Saturday, November 30, 2013

William At The Sink

Hey, all!

Today's the last day of the month, and indeed this month I have clocked hardly nil in terms of posts.
Oh, well!

How was everybody's Thanksgiving?
Ours was swell, but I will have to go into that another day, as today I want to share with you something that has been a part of our daily routine:

This is how William wraps up his tooth-brushing sessions, and it really is pretty cute/risky/over-the-top, so I thought I'd capture it on video. Because he will not be doing this for that much longer as he gets bigger and bigger. :)

I never thought of this as something I should be thankful for, but I'm happy that so far both kiddos enjoy brushing their teeth and don't need to be persuaded or anything.
They even prefer our baking soda over conventional "children's" toothpaste. Phew~!
I hope that keeps up and that they have good dental health and maybe even inherit their father's straight teeth (not their mother's!!)

Well, until next time take care all and talk to you soon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Siblings

Hey, all!

Man, this month is going to go down as the month where I strayed from my New Year's Resolution big-time.
I bet I won't even hit double-digit posts -- gah!

Oh, well~
Let's just write off this month as "the month where my arm was just not up to snuff, so I had to take it easy" ;) Heh

Well, I was still able to do something a little nice over the weekend and I'd like to share it with you here.

Firstly, Saturday was mellow and plans-free so I did a little aimless wandering around the high school with the kiddos. We hit up a favorite spot: the duck creek

We fed old zucchini bread to the ducks -- they loved it!!
Ella Rose really is something of a "duck whisperer" and when she sits and sings, no joke, the ducks all flock to her. And she is such a good big sister to William while by the water -- making sure that he can feed the ducks too and that he doesn't get too close to the edge. This outing in particular was such an example of these two siblings at their best. I am generally very thankful that Ella Rose embraces her "Big Sister" role so well and, for the most part, doesn't see William as an annoyance she wants to get away from.
They both climbed to the top of the dirt pile in the parking lot.
 As the weather gets colder, I am definitely looking forward to snuggly inside time, but also want to make an effort to get outside. And I don't just mean neighborhood-outside -- I mean out in nature. For being one who values nature so much, I am embarrassed to admit that I don't find myself in it very much. But so long as I have all the right gear to keep us warm and dry, I don't see why we can't go out on a nature walk even in the most miserable weather! So that is my goal for this winter, and probably one you will see on my New Year's Resolution list too :)

I should also mention that on Sunday Dash and I enjoyed a lovely evening date to the theater where we watched a local production of The Sound Of Music!!!!!
One of our favorite films for sure, and one that I watched virtually every day when freshly pregnant with William - ha! :D
The cast was spot-on and the audience was even invited to sing along a couple of times, just like in the movie!!
So that was a good thing for us~

Well, I am making some yogurt and need to go tend to it now.

Until next time, take care and Happy Siblings!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Doin' Great!

Hey all,

Man I have not been updating my blog in a while!
As I mentioned in the last post, the state of my arm has something to do with it.
Granted, I can type without a problem on the computer, but in my outside life I have been opting to lay real low and therefore have not been up to anything that felt worthy of mention on the blog. Heh!

But then again, I've been having a great past couple of days and today was just the icing on the cake, so I thought I'd blog about it. So here goes:

Firstly, Saturday was just a lovely turn of events when we went over to S.G. and family's for a night of mega tamale making and eating! We split the ingredients needed, and the manual labor, and ended up making over 100 tamales, which we brought a good portion home of. Yum!! We have been eating them for lunch and snacks daily and I just cannot get sick of them! S.G.'s generous contribution of amazing mole sauce might have something do with that ;)

And now this week is starting off just awesome!
The kids hung at a friend's house most of the morning on Monday, and then today we started a child-swapping set-up with the fabulous S.G. yet again!
William will be going to her house once a week from 8:30 or so until 2pm. And we'll take her little girl another day of the week, same times. Yay!!
I can't imagine a better home for him to be in to give mama some time away and to learn to be with another little kid his age and just learn how different folks do different things in their households. In just this one day alone, it seems his communication skills are up! So I have only the highest hopes for this new set-up. :)

