Monday, December 7, 2009
I'm not exaggerating when I say that as soon as Van wakes up in the morning he wants the piano open and he wants to be put up on the bench. He practices on and off all day long.
When he's not eating that is...
Or standing on the table...
Or practicing to be a tattoo artist...
He's got a pretty busy life. He's feeling the pressure to be a good big brother to the coming littles.
The word on the street is that they're both girls. Names in the works.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
He never got his because the hospital filled his birth certificate full of all sort of crazy untrue things including NO GIVEN NAME. Not sure what they did with all the paperwork I filled out, but... I digress.
I knew I couldn't put it off forever, but when I went in Denver to add Risser to my SS card it took four hours. I just couldn't imagine what Van would do for four hours in an office full of people, on a floor covered in who knows what, in a room where technically you're not supposed to eat or drink.
So after almost going in Brooklyn, and almost going in Salt Lake, and almost going in LA, I went in Sacramento. And can I just say? I love Sacramento! I don't know if living in the capitol city just has its organizational perks or if it took a brilliant westerner to think to create a separate office that just deals with SS card applications.
I arrived ten minutes before the office opened and was the FIRST ONE THERE! What!? When I asked one of the workers getting out of his car if this was the right entrance for replacement SS cards he looked at me quizzically and said, "yes, but we don't open until 9:30" and walked inside. Confused at his confusion, I looked at my phone and saw it was 9:21.
At 9:30 on the dot, the doors opened and after a brief lecture about not taking weapons "including tools of trade" inside. I and a band of five or ten others were greeted by 14 windows open and ready for business staffed by friendly, efficient employees.
In less than 20 minutes, the dreaded chore was done and Van and I celebrated our newly documented americanness with some yummy breakfast sandwiches and a trip to IKEA.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Maybe next year he'll raise the bar and try to get more candy. After all, he'll have to start showing his little sister (or brother) how it's done. Happy Halloween! Our way of scaring everyone is by announcing that we're expanding.
Coming April 28th (ish) 2010.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Then GK loaded the dishwasher (something we've never had before) and tidied up in record time because of it.
Then we tucked our little turkey into his crib (he's been in a pack n' play in various locations for two months now), in his very own room (not a creepy long storage room that also holds our bikes and surfboards).
Then we sat in front of the fire and ate some pumpkin bread from Trader Joes, and we said to each other "I hope we never forget what luxury is."
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
We have been homeless before (though never with a toddler) and we're pretty sure we will be again some day, so we weren't really concerned about that part of things. We just felt, in spite of our deep love for it and its folks, that it was time to leave Brooklyn.
Not knowing what was to come.
But our experience in the past has been that things work themselves out. And once again, at a time when jobs seem scarce and lots of people are searching, GK found the one. He'll be working as a Rep for Macmillan Publishing in Sacramento.
So this week we'll head up there and see if we can find us an apartment with some windows in it. Start booking your tickets folks because we can guarantee that this place will have a spot in it for you.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
When I was a little girl, my mom was pretty good about having us write in our journals. Usually on Sunday we'd lie around on the trampoline and write about our week, once we were old enough to do our own writing (and drawing). Before we could, she would write while we dicatated.
It started a sort of a habit for me. A compulsion during some periods of my life, and at others a nagging feeling in the back of my brain for not doing it. That's kind of where I am now.
In the old days I had no shame in an entry that looked like this:
Jan. 5, 1989
Wow! A lot has happened since I last wrote.
End of entry.
And now, so much has happened since I last blogged that I'm not sure where to start. So here's a list for now. Each of these could be a post of their own.
-Van and I flew to Utah from Brooklyn on the the world's longest, screamiest flight (sorry everyone, especially Van)
-We hung out with my family for a bit (including lots of dinners with my Grandma) waiting for GK to drive the enormous truck hauling a car across the country- alone
-We went to Jackson Hole to cheer on my dad, sister and three brothers in Lotoja (206 mile bike ride from Logan to Jackson Hole. Amazing!)
-Walking down the streets of Jackson, Van threw himself off of GK's shoulders onto the cement landing smack on his head (scariest moment of my life, followed by an afternoon in the ER and a miracle-- no bump, no bruise, no scratch)
-We drove to California for a fun filled week at the beach with GK's family
-We flew back to Utah for my Grandma's funeral
-Now we're back in California waiting to hear if all of GK's job interviews have paid off, because if Van plans on being such a dare devil, we need health coverage.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I used to jog several times a week in Prospect Park. The outer loop is just over three miles, and when pushing a stroller with a severe righthand veer, it's a good workout.
I've been slow to pick up the tradition here for a couple of reasons:
One, Utah is high! My dad's new license plate says "Life Elevated" and it's the truth. My little sea level lungs are taking a while to catch up.
