Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello Washington DC

Actually, we will be living in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Here's the story.
In April Karen, like so many other Americans this year, was laid off from her job. Karen is an expert database consultant and teacher. Her career for many years has included lots and lots of travel. I've been used to her being home a week, gone a week, home a week, gone two weeks--you get the picture. At times, it has been really tough on both of us. Her being away from us and me being home by myself with Kylie.

With the sudden layoff, we got to reevaluate our options. Karen's been busy since April doing sub-contractor work. But she's had to travel almost every week. One night she looked at me and said, "I'm sick of the road. I want to see you and Kylie every morning and every night."

The miracle was that days after that conversation the phone rang with a job opportunity in DC. And although it means a huge cross-country move (again!), I know it is right for our family.

There are so many positives to this move: I'll get to stay home with Kylie, we will be closer to family (only an 8 hour drive from TN), it's work that Karen does so well and she's really excited about it, the stability of employment rather than sub-contractor uncertainties, the schools in Fairfax County are all really excellent, the list goes on and on.

The only really big worry is selling our house. Yeesh! Not a good time to try to sell! And paying for a house in Portland and a house in Virginia. Yikes! So please keep our house sale and move in your thoughts and prayers. We've done all we can to showcase our home and make her look as beautiful and perfect as possible. We've got St. Joseph's help. I just hope and pray it sells quickly. In the meantime, we are making plans to move around the end of July/ first of August.

Thank you for bearing with me on making you wait a day. I so rarely have big news. I couldn't resist stretching it out a bit. Thanks for indulging me.

And now, here are some pictures of Kylie.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Big News

Good-bye Portland

Good-bye the most gay-friendly and kid-friendly place I've ever been.

Good-bye to:
Multnomah Falls & Cannon Beach,
to all the glorious parks we've visited,
the Portland Zoo and Children's Museum,
to the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden,
to beautiful Mt. Hood that graces our skies daily and
Mt. Saint Helens that we can see on a clear day.

Good-bye to our lovely house
with the red kitchen and butler's pantry,
with the family room that has the 3 windowsills that Kylie's spent so much time playing with,
to the prettiest blue bedroom I've ever seen,
the walk-in shower and soaking tub,
to Kylie's room that's painted like a garden
and the backyard that changed from having a fountain, to a garden to simple grass.

Good-bye to the place where Kylie was thought of and then born. To her first house. Her Gymboree classes where she has attended since she was 4 months old, her newly found swim school, and all the trees that she loves to pat and kiss.

Good-bye Portland, Oregon

We are moving to..........

(tune in tomorrow for location and story).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Swim photo and scrapbook pages

Really busy today but I wanted to post this picture taken at Kylie's swim school. She finished her first swim class semester and got a ribbon for "graduation". She'll be repeating the same class again which is great because she just loves it.

This photo was taken by an underwater photographer. Doesn't Kylie look different? She's holding her breath so beautifully!

And here are two recent scrapbook pages:
Sweet dreams

Your own style

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First trip to the beach

Yesterday, we all took a break and all went to Cannon Beach. We were so excited to introduce Kylie to the Pacific Ocean. Kylie must have said, "Ocean! Beach!" about 100 times before we arrived.
At first, she wanted to hold on tight as she dipped her toes into the magnificent ocean.

That lasted about two seconds. Then she was running up and down the beach looking for sticks and shells to throw in the water.

She loved digging in the sand...

and throwing handfuls of sand into the water while yelling, "Ta-dah!"

Then she would clean her hands and do it all over again.

Soon, she was moving so fast I wasn't worried about her getting cold. I took off her sopping jacket which delighted her.

She got sandier and sandier by the minute.

Just when I thought she couldn't get any dirtier, she started burying her feet in the sand.

I was in photography heaven. Snapping away while squatting, kneeling and even lying on the sand to get over 100 pictures. Karen and I just beamed with happiness. We smiled and laughed and soaked in the sight of our beautiful girl enjoying the beach and ocean. What a perfect day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't you love it when....

