Thursday, July 29, 2010

Buy Me That: Moustachio Teether

O.K., so ostensibly it's for Olivia.  But given my prediliction for wearing fake mustaches whenever possible, it's really for me, too.  You can get it from Little Alouette.  You can give it to me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer of Awesome: Independence Day Edition

Yes, yes, I know it's well past the 4th of July.  But better late than never, right?  Right!  Let's go!

This 4th of July marked two firsts:  Livy's first Independence Day and Livy's participation in her first parade.  Usually I hate parades - I find them boring to watch live, and I find sitting and standing in huge crowds for long periods of time irritating.  But walking in a parade is a different story.  This is my 3rd, and the attention plus the perambulation equals pure Me Show joy!  I like people looking at me!  I like walking and waving!  I LIKE PEOPLE LOOKING AT ME WHILE I WALK AND WAVE!  Luckily for her, so does Olivia.

The parade was a little Mayberry-type affair in my aunt, uncle, and cousins' neighborhood in Puyallup (pronounced pyoo-AL-up, regardless of the Morah's insistence on saying POY-uhl-up).

Cousins on parade!

Here we are preparing for our daring march.  Clockwise from left, that's David, Emily, me, Hannah, and Livy.  Emily was thrilled to spend the day with her little cousin, and Hannah was glad to see us both.  David just wanted to hear me belch like a dyspeptic trucker and make fart jokes.  I didn't disappoint.

I'll kill you for this one day, Mommy.

You like that pimped out patriotic baby-and-stroller combo?  Of course you do!  I had the outfit planned for weeks, down to the ludicrous hair bow, and Hannah and I went nuts with the crepe paper.  As we were taping streamers to the stroller, Hannah told me to taste the crepe paper.  I'm an idiot, so I did.  It's really salty, a fact that Olivia enjoyed as she tried again and again to devour her decorations.

We were led by an antique fire truck filled with happy patriots.

Emily and Livy got tired of the parade at roughly the same time.  It was a longer walk than any of us bargained for.

We were all grateful to retire to the community picnic.  Here beautiful Hannah holds Livy, who enjoyed holding the gluten-free hotdogs more than anyone should.

Then we returned to Aunt Katie and Uncle Kirk's house where Olivia enjoyed the playful mauling of a huge monkey named Stripes while Uncle Kirk sneaked a snuggle.

Livy may have SLB's face, but HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, does she ever have Uncle Kirks huge, melon-like noggin.

It's hard to say whether she's a fan of the Elmo puppet Emily gave her or not.  It's easy to say that she loves gnawing on his eyeballs like a ravenous vulture.

It was a great celebration, and I'm already planning on upping the ante for next year.  We'll throw candy!  We'll add glittery streamers and pompoms!  We'll all dress like Uncle Sam!  Beware, pyoo-AL-up, we've got 11 months to plan, and we mean business!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Buy Me That: Tiny Terrarium Ring

Buy it from WoodlandbelleNow.

It's the cutest thing I've ever seen.  Sure, I'll break it if I wear it, or Livy might eat it.  But it would be worth it, no?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Especially for Uncle Weaver

Look, Uncle Weaver!  Livy loves to read about Ronald Reagan with SLB on the weekend!

No, Olivia, in this case "trickle down" doesn't refer to your drool.

But then she also gets stuck in nesting tables sometimes, too.

"I swear I saw a jellybean under here, Mommy."

I'm not saying she's dumb, but I am saying that she may have a career in politics unlike that which her father and I have envisioned...

And a special treat for readers - a photo of SLB and Uncle Weaver in their youth as Navy fighter pilots.

"Nobody cries for Maverick."


Our friend Sandy, whose son Gavyn turned a year old two days before Livy did, told me yesterday that her pediatrician told her to feed Gavyn what she and her husband Mike eat.  Now that the arbitrary marker of one year is past, we can start feeding our babies all the delicacies forbidden during their babyhoods - peanut butter, cows' milk, eggs, strawberries, etc.  I took Sandy's report literally last night, and Livy and I sat down to a lovely meal of pasta and peas in an ad hoc turkey bolognese.  Delicious chaos ensued.