Speaking of William, he's also been absolutely stellar with his pottying. He's only wet one diaper a day, and today was zero I do believe. The includes night time -- he's been waking up dry consistently since Saturday. Huzzah!! :)

Today also rawked because I finally got on filling out and sending in my application for new health insurance for the family and it is looking promising in terms of covering our family's needs at an affordable price. Phew!! It helps that we are all super healthy and rarely/never go to the doctor. I will do what I can to keep that up too!

Lastly, I felt very productive both inside the house and outside, as I had some more outside work today with tutoring lessons and whatnot. It's amazing that for having a "bum arm" from the accident, I can still engage in many activities, and the only really challenging one is taking care of William because he requires so much lifting and he's so heavy! Oof!

Well, that is all for today.
I feel happy, hopeful, accomplished, grateful, and overall jazzed about this week and the ones coming.

I hope you are all feeling just as happy and let us all be thankful for all the good in our lives!

Until next time, take care and Happy Doin' Great!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sister Vacation

Hey everyone!

Wow! I have been away from a whole week~!
And I don't just mean from the blog.
I was away from the rest of the family to visit my twin sis, Kathy, down in the Bay Area for seven days!!
What a treat it was!

Truth be told, the initial reason for the trip was to wean William, but it really was so much more than that.
It was a packed week, so I'd like to go over the details of each day just to help me remember the most glorious and indulgent week I've had in a long time. :)
Here goes:

Still grounded in Corvallis, I spent the majority of the day making soap with a lady friend, which was awesome!! I was supposed to leave for OAK via EUG at an early 1pm, but Allegiant Airlines can be unreliable and Sunday proved to be quite an example of that. Granted, itt worked out on account of how long making soap can take, but after a myriad of delays, I finally touched down in OAK at 11pm (!!) So our first day together was not really much of anything. Nah, I take that back. The car ride to her house was full of great conversations about art and whatnot, and even at home we shared many a giggle over imgur and funny things we've seen online. Aah, the simple pleasures~ The week was off to a great start.

Whenever we visit one another's homes, we tend to help each other with around-the-house chores and errands that have been put off, so that was the first thing we did. We installed a light that had been sitting around in her home for two years and donated a couple of bags' worth of clutter. That brought us to Goodwill, where we shopped around for some costumes for Kathy's job (see below), and then spent the rest of the afternoon watching Portlandia~ Oooh, such laziness! Then that evening I got to accompany Kathy to one of her costumed modeling gigs which was very cool! So many talented artists, and I got to help her keep time. Yay!

Such a beauty~ Her costume was like an elegant salsa dancer. Lovely!!

This was the day for the city (San Francisco)!
We hit up the city together on Kathy's motorcycle! First, we stopped by the University of San Francisco to stroll around with my good friend from college and bridesmaid, Shannon. It was great to catch up, and I appreciate how no matter how long we may be out of touch for, we can pick up right where we left off when we see each other again. I appreciate Shannon a lot and love all the time I spend with her.
After seeing Shannon, we cycled on down to Japantown where I picked up some materials for the kiddos, and generally reminisced about all things Japanese. Aaaah, love it.
But!! Upon returning to Kathy's motorcycle, we discovered that somebody had stolen the protective gear I'd been wearing right off her bike!! Grr!! >_< A leather jacket and riding pants. Not cheap, and not cool!! In Japantown, in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday?? Come on! But at least we both had our helmets still, phew! And Kathy handled it cool, called the police, etc etc, and then we were on our way to our next stop...
The Viz office to see Hope, Alexis, Fawn, and other friends :) They are at a new building now, and it was great to be in that kind of manga-drenched environment again after so long. I'm so happy they all seem to truly enjoy their jobs.
After that, we rode to Hope & Shannon's pad, where we browsed photos, drank wine, dined and snacked, guffawed, drooled over doujinshi, and overall had a great time. Man, it was great seeing them in their natural habitat (heh) and just sort of marveling at the very different way they lead their lives compared to what I've been doing up in Oregon. No children with immediate needs to be met, or even husbands to have to be considerate of. Just good old young-in-the-city fun. Le sigh~~ :)