Don't you love it when your little one repeats something she's heard you say? Today Kylie said:

"Mommy, you don't want to mess with me today."

Let me tell you, laughter through embarrassment is one unusual emotion.

I'm still keeping up with my photo-a-day pledge. Here are a few recent ones.

In our backyard. Kylie moved back and forth between the large hosta leaves. She shared with me what she was imagining. Sometimes she was a cow walking through a gate. In this picture she was a "jungle panda".

I was in a hurry all day and Kylie played so hard she was a blur. I like this one because you can see Karen laughing at Kylie in the fireplace glass.

I shot this one with my iPhone and enlarged and enhanced it in Photoshop. I was in love with that long curl of Kylie's.

A few scrapbook pages:
Simple Joy

Celebrating Seuss

Secret Smile

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

These days at the park....

These days at the park Kylie is:

Walking up and down the stairs--I thought she would never stop crawling. I'm so proud with every dang step she takes.

She's sliding again. Her slide strike is over.

She's giving me this face when I tell her not to throw mulch.

She's conducting strange experiments. "Does my head fit through here?"

"How about here? Does it fit through here?" Ehn"

Making mulch concoctions; she told me this was a cake.

Playing ring around the rosey,

And simply being fabulous.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Ever since we went to Tennessee in May, Kylie has been afraid of bugs. Several times a day, I hear her exclaim, "Bug!" Many times I'll give her a minute and she'll then say, "Oh, just lint" or "Oh, just dirt". But if it IS a bug, she'll want me close by.

I'll say, "It's okay Kylie" and then "Hello bug" in my friendliest voice. I'll say something innocuous like, "Oh, you are an ant. You must be busy today" or "You are a fly. Have you landed on any pretty flowers today?" Kylie will very seriously look from me to the bug and back again.

I'll try to let the bug sit on my finger or arm and talk about how very small it is and how we've been reading about bugs. In general, I treat it like it is no big deal. And Kylie will relax and go about her play.

I have no idea where this fear of bugs originated. Karen and I don't get squeaky about any kind of bug. But I've read that this anxiety is just a normal part of her development. So we are just waiting for it to pass.

We've read lots of bug books to Kylie lately to make the critters seem more accessible. Eric Carle's "The Very Quiet Cricket" and "The Very Lonely Firefly" are two of her current favorites.

For now, I see this display of emotion several times a day.

"Do I hear a bug?"

"Everyone freeze! There is a winged creature in the area!"

"Aaaaaaahhhhh! Bug! MOMMY! BUG!!!

It's kind of pitiful and kind of funny at the same time isn't it?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Photo Friday 6/12

I should be folding laundry before everything becomes impossibly wrinkled but instead I'm playing around in Photoshop. Do me a favor and let me know which picture you like best.
#1. This picture is right out of the camera.

#2. This one has an action called Sweet Lavender added to it. It brought out more of the blue tones and it softened that big black square.

#3. This one got "boosted" with Pioneer Woman's boost action. I love how her hair looks in this one. Unfortunately, I didn't get the swing she was pushing into the shot. Without seeing the swing, this one makes you wonder what the heck she is doing.

#4. This action is called lime juice. I've never used it much before but I like what it did to this photo. Kind of soft and summer-feeling.

Here's a few more sweet shots.
#5. Sitting on the slide.

#6. I like this one because I was sitting in the swing next to her when I took it.

And hey, since you've come this far. Which picture number 7 crop do you like best?
Crop A or

Crop B

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This morning at Gymboree Playclass one of the moms surprised me. There is a moment during class where the toddlers climb up a platform and then jump onto a big, cushy mat. Almost all the kids ask to either jump into their moms arms or simply step off the platform holding onto their mom with a hand. The mom in front of me & Kylie wanted her son to make the jump without holding on to her.

Now my Kylie doesn't have the jump thing yet; she doesn't have the dual control to get both legs up in the air. Her jumps are more like one-footed hops. I've often impressed with this little boy at Gymboree because he is a great jumper. And I totally understand his mom wanting to take his skills to the next level. Gymboree is a wonderfully-padded place where it is safe to do so.

