Monday, November 29, 2010

22/365: country living

Today we got to see a baby cow.... and I mean a BABY. She was born this morning at 8:30 a.m., and Jack and I were able to go over and visit around 4:30 this afternoon. Jack got to touch her muzzle and admire her for a few minutes before she needed to go spend time with her mama. She was already up and around, being willful and adorably stubborn as Chris tried to lead her places. :)

I was going to take pictures but I left the camera at home and my phone's camera wasn't up to the low-lit task. I'm not too worried about it though -- we'll be seeing her again soon enough!

21/365: good idea!

Jack has finally figured out a way to play with Pooka without getting scratched!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

20/365: Jack decorates

Jack and I got into the boxes of holiday decorations! I saw where most of them ended up as he distributed them, but one caught me by surprise: I went into the kitchen to cook our next meal and found this intrepid Santa fighting his way across the... windswept, frozen linoleum?

19/365: Parade of Socks

I recently (this month) knitted my first sock. It went so well, I knitted another! And another, and another.... Socks have got to be the easiest, most rewarding knitting project I've found yet.

Here's the biggest one, made for me. The rest are toddler/baby socks and will get their own post with pictures all together as soon as I finish the second sock of the baby pair I'm working on right now!

19/365: Parade of Socks

I recently (this month) knitted my first sock. It went so well, I knitted another! And another, and another.... Socks have got to be the easiest, most rewarding knitting project I've found yet.

18/365: Fire Station

A while back, the fire department had a pancake feed where they brought all their engines out into the street for everyone to admire. The city blocked off the street. (That's something they are quick to do if it's for a kid-related activity.... Thank you, Mac, for being so family-friendly!) They even had three engines driving loads of kids around downtown.

One of my friends called me and let me know it was happening, so of course we set out to get a fire truck ride. :)

We jumped right into the line to wait for a ride, but it was a long one. We passed the time playing "Go touch that fire truck...."

"and come right back to tell me about it!"

I didn't actually get any pictures when it was our turn to ride. Jack was WAY too excited for me to do anything but juggle him. Technically they were only giving rides to kids 3 and up, but apparently we asked very nicely. We even got to sit in the front seat with the driver!!

After our ride we found out that the trucks in the street were not only for looking at.... They were for climbing in!! I had no idea. For some reason we were the only people taking advantage of this, but that just meant Jack got to keep the whole fleet to himself. :)

17/365: Pooka

We haven't mentioned here that we got a new kitty! He showed up in the bushes outside Alex's work. Since he was all black and very loving, we pretty much had to bring him home with us.

A few weeks/months (who's counting?) and a vet trip later, he is a lot bigger than he was in these pictures, but just as much of a troublemaker.

Did I mention this kitty is very good at finding places to snuggle?

It took him about two weeks to realize that the food and water bowls weren't going anywhere. In the meantime we got this balloon kitty, whose belly was always bigger than his head!

Bo gave him a tentative approval to live with us.... but he's NOT going to be friends. We were worried about Bo being mean to him, but it turns out that Pooka is the bully.

Here is Pooka "to scale" next to some of Jack's toys. He really was a tiny kitty when he came to us!

His favorite part about being domesticated? This particular spot on the couch, which he naps in at least twice daily. :)

16/365: Movie Night

We've started doing a movie night on Sunday nights. Recent features include Up and Cars. Here's Jack enjoying the show: (We do all sit together for the movies but Jack was ready while Alex and I were still wandering around doing whatever boring stuff parents do to delay fun activities.) ;)

15/365: Snow!

We had snow recently! Jack was really excited to go exploring. He has seen snow before, of course, being a New Hampshire baby, but he doesn't remember it. This was essentially his first snow.

We made it about halfway down the stairs before he started to reconsider. "Mommy, I cold!!"

We made it down the stairs (after much coaxing) to taste the snow!

"Tastes like ice!"

Then we tried crunching on the snow "with Elmo boots!"

A bunch of fat robins were eating some kind of goodie (seeds, I think) that had been knocked off the trees.

Wiping snow off the cars was fun until he realized how cold it made his hands....

This was another moment where the dazzling appeal was wearing off for a moment.... He was trying to convince me we needed to get in the car and drive somewhere warm.

...or we could crunch in the frozen grass. :)

The best part of the morning was when we found our fix-it man, Clive, spreading sand on the walkways. This was downright AMAZING.

Jack literally chased him around the entire apartment complex, just marveling at the sand-throwing machine. (It was pretty cool! Clive says we will use 150 lbs of sand per snow/ice storm just to cover our sidewalks.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

14/365: Baby coming!

