Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Magnolia vs. Kent, Dance-off.

A couple vids from Leavenworth, courtesy of James Moes.

Dance off!

Kent vs. Magnolia : Dance Off! from James Moes on Vimeo.

And a bit of Lobster flirting from Kent and Tianna:

Kent + Tianna In Love from James Moes on Vimeo.

Monday, March 23, 2009

1 Year Stats

We finally got in for our 1 year check up:
  • 22 pounds, 6 oz -- 75th percentile
  • 31 3/4" -- off the chart!
  • All four 1-year molars, bringing Magnolia's total to 12 teeth!
  • She mastered all the development checkpoints on the appointment questionaire except throwing and rolling a ball, unless you count rolling our giant exercise ball, which she terrorizes the dogs with.

Words: Mama, Papa, Mona, Milk, Magnet, Bottle, Bagel, Up, Uh-oh, ooOOOoooh!

Signs: Eat, More, All done, Help, Up, Down, Drink, Change

Favorite Books: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?; 5 Silly Monkeys; My Little Word Book

Pretending: especially talking on the phone.

*We hope this doesn't come across as trying to brag or compare kids in a competitive way. We really don't care whose kid is _____er. This blog is as much a scrapbook for us as it is a way to share with friends and family.

The Stache

Shannon had a dream last night (which is always a good thing).

I don't know all the details, but in it--get this--my mustache had super-powers!!  Her memory is a little foggy on everything my facial adornment was able to do, but she assures me I was definitely picking locks with it!  Yusss.

This is perfect timing.  Our poll on who has the better handlebar mustache is a dead heat (9-9 at the time of writing) with only 5 days left to vote.  But this discovery is bound to push me over the top.  My mustache has super-powers!


In other mustache news

  • After nearly two months of mustachery, on Saturday night, 'lil Stachey received his first unequivocal compliment from a female, who was both sober and sane thankyouverymuch. Thanks Danae!
  • Compliments from males come daily.  Also on Saturday night, in a bar, the dude sitting at the table next to me leans over and says, "I apologize in advance if you catch me staring at your mustache.  That is truly a thing of magnificence."  I'm not telling you all this to toot my own horn (believe me, the sleaziness of it is not lost on me) but I can't go out without being bombarded with comments like this from dudes and looks of minor disgust from the ladies.

What is it about a mustache that so polarizes men and women?


Some names I have been called 

Ron Burgundy

Jeff Foxworthy (by middle school boys on the school bus)

Or my favorite: A little girl, maybe 6 years old, steps onto my school bus, looks at me, pauses, and says, "You look like a thief."  Ha!


Some things to ponder in the comments

What would my super hero name be? I suggested The 'Stache in the title.  But I also like Mustache Man and the more discreet Hairy Locksmith. Should the mustache itself have a name too?? Who's my nemesis?

You can also tell me if you're completely sick of me talking about my facial hair.  I can't help it.  Beards and their cousins are way too fun.  Maybe I should start a separate blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dressing Herself

Magnolia has started to help dress herself; not just push her arm through, but actually put her arm in on her own. With that has also come a preference for certain clothing items. Today, she just had to wear this hat almost all day.


Recently, I have been surprised by how much Magnolia understands and acts on what I say. So I've been testing it out.

Coming up the stairs, I told Magnolia that we were going Bye-Bye and to go ask her Papa to put on her shoes. When we reached the living room at the top of the stairs, she bee lined to her Papa's studio saying "Papa, Papa, Papa." When she arrived and had his attention, she proceeded to bend at the waist and touch her toes, and then look at him with an expectant look.

"Shan, what did you tell her to tell me?"

I've tried it out with asking her to put Mona to bed, sit in her chair and talk to Auntie Alli on the phone. It works! Usually. It *almost* feels like a new trick. Though, not yet as cool as this one. Really it is just exciting to be able to take our communication to the next level. 

A Chair and a Box

Grandma and Grandpa Rush gave Magnolia her very own chair for her birthday. She loves it!

But what they didn't know was that it came with a bonus gift...a giant box, which is even more fun when there is a Mama inside!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Winter Getaway '09: Leavenworth

The necessary ingredients for a fabulous trip to Leavenworth:


(Root)beer and Bratwurst

Nutcrackers and Scared Penguins

A Visit to the Hat Shoppe

(on second thought...maybe not)

Games with friends

More Games with Friends

Wildlife Sightings

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Brian's Top Ten Albums of 2008

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

A moving work of lo-fi introspection. Vernon's layered falsetto, recorded in a wintery cabin in Wisconsin, still gives me shivers.

The Dodos - Visiter

Deep, driving polyrhythms undergird emphatic mandolin and guitar amidst percussive tambourine and a flurry of other instruments on this amazing, slightly off-kilter LP that just might highjack your nervous system. The Dodos take everything immediately lovable about Animal Collective and multiply it.

Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees

I have always loved Damien Jurado for his ability to evoke the pathos of weary souls and forgotten stories, plunging us into the lives of misfits and anti-heroes who only get noticed if their mugshot makes the news. That's his bread and butter, and there's plenty of it on Caught in the Trees. But it's also his most versatile album to date, showing that his experiments away from straight forward folk have paid off.

Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight

A really solid indie rock album. Plus, I'm a sucker for Scottish vocals.

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes most popular song "White Winter Hymnal"--I was following the, I was following the, I...--annoyed me enough that I gave up on them early despite an otherwise promisingly original sound.  Hearing a second song months later was all it took for this Seattle band to win me back.  Describing their own music (accurately, methinks), they say they play "baroque harmonic pop jams."

Sigur Rós - Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

While not as strong as most of their soaring, ethereal back catalog Sigur Ros' latest album is an encouraging departure that signals nothing's going stale yet. The opening track, Gobbledigook, is an unexpectedly joyous romp that melds Steve Reich, Animal Collective, and Dave Matthews. Mmmmm.

Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound

Portland keeps pumping out great music.  And, as a whole album, this debut from the duo known as Blind Pilot was the best of the bunch last year.  Packed full of simple indie-folk-pop songs that get better the more you listen. 

Juana Molina - Un Día

This Argentine ex-soap star's hushed vocals over gentle tribal rhythms and strange aural juxtapositions will either have you dancing in a trance or hallucinating vaguely sinister claymation music videos.

Jacaszek - Treny

Chained to his laptop, Polish composer Michal Jacaszek sits in a cavernous dungeon with a partial symphony of ghosts and a forgotten angel singing lonely lamentations. Dark and beautiful. And dark.

Max Richter - 24 Post Cards in Full Color

What sounds like a terrible idea for a concept album--to create neo-classical cellular ringtones--turns out to be, in Max Richter's able hands, a beautiful collection of wordless short stories, or story fragments.  With most of the songs lasting only a minute or so, it is amazing he is able to conjure such vividness of place, evoke such poignancy of emotion, and intimate the reality of an imagined narrative. This is the audio cure for melancholy novelists with writer's block.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Who has a better handlebar mustache?

Vote in the poll and discuss the finer points of pogonology in the comments.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Today, I had my regular check-up for baby #2. As usual, I had a long wait in the waiting room, then another long wait in the exam room. It was perfect! I went through withdrawals when my regular doctor's appointments stopped after Magnolia was born. I did not miss the regular weigh-ins that showed my weight skyrocketing, but I did miss the few quiet moments to read magazines.

I discovered one of my favorites during one of these respites: Wondertime. It is a breath of fresh air compared to the other offered magazines: Fly-fishing and Parenting: What Moms Want (does that slogan bug anyone else?). Wondertime's slogan is "celebrate you child's love of learning"-- much more my style.

A little over a year ago, while we were doing one of the non-stress tests waiting for Magnolia to make her grand entrance, Brian read one of my favorite articles aloud to me: Confessions of a Mommy Blogger. If you are a parent and blog about your kids, it is a must read. It made us think and laugh -- a great combination.

Brian got me a subscription after Magnolia was born. We continue to enjoy every issue. The December issue was one of our favorites: ideas for how to cut back during the holidays and create interesting traditions. The most recent issue had a design for creating the coolest play room, complete with rock-climbing into the sky light. Brian wants one. For himself.

A year subscription is only $13, but they have a great website if your family is trying to cut back.

By the way, Baby #2 has a healthy heartbeat, is moving regularly, but is measuring a little big. I'm fine, except, for the first time, the doctor is concerned about my weight gain, which made it really hard to come home to Nana's homemade monster cookies...maybe I'll just have half.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

When a Speed Bump is a Road Block

I'm kind of an anal blogger. Posts have to be in order. Sometimes I even back date posts so things are chronological. This little OCD streak, combined with life busyness, however causes lulls in our blogging activity. But today Magnolia's road block has helped me overcome mine, if only this once.
It was a beautiful day in Bellingham -- sunny and not freeze-your-nose-off-make-you-catch-your-breath cold -- so we headed to our favorite park.
Halfway into our visit to the park, Magnolia was no longer content in her stroller. In the past she has been reluctant to walk outdoors, so I didn't have much hope that we would get very far once I took her out.

After some coaxing from Mama and Papa, Magnolia unglued her feet from the pavement to take a few cautious steps. Then, without warning, she took off walking the fastest she's ever walked (possibly due to the slight decline)! Until...

The speed bump!

Our independent girl did not want help, but couldn't gear herself up to make it over the bump. She tried walking along it to find a way around, but no luck. In the end, she settled for playing with the pebbles on her side of the yellow line.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

One Year Celebration

Yesterday we celebrated our first year of parenting and Magnolia's first year of life! It was a dream day for Magnolia: lots of people, balloons, new books and toys, and yummy food. We even managed to fit in a nap in between our friend open-house party and our family gathering.


Talkin' finance with Jace
"Grandma! Look what I got!"

Otis: "Hey Judy, are you sure it wouldn't help if I licked it?"

Our favorite present -- the one with the red bow!

"Mm, delightful! What year did you say these sprinkles were? 2008 must have been an excellent sugar crop."
"So that's what these things taste like! You've been holding out on me!"
In her birthday suit after her de-icing bath