This is the face of gustatory bliss.

Olivia was methodical in her eating strategy:  pasta first, turkey second, peas third.  Aside from an emollient sheen of red sauce and olive oil coating its surface, that tray was licked clean by the end of the meal.

Notice how that smear of bolognese on her forehead is in the exact shape of baby fingers?  That's what happens when you stroke your forehead with delight as you eat pasta with your hands.  You've been warned.

The bath afterward was both necessary and lengthy.  Oil and water don't mix, so even after a good half hour of soaking and scrubbing Livy still smelled like a bad Italian restaurant.  So be it.  She had a good time.

There were far more than 11 herbs and spices left in the tub after I hosed her off...

... to say nothing of one huge, spicy meatball.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

6 Months

Today would have been Kylie's 6 month birthday.

I miss my niece.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rhymed - For Her Pleasure


Mille feuille

Mille feuille


Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer of Awesome: San Juan Island Edition

Hey there!

Remember when I wrote my Life List?  Remember when I said I wanted to vacation in Friday Harbor and go whale watching with Livy and SLB?  Well, check and check, mofos, because a few weeks ago SLB took some time off and we journeyed north for an idyllic summer vacation.

After a pretty arduous drive and ferry ride with a teething baby (3 teeth came in during our 4 day vacation) we arrived in Friday Harbor just in time for a stroll around town, a delicious meal with a great view, and this sunset from our condo balcony.

Not bad, Friday Harbor.

Not bad at all.

SLB and I vacationed on San Juan Island once before when I was in college and he was preparing to leave for law school, and I'd stayed there a couple of times as a kid during summers when my dad was working and sailing there.  So we have a history, San Juan Island and I, and I've been eager to share this with Olivia even if she won't remember it.

There's a lot to like there.  For one thing, Roche Harbor literally welcomed SLB with his own dedicated graffiti in once-wet cement.

And, for another thing, people on San Juan Island like their puns and poop jokes.  I was among my people at last!

Yep, that's the B-Yacht'ch.  And the little boat tied to it is the Baby B-Yacht'ch.

I disapprove of the egregiously unnecessary misspelling, but otherwise I heartily approve!

This was on a porta-potty at the alpaca farm we visited.

And, because San Juan Island is a magical place, it offers two of my other favorite things beyond poo jokes: delicious food to eat and cute critters to look at.  Two of the days that we were there we lunched at Pablito's Taqueria, tucked away in a little corner of Friday Harbor.  I particularly enjoyed the goat cheese and greens empanada, coffee-braised pork taco, and the chipotle-rubbed rockfish taco, and SLB fell in love with the yam taco.  We also liked these ladies, who are on a huge poster above the salsa bar.

They may be wearing maribou pumps, but they WILL kick your taco-eating arse.

We also got dinner from Market Chef two nights in a row to eat after Olivia went to bed.  There is a reason why this humble little deli-style eatery is ranked #1 on Trip Advisor's list of Friday Harbor restaurants.  The food is delicious and the service is friendly and warm.  We became particular fans of the macaroni and cheese, barbecued shortribs, crab cakes, roasted vegetables, and beet salad, and their key lime pie is wonderful despite their assertion that they "really don't do desserts."  After wrestling Olivia into her much-hated Pack-n-Play for bed, we were grateful to Market Chef for making dinner for us.

I lost one game by forfeit because I was playing drunkenly and wasn't pleased with my lack of precision and panache.  Otherwise, rest assured that I am still SLB's Scrabblemommy.

