Saturday, January 30, 2010

6 months

Matthew celebrated his 1/2 birthday this week. It's hard to believe that just 6 months, little man has grown from this:

to this dashing young man, riding in style in big boy car seat. I think he had grown out of many of his carseat issues he had over Thanksgiving, but this new seat seems to also help. We've done a lot of driving this week and he has yet to fuss really in it *knock on wood*. I think it helps he can see out the windows and watch the world go by.
He's really taken to sitting up and likes to practice much of the day. On soft carpeted floors, he'll go from sitting to being on his tummy on purpose without a fuss. He has yet to do it at home, but it may have something to do with our crazy hard flooring.
We definitely have a young man in the making as he's quickly discovered the joy of toy cars and trucks and/or anything on wheels. He loves his firetruck from great grandma Elsie!
Much like green beans, smoking is also his preferred way of consuming peas.
He's also decided he likes to chase his meals with a shot of water. Until we got him his own weird cup to drink out of, he liked our little glass bowls. Granted, in this video the bowl is empty because he had just dumped it out : )



We also discovered a less slippery way to explore bananas.


And Matthew decided to show off his mouthful of new teeth for a picture. Though I could feel his lower two teeth for a while, last I checked they were barely there so they may decided to wait for a while. Either way I don't do a whole lot of checking anymore as with the 6 teeth he has, his mouth is now a danger zone!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teething Bites

Matthew now officially has two front teeth bringing our grand total to 5 teeth with 3 more working their way through. This basically means Matthew chews on EVERYTHING. He really likes his new blocks. (Also, this post is crazy video intensive so my apologies to those who can't view them!)






and his books
and the kitchen table




Now, everyone and their mother will suggest to me that I get one of those gel-filled teethers and put it in the fridge. This is generally suggested when we're out and Matthew is chewing on anything and everything that he can find, like other people's noses. I agree that it sounds like a great idea, however, this is what Matthew thinks of the gel-filled teethers he has.



We're still learning how to use our new camera and play with the settings. Here are some cute pics I took the other morning while playing with the camera.



Last but not least, Matthew went sledding for the first time this weekend. It was a balmy 23 degrees and well, the bowling alley (which was supposed to be our "if it's below freezing" plan) was closed. However, it was a gorgeous day:
and Sky was eager to play fetch in the snow even if he isn't the best tracking dog.
While Sky searched for his ball, June chased the deer and frolicked. I think she spent the whole time just trying to keep her belly out of the snow!



James and I certainly had fun on the sled, though Matthew was pretty indifferent about the whole thing . . . except when I accidentally kicked up some powder in his face. He was royally pissed at that point.



James and Matthew had a few problems with the sagebrush navigation



but ended with a successful ride


and most importantly, were greeted by their favorite 4-legged cheering squad.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Around the House

So, in my week without internet I spent a good bit of time tidying up my digital photos. After culling a good portion of the blurry photos and duplicates, I still ended up with 2,423 photos and 216 movies . . . just since little man was born. Yikes! Thank goodness he's so cute! I still have 8,680 photos altogether and some 300 video clips which is slowly becoming a space issue. Oh my was it an interesting project. One of the benefits of marrying my best friend is that I have pictures of him from before we started dating. In fact, some of the first digital pictures I ever took were of James (well, and the rest of my drunken college friends) at the Continental Tire Bowl. Enjoy!



Thank goodness most of the photos from college were still the old paper style, pre-facebook, and many of them died right here on this wall of our shared college house. Not that I ever did anything embarrassing or silly, but I still can't imagine college antics in the super-digital recording age.

