Sunday, December 6, 2009

fun weekend

We've enjoyed Blake being home this whole weekend! We went to the Magic House...

And a neighbor randomly gave us tickets to Holiday Magic--a little carnival downtown in the convention center. We rode on the train and on the carousel. And on the carousel again.
and again. and again. and again. I never understood parents standing around the carousel taking pictures before, but now I do! It's just so sweet! He loved it so much. And on the way out, he just had to ride the escalator. That's almost as fun.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How to cure your son of his addiction to Town House crackers

Accidentally buy the reduced fat variety. He will eat less and less and finally when he finishes the box and you can buy the regular kind again, his love affair will be over.

Isaac has said a few new words:
"gerl" = squirrel
"coo" = cool
"ga"= yogurt
His new fun thing to do is to grab a book and sit on my lap to read it. I love that.

We had visitors for Thanksgiving! We squished in Jeremiah, Megan, and Hannah (my brother and fam) and my mom. Hannah is much more talkative than Isaac and called him "uck". So fun to see them!

(yes, that's mom's nose)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I hope that someone can relate to this

Today I taught Sunday School as usual at church and Blake had Isaac in the hall as usual. I guess a nursery leader came up to him and told him it was time for Isaac to go to nursery. He's 17 months tomorrow--I guess they like to transition in from 17 to 18 months. She took him from Blake and walked to nursery. When I walked out of Sunday School, the nursery leader found me and told me that Isaac was doing great but he needed a diaper change. But I was supposed to bring him back after he was cleaned up.

What? He's in nursery? But he's not 18 months yet!!!

I changed him, grateful that he needed me. I walked down to nursery, certain he wouldn't want to stay again. When we got there, he looked at the nursery leader and at the kids eating snacks and looked at them like, "Hey, I was just here. And it was fun. At least, it wasn't too bad." He didn't look back at me and the nursery leader got him up to the table to eat some animal crackers. The leader looked at me and said, "Marie, I think it's time to make a graceful exit."

So I left. And I couldn't help crying through Relief Society, the last meeting of church.

My baby is getting so old.

I'm not ready for this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween from a little dragon

I'm so glad this costume fits this year at least. I was so disappointed it didn't last year!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Worst day yesterday

Man peed in our back yard (alley) while we were watching with disgust from our porch.
Workers' hammers woke Isaac up.
Workers smoked on our shared porch.
Blake is sick.
Grated my finger with the carrots.
Got audited. Who knew you had to pay to St. Louis City, as well as State and Federal?

Curse my life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Not as much faith as my mother or my brother

I am so proud that my mom and brother have been serving as missionaries for the past year and a half. Anyone that has talked to me here in St. Louis has heard about how I was going to visit my mom who was coming home from her MISSION at the end of September. And my brother is such a funny letter-writer and we can tell he's just so awesome, as can his mission president because he's been AP for months and months.

Excerpt from Andrew this week:

"But yesterday was probably the best day of my mission, so it is all worth it. Now I am sure you must be thinking, "Andrew, the BEST DAY of your mission? That is a bold statement. What did you do? Find, teach, and baptize a family all in one day?" Not quite...but we sure came close.

Gina Garcia asked for a missionary visit. She had gone to church with a friend in High School and enjoyed it, so she wanted to learn more. Our appointment was for yesterday. Going into the lesson our main focus was to teach by the spirit, and that meant to do everything possible to invited the spirit into her home. So we began with a Hymn, #135 My Redeemer Lives. Then we prayed and bore solid, pure testimony of the Restored Gospel. The Spirit was so strong, I was on the verge of tears. She is a single mother and has struggled for years, finally she is humbled enough to say, I need God, what do I need to have His help. She is going to prepare for baptism on October 30th. When we started to leave, she said, will you also go downstairs and teach my sister and mother? They are waiting for you. Basically the same experience happened, they too are committed to baptism on October 30th. My entire service out here has been in anitcipation for such an experience, and it happened. They have had exposure to the church before, when they lived in Forest Grove, and now they want it in their lives. Really, we did not do anything, just another instrument in the Lord's hands. They were prepared for our visit, and they recognized the spirit.

