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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Love (my kitty) Thursday

Happy Love Thursday everyone! Here are a couple snapshots we got this past week while Dylan was snuggling his kitty, Thaddeus.

He may grow and change each month, with new interests and milestones... but one thing hasn't changed much: his love for his kitty cat. And I firmly believe that the love is mutual.
Despite many opportunities to run away, Thaddeus just stays, purring like he's in kitty-heaven as his favorite little friend tumbles across, over, and around him, bringing him toys and drooling on his head. And for a cat who knows what he wants at all times and makes sure he gets it, I have to say that I'm impressed with how patient he is with Dylan when he gets in one of his snuggle-kitty moods.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Diaper Championship

First you put the diaper in the hole, like this.
Then you crank over the handle...
And voila! You have a happy baby, VERY proud of himself for conquering the Diaper Champ. (and some fretful parents, keeping a close eye on everything else in the house that could fit in that hole!)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

new toy

On Saturday, while I was at work, Ryan made a new toy for Dylan out of some would-be trash. He cut a slotted opening in the formula can lid and paired it with some saved babyfood jar lids. Perfect combo for Dylan's new FAVORITE toy. And the best part is that it cost us nothing! Ah, aren't those the best toys anyhow?
I love when he plays in this semi-squatted position favored by most toddlers (as if they might get a better offer at any moment and might need to split). Last night he sat happily and played with his new toy for about 10 minutes. Way to go, dad! (my hero).

Monday, August 28, 2006

10 year reunion

This past weekend was my 10 year high school class reunion, up in Lompoc. It took place at the La Purisima Mission at the fountain where some of my senior pictures were taken, interestingly enough.
It was nice to see a few old friends (such as my friend Dallas, pictured here with Ryan and I), but some of the rest of my classmates were WAY too drunk for my taste. A handful of us really enjoyed catching up and the rest were disappointing, to say the least. Oh well, I guess 10 years isn't long enough for a few of them to grow up...

We spent a few days up at my parent's in Lompoc, visiting also with my sister's family and new baby (only 3 weeks old). It was good to see her again and get to meet my new nephew, Nick. He's so sweet and little and precious. (you probably are thinking, what baby isn't all those things... but this little guy really is all of those!) And we enjoyed watching Dylan and his cousin Andrew play together. Andrew is only 3 months older than Dylan and we love to watch them toddle around the house, while Dylan explores uncharted (and very un-childproofed) territory. I find myself holding my breath that he won't inadvertently break something along the way.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

and they're cousins...

When we went up to Lompoc, visiting my parents for the weekend (and going to my high school reunion), we got some pictures of the boys, playing out in my parent's backyard while wearing some old Coonskin hats that my sister and I had growing up (no worries, they are faux fur, I'm fairly certain). What a riot they were. They took turns each taking their hat off, not wanting to wear it... then he'd stop, leave it on, and smile as he watched his cousin do the same thing. This is one of the few pictures we got with both leaving their hats on!
(although you can see that Andrew has his hot little hand on his head, ready to pull it off again. HA!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

the war on tantrums

Our own personal war on tantrums has begun. It kind of snuck up on us, with increased fussiness followed by some crying, then each of us giving excuses to the other for the strange behavior from our darling baby boy. Then it hit us: THIS kid is throwing tantrums and getting away with it. With immediate fear of raising a brat, we sought help (with a few tears), and realized that this war did not come with a clearcut right/wrong strategy for battle. It sure isn't simple, and with lack of sleep, we have had a few tense moments here...
But we are going to conquer. We will.
(ok, so does it sound like I'm trying to convince myself here, or what?)
Anyhow, a few dear friends and one of the caregivers at daycare offered some helpful advice for positive parenting. We've been trying it out now for a couple days, and I'm pretty impressed. So far, there has been a marked decrease in tantrums, increased responsiveness when we make requests, and many many many more smiles by all of us. We'll keep you posted. (and keep us in your prayers!)

Now off to battle I go...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Love Thursday

Karen at Chookooloonks has started something called "Love Thursday", where she challenged her readers to post weekly photos depicting love.

