Thursday, November 18, 2010

School Pictures

Joseph's very first school pictures. I am really impressed that they got him to look at the camera and smile, and not surprised that in his class pictures, he's next to/being restrained by his teacher. So handsome!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I love fall, and for some reason this year in particular I have been obsessed with fall. This means wearing sweaters, baking pumpkin bread and making soup even when it was still pretty hot out (but being SUPER excited about the rainy weather we've had over the last few weeks). It also means participating in fall activities to the max.

First we went to Utah for a wedding and enjoyed, among other things, some fall foliage and riding ponies at a darling little farm.

Back home, we held our annual tradition of going to Bates Nut Farm. Joseph had already gone to a pumpkin patch with his preschool, but we couldn't resist going to the Farm because it is so big and beautiful and we've gone every year since we've moved here. Joseph in green = his preschool trip; the other pictures are our trip.

And, of course, we enjoyed Halloween. Joseph had three costumes this year (which was still a lot fewer than the number that he requested): he wore his Tigger costume from last year to his preschool "animal" parade ...

He wore his astronaut costume to my work party, the party we hosted here, and to trick-or-treat ...

And today, he dressed as his sister Audrey. (He did this all on his own.)

Audrey only had one costume, but she was FOR SURE the cutest Audrey Bee ever.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All About Dr. Joseph

This is a post about Joseph. Because he is just that funny, and he deserves a post dedicated to some of the funny things he says and does (whether or not anyone will read this whole thing ... I just want to get these down in one place.)

***Joseph and the "dragon" that he made out of blocks (relying on the "menu" or "directions" that he had drawn to tell him how to build the dragon).***

Joseph and the Pet

Joseph (like many children) has always loved animals. He loves running into dogs at the park and when we're out walking, he loves playing with my mom's cat, he loves going to the zoo and to the pet store. At one point I even considered (briefly) getting a dog back before Joseph had a sibling, but then I saw that they were about as much work as getting him a sibling so we did that instead. Anyway, it was inevitable that he finally formally ask for a pet. This happened the other night.

He said, "Can we go to the petstore and get a pet to come home and live with us?" (Note the precision in his language. More on that later.)

I said, "What kind of pet would we get?"

He said, "A worm."

I figured that was pretty reasonable, so I said, "Maybe."

Emboldened, he continued: "Can we get a kitty cat?"

"No, kitty cats make daddy sick. But you can play with Grandma White's kitty cat."

"Do dogs make daddy sick?"


"Can we get a dog then?"

"No, because we don't have a yard for the dog to play in and go potty in, and dogs don't use the toilet."

Joseph's final plea: "I will wipe the doggies bummy."

Anyway, anyone know anything about worm care?

Joseph the Linguist

Joseph is really clever with language. He seems to really understand nuances in words and really likes experimenting with new ones.

For example, the other day he tested out a new word:

"I have an email hypothesis."

"What is your hypothesis?"

"It's about email in the water. It's an interesting hypothesis."

The next day, he was testing "worried" and "worrying." Everytime we asked what he was doing, he was "worrying" about one thing or another: "I'm worried about Audrey. I'm worried about those cars."

Similarly, he's good at using nuances in language to try to get out of trouble. For example, when he's getting in trouble for "hitting," he explains that he was actually "patting," "clapping," "tapping," or any number of euphemisms he's come up with. When we ask him not to "step over" Audrey, he clarifies that he was "jumping over" her. He fell off of our bed the other day, and explained that it wasn't a fall: "I didn't fall; it was a jump. When I sometimes fall over, it's a jump."

Another example: Often when Joseph is grouchy in the morning (for instance, because he had stayed up till 10 the last two nights ...), he'll yell at me, "go away!"

Todd will have talks with him about needing to be nice to mommy. The other day, after having a talk, Joseph came back into the room and said brightly, "hi mommy! how are you mommy!" and then declared he had said a nice thing.

A few days later, however, he was a bit cleverer. After getting in trouble for yelling "go away!" at me, he said, very sweetly, "mommy, will you please go away?" and then said, "I said it nicely."

I think he's also figured out that his parents are good with language, too, and so he has learned to be very precise when he asks for things so that we cannot twist his words and give him something else. For example, the other day Todd had a drink that Joseph wanted. Rather than just asking for a drink (because he has learned that Todd will say "yes" and then get him a different drink, even though we all know Joseph wants Todd's drink), Joseph said, "Can I have that green drink right there in your hands." Hard to get around that one.