When we left, I realized how many months I had been wasting trying to indoctrinate people and convince them of the truthfulness of the Gospel by my own logic and reason. The way the Lord asks us to preach is by the spirit. If they feel the spirit, they will recognize us as servants of God. And if they believe with all their hearts that we are the Lord's servants, then teaching becomes easy, it becomes secondary to the testimony they have received. The Lord has people prepared, people who will recognize the promptings of the spirit, and once I understood how to really teach by the spirit, the Lord poured out his blessings on us."

He's my little brother?
And my mom is awesome too. It was so funny seeing her walking around her huge house with this look on her face like, "Where am I? What am I supposed to do? Who can I teach?" (The answer was the photographer we met up the canyon and the lady who asked us to take a picture of her and her dog.)

Anyway, I visited home. It was fun. Wish I was still there.

On Wednesday I was reminded of something that happened on my trip to Utah. At 7 AM I was unloading the dishwasher and Isaac was walking around the kitchen, as usual, pulling things down from the shelves and putting magnets on the floor and taking utensils out of the dishwasher and getting them dirty on the floor. Anyway, his shoes were on the floor by the fridge and then one of them was missing. All day we couldn’t find it. I was just sure it had to be in the kitchen because I didn’t think Isaac had left. When I was in Utah with my mom Isaac lost a shoe in the middle of a shopping trip so we traced our steps through Deseret Book and the across the parking lot to Bed Bath and Beyond. My mom drove up to Bed Bath and Beyond and while she passed me said, “Have you said a prayer? We should pray.” So I know my mom prayed and I did say a quick little prayer, but I was thinking that was a little childish. I found the shoe in Bed Bath and Beyond and I know it was because of my mom’s faith, not mine.

So on Wednesday God was giving me another chance to pray for something I needed. Anyway, found it at 5 PM in between the rice and the oatmeal where I had looked five times. I almost called my mom to get her prayer power because hers work better. So now we know—four of my prayers = one mom prayer.


my sisters

so many boy cousins

missionary mom (and Drew)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cute things Isaac likes to do lately

He likes to go for walks and will pick up sticks. “Tee” = stick.

He will always notice the sound of a plane and will point up. “Dis” = plane (and a lot of other things).

He will walk towards birds and dogs. “Dis” = bird. “Gog” = dog. He’s always so disappointed when the birds fly away. And he loves it when he can pet a dog and even tries to kiss the dogs sometimes.

He likes to go to the library, especially if there are other kids there. He will pull out some books and not want me to put them back. He twirls a bookcase.

At home, he loves to listen to music and will periodically turn the dvd player on and off to turn on and off the music. He can reach on his tippy toes to turn on and off the tv too.

One of his favorite toys is pig. Pig belongs on the backrest of the couch and Isaac will stand on the couch and throw it into the quilt rack and I’m supposed to get it for him.

Isaac likes to go in the back of our building and drink some water out of the hose.

He likes to splash in a bucket on the porch and watch mom bounce the ball, which one time he called “ba”.

Cars are his backyard friends. "Ca" = car.

He loves to stand on the counter and pull out all of the spices.

He likes to turn on and off lights.

He likes it when dad comes home and if dad gets on his hands and knees Isaac will chase him anywhere. “Da” = dad.

Isaac loves to give kisses and will randomly throughout the day give me a kiss on the lips with a lot of slobber. If anyone at the store or on the street says hi he will give me a kiss to show them he’s with someone.

When Owen (the boy we tend) is at our house on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he gives Owen lots of kisses too and will hand him some toys.

Isaac's little brother in training. Such a cutie! So patient and happy!

When we go for a walk with Owen, Isaac likes to push him in the stroller and periodically go to the front of the stroller and see what Owen is playing with.

Isaac’s favorite book is Barnyard Dance because he can dance to the rhythm when we read it.