So we totally crashed out at their pad, which was so nice of them to accommodate seeing as how they both had to go to work early in the morning! Kathy and I cycled on home, ate some breakfast, and then did some little tasks we'd been meaning to do. Kathy worked on steno, and I mailed off preschool photos of Ella. Heeee :)
We then took a long walk to the library, then sushi for dinner, then "The Cabin in the Woods" in her living room. All in all, a lovely day where I had Kathy all to myself. Yay!

Here's where things took an unexpected turn.
Kathy wanted to go to at least one class while I was still there, to show me what it's like, so we took bicycles to her campus. But they were not typical bikes, but rather the types that have clip-in pedals that require special shoes and whatnot... So I was very unfamiliar with them, and after 20 minutes of riding, when I decided to stop and adjust my helmet, I forgot I was clipped in and fell off my bike! It was onto hard pavement, and I fractured the radial head in my elbow!! ;_; I actually didn't cry, but I was definitely bummed and incapable of doing much beyond walking. No knitting! No typing! No eating with two hands!! We went to the E.R. but besides getting a sling to rest my arm in, there was nothing they or anybody could do, since only time can take care of such things. By the time we got home from this whole morning debacle, it was 2pm so I napped and stayed on the sofa for the remainder of the afternoon until Martin got home, and we went out to a restaurant. In an act of solidarity, Kathy and Martin ate their meals one-handed, which was very sweet of them. {: )

Can you see that little shard of bone sticking out there? Yeah, ouch.

Martin had taken the day off with plans to take us all hiking, but with yesterday's surprise fracture, it turned out to be a very relaxed day, with Kathy translating, me websurfing on the sofa, and Martin chopping wood outside. Wow, I really inundated myself with internet mindlessness as I caught up on old webcomics, read some fanfiction, and hyucked it up on imgur some more. Again I was sweetly treated out to sushi, and then The Walking Dead at home. I had watched the first episode of that long ago and was thoroughly spooked, but either I have a thicker skin or the show is tamer than I remembered, but I was able to watch an episode without feeling as shaken as I had before. So that was good.

More lazing around. Only my arm's mobility was that much more improved that I felt up for another long walk with Kathy before I accompanied her to another modeling session where I managed to knit the entire time!! Go, human body, right?? Interestingly enough, the doctor who saw me at the hospital said that rather than immobilize the fractured bone, they want mobility to keep the muscles from tightening and getting sore/weak. So it's a delicate balance between using my arm but not to the point that I (re)injure it. Go figure! I think knitting is a good exercise for it then, because I'm using the muscle but not doing anything too crazy.
The evening brought a lovely treat of pizza delivery + a casual interview with a ethnographer friend about video games. It was fun getting to talk to somebody who is completely outside the world of video games and share my perspective on it as an extremely casual/backseat gamer. Heh heh!

My flight left at 9am, so we had to wake up early at 6am. Ouch.
But the plane was on-time, there were no hiccups, and I got home safe and sound.
The moment I got in the car and turned around to see William, he said "Hi." and I started crying. He looked like he'd suddenly grown so much and I guess I was overcome with a lot of love and all the "missing" I'd had for the family at a subconscious level suddenly came bubbling up.

Getting to visit Kathy in the world of childfree/metropolitan/warm weather was really a world so unlike my own, it gave me an incredible breath of fresh air. Sleeping in? Zoning out in front of the TV? Sushi dinners? It was great!
I've been a little emotional today, but I think it was a mixture of poor sleep, feeling debilitated because of my arm (can't even hold the little ones!), and almost like culture shock being reintroduced into the old norms from my weeklong fantasy away~

I am sure it will get better in no time, especially seeing as how quickly my arm is healing. I mean look at this, I just typed this entire essay-long entry! So who knows what I'll be able to do by tomorrow even! Besides the limited mobility, there's not much else wrong with my arm so I'll be able to go to some of my own modeling session too. Woot!

