Sunday, July 31, 2016


Lately we have been "toddlering"... day in and day out, we are full of toddler activities such as:

Toddler watching pizza bake:

Toddler trying to dry himself after playing outside in the splash:

Toddler running around at the big splash, until he fell and scraped his forehead. Then he got up and kept running and screaming:

Toddler sitting on the pillow to brush his teeth:

Toddler helping with the watering of the Forsythias:

Toddler waking up from nap, dragging his chair to the laundry room door and listening to the dryer:

Toddler eating waffles!

Toddler trying to get into the dog food bin:

Toddler hanging out on the swing:

Toddler helping out with the garden:

Toddler out to dinner with Mama Fern and Daddy Norm:

Toddler playing with cookware on the kitchen floor... with no shirt on because it gets too hot in the house in the afternoons:

And that's pretty much what our life consists of at the moment. Starting at 7am, breaking for a nap from 12pm - 2pm and wrapping it up at 7pm.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rest Well, Pellet

Rest Well, Mello Pello,

How did you get so old so quick? In the blink of our eyes you became an old man and started having such a hard time with life over all. You were so exhausted, your energy was drained.

What are we going to do without you around? 

Who will Baby get to pet and feed treats to? 

Who will set Cali straight when she gets crazy? Who will keep her from going crazy while we are gone to work?

Who will warn us when there's thunder in the horizon? 

Who will lay next to us when we are sick and not feeling well? 

Who will protect the house from bad people?  

To many you were big and scary and rowdy, but to us you were the most gentle (and stubborn) giant that loved to play fetch, tug of war, knew how to set boundaries, loved car rides, gave the best dog kisses, knew how to eat off our hands and ate anything in sight so effortlessly right off the kitchen counter and dining room table

We will miss your young spirit and sweet brown eyes. We will miss your loud scary bark that was so comforting (except when it got high pitch when you were scared).

The blog will go down to Ten Feet, but you will remain part of who we are forever. Twelve years worth of habits can't be broken over night. We will feel the void when we get home and there's only Cali jumping up to kiss us instead of the two of you. We will forever hide food in the oven and the microwave while we sit down to dinner. 

We went through so much together - we were so lucky to be your human parents.

St. Francis, pray for us and all dogs - those with us and those who rest forever. Amen

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fun at the Garden

A couple of weekends ago, we went to my work because Norm had signed up for a class on Fermentation. A two-hour class on Fermentation.

So while Norm learned how to ferment things, Benjamin and I played about the Garden. Well, he played, I took his pictures. Walking about...

More walking about...

Then we stopped in the A/C for snack time. When it started raining we also went into the A/C to watch a video... I watched a video, he flirted with all of the guests waiting out the rain in the lobby of the visitor center.

We finally made it to the Great Lawn where he got to run around with the Chihuly installations as a background!

And of course here is a little video to bring everything together!
Yes, he was yelling like that out in public. Yes, he is my child. Yes, we were outside so we got to use outside voices!

He found some water at his level, so of course he reached in and then did his modified version of a sign of the cross... which he learned from the Holy Water fountain at Church!

He pretty much was so gross after 2 hours of running around. He was sweaty and sticky and just plain old gross.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summing it Up

Now that Benjamin walks and gets into everything, I have become more aware with slowing down and enjoying time with him instead of always having to do "things". However, unfortunately our floors are one of those "things" that have to get done (swept) pretty much every other day.

This is how productive we are with a wondering toddler:

Then, because walking around with the dustpan wasn't fun enough, he decided to put it down and wiggle his little behind onto it:

Then he tipped over, forehead first, and all the fun was over.

Quite a typical moment.

It's that time of the year when our house gets super hot in the afternoons, so our little hot-natured baby gets overheated, hence the fancy outfit. Here he is - almost exactly a year ago - sporting the same outfit!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hot Feet

Benjamin has been having issues with his feet getting really hot - apparently this is somewhat normal in babies, but then again he is Norm's child so there is no surprise in starting to discover foot issues.

In the search for a better shoe - because the sandals he has now make his feet very hot and then they smell - I reached out to these people's customer service via email.

The customer service rep replied right away in a very polite manner. We exchanged a few emails in one of which I asked her for her recommendation between two sandals because "my little one whose feet get very hot and sweat and smell..." and she diligently replied with:

"Hi Fernanda, I am sorry to hear about your son and his hot feet."

I am just tickled by the customer service rep's concern with Benjamin's hot feet. I can't stop laughing about it.

I haven't figured out exactly where they are from, but they are for sure foreign.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Age in Months

Well, Benjamin turned 1 in April, started walking in May now it is June and he is 8 days shy of being 14 months. I always said I'd never be the parent who refers to children's age in months. And here I am, with a (almost) 14 month old toddler. He's not "1 year old"... that was sooooooooooo long ago, he was such a baby then! Not even walking! And he is certainly not "1 1/2", that is soooooooooooo far away, he will be running by the time he is 1 1/2. So he's 14 months old, doing what 14 month old toddlers do:

- walking laps around the house
- dancing along to music
- being temperamental
- sleeping for 12 straight hours at night
- walking more laps around the house
- playing with legos
- asking "up" when he's tried of walking
- mastering sign language: eat, more, milk, please, sit, nap, all done
- babbling in his own language
- walking around barefoot outside
- trying to get away with playing with the DVD player buttons
- drinking the bath water
- stealing Pellet's tennis balls
- drinking water from straws
- stealing everyone's heart

All that and then some more is what the month of May consisted of.

