Friday, January 29, 2016

Back to the races! (15 1/2 months)

It's crazy how much "re-settling" and "catching up" and grocery shopping you have to do when you get home after being gone for a month! It was a lot of fun to spend Christmas break in Utah!

Lincoln and daddy working on Lincoln's bike

Lincoln checking himself out in the mirror at his 15 month well-child check, and Lincoln enjoying the new back rug we got

Lincoln insisted he lick the lid of the tamale sauce. 

Things about Lincoln:

He's still a big boy! At 15 months he weighed 26 lbs 5 oz (91st %tile) and was 32.5 inches tall (84th %tile).

Whenever I get a plate out of the microwave, he blows it off from all the way across the kitchen.
This is how Lincoln eats cheese- double fisting it. 

He learned how to blow kisses, and he thinks it's HILARIOUS.

He is obsessed with the measuring cup drawer and the hand towel drawer in the kitchen. I regularly find measuring cups hidden in strange places throughout the house, and he loves emptying the towel drawer daily.

One of his most favorite foods of all time is homemade sweet potato fries (roasted in the oven). He can eat as many as I can it seems.

All boy... mud all over his grandpa sweat pants, waddle-stomping toward me. (This is our back "patio.")
He likes playing around other kids but is still figuring out what in the world it means to play with them.

Once in a while we go over at eat at one of the dining halls on campus. It's an amazing buffet of healthy and yummy food, and kids eat free until they're like 10 or 12. Anyway, It's fun. So we go over there. Lincoln eats SUPER well there and is obsessed with their chocolate milk. 
He always fakes a sneeze or two after he's done with his real sneezes. He also likes to pretend cough.

Lincoln is obsessed with the library and library books. When we get his books home, we store them on the bookshelf in a bright red, reusable cloth grocery bag. He knows right where they are and can pull them down to read. I have to choose wisely what books I check out for him (while I have the last say) because I know that whatever books we get I'll be reading at least 5 times each, every day. (When we hadn't gone to the library yet post-vacation, Lincoln would pull down the red bag off the shelf and stare inside waiting for books to appear... somehow he knew we were tricking him when we just stuck his books in there.)

Lincoln trying to fit in with the college kids at the dining hall. 
One of his favorite words sounds something like "Dow-ma". I think it usually means "that one" or something like that, but he uses it all the time when he's requesting something or trying to draw our attention to something. It's kind of funny-- sometimes it really just sounds like he's swearing at us. :)

When he wants something, he'll grab out fingers and take our finger to the thing he wants... like if he wants a bottle opened, he'll grab our finger and tap the bottle lid. If he wants to know what letters are or what words say, he grabs our finger and uses it to touch the letters/words one at a time as we say what they are.

He loves letters. He can recognize and say A, B, D, F, G, M(sometimes), P, S, T, Y, and Z(sometimes). He can recognize (like find in a pile of letters when we say "where's the __") for probably 5 or 6 others, but unreliably.

Lincoln crashing on the way home from church. You probably can't see it but he has quite the drool stream going here. 

He wants to know what words say. When we're eating something he wants to have the bottle/jar/package on his tray, and he grabs our finger and points at the words one at a time to know what they say.

Lincoln and daddy tested out the new bike trailer and went to the orange-colored lemon tree to pick some lemons for us to cook with. Lincoln was thrilled. His heaven has bike trailers, libraries, and citrus. 

He started walking around without help while we were in Utah, and walks all around our house really well. He's still pretty nervous to do it other places. We're getting better at church but outside is still hard because the ground is uneven or has stuff like pine cones on it.

He likes singing. He walks around the house making little humming squeaks on different notes, singing his songs. Whenever he plays his little baby Mozart radio or other toys that make music, he tries to copy the last few notes after the songs end.

Lincoln really likes to try to use my weights... so I give him a 2 lb weight and he likes to tote it around for a minute or two.  
He likes to "read" my books. If I have a book sitting on the couch, he'll come over, position it just ride, and then meticulously fan through the pages, all the time saying "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" with a serious face. When the pages run out and the book closes, he stops saying it. Then when he starts fanning through them again, he starts up again. I've been reading some Agatha Christie, and I have this big book of 5 Hercule Poirot books. Lincoln loves to read that one, probably because it's so big. (As convenient as my kindle is, there is a huge plug for paper books.)

