Thursday, December 20, 2007

Country Roads, Take Me Home....

We're off to Idaho tomorrow to spend the Christmas holiday with my family. We're pretty excited about it...although we would like the Walker family to know that we're sorry we can't spend Christmas with them too. No comments about how crazy I am to be traveling in a car for 10 hours at 34 weeks pregnant...I've already heard it from my clients. You'll be happy to hear that we're breaking it up into two days, stopping every hour or two so I can stretch my legs, and plus my doctor said it was okay.



Merry Christmas everybody! Watch your in-boxes this week as Nate and I have decided that we're grown up enough to send out Christmas newsletters. I bet you can hardly wait.
That did not happen.

Christmas Cookie Goodness


Last weekend Nate and I decorated Christmas cookies with our friends Ben and Rachel. The artistic juices were flowing and there's a possibility that we decorated more than we ate while sitting there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I figured it out you guys...


For three years now I've been trying to make my mother's sugar cookies. If you've never had my mother's sugar cookies then first of all, you're missing out...but second of all, you should know that they're not only made with her huge cookie cutters, but they're also 3/4 of on inch thick making them nice a cakey. They usually make a pretty good breakfast.

Anyway as I said, three years trying to make them and for 3 years I've been getting thin, crunchy, stupid (though edible) cookies. Not what I wanted. Furthermore, sometimes they're burnt, and sometimes they're doughy because the recipe I have says "bake at 350 degrees." No baking time. Lovely.

Well I am proud to say that this year I have figured it out. IT'S IN THE ROLLING. If you want your sugar cookies to bake up thick, you have to roll them out thick. I'm not sure why my mom never mentioned this to me when I would call and talk to her about making them. When I called her this time to tell her I had finally figured it out she just said, "oh yeah you cut them pretty thick." Maybe she was giving more baking know-how credit than she should have. You really shouldn't give me much baking-know-how credit. I mean, I'm sure all of you reading this thought to yourself "hmm...thick cookies, thick rolling." Well now you can all be proud of me because I've figured it out too. Hooray for me. Come over and have some sugar cookies because mom's recipe makes approximately a billion.

Note the differences in done-ness in my cookies. ha ha.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So Where Will Little Spike Sleep?

You might remember a previous post that I wrote about Little Spike's room....well, it is infinitely closer to being able to house a baby now so I thought I would share its progress with you. First we had to strip the wallpaper and put up a couple of coats of primer. I could do most of the wallpaper stripping because there weren't any fumes and strenuous exercise involved. Nate pretty much did the rest.


We also had to move everything out of the nursery and into the living room including all of the baby swag from my showers and the more-comfy-than-our-futon blue couch. This was great incentive to get the room painted quickly.



Then we had to agonize over the decision of whether or not to strip and refinish my grandmother's vanity so that it would match the crib. When we finally decided to do it, Nate got to add a new power tool to his collection; a random orbital sander.

The vanity is still a work in progress. In fact, Nate spent most of yesterday working on it. This is a before picture of it...minus the drawers of course.

I am so in love with the beautiful green color that we used for the walls. It looks great with almost any other color (especially pink) so I can add a lot to it.


And now...it is still a bit of a mess. But at least it is a mess of cute clothes and fabric, which is much better in my opinion. I thought about not posting pictures until we were all done...but there is always the chance that won't happen until 3 months after Little Spike comes... so here you go.


At this time I would like to give a shout out to my wonderful husband for putting up with my irrational need for him to paint and do things in the nursery that were at the most inconvenient times possible for him. Ben, thanks for helping us get the primer on the walls in record time. Also, thanks Liza for hooking us up with the sweet swing.

More About Thanksgiving

As Nate mentioned in a previous post, we went to Oceanside, OR for Thanksgiving, and it was FANTASTIC. We rented a beautiful vacation home overlooking the coast, took walks on the beach, and ate clam chowder as well as a delicious turkey dinner.
The house in the middle is the one we rented.


In case the pictures don't make it obvious, I should mention that "we" included the following: me and Nate (duh), Ken & Nina (my parents), Spencer (my brother), Connie (my aunt), Keith (my grandpa), Bill & Gail (Nate's parents), Kevan (Nate's brother). Of course Lorne & Laurel (Nate's brother and sister-in-law) were there in our thoughts. Nate and I always talk about how blessed we are to both get along with our in-laws so well, and that they enjoy spending time with each other too! And now, a few more pictures that Nate's dad took that didn't get included in the web album.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's a dog's life

Not even Izzy likes to get up in the morning.