Here is mine for this week:

This picture was taken at our wedding 5 years ago. It was taken after our ceremony when we had just walked out of the church and waiting for the rest of our wedding party to take some pictures. At the time, we didn't know that there was someone taking this picture of our first minutes as husband and wife, which makes me love it even more. Those moments when you are totally in the moment, and a picture captures it without your knowing it, are my favorite. Whenever I see this picture, it reminds me of how precious our love is to me and how much I treasure my life, just as it is.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Anatomy of a Wake-Up

I (Ryan) grabbed the camera one morning when I heard Dylan make a little sound indicating he was waking up.
He tossed and turned a bit before waking up for good...

Getting up, groggy-like.
Most mornings he wakes up in a good mood, but this time he was a bit ticked.
...still ticked.
After some milk and a clean diaper he was good as new.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Beach Bummin'

We were in San Diego earlier this week for a visit and for a meeting for Ryan's work. Dylan and us had fun swimming in the pool and hanging out in the spa. While we all hung out in the spa with our cocktails, Dylan had his straw sippy cup.

We met up with Ryan one afternoon between meetings over at La Jolla Shores beach near UCSD. Wonderful weather, nice waves, lots of people.
Dylan playing along the water's edge. He loves running around and splashing in the water!

Walking along the beach.

We have a picture of just Ryan and I at this beach in 2002 framed at home. And this past week, we took this one, with the three of us! Life has come full circle.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Getting ready for the day. Dylan got a new shirt from Ross. Yeah, Ross. Ryan absolutely hates that place (I think it is the masses of people hunting for bargains, with disorganization galore, and long lines), but I can stand it long enough to find a few good deals. One of which was the $2.99 shirt I found for Dylan that Ryan even likes. Yeah, Ryan likes the shirt. He thinks it's adorable. But believe me, Ryan still won't step foot into a that store.

Friday, August 11, 2006

B's new do

I got my hair cut last night. And I now have some long bangs that whisp across my forehead. I also had the stylist straighten my hair at the end of the cut, so that was a treat (not to mention the wonderful scalp massage she gave me during my shampooing!)
It has been many, many years since I've had bangs. And a week before my 10 year high school reunion I decide to get some cut? Am I crazy, you ask? (yes, of course.)
But I like them and that is the good news. As long as they stay on the right side of my face and don't tick me off, crawling into my eyes and nose. If they do, it will be war. But right now I'm enjoying the change and hope they behave.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

12 month review

I've been meaning to do this for a while now. A recap of some milestones, fun memories, and general data from the first year of Dylan's life.

Born July 7th, 2005. Weight 7lbs. 15oz.
Not gaining weight well. Lots of trips to pediatrician's office.

fun memories: first plane trip (to California)
HATES the car.

weight: 11 lbs. 12 oz. (3rd percentile)
height: 50th percentile
milestones: localizing to voices, good muscle tone (per MD and Parents As Teachers lady), cooing.
fun memory: smiling and cooing at the warning label in the inside of his carseat
Mommy back to work part-time.

milestones: discovered his feet, turns pages of books, starts eating solids
fun memory: trip to Washington D.C. for Neuroscience Conference, meet Uncle Matt in Baltimore, finding teddy-bear, tub eating
STILL HATES the car.

weight: 12 lbs. 8 oz. (0-3rd percentile)
milestones: laughing, sitting
fun memories: loves the tub, first cold, Christmas in Chicago, first snow

milestones: crawling
fun memories: trip to California, daddy's Ph.D. defense.

fun memories: move to California, Santa Monica Beach trip, visit cousin Andrew,

milestones: first two teeth, enjoys doing "dental work"
fun memories: Huntington Gardens and lots of walks with mommy
Mommy has lasik eye surgery.

weight: 19 lbs. (25th percentile)
height: 29.5 inches (75-90th percentile)
milestones: peek-a-boo, rocking himself to sleep, loves shoes and doorstops, first pickle
fun memories: falling asleep in jumper, start stroller strides with mommy, first fingerpainting masterpiece
Mommy back to work 2 days a week and Dylan to daycare.