There is SO much left to do! I can't believe there are only eight more days until December. I wouldn't say I'm starting to panic or worry, but I've definitely noticed how much I want to get done before I have the baby! For now I'm going to bed. No matter how reasonable it seems at the time, staying up past 11:00 is never a good idea.

13/365: Technical Difficulties

At this rate, this project is going to take me more than a year. November seems to be my annual time for cataclysmic computer-related events. The laptop is dead, down to the last "dear God, please let Alex save the data" sputterings. This might be the end of my NaNo whether I like it or not!

Even more than my NaNo, I'd love to have my budgetting calendar back. It is this wonderful program that Alex wrote for me that allows me to budget on a calendar where I can view the whole month and year. It thinks just like I do -- the perks of having my husband design it specially for me! It's been a day since the laptop fully died; I miss it terribly already.

Friday, November 19, 2010

12/365: Chinese Food

I've lost the camera again. I have no doubt it will turn up, eventually.... This is the kind of thing I was talking about with yesterday's post. Instead of finding my camera, which I actually want to use throughout the day, I'm writing for my NaNo word count. Argh!

Well, in the meantime, more text. We went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant with really yummy and well-prepared food. Jack is practicing his restaurant manners, which right now consist of the following:

1) We sit on our bums or knees in the booth. We do not stand up and peer (or shout) at other diners.
2) We don't climb around under the table.
3) No, seriously, put your wiggly little butt back down on the bench!

He actually was sitting rather than climbing for at least 50% of the time, which I consider a victory at this point. :)

This restaurant also wins points for having the best crab puffs we've tasted since leaving New Hampshire (where we had the world's BEST right next door..... we're still sad about moving away from those!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

11/365: NaNo: Quit while you're ahead?

Well, I'm seriously thinking I might need to drop this year's NaNo due to having way too much baby prep to do. This seems kind of silly since I've already written 30,000 words, but it's consuming a lot of time and attention that I'd rather spend cleaning, getting ready for the holidays, and organizing baby stuff.

I will decide by the end of the weekend. As of right now, I have no prediction. Hmm....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10/365: Help!!

I am way too disorganized right now to take and post pictures properly, but I finished Jack's first pair of hand-knitted socks! I have never felt so admired and awe-inspiring as when I showed him the final product. He definitely thinks I'm magical for having created socks from string, and wore them happily all day. I hope they last until Christmas, when he gets his next pair(s)!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

9/365: The Countdown

Alex and I recently realized that we could have a new baby as soon as three weeks from now! Holy smokes. I feel like there must be a million things we're supposed to be doing, but darned if I could tell you what they are!

On top of any baby-related work still to do, I feel like the holidays are suddenly barrelling down on us and before we know it, it will be the new year! I'm supposed to be baking a turkey for Thanksgiving this year, too. That's something I've never done before!

...and we are still having a heck of a time choosing baby names. I tell you what, one way or another this is going to be an exciting month and a half ahead of us!

Monday, November 15, 2010

8/365: Swimming

We've started going on family swimming trips in the evening. The family pool at the Aquatic Center is a very friendly 5 feet deep at its deepest point, and we've found out it's tons of fun to bring all three of us there at once. (As opposed to mildly frazzling at best when it's one parent and one toddler!)

With two parents there, we managed to finally convince Jack that it's okay to wear a floatie, and two visits later he is swimming on his own! He can now float and kick on his own and go eeeeever so slowly from one parent to the other. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

7/365: NaNoWriMo

I'm halfway through NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), in which I write 50,000 words during the month of November. They don't have to be good words, thankfully. Just 50,000 words which come together to form some kind of a novel. The motto is "quantity, not quality," which is really liberating.

Today I hit the 25,000 mark, which means I'm a whole day ahead of schedule! The story is surprisingly coherent, too. :) In addition to writing my own novel, I am the "Municipal Liason" for McMinnville. This basically means I'm the group coordinator, which can be a bigger job than you'd think, especially when 8 1/2 months pregnant! But so far so good. We've been holding regular meetings and the McMinnville group is averaging about 50,000 words per DAY!

Because I'm slightly ahead of the game, I took most of the night off from writing to work on knitting the second sock in a pair I'm making for Jack. He is soooo excited about them! But more on that tomorrow, when Alex can show me another way to get photos off the camera....

6/365: Laptop Suicide

I'll start by admitting that I completely missed posting yesterday! But I have a good excuse.

I do all my work on our laptop, while Alex uses the desktop computer. Last night I was carrying it to do my normal routine of sitting with Jack, playing music and getting work done while he goes to sleep.... when it somehow fell/jumped out of my arms and landed on the floor. It landed on one corner first, which I suspect is the worst possible way.