This kid can make messes faster than I can even believe. I'm not sure how he does it. I think he's entropy personified.

If we ask, "Lincoln, are you happy?" He always (unless he's mid-tantrum) smiles and claps his hands (as in, "if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!")

Our favorite word Lincoln says is "DGOOMBA". No idea what it means.

He is king of throwing tantrums already.

He likes to yell. We checked out a library book called "Little dinos don't yell" lol. My favorite page is "Don't scream at your mom!" I particularly emphasize that one.

Lincoln likes to put things on his head to turn them into hats... diapers, hot pads, ring toys...

Diaper hat. 

His favorite drawer and a hot pad hat!
He figured out how to go down the slide at the playground by himself... he crawls up the stairs (finally doesn't demand our hands!) and goes down the slide face first.

He's in the middle of the surprisingly difficult transition to only one nap. When he stopped doing either of his naps very well last week, I decided to try to force the issue and make him transition. Day 1 went well because we had Joy School to keep him awake until after lunch. Yesterday was a fail and both naps were terrible. Let's see how today goes.

He loves to carry my pyrex measuring cups all over the house. He grips the heavy things in each hand (like, he carries two around at a time), waddles as far as he can, sets them down on the nearest chair, repositions, and then goes again.

Lincoln scribbled all over the wall for the first time, twice in one day. We give him a baby wipe and make him help us scrub it off. He enjoys wiping the wall actually (he loves wiping things with wipes), so I don't know how effectively it's teaching him not to color on the wall... hmmm...
When Lincoln and I go for a walk or run, Lincoln waves and says hi to each passerby on foot, on bikes, or in cars. It's adorable.

Besides a 12 month onesie that really stretched out or something, the smallest clothes Lincoln wears are 18 months. His pajamas are 24 months, and most of his shirts are at least 2T. He can squish in a shoe-size 5, but is nearly a 6.

Another one of his favorite toys are the popsicle molds... whether or not they have a popsicle in them.

Lincoln and I have been having dance parties to this song lately. Lincoln loves it.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

And he's ONE!

I could say something like, "wow I don't know where time went!" But, it was a long, busy, hard year, and we felt every day of it! It has most definitely been a year. :)

And we have a one-year old little boy on our hands!

(He turned 1 almost 2 weeks ago.)

Spinning on the chair at the doctor's office


Head circumference: 47.8 cm - (91st %tile)
Height: 31 inches - (88th %tile)
Weight: 25 pounds - (93rd %tile)

Hair length: growing at the speed of light. He got a haircut about 6 weeks ago and it's almost in his eyes again.

He has two little teeth (bottom front) finally! They came in a few weeks before his first birthday. He's working on the top two, but they, like the first two, are proving to be slow.

His 12 month clothes are really just in is drawer still because I'm not organized enough to know where I am going to pack them away yet. Typically he's in size 18 month and up. He wears a lot of t shirts and shorts these days, and most of them are about 18 month and 2T.

He loves lounging while he "drives".
(Our apartment is that half-open sliding screen door on the very right, and the building that extends up and to the right of that.)

Tired days-- I think we sent this picture to Bryan mid-day. (You may see a theme with my hair: humidity-induced frizz no matter if it's straight or curly lol.)

Tired boy watching a show while I do something or other right before his nap.

Lincoln's favorite things:

- Being outside. It's nice to have a playground for a backyard.

- Swinging

- Playing with (and trying to eat) leaves, grass, twigs, and sand

- Airplanes!

- Riding plastic playground vehicles

- Playing with other kids

- Veggie straws (like chips but hopefully healthier), graham crackers, and really any food

Daddy decorated Lincoln with straws.
- Games: peekaboo, "where's momma's nose!...",

- Biting everything.

- Repeating everything we say. (e.g., Me: "Let's go upstairs!" Lincoln: "Up-tah!")

- READING. I think if we went outside and read all day he'd be one happy kid. He loves to have us read to him, to sit and read himself books on his own, to flip through my chapter books, etc.

- Chasing us (with help from the other parent of course because he will only do it while running as fast as his feet can carry him).

- Coloring and drawing

- Watching and listening intently as we count to 5, and cheering and clapping when we get there.

