Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Keeping Moving Along

Lately I've felt a little overwhelmed by everything I want to improve on as a wife, mother, home maker, company president, artist etc. Today I'm trying to concentrate on the things I do well. So if you don't want to hear me brag to myself move on to another post.

• I read to Red Fish everyday. Sometimes for up to an hour.
• I play music for Red Fish everyday.
• I give hugs and kisses in copious amounts.
• I take Red Fish to a lot of different places and introduce her to alot of different people.
• I've designed some really awesome CD covers in the last year.
• I try to make alot of time for family. I'm really good about calling everyone and visiting and planning fun things to do.
• Yesterday, I taught a whole lesson on ocean conservation at a local aquarium (that was supposed to be an hour long speech to adults) to about 20 four year old kids yesterday with no notice that the audience was changing. It's shark week people!
• I try to be a good friend.
• I keep a good journal.
• I dream big.

I'm feeling better already.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Calling All Mothers

I have a question. Red Fish will NOT stop trying to stick her fingers into every electrical outlet she can find. I have put the plastic protectors in the outlets in our house but she finds them everywhere we go! The cabin, grandparent's, friends houses etc. I cannot protect them all nor do I spot them as fast as she seems to. Anyone have any brilliant ideas of how I can encourage her to leave them alone? The no no route doesn't seem to be working. She just shakes her head no at me and continues to try and jam a fat finger into the outlet.

Cabin Weekend

We spent Wednesday through Saturday at my parent's cabin enjoying the mountain air. Red Fish has been soaking up the attention. She had 24/7 entertainment just the way she likes things. We went shopping at the outlets (they have a big sale on the 24th of July) and sat on the porch a lot. My parents brought their dog to play with Blue Fish and Red Fish wanted to be right in the middle of them most of the time. It felt so nice to take a break and get away for a few days. Two Fish still had to work on Friday but the cabin is sadly closer to work than our house is.

Red Fish has finally found a way to express her satisfaction with something. She has been shaking her head no for some time now so it's fun to see her clap her hands with joy. She uses it to say yes to things as well. On Thursday she got tooth number two on the bottom and the top two are showing signs of coming through soon.

Great Grandparents

Red Fish, Great Grandma, and Bockum

Some of the great memories I have from my childhood involve going to see my great grandparents. I had three living until I was eight years old. Two great grandpas and a great grandma. Red Fish is lucky enough to have three living as well. We went to see her "Mimi" last Sunday and Great Grandma and "Bockum" today. (Bockum is the name I gave my grandfather as a child and it has stuck!) It's so fun for me to see her interact with them. I hope she gets as many wonderful memories with them as I had with mine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Drive In

Lovely N, her hubby, and baby A
This is not a great picture of me- I know.

The other night we decided to go to a drive in movie because we figured it starts late and Red Fish would go to sleep. We also wanted to control the volume because I haven't wanted to take her to a really loud movie theater. IT WAS A DISASTER!!! The first 45 minutes we were there Red Fish delighted in the jungle gym of blankets, pillows, and bodies. She climbed all over us. Then her gums started to swell and her teeth must have been really uncomfortable. She cried and moaned and groaned the rest of the time we were there. The radio in my 10 month old car has some sort of issue and wouldn't work. We were trying to hear the movie from the cars around us while trying to comfort Red Fish. I thought Walle was really stupid but it might possibly be because I missed a good chunk of it. Next time we go to a drive in we will make sure nobody is teething. Poor little baby!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Breaking Red Fish News

This afternoon Red Fish's first tooth popped through! I didn't even realize it had come through until I felt it on my arm when she bent over to try it out. It's one of her bottom front teeth. I'm still trying to get a picture of it. Then yesterday she stood up in the middle of the room without anything to pull up on. She is changing so fast I can hardly keep up with her!