Isaac likes to turn on the computer and watch a video or two of himself and maybe Elmo’s song on youtube. He sings “ya ya ya” when Elmo sings “la la la”.

When we run to the park in the morning, Isaac’s favorite thing is to climb the stairs. Sometimes he want to go down the slide, but mostly he wants to go up and down the stairs. He can do it by himself, mostly, when he holds on to the railing. He can’t do the stairs at our apartment building because the railing is too high.

His favorite food is townhouse crackers.

If you try to give him a drink and he doesn’t want one, he’ll shake his head and say “nuh”.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Playing in the front "yard" with Ike

Putting on shoes

Opening and closing the door

Making sure Mom comes too

Up and down the steps

Picking up a stick

Banging on the light pole

Last week Blake called me while Isaac and I were on a walk. Naturally, Isaac wanted the phone and I didn't want him to throw it on the concrete. So I said, "Look, a stick!" and he forgot all about the phone in quest of a stick. Awesome.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Isn't real life lousy?

Is what my sister said to me yesterday. Totally agree. I've gotten used to student life--Blake goes to school early, comes home early, studies in the evening. Third year of medical school has been a rude awakening. For example, last Saturday Blake had 24 hour call- 7 AM to 7 AM Sunday. Monday he left at 4:30 AM, came home 8 PM. Tuesday same. Wednesday same. Thursday he got home at 5:15! Friday he left at 4:30 AM, had overnight call, and was home at 6 AM. Is this post about how bad I feel for Blake? No, of course it's about how bad I feel for myself.

Blake has been such a fantastic husband--helps with Isaac while I make dinner or he makes dinner with my instruction while I play with Isaac. He always did the dishes. He cleaned the bathroom. But now I have to do it all myself. The thing is, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. But this is real life, Marie! Most wives cook and clean and take care of their kids. I'm sure when I'll read my journal when I have five kids I will remember the good old days when I still could read during Isaac's naps and sew at night. And I like to cook. And I don't mind to clean--it feels so awesome to have a newly vacuumed floor. And I'd rather be dancing with Isaac than stuck behind a computer in an office or worse! up at 2 AM stitching up someone's wounds. So my goal is not to freak out at Blake when I go to book club and I come home to two pots in the sink, because my life is great and I can clean two pots and let my exhausted husband go to bed.

I often feel like Dan in Real Life, when he walks around the bookstore and picks up twenty random titles. That is what my trips to the library are like. As I chase Isaac around, I grab this and that, and hey, I'll try that. Isaac loves to throw on some tunes and shake his booty and I'm getting sick of our music. I think Isaac likes Arthur the best, though (and I must admit, who can beat jekyll jekyll hyde jekyll hyde hyde jekyll).

Isaac has learned how to make the saddest sad noise ever. Listen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We finally got the internet at home! It is soo nice. I am writing this from the comfort of the floor of the hallway. Yes, the wireless is not working and the only working phone jack in our apartment is in Isaac's room, so we have an ethernet cable running under his door. But hey, I'm not at the library so life is good.

Here is a requested video of Isaac waving.

So, I am like WAY proud that I had anything to do with Citygarden. It is a sculpture park that just opened up downtown. I designed all of the attachments from sculpture to ground. Wow, the random things that I have designed in my two years as a structural engineer. This is only one of the few finished products that I've actually gotten to see. Anyway, it's the coolest park and Isaac liked to walk around so I think we will make many future trips.

Yes, that was my idea. Continuous clips. Aluminum. Painted to match sculpture. Checked for bending under wind loads and an estimated live load of an person pushing on it. Aluminum is not my strong subject so hopefully it doesn't fail!

We also went to Grant's Farm. Sorry again to Logan and Sarah who were supposed to meet us there but missed the last tram by 15 minutes. My fault for not checking closing times. Isaac loved to pet the goats.

