Friday, July 30, 2010

Party Time!

Okay, so apparently I need a creative outlet. After years of working children's birthday parties that were getting out of hand (40 guests for a 3 year old?!?! $10 treat bags?!?! A nature hike with prizes isn't enough of an activity so they hire a clown?!?!?!) I can admit I had a little too much fun throwing together Matthew's first birthday. As I know one day we'll be in Target arguing over the cost and necessity of xyz-action figure plates and napkins and how he'll "have to have them or no one will be his friend" it was nice to pick a theme with a simple color scheme and without argument to spice up our little immediate family birthday party. Soo, since little man's interests are limited to spreading toys around the house, chasing the dogs and cats and books, I went with a Dr. Seuss theme. The guests of honor were untraditional in that we had 2 laptops join us for dinner after we sent invitations to grandmas and grandpas.

Matthew in his birthday hat in front of the adorable name train he got from Aunt Sharon. Boy does she know how to pick gifts (as well as grandma Dot who apparently picked up a matching train for Matthew as well!). Matthew's had a blast with the farm tractor he received as well! More photos/videos of that later.

Hanging out with Daddy and playing music in his first bday outfit from grandma Dot and grandpa Ron.

For dinner we had green eggs and ham, and poodle noodles (from Fox in Socks), for snack earlier in the day we had one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish and we finished up with some Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes (from Cat in the Hat). Our buffet was covered with very generous and wonderfully perfect gifts from family and friends. Matthew's definitely set to be incredibly stylish, well read, a little nerdy, a little country, a little muscial and a lot of fun in year two! We'll definitely have more pictures to share of Matthew enjoying his presents later.

The original goal for the cupcakes was this:

but I discovered that look definitely requires less humidity and much fresher cotton candy than the Fluffy Stuff sold at Target (thanks Kathy for the lead!). Either way, I don't think Matthew minded at all and less sugar probably didn't kill him :-) Here's his cake:

Here he is enjoying his green eggs and ham! At first he was a little confused by the dual computer monitors and having both grandmas and grandpas online, but he eventually hammed it up for them.

Note: the necklace in all the pics is an amber teething necklace. After 9 months of teething and as we counted with the Pediatrician today, 6 new, big, nasty teeth on their way, I'm at the end of my rope and willing to try anything, even hippy voodoo magic. The moms at the pool swear by theirs. The jury's still out with Matthew. Somehow a necklace (which I think makes him look like an adorable little surfer boy) has now confused many about his gender, which is a problem we've never, ever had.

Anyway, after green eggs and ham and opening some presents with awesome hiking socks from grandma and grandpa Watson, it was time for the main event. Matthew was ready to go before we finished singing and blew out the candle.

And go he did! He very artfully used two fingers to gingerly pick off the blue frosting

Then with Dad's help, he started in on the cake.

A very happy birthday boy who was "all done!"

Which for the sake of our furniture and rental carpet, meant an immediate birthday bath!

All in all, I think Matthew enjoyed being the center of attention and really enjoyed the cake and we were thrilled to be able to share with the grandparents "live" since there just wasn't enough time to squeeze in a birthday party with family and friends before we moved as I had originally planned. Yay technology!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today we are celebrating a very special day! One year ago we fell in love with this squishy little baby for the first time.

Matthew at 5 minutes old:

Matthew at 1 day old.

Matthew at 1 month.

Big smiles at 2 months. I don't know how I ever did anything besides kiss these adorable little cheeks and rub that cute little peach fuzz hair all day.

Intrigue at 3 months. Oh yeah, and his two teeth. It's amazing now at 1 year (when in my mind all the other babies should have caught up!) how many moms comment on his teeth and how it's the first thing they noticed. Granted, it's always easy to notice because he smiles so much at strangers. We have a world class flirt on our hands :-)

His first big plane trip to visit grandmas and grandpas at 4 months.