Red Fish's First Boating Adventure

We had such a fun day today. We went out on my parent's boat for a couple hours. Red Fish loved it! She was standing up in my lap in the front of the boat squealing like a noisy, happy hood ornament. She eventually dropped off to sleep from the movement of the boat just like I used to when I was little. I even got up on the slalom ski which I haven't done in forever. Two Fish went wake boarding too.
Red Fish has had some crazy hair lately. I think it's so cute standing up all over her head.
Ready for the boat!
The three of us on the boat.
Red Fish striking a model pose with Uncle J. We went to see the Dark Knight (I HATE the clowns- gives me the shivers just thinking about it) last night while Uncle J took care of Red Fish for couple hours. Red Fish is his biggest fan.
Two Fish getting ready to wake board.
Two Fish
One Fish - water skiing for the first time in about 10 years. I have wake boarded more recently but the new bindings don't fit my little mini feet.
I wasn't too bad! I can't do any tricks but I was cutting back and forth across the wake pretty good. I was afraid I might not even be able to get up!
Red Fish asleep in Gammie's lap.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fun In The Summertime

We've spent alot of time playing with friends lately. Baby A has come over to visit a couple times. We also had some friends over for a BBQ. Two Fish has a new grill and we need to put it to good use! We've also discovered the joy of bubbles. Red Fish wasn't too sure about them at first especially when they landed on her skin and hair. When Blue Fish started chasing them and biting them she decided they are hilarious.

We have discovered the joy of bubble baths. Red Fish loves splashing and moving the bubbles around. I LOVE this doggie towel. Red Fish's Grandma made it for her for Christmas. Red Fish thinks it's hilarious to put the hood up. I'm not sure if she recognizes that it is a dog but she loves the ears.

I took Red Fish to a gymboree class. We had such a great time! (If you have never been to one there is a coupon on the internet to try a free class- I highly recommend it!) The most fun part was just watching Red Fish with the other babies. She is such a social girl! She just took off crawling with all the other babies and gave everyone in the class a big kiss. She has become quite the little kissy girl lately. She practically smothers everyone in kisses.

Red Fish loves to go grocery shopping. I've finally gotten beyond my paranoia of her sucking on the bars of the cart and now wrap them in a blankie and let her sit in the seat. She thinks rolling down the aisles and examining everything I put in the cart is great fun. We went shopping in Costco yesterday and spent some time with Gammie. My Mom helps me make these meat packets that help me make dinners faster. We cook a whole bunch of chicken and a bunch of hamburger up with spices etc. and then divide them into packets for the freezer. This also limits my contact with raw meat. (shiver)
We've been swinging in the baby swing in our back yard. Red Fish thinks this is great fun. She is so light that one push keeps her swinging for a long time. The people who lived in our house before us left this swing set in our backyard. It's been a lot of fun for our nieces and nephews but I wasn't sure it would last for our own kids to ever use it. At least the baby swing is still in great shape!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stair Master

Today Red Fish discovered the stairs. I spent all day following her up one stair case or another in our house. There was no hesitation at all. She just went straight up. My only concern is her coming back down. She seems too little for this! She just barely turned eight months.

I haven't had alot to update lately. Basically Red Fish has had a particularly nasty bug and I've been elected the mayor of poop town. I'll spare you most of the details but let's just say things hit a whole new level of fun when you have to clean the ceiling!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cutie Pie

This is a photo taken last month by Lovely N.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just Say No

A New Person

In the past couple weeks Red Fish has become a whole new person. She is crawling and climbing like crazy. She babbles and squeals and talks (and expects you to understand every word.) She is interacting with us in a whole new way. She plays with us and laughs with us. She even initiates play. Now when I come to get her out of bed she is standing up and waiting for me. Everything is new and exciting for her and she gets this especially cute little grin everytime she knocks something over or pulls up on a new piece of furniture. There have been several bumps on the head but so far so good. I just can't get over how fast she got so big!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Electric Socket

A couple months ago I started the baby proofing process. I got those little plastic protectors for the electric sockets although I didn't foresee actually needing them. Boy was I wrong. Yesterday I noticed Red Fish crawling across the room with one hand extended and a little finger poised to jab her finger right into the one socket in the whole house I somehow managed to miss. Now this morning she has tried several times to pry the plastic covers out of every socket she can find. She also ripped open a cabinet that I had a plastic lock on. I'm beginning to think that baby proof is a myth. I'm going to have to be a lot craftier.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Family Fun On Vacation

Swimming with Gammie.
Giving Uncle J a big kiss.

