Thursday, December 31, 2009

A decade. What I learned

I learned how to ride public transportation. I learned how to fill out census paperwork. I learned how to order a drink in a bar. I learned what it felt like to be in love. I learned what it felt like to fall out of love. I learned what it felt like to have my heart broken. I learned what it felt like to have my heart burst with joy. I learned not to drink and drive. I learned that my punishment for drinking and driving is much less severe than others'.

I learned how to put aside my own feelings and just be there for a friend. I learned how to stand up for myself. I learned how to live within my means and be (more or less) comfortable doing it. I learned to like onions and tomatoes. I learned to like meatloaf. I learned to be a little more patient. I learned that friendships come and go, and that's ok. I learned that its not about how many friends you have, but about the quality of those friendships. I learned how to get crayon off walls. I DID NOT learn how to get baby spit up out of clothes. I learned that my family is not lame and weird but cool and quirky.

I learned that you can meet the love of your life on vacation. In a bar. When you've had too much to drink.

I learned that I'm worthy of his love and I have a right to demand it. I learned how to clean out a refrigerator but not a microwave. I learned how to pack a Uhaul and move across state lines. 3 times. In two years.

I learned how to put chains on my car. I learned that I should not drive in snow even with four-wheel drive and chains.

I learned that life is hard and sometimes, that's just all there is to it. I learned that amongst the pain and darkness there is always a point of light. I learned that bad things happen for a reason. Even if I have to wait a loooooong time to figure out what that reason is. I learned that there are very few things in my life I would do differently because all those things are links in a chain that brought me to where I am today, and despite everything I complain about, I wouldn't change where I am now for a thousand better decisions in my past.

I learned how to plant a garden. I learned that I am a terrible gardener. I learned to have confidence in not only my appearance but who I am as a person. I learned to like myself.

I learned how to use Facebook, Myspace, Blogger and Google Reader. I learned countless different loan software tools and forgot them all. I learned how to file unemployment. I learned how to ask for help. I learned how to swallow my pride and ask for help. I learned how to use craigslist.

I learned how to give birth. I learned how to mourn the loss of an unborn child. I learned how to swaddle a baby. I learned how to breastfeed. I learned how to prepare a bottle of formula. I learned how to have compassion. I learned how to take a deep breath, or two, and enter a room with a smile. I learned that the world doesn't revolve around me. Not at all. I learned that's ok. I learned how to make Thanksgiving Dinner.

I learned how to parallel park.

I learned what I wanted to do with my life. I learned how to go back to college. I learned that I'm actually smart. I learned that (don't tell my parents) if I apply myself, I can actually be quite successful. I learned that doing a good job, sometimes, is as much for me as it is for my child(ren). I learned that I hated being a loan officer. I learned that I want to be a teacher.

I learned that life is full of ups and downs and that what is happening right now, and who you are right now, is rarely what will be happening and who you will be in the future. I learned that situations are often out of my control, but my reactions to those situations are not. I learned to be a best friend, a wife, a mother.

THis first decade of the 2000's was full of life! I entered as a 20 year old know-it-all and I'm leaving as a 30 year old know nothing. In looking back on the last decade it seems like there couldn't possibly be another decade of greater personal growth and change. While I would have thought of myself as an adult at 20, at 30, I know now that I had so far to go. I wonder if on New Year's Eve 2019, at 40 years old (gulp!) I'll look back at 30 year old me and realize that she knew nothing either.