Moreover, I had a lot of fun with iPhoto faces. It's continually doing a much better job at facial recognition and makes labeling (and finding) pictures a breeze. My favorite "mistake" it made (besides when it mistakes me for our old roommate's hot wife which is always flattering) was this photo:
It identified two faces, Grandma and well, Colonel Sanders. However, it asked if the Colonel was Uncle Buddy, pictured in the front center below. It made me chuckle, though Uncle Buddy only resembles Colonel Sanders in the way that everyone in thick rimmed glasses (aka my entire family pre-1975) resembles him : )
Anyway, enough nostalgia, my original point was going to be that iPhoto organizes photos by Event, which is actually really great and useful most of the time. However, in the past 6 months, I have event after event titled "Around the House" punctuated by a few other actual events. However, my around the house photos tend to be my favorite photos. So, here's what we were up to 'around the house' this week. Matthew and I decided to make some cookies. Matthew enjoyed licking his (clean) spatula.
And then double checked the bag to make sure all the chocolate chips were put in the cookies (and did I mention the bag also sounds like his favorite crinkle elephant). He also tried to smack me in the face, hence my oh so cute expression, which I have to say, certainly brings out the Podobnik nose.

James came down and caught Matthew and I playing with his toy cow from Grandpa Ron while we waited for the cookies to bake.


Matthew'll have to wait a while for cookies and from the looks of it, he's not to impressed with his other options. I LOVE this picture.
James says it reminds him of Winston Churchill. I'm thinking someone else, a movie character maybe, but the name just hasn't come to me yet. Either way, the expression is priceless. In addition to eating, Matthew's also learning how to clean up himself.


We also practiced playing with a ball we got from Ms. Mary Jane. Sky was incredibly jealous he wasn't allowed to play.
However, he then got to play in all our new snow and I think got over it.
I'm working on a developing theory about feet in the kitchen. Mostly, that I believe there should be fewer than 16 feet in my kitchen at any time. More than that and I tend to get cranky. So, we've been rewarding the dogs for staying out the kitchen during Matthew's floor time. The cats however, are not as easily sent out.

And here's a close encounter with Iris earlier in the day. Matthew goes for the grab:Then Iris goes for the warning tap:
Then Matthew gets an actual grab and Iris settles for watching him from a safe distance out of reach.



Here's Matthew again showing off his teeth. His right eye tooth is through and it looks like his left one may beat his front tooth. Matthew's new "trick" is grinding his teeth and it drives me absolutely bonkers. I'm hoping this is a "wow, this is new" type thing and it'll go away soon. . . real soon.

And last but not least, another gorgeous western sunset from the end of the driveway.





Wednesday, January 20, 2010

101 Things Update

So, here's the updated list of progress made on our 101 things. Not bad considering the season. 7 out of 101 done, and many others started. 7.8% of our 1001 days are passed and we've completed 6.9% of our tasks.

1. Go for 1 month without watching any TV/Hulu
2. Publish a version of the Majdic Family History - in progress, more photos scanned, plan devised : )
3. Refinish the bathroom by ourselves - becoming more intimidating each day, as I'll need to work during Matt's naps and well, the bathroom is right next to the nursery. However, I did find this pic which was a nice reminder of how far the bathroom has come already (not from our doing however):