- Clapping

- Singing. He likes to listen to us sing. He LOVES to be the one singing. He sings whenever we sing, whenever we open the music books at church, etc.

- Playing the piano. He does not like when our hands get in his way. He likes to play along to the percussion on our keyboard. He also turns the pages to the music intermittently as he plays. Funny kid.

- Shows: Sesame Street, Arthur, Wild Kratts, ABC's and Such

- Dancing

- Playing with and trying to eat anything that's off limits (cords, remotes, napkins, paper...)

- Animals: His favorite in person are dogs. His favorite in books are T-Rex's and Elephants. He makes the sounds for all three. :)

- Walking, walking, walking. He can't quite do it by himself yet, but it's more because he gets scared of letting go than anything. If we trick him and he doesn't realize it right away, he does quite well staying up and moving.

- People: he loves playing with other kids especially

- Taking baths and showers and SPLASHING.

- Letters: He loves playing with his magnet letters, copying the sounds of letters, singing the ABC's while we touch each letter, pointing at letters on our shirts one by one to get us to tell him what they are, and saying "A" whenever he sees one. He seems to know that one already.

- Laughing and doing things he knows will make us laugh

- Seeing pictures and watching videos of himself. (He gets laughing SO HARD at videos of himself.)

- Deconstructing my block towers one block at a time

- Skyping with family

- Opening presents

- Pointing at pictures of Jesus and saying "Juh!" (Kind of sounds like "Chuh".)

- Whisks.

- Making really loud, excited noises. He has 2 volumes... loud, and asleep.

...because it's easier to drag these giant blocks around than walk on your own.... hm... (Playing in a toy room in the graduate student center.)

Happy birthday!

A great birthday present-- I can get about 5 minutes worth of stuff done! "A" is his favorite letter. He always finds it.

Trying to wear my "onion-cutting lab goggles".


He can crawl but doesn't do it much. He prefers to walk.

He loves walking around holding on to our hands, furniture, etc. If we distract him and sneakily remove our hands he can stand for a little bit or even take a few steps on his own. As soon as he realizes our hands are gone he freaks out, stops walking, and reaches back to grab ahold of our legs or hands like he's going to fall off a cliff if he doesn't.

This little sick boy wouldn't sleep very well (he was stuffed up) so I said "bag it" and he and I drove across California to get fish sauce and jasmine rice at the Asian market. Lincoln wore his pajamas. :) 

He would like to be outside 100% of the time.


He says everything... "bed", "bath", "dog", "hi", "high chair", "Jesus", "book", "ball", "dad", "mom", "lamp", "straw"... and the list goes on... it's awesome. He speaks to us in full sentences, we just don't know what he's saying lots of the time. :) He'll say very-complex sounding sentences complete with voice inflections and pauses, and then stop and look at us like "don't you understand?" It's hilarious.

He is also really good at understanding what we are saying. He understands and follows directions from us that I really don't expect him to understand yet! It's impressive.

Escondido Village gave every family a free pumpkin today, so we went over to the field to get our pumpkin! Unfortunately it was right when Lincoln should have been taking a nap. Fortunately he thought it was a giant field of things to kick so he methodically walked up to one pumpkin at a time, kicked it (in some cases rolling it a bit), walked over it, and went on to the next pumpkin.

"Lincoln, where is the stem?" "Stah [touches the stem]." 

Picking up the pumpkin. Silly (strong!) kid. 

We love Lincoln! He keeps us on our toes, that's for sure. :) Happy birthday Lincoln!

Friday, September 25, 2015


Picking up your life, moving, and starting a new adventure is just that: an adventure. But, it takes some adjustment. The more drastic the change, the more adjusting necessary (obviously).

There's been a lot of conversation lately about representing ourselves more authentically on social media. We tend to post the happy, pretty, exciting parts of our lives and leave out the messy, unresolved struggles. I mean, it makes sense... it's a lot more fun to post a pretty picture of our new home than it is to post something about how I'm really struggling knowing what to do with myself without my crazy life in Provo. So, here's that post. :)

Our transitions:


Bryan is going from working as a researcher and being a student to, well, working as a researcher and being a student on perhaps a slightly larger stage with a bit more at stake. Poor guy didn't get any break after grad school, but he's good at what he does and so far he seems to be adjusting well. He's working hard to try to figure out new routines and norms based on his classes, labs, and their expectations.