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2010 bring you all you hope for.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Photo Booth

Our iMac has a program that called Photo Booth that uses the built in camera to take pictures and distort them. I'm not sure what reminded me of it since I've never used it before, but yesterday afternoon Conor and I spent about a half an hour playing with it. I was laughing so hard I was just about in tears. Obviously, I'm easily entertained but seriously? Look at these pictures. We're hilarious! If you have a Mac and haven't explored this silly little program yet, please, go have some fun.

you can see that Morgan and I are FAR more entertained than Conor is

In other news, we got snow yesterday afternoon and evening. I watched the news at Noon and they mentioned that we might get a few snow flurries around town. Um yeah. They were way off base. It began at 2pm and kept up until about 4pm (giving us about an inch or so) when it tapered off. It began again at about 4:15 and dumped (well, Oregon-style dumped) about 4 inches. Needless to say, rush hour traffic was unpleasant. We had dinner plans with friends and it took us over an hour to get there. Normally a 10 minute drive. My car has all wheel drive and Morgan really is an excellent driver in the snow, but to me, it was a harrowing drive.

The snow appears to still be sticking around this morning but hopefully there is some improvment to the roads as I have to drive out to Aloha for my last day of work. Since the whole company will cease operations tomorrow, its really something I can't miss. I am, however, nervous. Last year when we had snow I had a four wheel drive SUV with chains and I STILL managed to spin out and break the chain. Even when other, non-four wheel drive, non-chained cars were doing just fine. Yeah, me and driving in the snow are not so good. So, wish me luck this morning. I just may need it!

Monday, December 28, 2009


I'm nesting like crazy! I spend hours cleaning out closets and drawers and bookshelves and cabinets. Right now, nothing is safe from my desire to clean out the house and prepare for baby's arrival. Yes, I know that is still a good, solid 6 months away and no, I cannot seem to help myself. But man! It feels so good to throw away bags of crap that has been taking up space and drop off loads of unnecessary, unused stuff to Goodwill.

Now, I'm trying to convince Morgan that we need to purge some of our hats. He's not convinced. What do you think?
*obligatory Christmas post coming soon. Just trying to compile all of the pictures.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I hosted playgroup yesterday and got to catch up with some friends I've known since Conor was a little teeny baby butu haven't seen in months. Some I haven't seen in a year or more. Its always so much fun to get together and see how much the babies have grown. Of our group, two of us are onto baby # 2 and a couple more are trying for #2. We'll see who pops first!

Wyatt (taking off because he's not into pictures), Conor, Kellen, Amaiah (also, not happy about sitting for a picture), Ava and Holly

Wyatt, Ava, Conor and Kellen

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cute, cute, cute

Fort building.
Being goofy.
Sharing a bed with Tucker.

Sharing a cookie with Daddy.
Aren't they cute sitting together?

We began a project this weekend.
We took an old door...

Sanded it...

And cut off the bottom.
We're painting it and plan to use it as a headboard.
Will post more pictures as soon as its finished.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's a...

BABY! Of course we don't know the sex yet but, if you believe the old wives tale, we might be having a girl. Yeah, that's all hype though so we're still keeping our options open. However, 170 beats per minutes for this little one when Conor was down in the 150 bpm range does make you wonder. So we'll see. I should be able to have an ultrasound to determine the sex in mid-February so stay tuned!

Otherwise, baby sounds healthy and wonderful.

Heart beat

We have an appointment today to hear the heartbeat. I heard it earlier during an ultrasound but they weren't able to locate it with the doppler two weeks ago at my regular appointment. Normal. It was too early.

Anyway, hoping to hear the little whoosh, whoosh, whoosh this afternoon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I took the weekend off

Setting the scene:

Its a Saturday afternoon. A mother and her son are sharing a dressing room at Target. Son is throwing clothes on the floor. Mother is annoyed but partially relieved that boy is not crawling out under the door, or worse, looking into another dressing room. Suddenly, son looks at mother quizzically...

Son: Mama, you stinky.

Mother: (frantically, because she knows other people in the dressing room can hear) WHAT? What are you talking about you silly baby? Mommy doesn't stink. Mommy took a shower this morning. Remember, you came into the bathroom 12 kajillion times?

Son: (looking at Mother like she's completely crazy) Nope. Mama STINKY! STINKY!

Mother: (resigned) Awesome.