4. Drop one BMI category
5. Sew a baby quilt for Matthew
6. Make a quilt out of our old UVA tshirts
7. Learn how to can using a pressure cooker
8. Crochet or knit a dishrag
9. Renew our passports
10. Visit Ed in London
11. Run a 5K
12. Go to Saratoga for the weekend
13. Go to Cheyenne Frontier Days
14. Learn 15 constellations and their mythologies
15. Take Matthew on an overnight backpacking trip
16. Go camping in Yellowstone
17. Teach Sky a new trick
18. Teach June how to lie down
19. Go see Hands in Harmony perform
20. Go to Devils Tower/Mt. Rushmore
21. Go one week without personal internet (James' work will be allowed :) James didn't join me, but it was a good experience for me. Other difficulties not included in the previous post were how much I rely on the quickness of finding recipes online (especially to use the random ingredients I might have on hand), as well as my dependence on watching the Daily Show while doing dishes. I hate dishes and Jon Stewart makes it a little better.
22. Take a community college course - Signed up for basic car care on 2/18, parenting your parents on 2/25, and raising chickens on 2/24
23. Have a sibling for Matthew
24. Foster an animal
25. Sew new curtains for the kitchen and mud room
26. Call 15 friends just to catch up (1 of 15 done)
27. Send 15 real, handwritten letters to old friends
28. Go on a trail ride
29. Take Matthew to a Water Babies class
30. Pay off or sell our WV land
31. Clean out and paint James' office
32. Set up Matthew's college savings plan - Done 12/25 thanks to Uncle Ed
33. Give up soda for a month
34. Create and follow a back-up plan for our computer - Done 1/16/09
35. Go to church every Sunday for 10 straight weeks.
36. Donate 101 things to the Thrift Store - Done 1/4/09, though we should have set the goal as 1001
37. Give away 20 of our books to friends or family who might enjoy them (1 of 20)
38. Go 1 month without fast food or eating out
39. Go out for dinner and dancing in Hudson
40. Make my own pesto
41. Learn to make a dish I hated when I was a child and try it again
42. Make a potica using grandma's old recipe
43. Eat dinner at the dining room table every night for a week
44. Go fishing in the Wind Rivers
45. Go for a 12 mile+ day hike
46. Have James finish his secret project
47. Take our neighbors baked goods
48. Have 6 friends over for dinner
49. Send 10 gifts to people with enough time to get there before the holiday
50. Finish our 50 states quarters collection for Matthew - Missing 2 states, and Philly minted coins for quite a few of the states (silly double book!). At least by collecting both mints, our next child will have a collection too!
51. Complete the 30 day shred
52. Go to a professional sports game
53. Read 12 books we already own but have never read
54. Visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center - Done 1/18/09 and it was wonderful
55. Dig for Dinosaurs in Thermopolis
56. Attend a Pow Wow
57. Go to a play
58. Make a will - Simple DIY version done 1/5/09. We'd still like a lawyer drafted version eventually.
59. Officially purchase a house
60. Complete and have printed 30 scrapbook pages for Matthew - Done. You can check them out at http://picasaweb.google.com/Heather.P.Watson/DigitalScrapbooking#
61. Stop using our credit cards for convenience for one month and pay for everything with cash
62. Learn to play one song on the piano that uses 2 hands
63. Find a good non-family babysitter and leave Matthew for an evening
64. Donate blood - Appointment made for 2/3/09
65. Grow out and donate my hair to Locks of Love
66. Chop down our own Christmas Tree instead of buying one
67. Teach a class for the community college
68. Find a tennis partner and play at least 3 times
69. Host a pig roast
70. Learn how to fix fences
71. Join a volunteer organization and participate in an event at least 6 times
72. Create a website for salt & pepper shaker collection
73. Clean out one of the attic spaces
74. Hike to the waterfall in Sinks Canyon State Park
75. Cook a three-course meal
76. Close out James' yahoo account
77. Paint a Bob Ross style painting
78. Purchase another vehicle
79. Paint kitchen table and chairs
80. Remove remaining personal items from parent homes
81. Visit family in Alaska
82. Visit Handcart Museum
83. Go rock hounding
84. Go to the Mustang Challenge
85. Vacation in one of the 4 corners of the US (Estcourt Station, Maine, Key West, Florida, San Diego, California or Seattle, Washington)
86. Secret Challenge
87. Read a book politically/philosophically opposed to own beliefs
88. Maintain a garden for an entire year
89. Register a brand
90. Take a basic plumbing course
91. Take a basic small engine repair/maintenance course
92. Send 25 birthday cards to friends and family
93. Raise chickens
94. Get at least one pet on an "LOL" site - various LOLs have been captioned and submitted, hopefully one will be featured soon!
95. Learn to make a decent loaf of bread from scratch
96. Go hunting
97. Raft through Wind River Canyon
98. Make at least $500 selling things we own
99. Take flowers to the cemetery on a random day
100. Clean out garage so that we can park the car in it
101. Make a new 101 list for the next 1001 days

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What a Week!

