Hey everyone!

Just letting you know, first off, that I'M ALIVE. I know, you all thought I'd died.

Secondly, I started a new blog space called Bluish Bear because I needed a place to start fresh where I could hopefully open up a shop this year. Go check it out. It's a lot prettier #winkyfaceemoji (http://bluishbear.blogspot.com/)

If you haven't forgotten who I am in all this time, you should head over and start following me there.




So I posted that last update on Rory at 12 months and I think somewhere in my brain, I went "oh great! I don't need to do this every month anymore!" and that went on to develop into "oh great! I don't even need to use my camera anymore" all the way to "OH GREAT I DON'T EVER HAVE TO BLOG EVER EVER AGAIN". So here I am, almost 5 months to the day that I last blogged, quietly wondering IS ANYONE EVEN STILL HERE?

If you are.... HELLLLLLLOOOOOO!!!!!!! *Seinfeld voice obvi*

Thank you for pretending that my blogging vacation was totally normal and awesome, just like I did. NBD, right? Except that my Rory boy isn't even a baby anymore and he is the smartest, loudest, most ridiculous firecracker you've NEVER seen because I haven't POSTED ANYTHING ABOUT HIM IN ABOUT A CENTURY. I'm fine.

So here's what's up!
Andy graduated from BYUI. We temporarily moved in with his parents in Liberty Lake while we searched and searched for a job. Then Andy found a job! And we moved to Mukilteo, WA! 30 minutes north of Seattle. Costcos and Targets and Starbucks GALORE. Amenity heaven. We adopted a DOG about a month after moving here. Maya is a pitt bull/husky/shepherd mix and is becoming best friends with Rory and it's totally adorable. We moved into a 2 bedroom apartment right behind a 7-11, across the street from a pizza place, a burger joint, and fantastic Thai takeout. We've also called the cops on our upstairs neighbors, befriended our pot-dealing neighbor, and watched as policemen chased a man through our backyard. So, you know, we are never bored.

Rory James is 17.5 months old and he acts like he is 3. He talks constantly and if he doesn't know the words he makes them up. Our days are filled with us just making noises at each other. Rory is obsessed with balls, trucks, cars, bikes, airplanes, and ANYTHING that just screams BOY. If he sees a bike on the street he will point to it and shriek "bike! bike! bike! bike! bike!" until we break off our conversation mid-sentence and say "yes! yes! yes! Rory that's a bike! You're right!" and then he'll smile and keep yelling "bike! bike! bike!" until he spies a truck or airplane or something else. At dinner the other day, Andy said "you'd think he'd be a little more quiet when his mouth is full..." because even then Rory is just chattering away. The only time he holds still is when we wake up in the morning and plop ourselves on the couch while we cuddle and watch Curious George. Other than that he is just GO GO GOING until he crashes for naps and bedtime.

I'll do a more comprehensive update on Rory later (DON'T WORRY). Right now I want to tell you about our Easter outfit disaster.

It all started at H&M. I saw the cutest little short sleeved blue shirt with an attached bowtie. We found some coral shorts to go with it and I thought, YES! With his yellow moccs this is the most adorable Easter outfit. The end.And then, as we were dressing for the Easter egg hunt, we realized it was 50 degrees outside. So, naturally, we added socks and a sweater to the ensemble. And as we were walking out the door, Rory saw his favorite hat and insisted it come with us to.  All together, it became this:

Complete with a terribly made yellow basket from the grocery store that we bought 5 minutes before. Other parents must have thought we were nuts. Which we basically are. Oh, you poor kid.  DO YOU FEEL COOL YET?? HAVE WE RUINED YOU?

So we fail and we learn. Apparently, less is more or something.

The egg hunt was crazy anyway. He picked up these two eggs and was a million percent satisfied. One egg for each hand. What else could a kid possibly want? So he trotted around, looking like a fool, carrying his eggs and being hilarious.

We took some terrible family pictures by the fire truck (look, there's Maya too!), sought out the freaky Easter bunny so that maybe we could scare the hell out of Rory (nope. Look how thrilled he was), and made our way back home. Can you spot the gigantic bruise on Rory's forehead from when he tripped into a cement wall? How about the scratch on his nose from when he dove headfirst off the slide. SERIOUSLY THIS KID.

Anyway, it feels good to blog. I've missed this! And I've missed all of you, or you know, whoever is still here. Happy Christmas, and New Years, and Birthdays, and Valentines, and Easter and whatever else I've missed. 2015 is like a third the way over already but WHATEVER here we are. And dang it, I really need to redesign this site too. This shiz is old.

Okay, bye.


a happy moment

Lately, Rory doesn't like to be cradled in my arms as I rock him to sleep. He'll wiggle around until his head is up on my shoulder, and then he'll wiggle some more and wiggle some more to try and get himself comfortable.