Yeah, you can probably tell this is not the beginning of the world's worst play but what actually happened to me on Saturday afternoon. I came home and told Morgan about it and from what we can think of, we gather that he said that (not actually the first time I"ve taken off my clothes and had him call me stinky, by the way) because every time he has a poopy diaper we pull of his pants and say, "oh Conor, you're stinky". So maybe I was asking for it.

I was telling some girlfriends (also mom's) about this later that evening and we got to sharing these stories about the funny, embarrassing and downright mortifying things kids say. I'm sure every parent has more than a few but I thought I would share a couple with you.

My girlfriend was in her bedroom after just having gotten out of the shower. Her three year old came in, saw her naked and said "ugh! Mom that is DISGUSTING."

Another friend was preparing for Saturday's very party when her seven year old came in, saw her in just her Spanx (no bra, no dress, just the Spanx) and said "uh, Mom, that looks really bad on you".

What is with these kids? Don't they realize that we birthed them? Gave them life and love and, most importantly, toys? Seriously, where is the love?

Friday, December 11, 2009


Sorry folks. Yesterday I was just exhausted. I had finished a brutal final around 11:30 and went to grab pizza with some friends from class.

Foolish, foolish me. There I go again thinking I can eat real food! About five minutes after I finished the pizza my throat began to hurt. While I haven't felt it during this pregnancy, I remember this as the beginning of some super fun heartburn. And right I was. Thank goodness I'm that old lady who carries Tums in her backpack. HA!

Anyway, the heartburn eventually subsided but the indegestion lingered all night long. I spent about an hour on the bathroom floor sometimes parying for vomit, sometimes taking deep, slow breaths to not vomit. I considered having Morgan rush me to the Emergency Room because I was sure I had some catastrophic illness or disease but then I remembered, oh hey! I'm pregnant. Right.

Eventually I was able to eat some saltines and then mashed potatoes and finally, some ice cream. Guess I'm cured.

But I tell you what, I will be so happy when this little munchkin decides to stop tearing up my insides.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dear baby

Please, PLEASE stop with the sickness. For the love of all that is good in this world, STOP.

So many things are different about this pregnancy. One, I'm sick, well not like throwing up sick, but just generally feel like crap all the time. Basically I can eat toast with butter. Anything more than that gives me terrible indigestion and heart burn. The good news, I'm losing weight. The bad news, I'm losing my mind. Frankly, I'm tired of feeling sick. I'm tired of having to be upright all the time because laying down causes bad things to happen in my esophagus. Bleck...just...bleck.

Also, aside from the yucky feeling, I find that I often go "oh yeah, I'm pregnant". Its like I forget and then something reminds me. Very strange since when I was pregnant with Conor it was always on my mind. Maybe that's normal with second pregnancies. Poor second babies. They get the shaft right from the beginning.

I have my last final tomorrow at 10. Its in a class on American Constitutional History. Basically we review Supreme Court cases and their outcomes. I think I have to have 30 cases memorized. I've got 11 down. Yikes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Its so freaking cold here! I got out of bed to make this post (30 in 30, who's stupid idea was that?) and I was going to post something about being tired and leave it at that. Instead, for my out of towners...ITS WAY TOO COLD. AT 4m this afternoon it was 30 degrees and I heard that this morning in Hillsboro it was 13 and in Vancouver it was 14. SInce we're pretty much between those two places, I'm putting us at 13.5.

Again, I say. WAY TOO COLD. At least I've convinced Conor to wear his hood. :)

Good night. This pregnant lady needs her beauty sleep. After all, if I don't sleep, when will the zits have time to surface?

Monday, December 7, 2009

So smart

When we got our Christmas tree yesterday the man who owned the property guessed Conor to be about 3. This is pretty common and is due, mostly, to his incredible size. I've mentioned this before, mainly in passing, but our son is BIG. Huge? Maybe. He's not fat, not at all. He's NEVER had that adorable baby chub that both Morgan and I were hoping for. He was, frankly, a shrimp for the first four months of his life but has steadily climbed the growth charts so he's now well over the 95th percentile for height and holding steady at the 80th percentile in weight. And really, looking at his dear old dad, its no surprise he's so big. Morgan is no shrinking violet.