Blake got his score from Step 1 of the boards and he was happy so I'm happy. Phew, that one's over. Here's a picture of Blake's first day on the job in scrubs.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It’s hard to whisper in duck

That is the rebuff Chris said to Jeremiah when Chris was trying to be quiet for babies and Jeremiah made fun of him. Quote of the year for me.

This is a big long update, but it could be longer, so count your blessings.

Isaac turned 1! I can’t believe he’s so old! We had many birthday celebrations that turned his birthday into a three-day long affair. He got his cake on Sunday but would not touch it. Monday we went to the Magic House, which was a big hit. We went the day before his birthday because they start charging at 1 year. I’m so tricky. On Tuesday, his birthday, we went to the Tower Grove fountains. I think he had a great couple of days and loves all of his presents from his grandparents. We didn’t buy him anything.

My brother Nathan drove through and spent the night here with his “friend who happens to be a girl”. It was great to see him and his crazy hair.

My brother Chris was nice enough to fly to St. Louis and drive up with me to Chicago to see my brother Jeremiah and Megan and baby Hannah. Poor Chris drove the whole way because Isaac wasn’t okay with the stranger in the car. We stopped in Springfield on the way, which made our trip two hours longer. Probably not the best idea we’ve ever had, but it was cool to see Lincoln’s house and the old courthouse and his law offices and his tomb. It was a totally awesome trip, though I got little sleep, and though the bathrooms were off the bedrooms which were unavailable after babies went to bed. Isaac had a tough time adjusting at first, but he hit his groove on Saturday and started exploring and talking to people and noticing Hannah. He said “Hi” for the first time, probably because Hannah says it all the time. She called Isaac “Isa”. So cute.

Blake took his first board exam and started a surgery rotation. Blake looks so cute dressed up to go to “work”. Is this what real life is like? I need to start putting Isaac to bed at 7 as opposed to 6 so that Blake can actually see his son once in a while.
I’m tending little Owen two days a week. He is little-brother-in-training for Isaac. So far, so good. I can totally do two babies. (For 8 hours a day, 2 days a week.)
And I feel like I can finally say Isaac is walking! After two days with Owen, Isaac decided he could walk on his own. Now he putters around the house by himself. On Tuesday, he shocked me by actually going out of the room that I was in. He always wants to be right next to me. I'd better get used to it, I guess.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Birthday boy! (the one in the red)

Still deciding if I like it. Is it too pastel?

Isaac has been doing this for the past two months but I'm finally posting a video. He still wants the security of a hand to hold but sometimes will forget he needs me and will walk across the room to whatever desirable (usually dangerous or breakable) object he sees.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

On politics

If it's boring, which it probably is, skip to the picture of Blake and Isaac.

I heart Ron Paul. Fascinating read. He says...

“For most people, in fact, the Fed is a complete mystery, its operations incomprehensible. That seems to be just the way the Fed likes it. We are supposed to be bored by it. We are supposed to treat it as a given, like the air we breathe. We are supposed to have confidence in it..."

This is how I have felt about government in general. I have been bored/intimidated by politics. As I grow older, though, I realize I have a responsibility to pay attention to what my country is up to. I grabbed this book at the library on a recommendation by a friend and it was so good! I’m still thinking, but I agreed with most he had to say. It explained many of the current issues in layman’s terms. If nothing else, it was an interesting beginner’s look at economics. Here’s another quote for you.

“The federal funds rate rises when there is too much demand from banks looking to borrow and too little supply from banks willing to lend. For reasons we shall see in a moment, the Fed often wants to prevent the federal funds rate from rising. ...The way it pushes the rate down is by buying bonds from the banks. That gives the banks more money and therefore more reserves on hand to lend to banks that need it. Funds available to be lent to other banks are now less scarce, and a correspondingly lower federal funds rate reflects this. There does the Fed get the money to buy the bonds? It creates it out of thin air, simply writing checks...If that sounds fishy, then you understand it just fine.”

Other subjects of interest: empire building, blowback, decreasing privacy, increasing presidential power, drug laws, name it.