Anyway, thanks for reading the entire journal entry about this week in San Jose with my sis.
Do you ever go on trips away like this? They are so good for the heart and soul. Especially when in as great company as family aka sisters. :)

I will talk to you again soon until then take care and Happy Sister Vacations!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Belated Halloween Post!

Heya heya, everybody!

Wow, it's already November 3rd, and I haven't written since before that most "hallowed" of holidays (ha).
How was everybody's Halloween this year?
Good, I hope!
I must say, ours was a lot more mellow this year. It was a drizzly day, William napped late (and me with him!) and we weren't able to get our act together as a family this year because of a moody baby and computer-bound Dash.

Last year, we all went as Totoros, which was awesome!!
Dash and I were 大トトロ, Ella was a 中トトロ, and little William was a ちびトトロ.
I made the outfits using thrift shop finds with a little bit of sewing, and we were all nice and comfy warm in the wet NW October weather.
We went downtown for treats from local businesses, and did enough trick-or-treating in Albany that we amassed quite a stash of candy that has somehow survived to this day. @_@

Anyway, so that was last year.
This year, the Dashiells planned on going as the cast to another Ghibli film: Kiki's Delivery Service!
I've mentioned this delightful children's movie before regarding Ella's 2nd birthday, and indeed it is dear to all our hearts. :)

The cast was follows:

Ella = Kiki
William = Ket/Jiji's girlfriend
Chrissy = Ursula
Dash = Tombo

Ella Rose is such a natural Kiki!
Just check it out:

Kiki's a friendly witch who makes deliveries on her broom!

I love that smile of hers :)
Unfortunately, I have zippo snapshots of her with her broom, but I assure you it was the perfect prop for her. Love the Jiji plushie too, eh?
Her whole outfit cost $0 in that she already had the broom from Goodwill some years ago, her bow was a ribbon saved from a gift, Jiji was a present to us, and her dress was from a clothing swap. Score!! :)

Here is William's "character":

Oh, my god! First animated gif on my blog ever!!!!
That's right, he played a fluffy female cat -- the "love interest" of Jiji. 
He was feeling less moody by now
His costume was just a lamb costume with "cat" face paint on.  Ha!
The lamb costume was also a clothing swap score and the "face paint" was just eyeliner somebody had given me. Cheapest costumes everrrrr!! Gosh, he didn't even have ears, so people would see the little tail and say "what a cute lamb!" but then see his face and go "...wait, he's a cat~?" So he gets an A+ for ambiguity ;)

My character, Ursula, his plain as plain can be so I don't think many people thought I was dressed up at all.
Check it:

Two animated gifs in one post! What??
Ursula's an artist that Kiki meets, so that it was pretty fitting of me to be her for Halloween.
Plus, I've got the ponytail hair and her outfit in my closet already - ha!!
To make some attempt at looking dressed up, I stuck a couple paintbrushes in my ponytail. Besides that, I just looked like somebody poorly dressed for the weather.

All in all, it was fun pretending to be the characters and throwing quotes around to one another...but exactly 0 people recognized who we were, or even knew the movie. HA!!

Oh, and here is who Dash was supposed to be:

Tombo is a geeky aviation aficcionado, and a good friend to Kiki
I swear Dash is such a natural Tombo!
The glasses, short hair, goofy smile, and even the outfit is something he could've pulled outta his closet!
Alas, not this year...

Hopefully, next year we'll be able to all go as a family and this time be something that people can recognize~
And, most important of all, something warm!!!!

Well, with that I bid you adieu.
Hope you all are looking forward to November -- I know I am!! -- and until next time take care and Happy Belated Halloween Posts!!

One last crescent-moon-eyed Ella photo for you ;)