Another reason people tend to think Conor is older than his not-quite-two-years is because he is so dang smart. His vocabulary is light years beyond his peers. Most 18 month old children are expected to say about 20 words and 50 words by the time they are two. At Conor's 12 month checkup I counted 35 words. Honestly, trying to count all words he knows and says now would be like trying to count all the words I know. Hundreds. I mean, literally he speaks possibly SIX TIMES the amount of words that an average two year old does and he's still three months out from his 2nd birthday.

He knows EVERY SINGLE letter of the alphabet by sight and is getting really close to having all the vowel and consonant sounds down. Yes, he knows 26 letters and can tell you what two thirds of those letters "say". He can count all the way to 20 mostly unassisted but tends to get stuck on "5-teen". I think that is because its so darn cute that we all laugh when he says "5-teen" and then he figures why go on when everyone loves that number so much? Truthfully, I've seen kindergarteners who can't count to 15 and Conor is going past that before he's two.

But, back to the Christmas tree man. He thought Conor was 3 becacuse of how steady he is on his feet. And he is. I mean, he's been walking for just about a year now and has actually spent most of the last 5 months running. And while he loves to run, and jump and throw he does fall, sometimes at a rather alarming rate. This is probably not due to some latent neurological disorder as I sometime fear, but rather to his lack of watching where he is going. So anyway, the Christmas tree guy mentioned that Conor was a really great walker and really steady and just seemed older.

And I totally down played it. I have this AMAZING son and I DOWN PLAYED his accomplishments. What the hell is wrong with me? Morgan called me on it later (in a nice way) and I realized that he's totally right. And I really struggle with this for a number of reasons.

First of all, I HATE those people that talk, talk, talk and brag, brag, brag about their kids. You know, the ones in your office who talk about nothing but how great their kids are and how advanced and blah, blah, blah. Its on par with those people who always talk about how great they are and how they are so accomplished. It annoys me. Actually, it really, really annoys me. And so I don't do it with myself and I don't do it with my son. And while I know how proud I am of him, and while his many accomplishments are one of my greatest personal sources of pride, how will he know that if I don't either tell him or let him hear my praise to other people. Imagine if he was 8 and someone commented on how smart he is or what a great baseball player (or karate or soccer or cheerleader - kidding, Babe) he is and I say something like, "oh, he's not that great". At almost two, its pretty much a non-issue but as he gets older, this would be extremely hurtful to him. I would never do it to hurt him or because I don't actually believe with all my heart that its true, but I would do it so that people wouldn't think I'm "that Mom". The one who thinks her kid is the best, brightest. But wait, I DO think that. Because in my eyes, he IS the best and brightest.

So, that is my Mommy goal. To praise my son in private and in public and to say to hell with those people who think badly of me for thinking highly of my son. I would rather the whole world think of me as "that Mom" and have my son think of me as the best Mom than the other way around.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Failure already?

I knew the weekend would be an issue for this whole posting gig. I'm a creature of habit and weekends go against my normal, weekday routine. And we did stuff yesterday too!

I started the day with my dear friend Niki getting pedicures. Lately it seems that I haven't had much time to myself and I can't tell you how much that hour and a half recharged me. I need to remember to get out and do stuff like that more often. It really does make me a better wife and mother. And my toes look real pretty too!

After nap we went out and cut down our Christmas tree. Morgan normally likes to go up to Mt. Hood and cut one down but we just didn't seem to have time for that this year and opted to go to a lot out in West Linn. It was freaking freezing cold but beautiful and sunny so we got a few picures.