Bathtime at 5 months. Matthew definitely had/has a hate/love/meh relationship with water. We've had 2 parent/tot lessons at the pool and he's not overly impressed. He doesn't completely flip out, but he's not thrilled about it either. He often feels the same way about bathtime anymore.

Switching to his big boy carseat at 6 months.

Yummy prunes and apricots at 7 months. Matthew also had a strong start with eating, but is now hit or miss. Right now I think it troubles him too much to take the time out of the day to sit still instead of practicing his cruising and future walking. He LOVES it when I put his snacks on the ottoman and he can cruise around while he snacks.

Sheer cuteness at 8 months.

Another big trip to visit grandmas and grandpas at 9 months.

More bathtime at 10 months.

Circus peanuts and family gatherings at 11 months.

On Sunday (before the big hair cut!) we had Matthew's 1st year photos taken with a fabulous local photographer. She posted a sneak peek of the pictures on he blog. I LOVE them. I hemmed and hawed about professional photos as our generic portrait studio photos were cute last time, but I'm so glad we went for pro shots. She not only captured his cuteness (which is easy) but his personality. Here's a sneak peek of one of the great photos Amy took and you can follow the link below for more. She'll be posting even more photos by the end of the week. I can't wait!

So here he is at 1 year. Happy Birthday Little Man! We love you!
Photo from Birthday Boy {Bozeman Baby Photographer} « Amy Shertzer Photography

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Old House

So, there are a million things I want to say about the old house, grandma's house, dad's house, our house, little Matthew's house but I don't have it all collected in my mind yet. Its entire history is (was *sniff*) with our family. The house was built by my grandma and grandpa with the help of their kids when they were just that, kids. As I dig through the photos in the guest room I promise to share more old photos as I know they're there somewhere, just not in the box I'm currently processing which was full of gems like this:

which to confuse matters is NOT a Pozun or Majdic at all, but my great-great grandfather Jacob on my mother's side. To me there's something iconic about this . . . the hat, the dog, something. Anyway, how it was in the middle of a box of photos with various funeral photos from dad's side of the family, I have no idea. But back to the point at hand, the old house.

A basic summary (and relatives are always welcome and encouraged to correct me where I am wrong) is that the house was built over 2-3 summers, using the lumber from an ice cream parlor/bowling alley from Superior. The garage was built first, which is where the family would stay as they came to Hudson to work on the house (they were living in Superior, WY at the time, 2-3 hours south). There is a scale model of the house in the attic that Papa used as his plans. I was told at one point, he would sometimes measure the model then multiply by the scale as he worked.

Anyway, there's a primer on the house. I'm working to flesh out more of the history (let alone the memories). This week however, I found this great item in one of the boxes of paper. It was a landscaping project my uncle completed for 4-H, showing the addition of the spruce trees and some other shrubs around the property.

Anyway, so in our absence of living in the house, we found a great couple to rent it and my poor father, mother and brother spent their 4th of July "vacation" fixing it up with little Matt's "help". First up was new flooring in kitchen and laundry areas. Here's the work in progress (note that fabulously large cupboard that holds more than my entire new kitchen and that I sorely miss!)


New carpet was put down in the living room. It really helps lighten up the space. A big thanks to the renters for sharing the pictures with us as the installation occurred after we had all left.

New carpet in the bedroom.

Amidst all the emotions of seeing other people's stuff in grandma's house which is unnerving at best, depressing at worst, it's nice to see the house being loved and used. I think it would be far worse in my mind if the house were sitting alone and empty or not being taken care of. Though I'll admit to a rocky love/dislike relationship with the property, I miss it. There were still times it smelled like grandma and there were always many quirks of grandma's left to find hidden in the closets and cubbies.