milestones: cruising and first 2 steps, clapping
fun memories: discovered boxes

weight: 22lbs. (50th percentile)
height: 31.5 inches (90th percentile)
milestones: first words, walking
fun memories: first time in the sand at the beach, loves toothbrushes and bananas, Katie & Julie visit, gymboree, first 4th of July fireworks, tackling Thaddeus


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Dylan has been enchanted by the Diaper Champ (for those of you without kiddos, it's basically a fancy diaper trash can that has a mechanism to help keep the rotten smells to a minimum - and by golly, it sure works!)...
So now whenever I am finished changing the little guy's pants, he gets excited to carry his own diaper to the trash and help me put it in. We had to move the actual diaper champ to the bathroom around the corner from his room, in fear that he'd toss one of his toys into it and we'd wind up throwing things away. Well, here is a video of Dylan helping mommy. See how proud he is of it all? I wonder how long this excitement over taking care of the "trash" will last.

Funny note: Just after taking this video, I set down my camera and went to wash my hands. I turned around to find Dylan (very proud of himself, might I add) carefully placing the CAMERA into the diaper champ. See now why we moved it to the bathroom? I better keep a close eye on him... He's quick!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Far too long without pictures

My bad. This is Daddy, the guy in charge of the pictures. Sorry for the lack of pics lately. This classic of Dylan from tonight should get things going in the right direction again.


We really are trying to wean from the bottle...

He's mastered the walk-while-you-drink trick...



We'll just see how it goes with the sippy cups. The pediatrician told us that she "expects him to be off the bottle completely by 15 months." Wish us luck!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


You know the saying that things are always more embarrasing when it involves your own child? Well I'd like to add that they also sound louder.
Like when they say "dada da dada da da" in church during a prayer everytime it gets super duper quiet. For me, he might as well have screamed "hey everyone, my mommy can't control me! Hahahaha"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

santa barbara

Briana here. Today we headed up the coast to meet up with my parents for the afternoon in Santa Barbara. Driving up the coast was beautiful, as always, and we were blessed with a napping baby the entire trip. Both ways. What a treat.
We spent the next 8 hours eating, shopping along State Street, and then more eating. One of the highlights was shopping with my mom in Nordstroms while the boys hung out together patiently for 2 hours. Because Victoria's Secret was nowhere to be found, we headed into Nordies to check out the bra section (wearing too-big nursing bras 5 months beyond the days of nursing will drain just about any woman of her self-esteem and my mom was sweet enough to take me for a lift-of-spirits, so to speak). Two hours later our mission was more than accomplished.
We gathered our husbands and the baby - and headed off for more food.
Nothing says "I love you" like new bras and a tummy full of filet mignon. Thanks mom and dad!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

beautiful thing

Something beautiful occured today after a few hours at a friend's house filled with lots of toddlers and babies. Dylan played HARD. He played with toys, little girls and boys, in the pool, in the grass, and in the sand. He consumed a whole banana. He pooped TWICE. And then it happened. I no sooner had put the keys in the ignition in my car, looked over my shoulder, and he was asleep!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Have you heard of the latest healthcare craze? It's called
You answer a handful of personalized questions related to your health and habits and it tells you what your actual age is based on those responses.

Wondering what mine was? Well, if I told you, I'd have to kill you... Just kidding.
It said I am 24.6 years old (which is actually 3.8 years younger than my chronological age). Good, but it also sent me a lengthy email about the lifestyle changes I should make to improve my real-age. It made me sad (albeit convicted of a few things). Here are a few of the recommendations they made:


2. BEGIN TAKING VITAMINS DAILY. (ok, ok mom. I hear you.)

3. REDUCE YOUR DRIVING SPEED TO NO MORE THAN 5 MILES PER HOUR OVER THE SPEED LIMIT. (so what's the plan for when I'm running late for work? Can they talk to my boss on this one?)

(now this is just funny. Seriously I sleep like 9 hours each night. Let me add that I love sleep. Like charging my batteries. Required. Not a sign of medical issues. That's just ridiculous. And I'm not changing. Period.)

5. DO NOT TALK ON THE PHONE WHILE DRIVING. (hmmm. I need to think about this one.)

6. SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOURSELF (ok. do they want to come watch Dylan for me while I go take that bubble-bath each afternoon?)

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