Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Today I found this paper sitting on a table by the couch. Quite the list, I must say. It was written by my 9-yr old niece, Olivia. I think numbers 23 and 26 need special mention. I mean who DOESN'T want a a big fluffy eskimo jacket and fancy stuff?

And this photo is our first bona fide "Santa" picture. I don't know why we haven't done it with Owen before now. I guess we're not really into meeting Santa at the mall. But our friends were going and we thought it would be fun. I'm so glad we did it. Everytime I look at the picture it makes me happy.

Hopefully Santa is good to you this year. Have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Grandmas

We have been counting down the days until our Christmas adventure begins. We are so excited to see you both this year (and Grandpas too, of course).

Here are some things you have to look forward to during our visit:

Running your fingers through this. I call it an awkward hair phase. We've got the fuzzy duck look going on. But you'll also get to see the classic after-bath comb over. And don't forget the always-attractive bald spot in back.

Rolls. Lots of them. Especially around the inner thighs, elbows, wrists and ankles. You'll have plenty of chances to squeeze, pinch, and jiggle the chubbs.

Feeding "doggy" Owen. His diet requires special attention. You must set out a handful of Scooby snacks and a bowl of water each day.

Action. And more action! This one jumps off everything. I guess the broken arm incident failed to take the daredevil out of him.

Conversations like this:
Owen: Ethan called me a booty-face. And I told him not to call me that.
Me: You're right, Owen. That's not very nice. We don't call people booty-face.
Owen: Yeah, because we have white faces.

Oh, you're in for a treat. We can't wait to see you!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Grin and Bear It

After the month of November I have developed a whole new appreciation for single parents. Mark had to travel to Taiwain for exactly half the month. Which meant I was on my own for 15 days. Now back in the day when Mark and I were childless and he had to travel for work, it was no big deal. I would say "see ya later" and settle in for some takeout dinner and a movie. Then when we had Owen, if Mark had to travel I would say "I wish you didn't have to go". Then Owen and I would visit family or just pal around to pass the time. And now with two kids, when Mark has to travel, I look at him very seriously and beg, "Please don't leave me!" But of course he has to go. And I try to grin and bear it.

I got by fairly well the first week he was gone. We had our routines. We got invited to dinner with friends. A nice lady from church offered to watch the boys one day so I could get out for a couple hours. I managed to schedule events everyday that would help the week go by quickly. And it was hard. And I was very tired. But it was doable. And then the second week I got even braver. I decided to travel to Boston with the boys to visit my dear friend, Marissa. It would be good for us to leave and have some fun in a new city, I thought. So we took a red-eye flight, nearly missed a whole night's sleep, and began our adventure. Not long after we arrived my friend and her husband and their cutie pie one-year-old all got sick. Nasty cold virus, said the doctor. And things were beginning to look dicey. Then Gavin decided to take his sleep routine and throw it out the window. And things were looking more uncertain. And finally, Owen decided to turn into a problem child (that's saying it nicely) for the remainder of the week. And things looked to be a total bust.

Luckily my friend and I had been through a lot together and we were not ready to give up. She powered through her sickness. We got Gavin mostly on track with sleep. And Owen, well it was a lost cause really. But we went on some amazing outings each day. We got to enjoy the crisp autumn air in Boston. We got to catch up on each others' lives and create new memories. And we almost avoided getting sick ourselves. That pesky virus followed us back home. So we spent the next week fighting off illness. But I didn't care because at that point Mark returned from his travels and took care of us all.

Blessed be my husband. I have a whole new appreciation for him! I finally feel like I have recovered from single-parenthood. Just in the nick of time it seems. Mark has to travel again next week.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hordes of Gourds

We are all pumpkined out around here. During the month of October we made three trips to local pumpkin patches, bought pumpkins, ate pumpkins, decorated pumpkins, and carved pumpkins. Here's a little glimpse of our punkins among the pumpkins.

I had to include this picture because it captures the boys perfectly. We could not get Owen to pose and smile for a single picture that day. On the other hand, Gavin was all smiles.

Blue-eyed and bundled up, our little chubs.

Domo Arigato, Mr. Owen. We took a preschool fieldtrip to the patch in our costumes.

Gav was a monkey for his first Halloween.