See?


Here's a closeup so you can really get a feel for the eyes.


Again, note the eyes.


Since Miranda is the one that took the picture (I was probably still in bed) I'll let her add any sort of back story she would like here.

Miranda here. Yes, in fact Nate was still asleep when I took these pictures. I typically get up before him in the morning to get ready for work. If we think it is going to be really cold at night (or if the news tells us to) we let Izzy sleep inside. The above pictures are a perfect example of what she looks like in the morning when I try to put her outside.

I find it difficult to wake up in the morning and look at my comfortably sleeping husband, and then try not to disturb my comfortably sleeping dog. The jealousy is consuming. Sometimes it looks like Izzy might want to go outside...or I've been woken up by the sound of her paws digging around on her bed. So I say something like "are you ready to go outside?"...and she looks at me as if saying "are you kidding me? I'm not the poor sap that has to go to work." And I try not to push her off her bed as I step over her to get to the bathroom.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanksgiving

We went to Oceanside on the Oregon coast for Thanksgiving. Maybe Miranda will blog about it sometime but until then here is a photo album of the pictures I took while we were there. I didn't pick and choose the good ones so you might have to do some wading to get to the good stuff.

Thanksgiving in Oregon

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Do you hear me snow?...

As many of you know, last Christmas Nate and I were unable to go to Washington for Christmas because of a blizzard. At the beginning of last week 9News started timidly talking about a chance of snow "making holiday travel difficult." Luckily, it sounds like any snow will be minimal...


I say "luckily" because so help me, if snow keeps me from leaving this house for another major holiday...I am just going to lose it.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Generation Y (why?)

I was driving to school today, listening to NPR like I usually do. They were talking about baby boomers and retirement, a recently popular topic. After a while they got on generation Y (why?), the generation that I am a member of. They started talking about how generation Y expects to be paid more and expects to get promotions within a year. Then I thought back to all the other things generation Y is. We feel entitled to things we haven’t necessarily earned, we don’t want to work as hard, we need constant reinforcement. I’m sure that there’s more.

What I heard this morning was the last straw, I mean, maybe some if it is true but it might also become a self fulfilling prophecy, you know, keep telling a group of people what they’re like and eventually they’ll meet your expectations.

Aside from all this I have to tell you my new theory about the source of the many shortcomings of generation Y. The baby boomers are getting old and as we know, old people like to complain. So I’m thinking that maybe all this is, is a generation of old people complaining about how terrible the up-and-coming generation is.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Graph

This graph, from my latest experiment, made me so happy I wanted to cry.
Figure 1. More awesome than you.

I defy you to call this anything but sublime.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fall in Colorado....


Remember how we had snow?...Well now we don't. This picture was taken a couple weeks ago but it might as well have been yesterday. For those of you who haven't gotten to see what Little Spike is doing to my belly...here I am indulging you.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

HALLOWEEN!!!

I got to spend last weekend in Idaho visiting my family, having a baby shower, and gushing over my adorable cousins in costume at our big family Halloween party! It really is remarkable how cute my cousins are, and when you put them in costumes...well, see for yourself:

Here's Brenda (cleaning lady), Porter (mouse) and Maylen (dragon).

Blakely (70's girl) and Rhendi (Granny)

Hope (Little Red Riding Hood)

Allie (Dorothy), Zane (Scarecrow), Blake (Lion), Kyle (Tin-man)

Nate and I can only hope that Little Spike is as cute as the other girls in our family...I've known for years that the competition is stiff.

The party was a huge success. There was pinata-ing, balloon popping, candy eating, and pin the wart on the witch-ing. It made up for the fact that I wasn't able to be in Colorado for trick-or-treaters. By the end of the weekend, I was all Halloweened out. Below are videos of the mayhem that ensued when a pinata, a stick, and children under 10 were all placed in the same vicinity.


video
video

video

In other Halloween news, I think everybody should know that my mom made 92 Caramel Apples for trick-or-treaters. She was able to save 10 of them but the rest were spoken for by families knocking at her door. Impressive mom.

P.S. Okay so the videos aren't working for me either right now. But I'm going to bed. I'll fix it later.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Thesis AKA Boring Sciencey Stuff

Here is an animation that will show you the technology in about 1/3 of what is my thesis (click on start tour). Just make the feed water hot and replace the sweep gas or vacuum with cold water and you have the other 2/3. Oh, and if you make the water hot you get water vapor moving across the membrane in addition to the dissolved gases that are in the water.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Soup

Miranda cooks like a rock star.

Clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. (The bread is bought)
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fall in Colorado

The other day on the radio, a woman said "Once again, the variable weather of the Fall reminds us that Winter is almost here...but not quite." I assume this is what she was referring to.

Just as predicted, we woke up to snow this morning. But no worries, apparently it should be up in the 60s by Wednesday.


So much for digging up my garden before it snowed huh?

And of course since it isn't really a blizzard, it isn't sticking to the roads....so off we go to church.

Happy Birthday Miranda!

I had a wonderful birthday that lasted all weekend. I got to have lunch with my friends, eat the most delicious cake that my co-worker made me, see the movie Across the Universe, and of course, spend lots of time with Nate. The highlight of my birthday was a light dinner we had at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. Nate happened to mention that it was my birthday. Yes, yes, there was much eating, Mexican themed singing, and sombrero wearing.

Can you believe I thought I might go my whole life without having a picture like this taken of me?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Just a little story for you guys.

So the other day Miranda and I were driving back from a movie that we had gone to see. As we were getting on the freeway to come home I noticed a cloud of dust erupt in the median caused by a car that had just arrived there. It was facing the wrong direction and I don’t really have any idea how he got there. He wasn’t in front of me when I was getting on and it would have been a pretty steep drop for him if he had just come careening off of the freeway.

Anyway, once I realized what I was looking at I pulled over to the edge of the onramp, turned on my hazards and started to get out of my car to see if there was anyone who needed help. However, before I got my door open a car that I quickly identified as the car that had just recently been in the median pulled up next to me. I rolled down my window, he rolled down his and then he said, “… sorry dude… I just lost traction.” To which I replied with a stupid look on my face, “Ok… well… be careful I guess.” And then he drove off.

2 Questions that I should have asked:

1 – What were you doing to lose traction? Perhaps there is a freak patch of ice in the 70° weather, or an oil slick released by a spy’s car that I should be watching out for.

2 – Where did you come from?! Based on where you were and the direction you were facing, the best I could tell is that you dropped straight out of the sky.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Baby Updates...

In case you're wondering:

1. I feel Little Spike kicking all the time now. Particularly in the evening. About three nights ago she kept me up all night kicking and punching with all her might. I am aware that this is only the beginning of many sleepless nights courtesy of the L. Spike.

2. My abdominal muscles are starting to stretch a lot more...this is more uncomfortable than I anticipated it would be. Also, my belly button seems to be detaching itself from the rest of my body.

3. According to the books she is about 12 inches long and maybe weighs about a pound. I've gained slightly more.

4. Yes we've thought of a few names...we have a list of possibilities. But we're not telling you what they are so you're just going to have to wait until she's born.

5. As of January 1, 2008 my company will change its insurance benefits and I will no longer have Kaiser. That means I'll get a new doctor when I'm 36 weeks pregnant. I'm okay with it though because it means I can get a midwife and deliver at a hospital that is 8 miles closer to our house (as in, it's two miles away).

6. Nate can now feel her kicking from outside my belly...pretty cool.

That is all.

Look What I Made!

So this is officially my first non-blanket sewing project; as in, sewing and cutting something other than straight lines. I present: My first apron!

Modeled by my lovely friend and birthday girl, April.

I've been a little infatuated with vintage aprons lately and decided that it was time to quit gawking and make something. I decided to start with what appeared to be an "easy" non-vintage apron and then work my way up the difficulty ladder. It's a good thing I decided to go this route because as soon as I got all of the fabric cut and was ready to sew, I realized...I don't actually know how to sew! I had no idea what Step 1 wanted me to do. Luckily my friend Rachel was around to ask all of my initial questions and then I was off and running. I found that it worked best for me to read every step of the directions about a thousand times in order to understand it, and then still follow the directions one SENTENCE at a time until the light went on in my head and I could do what it said. Below is a closer shot of the fabric so you can see how cute it is.

And so now on to other sewing projects. I plan on making a diaper bag, some burp cloth things, and eventually a messenger bag. I probably won't be working at the speed of my sister-in-law, but I think I'm okay with that. I hope you enjoy your apron, April, and that your clothes stay clean while cooking from now on!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Would you call this "nesting"?

