Saturday, October 3, 2015

809 pictures later

Today is my last day in the US. I've been here for a month, visiting family and friends. I also went on a writing cruise. It's time to go home--I miss my family--but I'm going to miss being here among friends and family. I've only taken 809 pictures on this trip, which sounds like a lot, but most certainly doesn't capture the heart of the experience of visiting.

Still, here are a few of my favorites from the last month:

And from the cruise:

Such an awesome experience. I wish I could come back every year, but of course I have responsibilities and a limited budget.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Year update, a month late

Kip's been a year old for a month now (tomorrow, anyway) and I should write down a few stats before more time passes.

When Kip was just a year he had seven teeth. The seventh (on the bottom) poked through a couple of days before his first birthday. The eighth showed up a couple of days after. And then, last week, he got another tooth, this time a molar. I think he's excited about this food stuff. I made him a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday, which he mostly turned into a big, huge mess while I took pictures.

At his 1 year appointment (which was a week after his first birthday, but close enough) Kip weighed 10 kg and was 76.5 cm long. He got two shots that day and took them well. So glad one of them was the MMR since now we know measles erases part of the immune system's records of previous infections.

I can tell I haven't been as diligent about signing with Kip. After his one sign I expected him to add a few more to his vocabulary, but it hasn't been happening. Oh well. Makes me really miss the support system (read: local signing time) that we used to go to.

Sylvia also lost a tooth last week. She wiggled it and wiggled it and finally twisted it around so it was hanging on by almost nothing, at which point I reached in and plucked it out. We still haven't had a visit from the tooth fairy because we all keep forgetting to stick the tooth under Sylvia's pillow at night. I might just pay her $5 and let her keep her tooth.

Today was the last day of school holidays. We still have the weekend, of course, but today's the last non weekend day. Sylvia wishes she had another week of holidays, and I think Kip and Paul just wish I weren't working so they could be home with me. We don't really do that much when we're home. I took the kids to the South Australia Museum last week. Sylvia begged to go back, I suspect more because she wanted to catch pigeons (she was successful on our first trip) than because she wanted to see the museum. We didn't do much this week. It's been too cold so all we were able to do was hang around the house watching cartoons. I did make sure we had some outing or activity every day, even if just a trip to the grocery store, but it's so hard when it's cold. Looking forward to the next school holiday when it'll be warm enough to do stuff and go places!

Monday, June 1, 2015


I don't think I've every really been big on my own birthdays. Sure, it's fun to have cake and celebrate a little, and yes, it's the anniversary of the beginning of me as an independent person (which is important) but I don't think I really understood the significance of my birthday until I had a child of my own.

My birthday is the day my mom went from being one, responsible only for herself, to becoming two; the anniversary of her taking on a huge, life-changing responsibility. In a sense it's not really my day at all, or at the very least not about me alone but about me and my mom.

Happy birthday to me, and happy birth day to my Mom, who had what sounds like a pretty scary birth experience with me and yet didn't let that stop her from going through the whole thing three more times. Thanks for thirty seven years of everything from nose and bum wiping to dropping me off at college (and paying for it!) to watching me become a mother and supporting me through those challenges. Love you.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hala + Dave

A couple in my congregation tied the knot this weekend and they let me take a few pictures of their family and of the day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Slow down

Kip's been sick all day and, consequently, has been exceptionally cuddly, to the point of not letting me put him down. You know, I love cuddles as much as the next person, and I know I won't be able to hold him all day this way for much longer, but wow, was today ever tiring. My back aches, my arms hurt, and I haven't been able to do much of anything but hold him. Yet somehow I can't bring myself to feel all that bad about such a slow, calm day. My baby won't be a baby all that much longer (if he even qualifies now).

Monday, May 25, 2015


On my list of things to do today:
Play group
Feed the missionaries
Normal stuff (taking Sylvia to school, cleaning, etc.)

Not on my list of things to do today:
Create a bird habitat/aviary for bird rescue

I took Sylvia to school, then came back and picked up Paul, Kip, and Derrick. Ran Derrick to the bus station and took Paul and Kip to playgroup. Paul and Kip had fun, but at around 11:15 Kip fell asleep nursing and, when I pulled him off, he started coughing so enthusiastically he vomited. Yeah.

Stopped at the store on the way home. Bought chippies for Paul and Vegemite chocolate for me (I had to try it once).

On the way home I thought through the rest of the day and realized I had barely enough time to get things going for dinner at 6. Fed Paul and myself quickly and started meat for tacos al pastor (the meat has to marinate 4 hours at least). Kip wasn't cooperative so I fed him while chatting with my sister in Utah until Kip was asleep. Paul brought in the Vegemite chocolate while I was on the phone and insisted he wanted to try it. He wasn't impressed. I think it tastes a bit like chocolate with molasses, which isn't all that bad, though there are definitely other flavors I like better.

Finally got Kip to sleep. Started a load of laundry and went back to the taco meat. Got the marinade together just as Kip woke up. Grr. Not a fan of micro naps. Cut the meat while Kip was crying and dumped it all together. Realized it was time to pick up Sylvia. Pulled out the other load of laundry and started a new one while also getting kids ready to go. Unsurprisingly I was late.

Picked up Sylvia, drove home, gave kids a snack (perhaps more honestly, let kids pull ice blocks out of the freezer for snack) and sent them outside to eat it while I put up laundry.

Putting up Laundry when I heard something smack against the window of Sylvia's room.

"Sylvia, what is a bird doing inside your room?"

Ran inside.

"Sylvia, what is a bird doing inside your dresser drawer, and why are you trying to hide it from me?"

Much sadness as I carried it outside to release it.

Doves aren't the smartest of birds. This one, probably terribly traumatized, was happy to sit in my hands while I carried it around the yard trailing my hysterical kids. Bird finally flew away from me--right back into the shade house.

Rolled my eyes at the stupidity of birds and went back to folding laundry.

A few minutes later realized Sylvia was stalking the bird again, despite my insistence she leave it alone.

"Sylvia, where is the bird's tail?"

"A cat got it."

Noticed Paul clutching a fistful of feathers.

"A cat named Paul?"

Went inside to find out about wild animal rescue. Called the RSPCA but got a recording I couldn't spare the attention for. Called a friend, who suggested the best option might be to drop the bird across a neighbor's fence and hope for the best.

When I went back outside the kids had constructed a 'trap' for the bird 'to protect it' using pieces of scrap wood. Convinced them to come inside and help me make a temporary aviary out of their castle tent. By the time we went back outside the bird had escaped/been carried off (I hope the former). Kids will look for the bird tomorrow to see if it returns.

All that and already 4:45. Dinner at 6 and my house still a mess and nothing cooked. Cleaned up in record time, made tortillas and guac, Derrick came home (seriously, my hero tonight) and cooked the meat for dinner. Managed to feed the missionaries before they had to leave for their next appointment, but only barely. Sent kids to bed with songs and watched a couple of episodes of Castle while holding a mildly feverish Kip against my chest. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blown out

We met up with some friends for lunch at a park today and I took my camera. It's been a while since I've taken any pictures (and even longer since I've posted--sorry) and I can tell I'm out of practice because I had a very hard time remembering to check my settings. Still managed a few nice images with some copious editing

(The last image is Derrick swinging Kip by his coveralls. We know how to have 'round here)