And here are our gourds all aglow on Halloween night.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gavzilla and the Falsetto Child

It's been way too long between posts again. I think motherhood has gotten the best of me lately. My most recent motto? Maintain. I refer to vacuuming as "cleaning the house", milk and toast as "dinner", mascara as "wearing makeup, a phone call from Mark as "quality time". You get the picture. Anyway, these two boys are certainly the center of my world.

You wouldn't believe how fast Gavin is growing. In fact he has been dubbed "Gavzilla" by Mark. No doubt because of his size and NOT his disposition. The kid loves to eat and he's filling out his clothes like nobody's business.

He's a beast, that kid. This morning I placed him on the floor to bat at his toys a bit while I got a bowl of cereal.

After awhile I noticed it was very quiet in the next room, so I wandered in to check on him. This is what I found:
He had turned over! So I made him do it again...and again. In fact, almost everytime I lay him on his back now he will turn over to his tummy. I'm not ready for it. I just want him to sit like a blob on my lap a little longer.

And as for Owen, well he's continually on the go. Owen's energy matches Gavin's size. He is always running or jumping or riding or wrestling.
His latest thing is talking in this super high-pitched voice. It kind of reminds me of the kid in the movie Overboard; the one who talked in the Pee-Wee Herman voice. He began using it whenever he would pretend to be a dog or other character. And somehow it became his everyday voice. I have to remind him multiple times a day to speak in a normal voice. Weird.

And somehow these two boys, who are so very different, seem to balance me out. Well, break me down THEN balance me out. But that's motherhood, right?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Seattle

10. This view from my parents backyard window. Can't you just smell the fresh air by looking at it?

9. Watching morning cartoons in style.

8. Falling water and King of the Mountain.

7. Catching frogs with the professionals, Jack and Piper.

6. Birthday celebration with the cousins. Mmmm, we like our cupcakes.

5. Picking fresh vegetables from the garden...even if they weren't quite ready to be picked.

4. Getting to sit on Grandpa's lap.

3. Playing on the latest and greatest equipment at the park.

2. Checking out the salmon at the Issaquah fish hatchery.

1. A deer in the backyard! We saw this mother and her two babies more than once during our stay.

(All pictures via my iphone)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Baby Blessing

My baby is two months old! And we had the wonderful opportunity to give him a baby blessing (as is customary in our church) this past Sunday. My parents, my brother Brett, and nephew Will came to celebrate the occasion with us. The weekend went by much too quickly, as it usually does with family. But we were happy to be together and give our Gavin lots of attention.

As for some interesting stats, he is 14 lbs already. I thought Owen was a chunky little guy, but Gavin may have him beat. I love all the chubbiness. Cheeks and thighs especially! He is also getting so strong--holding his head up and using his legs to stand in place. He loves to smile...a lot. He is so cheery and will coo to anyone who looks at him. He just discovered how to blow bubbles in the past couple days too. And he loves, loves bathtime. As soon as the evening hour hits he is ready to splash. He's a good little guy. We feel so lucky to have him.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Some highlights from our last trip for the summer:

It was the first time we had been together with Mark's parents and all his sisters in several years. So family pictures were in order.

It was our first time visiting Cherry Hill. We met up with our California-turned-Utah friends and hung out a bit. Owen loves his buddy Trenton.

It was NOT our first time at the zoo...but this was one of many things Owen got to do with his cousins.

It was the first time the boys took a bath together...per Owen's request.

It was my first time flying with both the boys alone...and not my last.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Triple Threat

Last week I was packing for a little family trip to Utah. Gavin was taking a snooze and Owen was keeping me company by talking my ear off and simultaneously jumping off his bed...as usual. It wasn't long before one particular jump ended in a crash landing and a hurt arm. We treated it like any other injury by checking it out, putting the trusty ice pack on it, and soothing the tears away. Owen went to bed shortly after and woke up to more pain the next morning.

Now Owen is no stranger to scrapes and bruises. He's definitely not a wimp. But he complained of pain and refused to use his arm. So (with no swelling and no bruising) we figured a trip to the doctor couldn't hurt just to be sure. The doctor requested we get an x-ray since we'd be leaving town shortly. And after a trip to radiology and a referral to an orthopedic surgeon, we walked away with a bright blue cast. Owen had broken his arm in two places!

But here's the clincher. Two of the cousins we came out to visit in Utah happened to have casts too. Jasper, age 7, injured his arm in a trampoline accident. And Cameron, age 11, fell while climbing a tree. All three boys had casts! On their right arms! At the same time! What are the odds?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Super Hero Birthday

We celebrated Owen's 3rd birthday last week with a superhero party. It was a team effort to make the whole thing happen...what with a newborn around and all.