Tonight, I was rocking him to sleep, his head was up on my shoulder and I was humming a Christmas song. Randomly, he pulled himself up and opened his mouth wide for a kiss. I kissed his open mouth, he smiled, and laid his head back down. Then he pulled himself up again, and opened his mouth wide and kissed me for a second time. And then he did it again. And again. And again. And I couldn't help but smile and let it happen, even though my laughing woke him more and I knew it'd be a while before he fell asleep again. I'm still smiling thinking about it.

12 months old

Rory James,

You, my big wonderful boy, are ONE. One year ago you made us parents and what a wonderful year it's been. I can't even begin... to start... to describe... sniff. Really though. You are an amazing boy and we are the luckiest parents in the whole world.Right now you are goofy and crazy and silly and talkative. There is no squashing that humongous personality of yours. You've taken your first birthday really seriously because all of the sudden you are a troublemaking toddler.

Did I mention you're walking? You took your first steps on October 26th. It took you a few weeks to get it down, but now you're basically running. You learned about a week ago to stand yourself up, and now you pace back and forth in our apartment just showing off.

You do all sorts of smart grown up things, it's amazing. My favorite is when you sing "bay-bee, bay-bee" and you hold your wrists and swing your arms back and forth. I don't know where you picked it up! But it's the right sign for baby, and you do a lot. You still think all animals go "kack kack" like a duck. We taught you to clench your fists and hold them up and go "grrr" when we tell you to show us your muscles. You say "bye-bye" alllll the time. You hold your arms up and go "tada!!" whenever anything awesome happens, like you stack a block on another one, or you get a bath toy to balance on the spout. I THINK you are starting to say daddy. It may just be coincidence when you point to him and say dah dah dah but who knows! You are constantly CONSTANTLY talking. Bah bah bah bah bah bah bah while you point to things like you're explaining them. You love the reaction you get from us when you talk.

Your independent play is so much fun to watch. I can't believe how much you've learned in just a month. You suddenly know how to stack your ring toys like you've been doing it forever. You can throw a ball SO WELL. It's still a little difficult for you, but you can stick a sticker onto a coloring book. We keep trying to get you to color with crayons but you just eat them. You read stories to yourself. You drive your trucks around. You hold every type of gadget up to your ear and go "oooh?" like it's a phone. You waddle around and crawl on top of EVERYTHING and you've learned to go feet first when you climb off of things. You love trying to put lids on cups, and eating the faces of your stuffed animals.

I'm only nursing you twice a day now, once in the morning and once for bed. You are completely night weaned! So if you ever wake up at night I either lay by your crib or rock you to sleep. And hey hey hey did I mention you are SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT? We're going on 4 days in a row now, so I'm starting to really get my hopes up that this is it. I think you turned one and were just like, oh okay I get it now. So you sleep for about 11 hours at night and take 2 naps during the day, the first one lasting usually two hours and the second about 45 minutes. I love that you have such a predictable schedule. It's making things super easy for me.

What is NOT easy for me are the tantrums you've started throwing. I'm doing all I can to avoid them by solving potential problems before they happen, but you've thrown a few in the middle of the grocery store now so I'm feeling a lot like a fully fledged toddler parent. You usually throw them when I pull you away from something dangerous, or I don't let you stand up in your high chair, or when I sneak away to use the toilet, or when I try to get something nasty out of your mouth, or if I stop you from jumping off the side of the couch... so... they're coming quite often. I know this is just the beginning. Sigh. I'm hoping I learn to deal with them correctly, because right now I just sort of let them happen and try to distract you with something else.

You're eating lots of grown up foods now, except that you're not... because you taste it and spit it out or throw it on the floor. You're very picky. But we're still experimenting. I've given you peas probably twenty times and you finally tasted some today, so... progress? We're practicing giving you larger amounts of food so you can use those 8 itty bitty teeth of yours. You won't drink milk, which shocks me. You hate it. I've tried it warm, cold, in a bottle, in a sippy. Nope. So I gave you some strawberry milk today and you drank a decent amount. I hope this isn't the only way you'll drink it forever. You've lost your interest in nursing during the day. You think it's very rude of me to interrupt your playtime, and so you reward me by pulling my hair and picking my nose and kicking and getting distracted by EVERYTHING. So, yep, you're slowly getting weaned.

I'm looking at all of these old photos of you and I'm remembering this incredible year we've had together and tearing up, obviously, because I really just can't believe all that we've been through and all that we've overcome and all that we've learned and all that we have YET to learn. I'm so so excited for this next year because I love you so much and I just can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

Oh and by the way, I'm so happy to be done with these crib photos because you have no IDEA how impossible it is to keep you laying still on your back for even half a second. So you better thank your dad for helping me out with those. Is it obvious we had Sesame Street playing on youtube to keep you distracted? #yes.

