Sunday, December 25, 2011

Family portrait

Amanda really outdid herself this year. She gave Jack our whole family rendered in dolls. Insanely cute!

From left to right: Andy, Jenn, Susan, Will, Amanda, Rachel, Jack, Ben, Betty, Richard

Merry Christmas x2!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011



This little break from work is a time for getting things done! DIY presents: done! Laundry: done! And dinner of little hand pies with beef and potato filling: done by 11 am!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Musicals Again

Monday and Tuesday I trekked up the mountains once again to begin the school musical.  We held an information meeting and dance workshop Monday.  Today we auditioned 34 kids - each with dancing, singing, and acting; then cut it down to a callback list for Thursday.

I sadly had to return to Denver, back to life and nursing.  I get so excited to do the musical every year.  I really love teaching the kids to dance, and it's nice that the director does not care about my lack of credentials.

This year Amanda's assistant volunteered to do a behind-the-scenes film series.  He's serious about it!  Look what he's already posted about the first day.

I should cast the little 2.5 foot guy, right? Good moves on that one ;-) This will be so fun to have movies I can share with you.  Of course, that means subjecting you to my ever-increasing jiggliness.  Seriously, what do I call a post-partum pouch that is now 18 months post-partum?

And if this prompts the same question as Ben ("What are you wearing??"), teachers use one legwarmer to make it easier for kids to differentiate legs.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Happy December!

A snowfall to greet us on the first of the month. 

Jack decided gloves are pretty rad

Monday, November 28, 2011

On a lesser note ...

My shellac nails were immaculate for 14 days as promised. This chip on my index appeared tonight after:
6 shifts at work
2 candy making sessions
3 Jack baths
Cooking and scrubbing up after a full turkey dinner on Sunday
Plus normal wear and tear
Color me impressed!

18 Months Old

Remember way back when I used to post photo-heavy blog entries of Jack every month?  And then he turned The Big One Year and I stopped doing it?  Well guess what.  It's been six months already!

While I was desperately trying to get a fistula to work this morning (end of story: I failed) Ben took up the old Nikon to take some adorable portraits of our buddy.  Our dude.  Our little guy. 

With his haystack hair

 And buck-toothed devilish grins

Strutting around the house like he owns it.  He not only walks, he runs and dances too. He can go down the slide by himself and climb up on the chairs to sit at the table (or on the table, if he can get away with it).

Killer abs ;-)

So many teeth!  He is getting the first of his canines now.  I'll be glad when that's over.

He's a total charmer.  He signs really well and is adding some small words.  He can say "teh tah" to ask for the Turtle song.  He likes Itsy Bitsy Spider and Monkeys Jumping on the Bed too.  He picked up the choreography to each song right away. 

He's curious and gung-ho.  We have many head bumps and scrapes and tumbles from his adventures. 

This is a paltry description of the many wonderful things Jack can do and is learning every day.  It's incredible how he absorbs everything.  I'll give up trying to summarize it here.  Every new age is my favorite age.  I miss my baby, but I love my toddler even more.

PS: Here is Jack one year ago.  Mind = Blown.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

That's better

True to the holiday

It doesn't feel like Thanksgiving without my grandmother's buttery rolls. Here's a photo of her making them today, sent from my dad.

Hi ho, hi ho

It's off to work I go!

I should be done by dinner. Please please stay quiet, stupid pager.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Newsies, I mean, Thanksgiving!

Yay!  I'm done with my scheduled shifts this week.  I only have to be on-call on Turkey Day and I'm low on the tree (so finger crossed no calls!).  Then I have three glorious days off.  The Grandparents Mason are here giving Jack almost non-stop giggles.  There's a cheese log in my fridge.  What could be better?

I'm unwinding with Newsies mash-ups.  You know I love me some Newsies.  I have my ticket from the original release almost 20 years ago.  (Whoa.  I am getting old.)  I would LOVE to see the new musical in New York.  I hope there's a performance on the Thanksgiving Parade tomorrow.

Oh, what's that?  You want to see the mash-ups too?  Let's do it, ah-break it dowwwn!  (Love me some DJ Lance too.)