He has also figured out language to always be right. The other day he was reading a chapter book ... not a kid's book ... specifically, he was reading "The Elements of Style" by White and Strunk. I told him, "Joseph, that book doesn't have any pictures in it." He responded, "Yes it does. It has pictures of words."

He's also really into "matching" and "categorizing" things. A few months ago Joseph would often tell us that certain things were his "favorite." Examples: "lettuce is my favorite kind of a vegetable"; "a horse is my favorite kind of an animal." (Don't think he really knows what "favorite" means because he will then go on to tell us that "broccoli is his favorite kind of a vegetable" and that "dolphins are his favorite kind of animals." Anyway, he was making a "lawnmower" today out of tinker toys and said:

"Lawnmowers are my favorite kind of a ... kind of a ... [pause as he tries to figure out what kind of category lawnmowers fit into]. Lawnmowers are my favorite kind of a vacuum!"

Joseph the Joker

Along with his interest in new words, he likes to make up jokes that play on words. I think this is actually quite sophisticated for a three year old. Here are his jokes:

"One day, I was walking in the night." It took us a while to figure out that he thinks this is funny because you say day and night.

Another one: "Meat-eaters eat plants."

Joseph and Audrey

Joseph loves Audrey and is almost always really sweet with her (though he still has trouble sharing with her. Luckily she doesn't notice this yet.) The other day he said, "I like my baby sister, Audrey." Todd said something like, "Yes, she's cute. That's nice of you to say." Joseph replied, "I'd like a baby brother too someday."

Joseph's Baptism

Just FYI, it's going to be awesome when Joseph gets baptized in a few years. Here's why.

A few weeks ago we took him to a baptism. After watching, he said, "When I get bigger and get baptized, can I wear goggles?"

Todd said, "no, but you can just close your eyes when you go in the water."

Joseph responded: "That won't work. I'm going to wear goggles . . . and flippers."

Joseph the Golfer

Joseph is still really into golf. He likes to pretend he's Tiger Woods (pre-scandal) and usually if anyone else is golfing with him, he makes that person be Kenny Perry. His other favorites are Phil Mikelson and Rory McIlroy. Lately, he also likes to pretend that Audrey is his caddy, and he asks her for imaginary balls and golf clubs.

Joseph and Preschool

Joseph has been in preschool for a little over a month now and he loves it. We think it's helping him to be a little more independent and social. We're happy he's happy there.

The End.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A First

Joseph and Audrey, both looking at the camera, both smiling. At the same time. And Todd managed to capture it on camera.

That's good news.

The bad news is that this is likely a once-a-year occurrence, and we have family pictures scheduled for Saturday. So I think odds of a repeat performance then are bad. Oh well! They're still cute.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Road Trip V: Portland

So the day after the Redwoods was mostly a driving day. We had planned to go to Crater Lake but we had been doing so much driving and it was pretty far out of our way, so we decided to just head up to Portland in a leisurely fashion that day. It was a beautiful drive through nice forested areas. We stopped in Eugene around the University of Oregon for some lunch, and then got to Portland in the evening.

Once we made it to Portland we drove up the Columbia River Highway or whatever it's called up the Columbia River Gorge. We stopped at some beautiful waterfalls and did a little bit of hiking. The Gorge is really lovely.

Then we had the BEST Thai food we've ever had (even though it was from a restaurant in a slightly sketchy neighborhood -- but Yelp told us to go there, and Yelp did not lead us astray; Todd doubted Yelp, but I believed, and I prevailed). Then we actually made it to our hotel before midnight or later for the first time in several days, so we got some sleep.

In the morning we headed into Portland. We first went to the famous Powell's bookstore. I was surprised at how much fun we had (I mean I like bookstores, but we were taking two small children so it wasn't like we could just leisurely look around). Plus, massive bookstore with massively high shelves and an escape artist for a toddler = recipe for disaster. But Todd and I took turns exploring a bit in the store while the other stayed with the kids at some tables in the children's section and read lots of books with Joseph. Joseph loved getting the books off of the shelves and reading. I took pictures of some books I wanted, and then downloaded them on my Kindle. Sorry, Powell's. We did buy a couple of children's books, though.

After Powell's we went and found some lunch, and then explored a bit around town. We went to a fancy-pants children's toy store that was a lot of fun. Oh, except that the children's toy store did not allow you to throw away diapers in the trash cans. Which I understand because they don't want the place getting smelly, but here is the one problem with Portland: there are no trash cans anywhere in public! This is very bewildering to me because it is a very clean city. But how is it so clean if it is impossible to find trash cans? I guess people are like backpackers and then pack it out. Anyway, I digress.