First, Mark and I put together some activities for our little heroes in training. They decorated super hero masks and completed an obstacle course testing their agility, courage, and speed.

Then they practiced their super powers by shooting balls and rockets into floating hoops in the pool.

When all activities were completed, each guest was presented with an authentic, handmade, his or hers, super-duper cape. Lest you get too impressed with my ability to make homemade invitations AND capes, you must know that my mom sewed every single cape while she was here helping out with the baby.

The capes were amazing! Even on the littlest of heroes.

And we ended the celebration by serving lunch and super hero cupcakes. It all came together quite nicely (with even more help from friends who prepared food and took turns holding Gavin during the party).
And a special thanks to our photographer, Caleb, for supplying us with all these photos. It allowed us to enjoy the party even more!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

1 and 3 and 9

This past week marked several milestones for us. Gavin is 1 month old! Time has flown by since he was born. I feel like it is still the beginning of July, and here we are in August. But Gavin is truly a good baby. He is giving me a reasonable amount of sleep at night so I can function during the day. That's all I can ask at this point, really. And he adds an incredible dynamic to our family. He is sweet and calming and so very handsome.
Owen is 3 years old! Yes, my little Owen had his birthday this past week. And the big brother in him is coming out full force. Aside from his usual help with diaper changing and burping and the like, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. He likes to hold Gavin...a lot. If I happen to leave the two alone for a moment, I come back to find Gavin in a new place. Hmmm. I wonder how that happened?
We have been married for 9 years! Mark and I just celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. And he gave me the best anniversary present ever. He let me sleep in first of all. And when I awoke he told me he'd be taking the day off work. That may not seem like much, but tears came to my eyes when I heard it. I NEEDED the break. We spent the day getting some important errands done and eating lunch out as a family. It was low-key, relaxing, and simply wonderful. Eating good food and tackling my "to-do" list...the day was just right.

Monday, July 27, 2009

An Adjustment

I had a short list of things I wanted to accomplish today:
1. Do the laundry
2. Go grocery shopping
3. Make banana bread

Here's what I accomplished:
1. Took clothes out of dryer and folded just four items
2. Wrote out a partial grocery list
2. Opened my recipe book

I think I'll readjust tomorrow's goals to look something like this:
1. Feed Gavin all day
2. Keep Owen busy while feeding Gavin all day

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I thought it would be a fun comparison to show a baby pic of the boys. I'm sure you can tell the middle picture is Mark. (His mom hinted to me that he was not the cutest baby, but I just love that photo. His little features and head of hair are ridiculous!) Mark was a small baby at birth, weighing in under six pounds. And the photo doesn't show it, but he had distinct red hair.

Owen is the baby on the right. He weighed 8 lbs 4 oz at birth and was 21.5 inches long. He was also 9 days overdue! His hair does not show well in this picture, but he had a substantial amount of medium blonde.

Gavin is on the left. Of course he weighed 8 lbs 8 oz and was 19 inches long. He was also born a day BEFORE his due date. It was a good thing my doctor suggested inducing me early. I can't imagine how much longer he would have hung out in there and how much more he would have weighed! He has more hair than Owen did and it is a slight red/brown color.

When I first saw Gavin it felt a little like deja vu. I couldn't stop thinking about how much he looked like Owen at birth. And although there is a clear resemblance, they each have their own distinct look. I can't wait to see how their personalities compare!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Gavin Mark Solomon
Okay, okay. If you've been anywhere near Facebook or Twitter you know he arrived a week ago. But his name hadn't been established until just yesterday.

Yes, we left the hospital without choosing one. And no, we did not get harrassed by the nurses for doing so. We pretty much waited until the last possible minute to put it in writing. That's just our style this time around.

But he's here and we are overjoyed! He weighed in at 8lbs 8oz and was 19.5in long. The labor and delivery were just short of amazing. I had a wonderful experience (much improved over O's delivery) and actually felt good afterwards.

We're all so excited to have baby Gavin around, no one more so than Owen. His new favorite activity is trying to wake baby up every time he is sleeping (which is most of the time). He also happens to be an expert on what baby wants. A true bother...I mean brother.

I'll post more pics and info in the coming days. For now we are simply adjusting to life as a little family of four. It's truly amazing. We love our little Gav.