Two, I didn't know where to go. I could run along the sidewalk and end up at a stripmall or a gas station or the freeway.
Then I thought of it--- Wheeler Farm!
I grew up playing in the wild woods at Wheeler Farm, sneaking into the hay loft (I think somewhere in there is one of my mom's electric blankets that my friend Melissa and I ditched when the farmer chased us out), visiting the little store, seeing the animals.
This was the first visit in years, and the first ever with my own little Van. It was so incredible to look at it all from his huge, curious, excitable eyes. He pointed at each animal, and giggled as the baby calf came close enough to the fence for us to feel his breath.
Be gone blues, we've got things to do.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I watched the last three minutes of "Raising Helen". Now, I can scoff at a silly chick flick with the best of them (or watch the same one five times in one weekend). But tonight as I watched them walk down the boardwalk by the Hudson River, I got all choked up.
I cried a little as I thought of the last week we spent together as a family in New York. I find that most of my stories and sentences these days start with, "In New York..." It's got to get a little old to those listening, but I can't help it.
I miss my city.
I miss my friends.
I miss my park.
I miss my sweet husband.
I miss my dungeon. I never thought I'd say that, but I do.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
In the first 51 weeks of his life, he's done a lot.
He has conquered one of the most powerful cities in the world with his cool blue eyes and drooly smile: He's given concerts on the art in Battery Park:
It's hard to remember life without our Van. Back when we were on time for things. Back when we didn't have to pack up the fridge to go out on the town. Back when our house was a little quieter, and a little less filled with toys.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
My mom made me feel special, even (or maybe especially) when we were spreading out the fun. I have been accused of spreading out my fun a little too long. Like the year I used the "You Are Special Today" plate through my brother Alex's birthday- nine days after my own. I don't remember how I ended up with the plate, but my sister Elizabeth remembers and in her version of the story I was still using it on her birthday- six weeks after mine.
Now that I'm a mom, I appreciate the various benefits of spreading out the fun. I like the idea of literally celebrating birthdays for weeks or graduations for months. As someone who has a lot on her plate, I also need the quick forgiveness that comes when celebrations happen a little slower than I'd like.
But with all that said, I recognize the deep satisfaction when the stars align and the catastrophes halt to allow things to come together just in time for one perfect day. A day to recognize GK the father, the husband and the man. I guess that's why I feel okay that this post is about three days late.
I love giving gifts. Correction: I love knowing what people love. Once I do, I can't help myself. I like to take note of random clues and unintentional hints and when the opportunity arises, make them a reality.
Since Van was born, he's had a plethora of soft comfy pants with horizontal stripes. On many occasions, GK said, "I wish they made pants like this in my size." Hint number one.
One day getting dressed for church, GK put on a blue silk tie only to pull it back off grumbling something that contained the words spot, stupid and ruined. Hint number two.
Last year after teaching seminary for several months, GK started taking some inexpensive paperback scriptures instead of the ones from his mission, afraid they had become too tattered and fragile. Hint number three.
With a little crafty magic and some brilliant book binding buddies, GK's celebration exceeded expectation (something we all know I have a problem with). But to stay with tradition, the pictures are yet to come. Just to spread out the fun.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
GK's Mom and Dad (proof that Kyle and Kayla came, yet to come)
GK and his Dean Andrea.
The Florence/Risser/Ashdown Clan
Every one of these images was stolen from the Risser Blog. I'm pretty sure we took some too.
Maybe when I start liking my new haircut for more than five minutes at a time, I'll post some pictures of that as well.
Friday, May 8, 2009
My mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law arrive tomorrow.
I am so proud of GK and so happy to have so many from our family here to celebrate his accomplishment.
Much more on that to come. But for now, after the travelers nap, we're off to show them our fair city.
Friday, May 1, 2009
GK has talked about taking Van climbing and surfing since before he was born.
Before he could really crawl, Van would climb. Two or three days after he first lifted his little belly off the ground and began inching forward, he lit up the stairs in our basement apartment and succeeded right away in his first ascent.
Recently we were in Central Park bouldering with friends and after this skilled instruction:
Van didn't think it looked that hard and he pulled himself up on the side of the rock. Still working on his balance, he needed a little support. But here is Van's first aided climb; Rat Rock, East Face, Central Park, New York City.
Along with his quick temper and his intense focus on the task at hand, Van seems to have his dad's natural gift for conquering the rock. And now that the weather is warm and he can climb around in the dirt to his heart's content, his beloved baths are becoming an essential part of the nightly ritual.
In answer to GK's prayers, Van has always loved the water. He stays in the tub until he climbs out on his own (usually 30 minutes or more), loves having water poured over his face, and before he got too big he loved to lie on his back and kick and splash. We're pretty sure he'll make a seamless transition to the pools once they open and then to the nearby ocean.
Once we get him swimming, then we'll get him on a board...