You know...like when birds build nests and they gather things from their surroundings like sticks, weeds, ribbon, hair, mud, and then form it into a little pile to put their babies in? Not unlike what I'm doing here with Little Spike's room where I gather things from around the house that we're not using like clothes, furniture, boxes...and eventually I'll just put the baby in the middle of it. Nesting...right?

As far as I know, "nesting" is a pregnant woman's instinct to clean and organize her house before her little one arrives. To be honest, I think my nesting instinct was more intact prior to being pregnant. Shortly after getting pregnant, I began to care little about the state of our house. Mostly because I had more important things to do like sleep. Now that has passed, I still like to get the house clean, but not to the caliber that I expected pre-baby. As evidenced by the current state of our little girl's future room.

What I do suspect has happened, is that my nesting instinct has decided to materialize in two ways: making lists and crafting. First of all, boy-howdy do I ever love to make lists. Now with a baby coming, and my procrastination at it's peak, there is potentially no end to my lists. Furthermore, I really feel the need to make things. In fact, I've made a list of things I need to make (believe it or not). When I realized that I have approximately 16 weeks left of my pregnancy I practically started hyperventilating over that fact that I have not knit a single thing for Little Spike. No blankets, no hats, no burp rags...not bootie one. All I do is make gifts for all of my friend's babies but when it comes to my own offspring...meh.

My mother-in-law assured me that she was certain I didn't need to be panicking about this exact thing right now. I replied that I was pretty sure logic wasn't a character in this play. Luckily, my sister-in-law helped with my crisis by sending me an adorable sweater pattern that I will start on soon. In the meantime, I've started knitting a hat until I get the yarn for my sweater.


Whew. Crisis avoided...for now.

P.S. I think everyone should drink Izze soda because it is delicious and is the equivalent of a serving of fruit. Featured: Sparkling Pomegranate (unpaid advertisement)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Seven and Counting

Just to alert everyone, stay away from our garage. In the last 36 hours we have caught six mice in there, plus one that Izzy nabbed a week ago makes seven. Also, just a tip, don't lean flattened cardboard against the wall sitting right next to the dog food bag for a year. It's like a mouse bed and breakfast.

This PSA has been brought to you by Nate.

*Update*
Now we're at 8 mice

Found four more trapped this morning putting the count at 12.

MISS "Little Spike" Walker

It took two ultrasounds to find out...but we now know that we're having a girl! Our first ultrasound was with the doctor and there we found out that our baby has two arms, two legs, a brain, four chambers in her heart, a nose, eyes, a stomach, kidneys, and feet.

Ummm.....FOOT.

These are all wonderful things to know and we were so happy to find out that everything was looking normal. But as far as the gender was concerned, we were told that the baby was probably a girl...maybe. Our baby was quite active and not a big fan of being nudged with the ultrasound wand. At one point we saw her punch me and the radiologist when she was trying to get a good shot of her nose. However, once it was time to take a look at her legs and backside, she clamped down and decided that she wasn't moving ANY MORE. Apparently she has an attitude that she must get from Nate because I certainly don't have such a defiant demeanor.

For example, here she is trying to block a good shot of her nose.

I tried to tell myself that maybe we just weren't meant to know the gender...or that we were most likely having a girl...but maybe a boy. Well, that lasted all of 12 hours, and by the next morning (clearly I agonized over this decision) I had made an appointment for another ultrasound. I thought about the 3D/4D ultrasounds, but they kind of creep Nate out and all I really wanted to know was the sex so I figured we didn't need all those other dimensions.

Not letting her guard down, shortly after punching me.

I felt a little weird when we first got to the ultrasound place. I mean, it's not in any way a doctors office...no nurses, no doctors. I could hear some piano arrangement of "Rock-a-By-Baby" in the background while the receptionist offered to upgrade our VHS of the session to a DVD. I kept thinking "oh geez, we're just here on business, we don't even want a video and kill the cheesy music please." Well, I clearly wasn't giving this experience a fair shot.

I love looking at the spine...that is so cool!

The room we were in had a nice black leather couch and enough seating for eight people! The bed I was on was about the size of the room we were in for our hospital ultrasound and the entire thing was projected on the wall for us to see. It was an awesome experience and I would recommend the place to anyone. The other thing that was great was that finding out the sex was priority #1. She was still pretty stubborn but I promised her that I wouldn't post any of her "personal" pictures on this blog so I guess she caved. So there you have it...the first bribe of my parenting career.