Red Fish would start kicking her feet as soon as she could see the water because she was so excited. We didn't take her in the ocean because it was too cold (I was cold with my wetsuit on) but that didn't stop her from wanting to get in. She just loved looking at the water.

Grandpa had the magic touch on this trip. He could put Red Fish to sleep when she was really worked up. She wasn't sleeping much or taking any naps because she was just too excited about everything. Everything was too new and fun.

Red Fish was just soaking up all of the attention she got on this trip. She loved being cuddled and oohed and aahed all day long. We all took turns staying at the resort with her while the others went diving.

Bizarre Bonaire

We saw some pretty bizarre things while we were in Boanire. While we were touring the island with M&A we stopped at this strange house that had all of these figures and signs and paintings on it and said it was a museum. It was this strange woman's garden that she has filled with stuffed figures, live flamingos, crabs, and turtles, and weird bones and indescribable objects. We could even see inside her house where she had stuffed lifesize dolls sitting around her kitchen table and on her couch. It was one of the strangest sites I have ever seen in my life. I apprecaite the creativity (every surface of her fence and yard had something painted on it or attached to it.) but it was really quite creepy.

We saw s
All along the coast there were these strange sculptures left on the side of the road made of drift wood and debris that has washed up on the shore. Some of them were humongous- up to 15 feet tall. This was my favorite.

Island Tour

Bonaire is just above Venezuela in the Netherlands Antilles. It's famous for it's donkeys, flamingos, scuba diving, and the salt mines. We got to see all of these. We drove around the island in our little truck and saw all of the sites with our friends M and A. It was a great day.

One side of the island has these amazing waves that are just huge. We stood on the rocks watching them for quite awhile. Red Fish got a big kick out of watching the spray.

We saw the salt mines that are a huge part of Boanire's history. They were originally run by slaves during the 1800s when salt was huge commodity for food preservation. The slaves lived in these really sad little huts that are still there.

The huts are positively tiny. I'm not sure how many people were forced to live in each one but I'm sure it was too many.
There are four obelisks, each painted a different color, red, white, blue and orange (the colors of the Dutch Flag and the Royal House of Orange). They were erected strategically near areas of the salt lake. The idea was to signal ships where to pick up their cargoes of salt. A flag of the corresponding color was raised atop a flagpole, thus signalling the ship's captain where to drop anchor.
The salt is in these huge mounds next to the fields of water they use to evaporate the salt.

Diving Bonaire

It was so nice to get away for a week. We've been really lucky so far that we have gotten to take a diving vacation every year since we got married. So far Two Fish and I have been to: Puerto Rico, Fiji, Maui, Little Cayman, Bikini Atoll, and now Bonaire. We feel pretty spoiled. It's definitely going to be harder to take all these fun trips now with kids but Red Fish really loved it. She is quite the little water baby. She loved walking down to the dock and looking at the fish. She got to swim in the pool everyday and spend time with her grandparents and Uncle J. She got alot of attention and plenty of playtime.

Bonaire is a beautiful place to dive. We stayed at Buddy Dive Resort right on the water. We were with a group of 58 people, most of whom live nearby us. We had unlimited diving and there was a great reef right on the dock off the resort. We did quite a few boat dives and would have liked to do more shore diving but Two Fish was kind of sick while we were there.

The corral reefs in Bonaire are really beautiful and colorful. Most of the diving is just right off the island so there were no long boat rides. There was minimal current and alot of life on the walls. One of my favorite dives was 1,000 steps. It was a shore dive but you have to walk down a big stone staircase to the beach. Even the walk down was really beautiful.