It also consisted of Mother's Day Weekend, which Norm had to work from sun rise to several hours passed sun down. So Benjamin and I went to the garden tour that is sponsored by work! We had a good time (despite what his face in the pictures below) and I took lots of pictures. But I took them with my camera, because my phone memory is about out, but apparently I have forgotten how to work a real camera because the pictures did not come out good. Too bright.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Back to the Garden

We have always enjoyed being out in the garden doing whatever. Planting flowers, designing various parts of the yard, planting our little herbs, etc. Back at the lake the yard was a huge part of our lives. Well once, because we had a huge yard and two because we had time!

Last year's garden seemed to have survived in autopilot. Since we moved the first week of March and Benjamin was born the second week of April, we didn't really have much time to devote to figuring out flowers and such. Although Norm tried and we did end up with a tomato or two and an awesome parsley plant that lasted a year.

This year we are giving gardening another shot, with a toddler. Here are the seedlings sunbathing as they grow. Benjamin and Pellet are supervising...

So pensive... if the seedlings get messed up we won't know if it was the dog or the baby. We'll just blame Cali and keep it moving..

Today Benjamin and I went shopping for flowers! Which took entirely too long without Norm's guidance and decision making. I can make all kinds of decisions when it comes to event planning - I can tell you how many tables to set, what time to serve dinner and how many bartenders to hire. But when it comes to everyday things like what color to paint the house and what flowers to buy, I am completely useless.

I knew I wanted to plant the flowers tonight, so my initial thought was to put baby in his play pen so he can watch cartoons while I planted out in the backyard. But when we got home my brain changed gears and I decided to just start planting the flowers right there on the drive way and see what happens.

This happened. Benjamin discovered dirt and loved it!

He also discovered that pulling petals off the flowers is fun:

I have no words for this one:

Here he is putting the dirt from the floor into the pot:


He crawls around that pavement like it is nobody's business. He's such a trooper!

Then he decided to eat dirt. Apparently he liked it because after he ate some, he did the sign for "more"... He was so dirty but he really enjoyed himself - which is awesome!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Outsmart the Baby

I feel like the challenge the first year of parenthood was "keep the baby alive". Now, as we enter the second year of parenthood, I am starting to find that the challenge has become "figure the baby out (and outsmart him)".

Benjamin has been eating table foods for about 3 weeks now, and up until today, we would feed it to him with the spoon for the most part, we would also put pieces of food on his tray, one by one, that he'd pick up with his fingers. Over the last few days, he's been fussy at dinner, not wanting to eat, crying, turning his head, all those fun dramatical things. When I'd put food on his tray for him to pick up, he'd feed it to the dogs.

Today at lunch, he started showing out again, but I knew that he was hungry, so I was not going to give up (unlike last night when his dinner consisted of broccoli followed by pineapple and milk because he fed the meat and the potatoes to the dogs). As I was speaking with my mom over the Skype, I was holding his plate of food in front of him (instead of putting the food, piece by piece, on his tray). Next thing I knew, he was reaching for the food and feeding himself - on his own terms.

Today at dinner, I did the same thing. I held his plate in front of him and he ate everything, happy as can be. Sometimes he'd want to eat it with the spoon but for the most part he ate with his little hands, like a little savage.

Last night was tough - I felt so defeated that he "had won" and not eaten. Today at lunch though, I was determined to not let him win. I had to figure out what was the problem... The food wasn't too hot, it wasn't cold, it wasn't anything he hadn't eaten before, it wasn't bland... Then the light bulb came on and I remembered that at school they put his food on a plate and he eats everything on his own. So that's how I determined that he wanted to eat all by himself.

He is so strong willed and loud and dramatic that it is so easy to just give in - boil some pasta and feed him that followed by applesauce.

So tonight proved that apparently we have an independent, strong willed, borderline stubborn child. Who would have thought that a child of Norm's and mine would have all those traits? I guess we are about to start finding out what our parents went through while they were raising us...

Here is a fun collage of this morning, he was t:rying to yogurt

This is not how you yogurt, but he will figure it out.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Take the Baby, Leave the Cheeks

Benjamin got his first haircut earlier this week. Considering the chaos it could have been, I'd say the experience was a successful one.

Of course, just like anything nowadays, I was sure to google "best hair salon for kids" in our area and came across the place we ended up going. It is a salon just for little kids... I wanted to make sure that we didn't just walk in to the first random hair cutting place to end up with a traumatic experience that would later evolve to hair-cutting hell sessions and eventually me having to cut his hair in his sleep because he refuses to go. Thanks to google and reviews, we get to avoid all that drama.

The hair dresser did such an awesome job at cutting his hair. She was fast, but careful. She had a job for everyone. Norm's was to hold the baby. My mom's was to entertain the baby. Mine was to take pictures of the baby.



This one came out blurry, but look at his little eyes... he did get scared of the electric little machine thing:

Everyone getting a break... it is intense cutting a 1 year old's hair and not drawing blood... or poking an eye out...

 Not liking the electric thing here here either...

Finally it is over and he gets to see the train go around:

Somebody took my baby and left me this pair of cheeks! Benjamin was a cute baby before, now he is just flat out handsome little boy!

Before and after!

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
Thanks for reading! Come back Soon!