I think Lincoln is adjusting remarkably well. While we can tell he misses his family in Utah, he is sleeping through the night more regularly than he EVER did in Provo (praises go to having his own room finally), having lots of fun playing outside, loving to be social with all the new kids, and loving to have lots of space to run (whilst holding onto our fingers of course).

The little guy doesn't know what hit him sometimes, but I think that has more to do with teething + wishing he could take off and run, than it have to do with the move. For the last little while in Provo, we were living in chaos; the sea of boxes and messes that comes with preparing to move really cramped his style. I think he's loving life for the most part. He's a strong-willed, really needy, happy child.


Things have been a bit harder for me.

I think I started preschool when I was like 3... and from that day on I've been a student. From first grade on I've been a full-time student. From 16 on I've also been employed while being a full-time student. All through my undergrad degree I only took summer break from about the third week of June to the end of August. In grad school I didn't get summer breaks. The summer between my under grad and grad school I had a longer break from school, but worked 3 jobs.

So, finishing school only a few months ago and ending my employment just one month ago, preparing to move, and then coming here without any of that feels like I've quit a really strong drug, cold turkey. So much of who I am has always been defined by my work, my school and my busy routines and known expectations. To have almost none of that in my day-to-day comings and goings has been a really difficult transition.

I loved what I did. I loved being a student, I loved teaching math, I loved researching, I loved the cognitive challenge of what I did each day, I loved the busyness, I loved the regularity of it all... I really loved this "strong drug" I just left behind a few weeks ago...

I'm having to completely create a new routine and figure out who I am now without all that in my day-to-day life. I don't think I've had to do this ever... I've always just slightly altered my routine to fit the new school year, the new semester, the new job, etc. But for the first time I'm having to completely create a routine from scratch. While it seems like it could hold a lot of really great opportunity, it's also incredibly daunting.

From small tasks like going grocery shopping to larger tasks like taking care of Lincoln or deciding what to do or not do about employment, nothing is totally established for me right now. I have no idea what grocery store(s) I'm going to use. I have no idea where things are when I go there or how much they're going to cost.

Even little things can exacerbate my frustration. For example, this area has this crazy "recycle everything" policy... literally I have to sort my garbage into 5 different dumpsters outside... which means I even have to create a whole new routine for what I do with my garbage inside! There have been moments when I've been shocked how frustrating it is to hold a piece of garbage in your hand and not know what to do with it without consulting the giant spreadsheet I taped to my fridge.

I wish I could say that I was completely satisfied with being Lincoln's mom and a homemaker at home all day; being a mom really is some of the most worthwhile work that there is. But, that doesn't mean that it's an easy thing for me to drop so much of what I've been doing for the past 25 years to stay home with a teething child all day... you know?

Needless to say, the transition has been extremely difficult for me. That's not to say it's a bad thing; I'm happy we chose Stanford, I'm really pleased with where we live, and I think we're going to have a pretty awesome 5-6 years here... but being in my head all day trying to figure this out is a little tricky sometimes.

So, how am I making the transition? I'm trying really hard to get our home in order to reduce the anxiety that I get from chaos and messes and stubbing my toes on boxes. I'm working on learning what our new normal looks like so I can get into a routine that fits it. I'm trying to get to the gym more often (those endorphins and the natural high that follows do wonders). I'm trying to do things that I enjoy like reading, playing the piano, cooking... though the cooking thing is sort of dependent upon the afore mentioned grocery I'm sure as soon as this crazy heat wave goes away we'll enjoy spending more time outside. I'm trying to spend a lot of time in prayer and reading the scriptures so that I can have the Spirit's support and guidance in all this.

It's definitely a process... I don't think it's one that I'm going to solve overnight. I think it's going to take a lot of stretching and learning and growing. It'll be good for me.

If I weren't fairly set on someday living somewhere where I spend slightly less on slightly more space (ha ha), I may have vowed to never move ever again. :) I don't like moving (it was stressful). I don't like making a new routine. But, we're making it work. It'll all be fine, though it might be a bit interesting at times.

In other news, my dishwasher arrived today... so not having to hand wash every single thing I ever use to eat or cook is going to be a lovely addition to our routine. Hallelujah for dishwashers. :)

Click on the pictures for their sources.