See other 'letters to Rory' HERE


11 months old

Rory James,

This month you've become incredibly vocal. It is exciting and funny and we have such a blast listening to you blabber all day long. Lots of B's and D's and M's, but also G's and Th's and S's. It's so great to hear you learn more and more. A lot of the time I sing O' McDonald while I try to wrangle you into a clean diaper, and one time you started quacking with me. It blew my mind. You say mama, dada, baby, whoa, ball, you fake cry, fake laugh, fake cough. I have a BYU cougar shirt and whenever you see the cougar you point to it and growl. Sometimes we just sit and yell at each other as loud as we can. It's awesome.

You're standing on your own, balancing on those little potato feet of yours, but once you realize it you quickly fall on your butt. You're also cruising all around, getting faster and faster. Your dad wants you to start walking so bad, and I have to admit I'm eager for it too. Sometimes we'll sit on the floor and guide you back and forth, egging you on, but you're pretty stubborn and you'd much rather crawl. You took your first step all on your own on Thursday, October 9th.

We've replaced a few of our daily things. You outgrew your carseat so we got you a brand new one, which you love! It allows you to look outside the window and you're a lot more content in the car. We also replaced that rickety old rocking chair that was so hard to nurse you in. This replacement one is so comfy I could fall asleep in it, which makes all the difference in the world!

You got your second haircut, but your first official one at a salon. Haha it was a mess trying to get you to stay put. The clippers were way more interesting than the video I was trying to play for you on my phone. But we trimmed off that mullet and you now you look like a proper second grader. You're also a complete blond. Somehow we trimmed off whatever was left of your pretty brown hair and you have a head full of beautiful golden hair. You remind me so so much of my brothers now!

We quickly tried to weigh you on a scale once and with your feet hanging off you were 24.5 lbs. You're so gigantic. Whenever I take you to the park or to the library and other moms ask how old you are I have to explain that yes, you really ARE only 11 months old and yes you are a monster because you're roughly the size of their two year old. You have grown out of all of your 9 month old clothes and you happily fit in anything size 18m.

It's so funny to me how you naturally gravitate toward "boy toys". You love balls and cars and phones and anything with wheels. Oh man, one time I looked down and saw you driving a fire truck across the floor. You usually just sit and play with the wheels and so it astounded me that you understood how the truck was supposed to work. You've also learned to throw a ball (though it usually shoots straight up into the air), and you hold up the phone to your ear (but really your elbow gets a little in the way...). Man, watching you play is SO MUCH FUN.

You love to point to things and you use your pointer finger to touch everything. EVERYTHING. Never your full hand, just your pointer finger to lightly poke whatever it is that interests you. Teeth, leaves, food... If it's food you squash it until it squirts or slides away. Whenever you see yourself in a mirror you immediately lean in for an open mouthed kiss. You can go down a slide by yourself, for the most part. If you get the chance you try to go down head first, so you haven't completely figured that out yet.

Some of your quirks? You learned from your dad to shake your head and go ahhhhhhh so you do that allllllllll the time. You absolutely love being upside down and a lot of the time you'll fling yourself off my lap with your chin raised high. You splash and splash and splash in the tub, to the point that your arms look a bit like a windmill and I have to use a towel as a shield. You love to crawl through tight spaces and get stuck.

You high five on command and say "bye-bye" with a wave. More recently you learned to clench your fists above your head when we say "show me your muscles!" At the end of pat-a-cake you know to raise your hands in the air. You sign "eat" my holding your hands up to your mouth and smacking your tongue.

You're becoming picky. Really really picky. For a few days you completely denied any purées which frustrated me because purées are usually the bulk of your meal. So we've started experimenting with things you like and you hate. You will always eat grapes, cheese, mandarin oranges, applesauce, and toast... anything green automatically goes on the floor. It's taken a few tries before you'll try foods you used to love. But we're working on it. It started to really aggravate me, your picky eating, then after some research I realized that I should just let you do what you want. It's not like you're underfed. Ha.

You've slept through the night THREE WHOLE TIMES!! We got back from a trip and you weren't doing well. It was so late, we were all so tired, and I'd already nursed you like 4 times. So I laid on the floor by your crib and sang to you while you cried and cried and finally you laid down and went to sleep. You slept through the whole night, and then did it again the next night too. Since then, things have been going rather smoothly, though we did regress this last week since you were sick.

All in all, it's been amazing. It's cliché, yes, but I can't understand how you'll be an entire year old next month.You are such a happy, goofy, lovable little boy.

See more 'letters to Rory' HERE.