As little man's birthday is fast approaching, I promise I'll inundate the blog with pictures of him. In the meantime I thought I'd share a few other things. First, I completed #65 on our list of things to do. Admittedly, I did not donate to Locks of Love, but instead to the Pantene Great Lengths program. After reading this article I decided I might use Pantene's program instead. I don't think there's anything wrong with the Locks of Love program as described AT ALL, it was that truthfully I didn't have to grow out my hair as long. So on Sunday, my hair went from this

which truthfully I "styled" like this 98% of the time

to this final result (pardon the crazycakes face I make when I take my own photo, I promise I'm not stoned). I'm really pleased with the cut as it looks fairly good when it's "styled" by me (i.e. washed and then fingers run through it eventually). Meanwhile, 9+" of my hair is being sent to Texas as we speak.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cat Bath, Ski Lifts and Farm Animals

First, some pictures of Matthew as I played around with the camera Friday.

However, the real excitement of the weekend happened as I threw the diapers in the wash Friday night and I poured a cup of detergent. Realizing it was not our diaper detergent (really, who would have thought washing poop catchers could be so complicated!). I left the cup of detergent on the washer for our next regular load. BIG mistake. Iris apparently found it and maybe stepped in it or something. Truthfully, we have no idea how any animal could make such a big mess out of such a small cup of detergent. Anyway, James picks her up and notice she smells "mountain fresh" and is sticky so being dutiful pet owners, we give her a rinse in the sink, allowing her to claw the crap out of James and let her go sulk under the bed.

Being extra dutiful pet owners, we consult veterinarian Google and are instructed that if we don't give her a 20 minute bath (a 20 minute bath? Have these people ever owned a cat?) . . . or take her to the emergency vet (reasonable, but it's not like she drank it), or call ASPCA for a $65 poison control consult (really? $65?) Tide will likely kill her.

So, after being guilted and shamed by the internet, we compromised and decided to try a more thorough bath to get rid of all the soap residue so we could attempt to sleep without worrying and checking on the cat all night. Iris was not impressed by our heroic life saving efforts.

Not even a kitty cuddle in the towel pleased her.

Long story short, Iris is fine. We had a moment of panic on Saturday when we got back from our adventure and couldn't find her, but that was because she has figured out how to climb onto the tops of the kitchen cabinets and its one of the last places we think to look. Seriously, if any cat is slowly going crazy, it might be Olivia who as far as we know, wasn't involved in the incident:

Saturday, we participated in the Reach, Inc. Big Sky Trek on the team from James' company. It was a 3-ish mile hike at the Big Sky resort. The day was gorgeous and the hike was a lot of fun. We started at the bottom of this hill and ended at the top following the basin around. The elevation change is about 1150 feet.

Along the way there were tons of great wildflowers.

A view from the trail.

Little man seemed to enjoy the day. James and I also learned an important lesson about our backpack. Though it is nice in airports that we can carry Matthew and all the supplies, it makes a lot more sense for one person to carry a backpack with water etc. and the other to carry the 25 lb+ child.

Another view from the trail. The trail/road we came up on is in the lower lefthand corner of the picture.

There were sandwiches and music at the top, plus free rides on the lifts back down. We debated hiking down but we were pushing our luck with the first hour and a half of good behavior in the backpack so Matthew took his first ski lift ride down the mountain. He was thrilled for about 10 seconds.

And then cuddled and zoned out the rest of the way.

It was also the weekend of the Gallatin County fair so we stopped on our way home to check it out. I was shocked to find that there is a height requirement (that Matthew is FAR from reaching) to ride the carousel. . . even with your parents, so no first horsey ride for him. We did however check out the petting zoo:

And watched the racing pigs.

And met this adorable steer in the barns.

And this absolutely gorgeous chicken.

Matthew joined us for funnel cakes and sno-cones as is our fair tradition and what we were doing almost a year ago, only this time Matthew definitely didn't sleep through it! He thought the funnel cake was meh and is not a sno-cone fan at all. Thankfully he still prefers his broccoli and sweet potatoes to any sort of "treat". If only his daddy and I were the same. All in all an eventful Friday and Saturday with some more Sunday excitement to be blogged at a later date.

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...