Sunday, May 31, 2009

11 months old!

Selah is 11 months old now. This past month has seen the most developmental changes in her yet. She is really developing a strong personality. She's very strong-willed and I think I see a little bit of sass coming through.....and some more teeth!

She has started standing by herself now - without holding onto anything. She wants to walk so badly. She just grabs one of your hands, or one pant-leg and she'll take off walking, taking you with her. It won't be long now. I've seen her take one or two steps to grab something, but it's not the real deal yet.

Her hair (I mean her pho-hawk) is long enough now to do this....

She can talk now! I just don't know what she's saying. Lately, she's in love with saying "Gonga gonga gonga" over and over. It's funny how she's so expressive while she's "talking" - she really thinks she's getting through to you.

She absolutely hates getting her diaper or clothes changed. She throws a fit and acts like you are torturing her!

She loves to cuddle. She likes to press her face right up against yours and just hold it there.

She literally springs out of bed when she wakes up. She stirs for a second and then sits up suddenly and starts talking really loudly. It's really funny to witness.

Selah's into everything still, only now she get's there quicker and knows she's in trouble.
Can you find her in this picture?

This is under our bed! She initially went under there to get a bouncy ball and then decided she wanted to explore under there with the shoes, junk, dust and cobwebs.

She's a good sport

Only one more month until the big birthday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let the countdown begin....

This blog started out as a way to share our photos of young Finnegan Jack 3 1/2 years ago....and has now evolved into much more than that - a journal of sorts. A big change is gonna come - so I'm feeling kind of nostalgic and want to share some thoughts. So, my apologies, and your welcome.

When Nate and I got married almost 7 years ago, we decided that we wanted to live in a beach town for just a year or two before we settled down closer to home up North. We chose Santa Barbara because Nate went to Westmont here and some of his friends were still hanging around. So, we would have a fun year or two being newlyweds in a fun beach town and then be practical and settle down where the median home prices are NOT 1.2 million dollars!

One year turned into 7 years (minus one year in Chile) and last March we decided that this would be our last year in Santa Barbara. Nate put in a tough year of commuting at night to UCLA for his Administrative Credential and Masters Degree, and now finally, we are making the big move to Nor less than 3 weeks! We heard it was a good time to look for a job! (*nervous laugh*) I say "finally" with a sad smile. We are excited for this next step, but boy it's really going to be tough to leave this place and the people in it.

Things I will totally miss about Santa Barbara:

*A rare and fantastic group of friends. It isn't always the case that married couples find other married couple friends that mesh so well together, and here we have found several! (plus unmarried friends) A few of us have been meeting for 7 years every Thursday night for dinner, the guys together at one house and the ladies at another, taking turns cooking. Over the years we have enjoyed phases of different activities as a group - beach volleyball, frolf, ultimate frisbee, skate-boarding, surfing, bocce, game nights, wine name it.

* The oodles and oodles of parties! The annual b-day party for Jared and also for Jos (both usually a "surprise" and usually involving costumes), the annual blind-wine-tasting contest b-day party for Beth (where I have earned two victories thank you very much), and all the random BBQ, beach day or bowling parties throughout the years. I shall miss them all, especially the big whammy.....the Annual New Years Poker Night Extravaganza, where Nate has been known to fall asleep before the ball drops.

*The ocean, obviously. We live one mile from the beach now. We don't go all the time, but I definitely feel like we haven't taken it for granted.

*The small town feel. Santa Barbara always has a ton of events, like parades and concerts in the park and festivals, and it seems like everyone in town actually shows up! I love it.

*Although SB doesn't hold on to their young families very well (again - house prices) it is full of tons of resources for parents. Great adult ed classes, library story-times, parks, zoo, beach etc. I feel like I've met every mom in this town with a 3 year old. We all go to the same places.

*Our church. (I don't have any pictures.) Our parish has been like an extended family to us here. This year especially, we have grown close with some other families at church and we will miss them dearly.

*Nate's school. Great people, great kids. They have really taken care of us, and been so supportive of Nate. Plus everyone has been very patient with my....developing Spanish skills. We will really miss you all. !Si se puede!

* I am sure more things will come to mind later as we continue to soak up everything Santa Barbara. This has been such a great home for us so far. However, I also have a running list of things to look forward to in Northern California. This does feel like the right step for us right now. It's just difficult to say goodbye sometimes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

By the way.....Nate had a birthday!

I can't find our camera.....again. I'm really getting on my own nerves. I've looked in all the regular places. (*sigh*) Well, here's some fun pictures from two weeks ago.

Finn painted some masterpieces that we made into a collage for Nate's birthday. He usually has a very short attention span when it comes to art. He's just not that interested yet. After about 30 seconds of coloring, his crayons magically turn into helicopters and garbage trucks. Weird, I know, but I've seen it happen. ;-)

Nate turned 33! His birthday fell on Mothers Day actually. My birthday in June falls near Fathers Day sometimes, so we just have to work it out ahead of time, which in this case meant splitting the day in half. (caring means sharing) I got pampered the first half and in the evening we celebrated Nate with a ping-pong party in our garage with friends.

Finn helped blow out the candles, as usual, and I'm not sure but it looks here like he was trying steal the birthday wish as well. Cheater.