Well, Matthew and I have enjoyed our week away from the internet and learned quite a few things . . . including how integrated it is to our (well, my) life. Some old-timers might laugh, but as I tried to compare with an older friend, it would be like her living without the phone and corresponding only via letter for a month when she was my age. However, that analogy is not quite appropriate, because businesses did not cut staff when the phone came out. While the telephone was quicker, the same person that answered your letter likely answered your questions via phone and it wasn't until much later that the automated telephone answering systems were in vogue. Long story short, the people now who answer phones are practically trained to reroute you to the internet so you can take care of your issue yourself and find it very shocking when you actually demand that they help you via phone (even if it is just for them to look at their own darn website and give you the info). Anyway, here are some other random observations of the week without internet:

Over the week, it took me 2 days to really understand what was going on in Haiti as hearing "there was a 7.0 earthquake in Haiti" is very different than seeing pictures. Once I turned on the news, I then realized how obnoxious our newscasts are and how much advertising and fluff I had to sit through to get the details. It was a very odd feeling to have not been a part of the breaking news as it happened.

I spent 2 days trying to get my automated back-up system to work which was completely obnoxious without the online support forum. A quick googling of my issue would likely have fixed the problem the first time. On this occasion I was being too stubborn to call tech support because, well, I hate calling tech support.

I realized that I've never planned a trip without the internet. I had to get out *gasp* a paper map to figure out how far it was to Cody. I then tried to call our Chamber, to get the Cody Chamber phone # and finally gave up and randomly tried 1800-Holiday to get the Holiday Inn which fortunately had a hotel in Cody : ) Once there I looked up places in the phone book . . . it was crazy!

I did get a few projects completed that I'll post about later, but here are some pics from Matthew and what he was up to this week:

Matthew and I decided to test out his weather shield for the stroller. Matthew was not impressed with my fumbling, but enjoyed the walk.

We also hung out in our lounge pants from Grandma Watson and practiced more sitting
The dogs always provide some nice entertainment


Even when they're trying to steal the limelight
Mom realized Matthew's hair is now long enough he will often wake with bed head:And we explored the inflatable roller Ms. Becky gave us. All the "books" say Matthew should love to be rolled back and forth on it at 5 months. Matthew disagrees but he does like leaning against it and trying to eat the elephant.
And a beautiful sunset over the Wind Rivers.
We tried (and failed) to take a series of new pictures for Daddy's photo frame.
And Matthew decided that at least for this week, Avocado is an acceptable food.

Sweet potatoes (or yams, the jury's still out and Safeway is unhelpful) are now on the maybe list.
And we made significant progress on having a bonafide upper tooth. We also have 5, yes 5, more white bumps under the gums waiting for their big debuts.

Then there was Matthew's first trip to Cody. We drove in Friday night and Matthew slept beautifully during the drive. He woke up in the hotel and then decided that he didn't so much care for sleeping in the hotel room, but we made it through the night. The next day we headed to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center which is one of the classiest places in Wyoming, and a swoon-worthy museum. Though I've never been impressed with their website homepage, their museum is fabulous (as are their online collections . . . but you might not expect it from their homepage).

We started the day at the hotel learning a little about what happens when a bear and buffalo meet. At first the bear is a little hesitant:
But he showed the buffalo who was boss in the end.
Then Matthew compared his paws to that of a grizzly bear.

And he and Daddy checked out the bobcat and its catch.

James also checked out another bear on Cody's main street.
Though Matthew slept through the Buffalo Bill Museum, we did pop back in so he could experience his first saddle. Here he is practicing his bronc rider pose:
And here he is sitting like a handsome young cowboy:
Until he realized how tasty the saddlehorn might be:
Matthew then proceeded to fuss on and off through the Plains Indian Museum, hang out with daddy during the Whitney Art Museum and sleep through the firearms museum. Back at the hotel he enjoyed some new foods for dinner and breakfast, including cucumbers, squash, green beans and his first ribs. He sure did love the cucumbers:

And here he is hanging out in the hotel room while we packed up.

Okay Mom, no more pictures!Well, maybe just one more picture with an old friend . . . but only if she lets me gnaw on her sunglasses.
And last but not least some adorable deer that were hanging out in Cody.


Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...