But as I watched the struggle between mother, "Jump, jump!" and son who cried, "Hand" and wanted to hold his mom's hand, I felt a wave of sadness.

I wanted to say, "Take his hand. He won't want your help much longer". Already, Kylie tells me to go sit on the bench at the park so that she can have some space to play and take risks.

Our toddlers are getting more and more independent each day. And I'm learning to treasure these small moments when Kylie wants me and some physical support.

Like at home when she wants me to carry her up or down the stairs. Sometimes, I'll inwardly groan because my hands are full (I never seem to go up or down the stairs without carrying something!) But then I'll set the stuff aside and gladly pick up my little one who wraps herself around me like a monkey. It gives me a chance to breathe her in and smell her neck and hair. I get to feel her full weight against me. And I treasure it.

I guess I was already feeling nostalgic this morning as I loaded our baby safety gates into to the car to give them away. We had four different gates that we used throughout the house at different times. I felt sappy remembering our many, many trips to BabysRUS before Kylie was born. We rarely bought anything on those trips. We just looked and researched and made plans for what we would get when she joined us. And then we bought and installed those gates. And Kylie went from sitting up to crawling to walking to running to busting her lip running.

So since I was parting with a bit of baby history and feeling all sentimental about it, I just wanted to give the mom in line in front of me a hug and say, "Sweetie, take his hand".

Here's a picture of sweet Kylie that seems to fit the mood of this post. I took it earlier this week. Normally, after breakfast Kylie is a bundle of energy, movement and words. But this one morning she wanted to curl up with a blanket and pillow on the couch. It only lasted five minutes but it was a sweet five minutes.

Here's my sweet caterpillar.

Monday, June 08, 2009

iPhone Photos and Songs

Today, we were stuck in an impossibly long and slow line at the bank. It was one of those lines that once you are in, you can't get out. So I whipped out a bag of Teddy Grahams and snapped on the Doodlebops on the car DVD for the kiddo.

And then amused myself by taking iPhone pictures of her. I love this one. It's like she's saying, "Excuse me. Shouldn't you be facing forward and have your hands on the wheel?"

Later, once we were freed from long-line prison, we went to the park. Kylie sang, "Ring around the rosies" perfectly while twirling in a circle. I was very impressed.

And later, before bedtime, she wanted to play with her box of scarves. For some very strange reason when we first started playing with scarves months ago, I put a scarf around my neck and pulled it sideways back and forth while singing The Siamese Cat Song from the Lady and the Tramp movie.

My only explanation was I was suffering from severe sleep deprivation at the time and prone to singing Disney musicals.

Anyway, now Kylie wants me sing the song every time we get out the scarves. I had my iPhone in my pocket so I took a picture of her as we played. Kylie sang the words, "We, siamese, and please" with me. Again, I was a pretty impressed Mommy. Isn't it great when they sing?

"Mommy, I have a bad boo-boo on my lip. Please stop taking my picture!"

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Busted lip

Kylie busted her upper lip today. She was running down the sidewalk towards her park and swings and fell. I saw and heard her hit and it made my gut just clench. Calmly I got her to the car to see the damage. There was quite a lot of blood so I cleaned her off with a anti-bacterial wipe. Once clean, I could tell that there wasn't any teeth hurt or any need for stitches. Just a good, ole-fashioned busted lip.

I offered to Kylie to go home and put some ice on it. She got quite upset and screamed, "Park! Swings! Park! Swings!" until I told her "Okay, okay, we'll go play". She wasn't going to let a little blood slow her down thank you very much.

After about 45 minutes she was ready to go home. As we entered the house I asked, "Anything I can do for you, kiddo?" She said, "Medicine (Tylenol) and ice please", and then, "Medicine first".

I had some cold cantaloupe in the fridge and I think that helped soothe the lip and then later after dinner, she got a icy cold fruit popsicle.

You know me. I had to take a few pictures.

Let's see a close-up. OUCH!!!!

But don't let this post fool you. Girlfriend is just fine.