Then it was home to decorate the tree. Of course the lights didn't work and Conor was more inerested in pulling the ornaments off the tree than putting them on, but hey, that's the spirit of Christmas!Expect to see this one on the Christmas cards.
Family Self Portrait

We're kinda fuzzy but look at his cute little faceThe Subaru loaded down as God intended
The finished product. This picture really doesn't do it justice.

Friday, December 4, 2009

You already know this but...

So, there are approximately 4 people who read this blog. And all four of you already know this...but, on the off chance that someone is cyber-stalking me, please see below.

Yes, folks (folk?) that's Walsh Baby # 2. Due early July. We had a dr. appt. yesterday but its still too early to hear the heartbeat with the doppler so I'll go in again in a few weeks. This ultrasound was done about 3 weeks ago though and I heard the little whoosh, whoosh, whoosh then.

Every time we ask Conor if he wants to be a big brother, he responds with a very confident "no". The poor child has no idea how his life will change!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On fashion and faux pas

Did you think I had forgotten you? I normally post my blog in the morning around 6:30 when I first wake up. I really love this time of the morning becuase I get a half an hour all to myself to drink my coffee, check my emails and catch up on important current events like blogs and facebook. And while this time provides me with wonderful alone time to recover from my sleep inertia (actually a technical term that describes the time between when you wake up and when you actually FEEL awake. Some people have much long sleep inertia times than others. You know who you are.) it does not offer a plethora of interesting blog topics. So, I'm now sitting in the library at school (I should be madly preparing for finals next week but preparation is for the WEAK!) and I would like to take a moment to discuss with

Seriously, here at Portland State I'm often not sure if someone is dressed in costume or if this is just how they normally dress. Is that what people thought of me 10 years ago? I'm trying to picture what I used to wear and, while my parents might disagree, I don't think I dressed like an insane 80's era clown. Here are a few sights I've encountered recently at good ol' PSU.

-4 (FOUR) pairs of leggings on 4 (FOUR) different sets of legs in 1 (ONE) day
- a woman's hairstyle where half her head was covered in inch long boy-type hair and the other half was covered in long, flowy, frizzy hair.
-Jeans tighter (on men and women) and legs skinnier than I thought possible outside of a first grade classroom.
-These glasses
-These glasses

Ok, I can't think of anymore now and I"m starting to get funny looks from the people I keep staring at trying to find more incredible fashion mishaps. Are they mishaps though? Is this one of those things where I'm just severely and permanently behind the times?

Apparently my liberal education come at a cost of liberal fashion choices.

And I swore I would never be this person...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 2 - The Good Ol' Days

Look how little!

And now...look how big!

Seriously, this kid will just not LISTEN. I keep telling him "no more growing!" but here we have photographic proof of his defiance. Next thing you know he'll be calling me mother and asking to do my taxes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 1

First of all, lets take a moment to adddress the fact that its already December 1st. Every year goes so quickly and it hardly seems possible that the next year could go any faster, but they always do.

So I took this great video of Conor in the bath last night picking out letters and telling me their sounds and he was so cute and so smart and, as luck would have it, being neither smart nor cute myself, I can't figure out how to get the video off my camera and on to my computer so i can upload it here. I TOLD you these posts would probably not be the most stimulating posts ever. But still...

I spent yesterday at New Urban High School out in Milwaukie. As part of my big Senior Capstone project I had to design a lesson plan and teach it, with three other team members, to language arts students for 5 periods. It was quite an experience. First of all, teaching is hard especially when you have to say, literally, the same thing over and over and over again. Second, no matter how revolutionary you think your lesson plan is, chances are a good 75% of the students will still look at you with the blank stare that is only achieved by high school students or stoners. In my first experience at teaching, I'm beginning to doubt my choice of vocations. This cannot be a good sign.

This is the last week in the term before finals next week. Keep your fingers crossed that I can get myself together enough to make it though. This term has been a giant energy drain and my goal of straight A's is looking more and more unrealistic.

Happy Day 1 everyone!