did not list prices and the restaurant ended up being a high end (read extrememly pricey) place that we all decided was good, but fell short of oh, say, Texas Roadhouse and cost nearly 4 times as much.








May 17: We arrived in Colorado Springs and stayed the first night with Justin's good friend Eric, who had been along on our roadtrip up from Houston, although he'd moved to Colorado Springs a few weeks earlier. He showed us around town, helped us orient ourselves and pointed out a few of his favorite local finds. We were able to drive by our new home, but weren't able to go inside that day.

Our new home!

May 18: We moved into our extended stay hotel. Our house isn't scheduled to be completed until as late as June 30, so we've got about 6 weeks in a hotel. Thankfully I was able to find one with two bedrooms and a kitchenette, so althought things are cramped and we're still living out of a suitcase, we have a bit more normalcy while we wait. I'm still impatient.

So that's where we are! Day 9 of 42+ in Colorado Springs as we wait for our home to be finished. Justin is In-Processing on post and I was able to be seen at the hospital and get our ultrasound scheduled for the second week in June. We will both be excited to learn more about B2!

More pictures of the house to come, as we have been able to get inside and have a look around...

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