Ok, back to a regular old post.
Isaac is becoming too smart and independent. He will walk up to the desk and let go of my hand and whine. That means to lift him up so he can play with my laptop. If the laptop is closed he will pound on it and cry until I open it.

He loves doors. Medicine cabinet, dryer, dishwasher, cabinet, and bedroom doors. He will swing them open and shut open and shut while I make sure he doesn’t get his fingers caught. He does the laptop trick with doors too—he will walk to one and drop my hand and pout until I open the door so he can play with it. He thinks the hall in our condo building is part of our house and fair game to explore.

Just in case you all didn’t know, health insurance is such a pain! I had to switch to private insurance after Isaac was born and after my work insurance ran out. Anthem quoted me a certain price for it. Well, in our application I mentioned that Isaac had taken some reflux medication. He was a very fussy baby if anyone remembers and we tried acid reflux medication for two months to see if it would help. It never seemed to really do anything and Isaac’s fussiness went away by itself at about 3 or 4 months. (or did it? I swear he still whines all the time!) Our insurance decided that that was grounds for increasing our rate $30/month. I fought it, and I have never fought anything! Whenever anyone tells me to pay something I blindly swipe the credit card. My mom stopped sending me to the grocery store because I would always be overcharged. Anyway, it has been a four month process, back and forth back and forth. I think it’s silly that just because we tried some medicine and it didn’t work, I have to pay an extra $400 a year in health insurance. A few weeks ago I was issued a new card and rate. They dropped our rate $5, so now our rate is only $25/month higher than I was quoted. Thanks.

But life is good and it’s getting warm again! And tulips are my favorite flower! And thanks to everyone who posted on our April Fools joke--we didn't know so many people actually read this!

botanical gardens

rainy birthday at the zoo

some of our recent hike went like this

and some of it went like this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One handed

Here's a video of Isaac walking with one hand for help.This is already outdated because Isaac has already taken some steps on his own!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some news

Well, Blake has decided that medical school is not for him. He’s decided to switch fields and pursue a PhD in social work instead. This will require him to get another master’s degree and then continue on to the PhD. Just when we thought we had 2 years of school left, we’ll have 6 or so.

However, I’ve been pretty jealous of medical school so I’ve decided to apply in a year, after I’ve taken organic chemistry. We asked Wash U if we could count the 80k + we’ve paid for Blake’s tuition towards mine, but they didn’t think that would work out. Oh well.

This means that having kids will be put on hiatus until I’m done with medical school. Once I’m done, we plan on going on fertility in the hopes that we can have quadruplets to finish up our family quickly.

We went ahead and blew through the rest of our savings so that we could get on food stamps. We bought a Hummer (Blake’s dream car) and a house! It has five bedrooms and a swimming pool! Pics to follow.

Isaac is quite precocious—last week he learned the alphabet and this week he’s tackling differential equations.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The week in numbers (and photos)

One basil sprout that made my day! Fresh basil is so expensive to buy and pesto is so good and I hear basil grows like a weed. Hence my decision to plant a little pot of basil over a month ago which finally sprouted!

Two little blue crocs that Isaac wore for the first time on Sunday. His first pair of shoes! It was so nice out that we opened our door and walked with Isaac on the deck.

Three bowls smashed on the kitchen floor. It was my fault—I was cleaning out a cupboard and had some stacks of bowls on the counter. I walked past with Isaac and it was just a natural reaction for him to reach out to try and touch the pretty yellow bowls. The noise didn’t even scare him –I think he liked it.

Four people who have asked for recipes. Three were for salad, one was for bread. I always feel some pride when people ask for a recipe, but then I realize that all I did was combine the ingredients that the recipe required and followed all the steps. I didn’t do anything special really, it was the person who created the recipe who deserves the pat on the back.

Five teeth and counting. Isaac is growing teeth left and right! It has changed his smile so much. I think I got a picture where you can see his top teeth.

Our sixth visit to the pediatrician. Isaac at 9 months is now between 25 and 50th percentiles for both height and weight. 19 lb 6 oz and almost 28” long.