Happy Birthday Nate! I love you!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I've got to hand it to myself.....I'm a good friend. I just got back from a sweaty 7+ hour car ride up north - just me and the babes, including a quick day trip from Woodland to Reno and back - just me and Selah. What was the occasion you ask? One of my dearest friends, Troyann, just graduated from UNR with her DOCTORATE!!!!! This is the girl who frequented the principal's office regularly in grade school, who won a belching contest in high school in front of the whole student body, was our mascot (a honker......canadian goose) and was usually the common denominator in any kind of mischief I got into as a child. She is without a doubt the silliest person I know, besides myself. I am so proud of her and all she has accomplished. This girl's got drive. Well done Troyann!

While I was in Reno, Finn stayed behind in Woodland and spent some quality time with Granny Peg, Papa Tom and Uncle Josh. He was introduced to the timeless toy every kid should learn to master:

The yo-yo.

Selah did her best.

Monday, May 11, 2009

An Ode to Mothers Day

Things I appreciate about being a mom:
  • My goofy kids obviously. They amaze me and make me laugh everyday and fill me with purpose.
  • My husband. Nate is seriously such a good dad. I don't even know where to start. And he encourages me with words of love daily. (More about Nate on Fathers Day)
  • Grandparents! I'm finding that good parents make awesome grandparents. They spoil the kids so I don't have to and I discipline the kids so they don't have to. Win win.
  • Our friends, most of whom don't have kids yet and are sooooo supportive and who put up with us bringing our kids to every party, softball game, super bowl party, surf outing, game night.....and have watched our kids for free!
  • My mom-books like "Super Baby Food" and "The No Cry Sleep Solution". One of these days I'm gonna put some of those tips into practice for Selah, my super-waker-upper.
  • Music. One might think I would get sick of singing You Are My Sunshine, Three Little Ducks or Hush Little Baby a million times a day, but I don't. It doesn't faze me. I love it.
  • All the other young mamas in my life who are trying to figure this all out with me. Jen, Joanne, Liza, Lindsay, Cynthia, Rachel.....and many more. Such amazing mamas out there.
  • My "minivan" stroller and other various baby-carrying contraptions. My arms thank you.
  • Our daily walks downtown to the library or park.
  • Youtube. There are all kinds of fun quick kid videos- helpful when you don't have cable. Our favorites are the old Goofy "How To" videos from the 1950s.
  • The fact that going to the grocery store without the kids seems like a vacation.
  • Figuring out that using the word "special" in front of anything (a chair, a banana, whatever) encourages much more enthusiasm from a toddler.
  • Post bath naked run-around-and -act- crazy time. (for the kids, not me)
  • Snuggling in the bed with both kids in the morning.
  • Listening to Nate play music for Finn at bedtime while I'm nursing Selah to sleep. This is my favorite time as a mother. Pretty blissful.
  • Um....I'm sure there's more.....but Finn just asked for a drink of water and I can hear Selah waking up now and it's only 11:30 pm. And so it continues.......
I love my life!

(Thank you Nate for the wonderful brunch and shopping trip on Mothers Day!)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Jesusita Fire....

So, it's getting pretty gnarly around here in Santa Barbara. Nate's school has been closed for 3 days and we've all been cooped up in the house (our TINY house) since Wednesday afternoon. Our house isn't really in danger of being burned now - though we were concerned when the "little" fire suddenly erupted into a huge problem on Wednesday - threatening downtown SB. We are 2 blocks from the warning evacuation line, and about a mile from the actual evacuation line. This is devastating. The chain of events seemed to happen so fast. The fire was just a tiny stream of smoke in the sky around 1:30 on Wednesday......and then around 4pm I was shopping downtown on State Street and saw this in the sky......

We are moving up north in about a month anyway, so we boxed up some important things and waited and far I think we won't be going anywhere, unless the air quality gets even worse. That being said, we are getting a little cabin fever in here.

Here's Finn kickin' it with our only fan in the house. Nobody in SB has A/C.

With Nate home (a little silver lining) yesterday we went to Ventura to spend some time outside and do a little surfing.

This morning the evacuation line extended to include parts of Montecito and Westmont College - right before their baccalaureate and graduation. They are still recovering from the Tea Fire in November. Major bummer.

We are heading out the door again to get out of this air. Please pray for the safety of others in this area.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

10 Months Old Already?

I feel like I was just writing about her 9 month milestones yesterday....and here she is - another month older, wiser and well.......cuter!

At 10 months, Selah is really developing a strong personality and a stronger relationship with Finn. During Easter, Finn and Selah started a new game where he runs throughout the house yelling "Come on Selah! Come on!" and she crawls as fast as she can after him, both of them giggling out of control. It's so fun to watch. She's pretty fast.

She has also become really close with Nate, which is cute to see. She's always been pretty attached to me, but she and Daddy have developed their own little connection lately.

(The "boo boo" on Nate's leg is from an awesome slide at our softball game. Safety First is back!)

Selah's latest thing is to reach for someone as if to say "Please pick me up! You're my favorite! You're the one I want, and no one else!" And then you realize that she just wanted to rip the glasses off your face. She does this with everyone. Again, she's pretty fast.

She still eats any tiny gross thing she can find on the ground.

She's all over the place walking with the furniture and I've seen her let go a few times and try to stand.

She has one more tooth trying to push through, which makes a total of 3 teeth.

She makes lots of noises that sound like words. "be be" "ma ma" "da da". This weekend she kept saying "guy". (uh oh...)

Selah is so fun to have around these days. We love her so much and look forward to seeing her little personality emerge everyday.