I just watched 14 of those.

There's a solo of Christian Bale dancing to Santa Fe too.   I kid you not: I memorized this as a pre-teen.  I think this works amazingly well with Gaga.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Where have I been?

This was fun to make!  I might have missed some childhood drive-throughs.  Surely a girl born in Maryland has been to more small eastern states?

(Map has been updated with new info from my fam: increased from 54% to 70%)
visited 35 states (70%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

My world map isn't as impressive.

Visited 14 states (6.22%)
Create your own visited map of The World

I'd love to see the maps from the impressive travelers in my family - like the one carousing in Paris right now.

The Bulldog

Love it when:

I'm off on Monday
They overstaff me on Tuesday
Allowing me to stay up late
And Ben puts Jack to bed
So I can go to trivia

Kind of makes up for working 13 hours on Sunday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Killer Sammy

I love it when I pack an awesome lunch. Chocolate and Cheetos, DPT, an a roast beef sammy with pickles. It can brighten a day.

PS I totally had a breakfast with bran, flax, oat, and other health-nutty things in a bar so you can stop judging.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Shellac manicures: as awesome as everyone says. I'm a fan. Treated myself to join Amanda in her preparations for Paris.

The Sing-Off: super sad Vocal Point are gone. But I love ALL the groups now, so I'm sad that any group has to go. (Ben is ecstatic Colorado beat Utah.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I can share one of my secrets from last week now.  For a couple years I have been making homemade marshmallows for my Dad and other family and friends.  But mostly for my Dad.  He's a hot chocolate fiend.  With the snow last week I realized:

So I sent this card with a package of vanilla bean fluffy confections.  As you can see, Jack was a huge fan.  We gave away most of them to Amanda and my coworkers (where I endured much heckling because who MAKES marshmallows??) (they are slowly getting to know me - word is out that I can spin yarn).

This is my favorite recipe if you want to make them yourself.  Be sure to try them with peppermint flavoring!

Friday, November 04, 2011


I've been doing fun crafting and cooking today. But it's all secrets so I can't show pictures. Here's jack stomping the park in his boots instead.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Massive Halloween Post of Promised Media

Wow, I took a lot of pictures since Saturday.  This includes 188 takes from our costume photo shoot in the park.  But it's REALLY hard to get a picture of a toddler not staring at the ground and not turning away from you, so I feel justified.

Since I mentioned it, here are the final costume pictures!

Hank Hill

 (Unlike Miranda, I WORE a costume but people didn't realize it until I asked them to guess who I was.)

 And Link from the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker!

Not Robin Hood, not an elf (especially not a "she's so cute!" elf- he must really need a haircut), and not a little green giant (whatever that is).

Da daaaa, dadadada daaaaaaa!

 (Hey, I promised lots of photos, didn't I?  This is down from 188 remember.)

We carved pumpkins with Brian this weekend, as you are already aware (I think I fixed the video).

We also went to a party thrown by the parents of Jack's play buddy, Wolfie.  Wolfie has an awesome toy room.  

Sunday Ben decided we would wear costumes to church.  Those pins are QR codes, that when scanned with your smart phone bring up our costume photos. 

And finally we arrive at tonight, the Big Night.  By a Halloween miracle I got off work a little after 4 and dodged a callback, giving me time to meet Ben and Jack in the middle of their trick-or-treating outing.  I about died when I walked up to this:

More photos and videos:

(Ben's gentle, fatherly pushing in these photos turn my heart to mush)
This sexy nurse at the Chinese Massage store asked for a photo with Jack.  We hope she recognized him. 
People aged 18-30 seemed to get his costume.  The game store people didn't ("Oh, he's a little Zelda!") and Ben will never forgive them.

The only actual trick-or-treating we did was Brian's house, and Jack was too scared of his ghoul bowl to take any.  

Back at home he was excited to light the pumpkins and greet the kids.  I had to put a bowl out after bed time to prevent door bells from waking up Jack.  Overall though, Halloween is so much better with a kid than without.

There is all kinds of sticky in my house now.