After the toy store, we went to a splash park/fountain and Joseph had a great time splashing around. Then it was getting time to head up to Seattle so we grabbed some cupcakes and then headed up north to my cousin's house.

MAJOR Milestone

This has probably been possible for a long time now since Audrey has always had a lot of hair, but today I officially discovered that I can give her little piggy tails. We'll still always love her headbands, but I am certainly excited about this development and celebrated by visiting Target to pick up some more hair clips and rubber bands (since, as is evident from this picture, I did not have matching clips until now). AWESOME.

By the way -- anyone have any recommendations for cute places to get hair clips? I am obsessed with for headbands (a girl from church introduced me, and I don't know what I would have done without them), but they don't do clips...

Not that it's necessary to do anything to this girl's awesome hair. It is so dang cute, although it is getting so long that it actually gets snarly in the back and we have to carefully comb it out after we bathe her. What kind of kid needs detangler at before hitting 7 months?!?

As her hair has gotten longer, I think the curl is getting weighed down a little bit. Todd recently discovered the solution to perfect ringlets: we just stick Audrey in the exersaucer in the steamy bathroom while we shower, and the steam perfects the curl. These are some pictures taken on the day Todd discovered and perfected the technique (and the day we were trying -- unsuccessfully -- to get some pictures of Audrey and Joseph in their Halloween jammies).

In addition to the hair, I will admit that dressing Audrey is a bit of a hobby/obsession for me. A recent favorite from last week. The picture does not do this outfit justice. These adorable jeans (Todd accused me of "pegging" them but it was just that they were too long) and a cute white top, but that wasn't the great part. She had these darling yellow, pink, and green shoes that Sam's parents sent us, perfectly matching socks, and of course, a perfectly matching head band. She was such a big girl. Of course, we went to a botanical garden on the hottest day of the year (it was literally the hottest day in L.A. since like 1880 or something), and she kicked off her shoe at some point and I had to wander around in the sweltering heat looking for it. She was probably trying to get back at me for putting her in jeans on the hottest day of her life. Anyway, I found the shoe.

Another good one -- this was for my sister Kiersten's book signing/release party when her awesome book came out. If you've read the book (and I hope you have), you'll understand why I dressed Audrey in hot pink and animal print.

Joseph and his cousins were looking pretty sharp at the book signing, too.

Last but not least -- Audrey is not without her fashion disasters. A few weeks ago, we went to the Wild Animal Park. Knowing that this would present photo opportunities, I of course dressed Audrey appropriately for the occasion. Unfortunately, en route to the park, she had a major blow out. We used to pack extra outfits for these kinds of occasions but have long since discontinued this practice, since blow outs are rare these days. So, I didn't have anything else to put her in. We had, however, started packing extra pants for Joseph since potty training him in case of accidents. So we stuck her in some of his shorts and she was good to go.

And yes, someone thought she was a boy. Though, that still seems hard to believe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Road Trip IV: Redwood Forest

So I think this was our favorite day of the whole trip. A good combination of beautiful scenery while driving, punctuated by some short but sweet hikes to break things up a bit.

We drove very late into the night to arrive at Eureka, California, just south of Redwood National Forest. We slept for a few hours there and then grabbed a delicious breakfast at a little diner. By the way, a major shout out to Yelp for excellent restaurant recommendations. We had a goal on our trip not to eat at any chains and I'm pretty sure we fulfilled it except maybe once or twice (when we really didn't have any more options), so we relied heavily on Yelp to guide us to good eats and were generally quite pleased.

After we ate we drove up to the forest. We got out at one point and did a nice little loop hike in the forest. Beautiful, but no Ewoks.

Then we drove some more to some look out points, and started heading to Oregon. On our way to Oregon we saw a look out point that was supposed to be nice so we drove up and got out of the car. It was really foggy and we saw this little out-cropped lookout point way down below the cliffs and decided to hike down there to see if we could get a better view away from the fog. This was a super fun hike. There were tons of wildflowers growing in the sides of the cliffs and the scenery was stunning. The one drawback was that there were hundreds of little snakes slithering around in the grass, which was a little bit disconcerting, but we managed.

Then we kept heading north to Oregon, stopping in Crescent City to look around a bit and eat some dinner, and then stopped some random place in Oregon for the night.