Our last dinner on San Juan Island was a special one that miraculously took place outside of our condo.  We got brave and ordered up a babysitter from Island Sitters (Ask for Rina, who 1. was fantastic with Olivia and, 2. will totally talk shit about her friends' trashy tattoos when you stumble home from dinner tipsy and chatty) and enjoyed a lovely meal at Duck Soup Inn.  I had what is easily the most perfectly cooked salmon I've ever encountered in all my years of Northwesty salmon eating.  It was pan seared to perfection - delicately crispy on the outside and silkily yielding just beneath the brittle crust.  This was matched with a luxuriously creamy polenta, roasted corn, and pickled cucumber ribbons, and, oh my friends, what a treat it was.  I will urge you to try any savory dish on the menu, but DO NOT F* AROUND WITH DESSERT.  Go big, go bold, or go home.  SLB's hearty chocolate-banana layer cake was ironically flawless in its rustic imperfection, but my hoity-toity nectarine-buttermilk ice cream was a real disappointment.  This is a homey place, so eat homey, homies.

We didn't just eat on this trip, although that might be hard to believe from the previous paragraphs.  We spent a lot of time during the days wandering the island with Livy and seeking out beautiful views and wildlife.  The views were much easier to capture on film, but we saw and got only a few crappy pictures of DOZENS of orcas, a mama deer and her twin fawns, a harbor seal who splashed us and flirted with us from about a foot off of the dock we were walking on, alpacas at a local alpaca farm, bald eagles, and a camel named Mona who was purchased by a farmer from a petting zoo on Ebay. 


After a magical and frustrating afternoon on a whale watching tour trying to capture the magesty of a pod of leaping, frolicking Orcas and their babies, it finally dawned on me that whales just don't say cheese.  So be it, whales!  I love you regardless, or maybe because of, the difficulty in photographing you!  Perhaps if you were more reliable about showing off, though, the littlest of our crew might be more impressed.

I tried pumping Livy up with tales of how we were going to be ADVENTURE LADIES! on the boat, but she didn't buy it.  Thanks to SLB for carrying the napping baby while I was an ADVENTURE LADY! by myself.

The alpacas were easier to see and understand, and so they got a better reception from Olivia.

Like big, weird dogs > like big, weird fish

Can we get one, SLB, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?

And, finally, Livy's biggest highlight from the entire trip was the enormous soaking tub in the condo.  It was big enough for her to swim in, so one night we took an extra-splashy bath.

I think it was Hemingway who said "If you can't end with a pithy line, at least end naked."  Well said, sir. Well said, indeed.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Killing Me Softly

Here is Olivia in her hospital-issued beanie on July 13, 2009.

If you think she looks beat up, you should see the other guy (me).

And here is Olivia posing with that same beanie on July 13, 2010.

Oh, Mom, that tiny dolly hat is so silly.

It makes me giggle and show my tooth nubbins!

Is it a tiara?

You've had your fun.  Now get this scrap off of me.


At 4:14 today Olivia turned 1 year old!  What a big girl, and what a lightning fast year!  I can't believe it, because it's not a believable thing.  Wise and knowing parents tried telling us how quickly the time goes when you have your first little one, and we nodded politely while wishing they'd just stop being all sadly wistful and change the subject.  But they were SO RIGHT.  And now I'm doing it to you, readers.  The time goes so, so quickly.

365 days ago, Olivia was this girl:

And now she crawls all over the place, talks to us in words and signs, eats her own meals with her own hands, splashes in any water she can find, loves kitties and puppies, dances to every beat, and makes us fall in love with her anew with every toothy grin.  How could anyone believe that?  How is it possible that it's true?

While I ponder the unponderable, enjoy these highlights from Livy's first first birthday party at Grandma and Grandpa Snyder's last weekend.  A fine time was had by all, except the cat, who hid under the bed.

Livy enjoys ripping Aunt Amy's glasses off of her face and wearing them herself.

Aunt Katie and cousin Emily grab a snuggle.

Most of the assembled clan picnicking under the trees.

Olivia's first birthday cake - carrot and raisin sweetened with apple juice concentrate - baked with love by Aunt Katie.

Ever ladylike, she gently explored the top of the cake...

... until it talked back, at which point she mauled it.


A quick dip in the pool to clean off the big schmutz.

Then presents were presented, opened, and ignored in favor of their wrappings.

Then another dip with Emily, who loves Livy enough to withstand even the largest likelihood of sitting in baby pee.

Happy birthday, Livy!

We love you!