We were working on our extended range and trimix diving while we were there. They are both technical certifications that basically it allows you dive deeper and longer. Both nitrogen and oxygen become toxic at certain depths and pressures so we were training to use trimix - a gas mixture that replaces some of the oxygen and nitrogen with helium. This translates to good news for me because I have a tendancy to get "narked" at any depth past 130 feet. (130' is the recreational dive limit so most people don't ever surpass that depth.) In other words the nitrogen has such a narcotic effect on my brain I can barely function on deep dives. Everyone is effected at different depths in different ways depending on their genetic makeup.

While we were in Bonaire we decided to do one of our training dives on the Wind Jammer, a wreck that sank the same year as the Titanic. We had to get special permission from the government to dive on this wreck. The best part of the wreck was seeing the crows nests and masts that are still attached. I was less than thrilled about the entry though. We had to walk across the rocks wearing double tanks bolted to a steel backplate on our backs and two decompression tanks strapped to the front of us. Then was a nice relaxing swim through five foot waves for a good half a mile. The dive down to 180' was colorful but a little stressful because of some disorganization. Then during the shore exit I fell wearing my tanks and a really struggle standing back up with all that weight on. But all in all it was successful and I'm definitely converted to the virtues of trimix. It's much more fun to dive deep with a clear head. I'm still a little wary about the fun part of the more advanced technical classes but I do love diving, I loved Bikini Atoll, and with the diving peer pressure in my family it was inevitable. I'm just hoping for easier entries and more exciting dives.


We had a five hour layover in Houston on our way to Bonaire. We went to dinner at Outback with my cousin C and his wife S while we were there. I hadn't seen C since we both lived in the college dorms in 2000. It was fun to meet his new wife and introduce them to my family. We took a few pictures and they gave us a lift to the airport afterwards. It was just a quick visit but in the last month I have seen every single one of my cousins. That never happens. As you can see from the picture Red Fish spent most of her time trying to snatch stuff off of the table.

Red Fish looks pretty happy to be on the airplane doesn't she? She was such a good baby even though we traveled early mornings and late at night.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Notice To All Strangers

Just because a person is tiny and defenseless does not give you the go ahead to pick them up and kiss them on the mouth. Why random strangers have felt the need to do this to Red Fish the past few days truly blows my mind. MULTIPLE TIMES! I mean what am I supposed to do? Scream and push their faces away from my baby? That's what I want to do. It might seem a bit extreme but still... if a stranger walked up and kissed you on the mouth wouldn't that be your first reaction? Sorry I know it has been a bit of a complaining day for the people in airports but I've spent alot of time around strangers the last week.

Summer Reads

My idea of a good vacation is one where I get a lot of reading done while sitting on the beach. No I have no tan- I spend my day underwater or in the shade but I still love sitting out on the beach chairs anyway.

Turn of the Screw- by Henry James. It's a psychological thriller from the turn of the century. It wasn't my favorite. Not enough actually happened for me. The descriptions are somewhat intriguing but I was disappointed by the ending.

Confessions of A Shopaholic- by Sophie Kinesella. This is part of a series. It's kind of funny although there were no laugh out loud moments. I don't think I've found a book that truly makes me laugh till I cry since I read 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America and Al Franken is #37. (It's absolutely hysterical.) The one thing I really liked about the book was reading all the shop names and tube stops because the book takes place in my best loved city- London.

Pope Joan- a historical novel based on the papacy of a woman who masqueraded as a man in 897. It's wonderful. Apparently there are over 500 references to Pope Joan in history although the Catholic Church denies her existence. Whether or not you agree that Pope Joan was an actual historical figure this book is still very interesting and a fun read.
The Screwtape Letters- by CS Lewis. This is the first book I have read by CS Lewis aside from the Chronicles of Narnia. I didn't like it quite as much as Narnia (but how could I since the Chronicles are deeply entrenched in my childhood memories?) but it was still good. It is basically letter from one of Satan's minions to another demon giving advice on bring souls to Satan. It has some interesting ideas on the path of sin and it's fun to read it from a demon's point of view.

Of Mice and Men- by John Steinbeck. The writing is wonderful, the descriptions intriguing. I love the way Steinbeck weaves a story- but in typical Steinbeck fashion it's terribly depressing and always drags me down a little. It's definitely worth reading- just wouldn't recommend it for a bad day.