The damage: The keyboard doesn't work. Nor does the mouse. Nor the mute button. Today I found out that it also refuses to read the camera's memory stick. (Not surprising since the reader is in the corner that hit the ground first.)

Alex got me set up with a keyboard and mouse that can plug in, so I'm basically functional for now, but it looks like we will need to buy a new laptop pretty soon. :(

Friday, November 12, 2010

5/365: Trains!

Jack LOVES trains. These are a few pictures we've collected that prove the point:

Here's the beginning of a train ride at the zoo:

The thing about trains, is they're EXCITING. And that means they're tiring.... We quickly progress to the "snuggle and look at scenery" phase.

And before you know it, the train-nap has struck again. :D

Once, before Jack fell asleep, he was allowed to go in the actual engine part while the driver took a break. Here's him almost releasing the brake:

And examining the fire box (I think). Notice how he really is in the train all by himself. He could have driven the thing away, if he had been lucky enough to find the right combination of levers!

According to his current plans, when he grows up he is going to drive trains and tractors. I believe it, too! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4/365: Slow Day

Some days we run all over the place, doing story time, projects, swimming, etc., etc., etc.

This was NOT one of those days. Jack didn't sleep well last night so we had a quiet day of groceries and a few other errands, and spent the afternoon napping and then playing with blocks. Jack built this awesome street of houses, all by himself!

That about covers it for the Bowling household today. We're going to continue doing not-much-of-anything until bedtime!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3/365: Story time!

I've tried a couple of times to get pictures of the main event at Story Time, which is the big bubble-blowing finale. This is probably Jack's favorite event of the entire week! I feel like I captured a little bit of the magic that Jack sees every time, but it's times like these when I recognize exactly how much I don't know about photography....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2/365: Farmer Jack

Chris recently bought a farm, and the place is pretty much heaven in Jack's opinion. There are dogs, kittens even more pliable than Pooka, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. And that's not to mention two of his best friends, Daphne and Cyprus!

Plus, Chris makes a mean taco and he definitely loves when we have them for lunch. :)

Jack is just now able to skip his nap on some days and survive, sanity intact, until bedtime. We usually take it easy for the afternoon, reading books and doing other quiet activities. Well, today he did skip his nap and then we decided that to fill our afternoon, we would go to Chris's farm and see how big the pigs had grown since our last visit.

We ended up tromping around the farm all afternoon while Chris fed the animals. Jack was excited to see them all. He even went in the pig pen and got knocked down in the mud by three curious pigs. He didn't mind, even when he tripped and fell right back into the muck after I had just rescued him!

The big hit was the hen house, where Daphne found two chicken eggs, and Chris found five. Jack was totally impressed, especially when Chris gave him an egg to take home! Here is the single photo we managed to capture immediately after returning home: (Do you know how hard it is to photograph a tired toddler?)

Here is my darling little boy with his boots on the wrong feet, peppered with mud splotches, exhausted beyond belief, and yet still totally excited about the egg he earned for his help doing farm chores.

Right after this, he watched Daddy crack and scramble the egg. Then he ate it (followed by a few more) and snuggled on the couch briefly before conking out. All in a day's playing, right?

Monday, November 8, 2010

1/365: spices

Every so often while I'm cleaning the kitchen, Jack comes in and spends time with me by climbing on the counter and checking out the spice cabinet. He likes to open each jar, smell what's inside and ask me what each one is called.

"Ooh, pepper!"

He was having a great time after he smelled each one, announcing "EWW!" and "GROSS!" This is the funniest possible thing to do with spices. :)

This time he decided he wanted to taste the spices too. He tried tiny tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Then he needed a drink, big time!


A few nights ago, it was almost time for Jack to go to bed. Of course, he didn't want to, and he chose a very sweet way to express that. He climbed up onto the couch with me and snuggled at my side, insisting we read a stream of books, tickle, snuggle, and so on.

Jack and I ended up being very silly and playing while Alex was a good Daddy and made bedtime happen despite our best efforts. (And without tears, I might add!)

After Jack was finally asleep, I realized again how totally sweet he is, and how much I love spending time with him. And that I'm not going to have much more time where it's just the two of us playing all day!

In other (obvious) news, I've had trouble updating the blog regularly, and I have probably lost my mind, but I think the answer to this problem, and a way to appreciate and share my time with Jack even with a new baby coming to add mayhem and distraction, might be to commit to a project where I post something every day for a year. Crazy, right? But it just might work!

So, that's the plan. 1 post per day, preferably with photos, every day for 365 days. When the baby arrives, she'll be tucked into the project too. :) And yes, I will admit I'm stealing inspiration for this from my friend Chris's blog,!