Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Funny Felines

The other day after his nap, Matthew was hanging out with his kitties.

Apparently, they are hilarious!

Wait, I'm sorry, did I say kitties, they are in fact "ats" (as well as most everything else in the house). Here's Matthew correcting me as I seem confused. As a bonus, enjoy an up close and personal methodical baby attack.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday Around Town

It's been a cold, rainy, curl up with some hot cocoa kind of weekend here so any plans for enjoying the great outdoors went out the window so we took to exploring town and running errands.

Matthew has become recently OBSESSED with climbing stairs and has wanted to practice on either the concrete steps with wide gaping holes over concrete of our apartment or the very busy, very granite stairs of the library with placement so that if he did bump his head and scream, it would be heard in every corner of the library. I'm not a fan of either of those plans so we headed to the Museum to play in their new Yellowstone exhibit and the "Yellowstone River" tots area. What we learned was that though stairs and steps are fun, ramps are even more awesome.

Celebrating at the top with daddy.

We also stopped in at the Farmer's Market to pick up some more fresh basil so I could try my hand at pesto this week. While there we passed some gorgeous handmade baby/toddler items and decided to pick up a new hat that maybe Matthew wouldn't throw off each morning on his walk. We have no self-restraint when it comes to animals and headgear so we opted for this frog hat.

Here's one of my newest favorite pictures. His expression is just super funny (at least to me) and a little impish meets troll :-)


Friday, August 27, 2010

We're back!

After 3 years of not really organizing or labeling my posts, I decided to take the blog private yesterday to do some clean up, re-designing and re-organizing.   I still have some labeling to do but after discovered a way to do it finally without spamming everyone who follows us via feed reader.   Anyway, we're back and I got to play around with blogger's new template feature, some of which is awesome, some of which sucks.  Enjoy!

How Matthew Eats a Sandwich

Yesterday, Matthew and I took a nice hike with some other moms and kids. We saw a few turtles and lots of ducks. I'm going to go with this turtle being in an, uhhmmmm, deep meditative trance as it was the only one who didn't retreat as our group approached.



Last night, Iris was being incredibly cute as she watched and batted at the window, watching a grasshopper on our deck. I'll spare you the 2 minutes of video where she just sat there and I waited for her to do something cute. In the meantime, someone else decided he could be even cuter though you can kinda follow Iris in the corner.   Then he decided to show you how he so delicately eats his sandwich before getting distracted by the dogs who are somewhat patiently waiting for him to finish so they can patrol for stray food:


Yet somehow, all that delicate, sandwich tearing turns into this:
Because no matter how hard a press his sandwich
He prefers to split open the slices and eat the filling first.  In fact, I think sandwiches generally turn into a messier meal than say pasta and sauce with this dude.
 

Family Photo Friday

When I think of grandma and grandpa, I think of the grandparents I knew and heard stories about, the ones who lived on a farm, made sausage, grew their own corn and grapes etc. The ones who raised this wild bunch:
But before these guys, grandma was just a farm girl in Hudson
who headed off to the big city of Chicago to stay with her aunts (the Setinas), who were friends with the Pozuns who had also lived in a small town in Kansas. It was a small interconnected world back then for Slovenian immigrants. In Chicago Jennie and Vince married and she convinced him to come back to that small town in Wyoming (eventually). And there they took pictures like these that are, well, very Wyoming.
But from their times in Chicago, they took lots and lots of fabulous pictures like these . . where grandma wore heels and hats and lots of fabulous dresses and pantsuits and papa wore suit pants and his army uniform:
(The above photo's kinda grainy but this isn't actually my grandfather, I believe it was his brother Matt)
And from grandma and grandpa's courthouse wedding:

Vince and his witness/best man (Jennie's brother Jerry) relaxing.
And tucked in the photo envelope with this treasure trove of photos from Chicago was this song/poem, very carefully and neatly transcribed in Papa's handwriting with it written to Jennie on the outside.  I never really thought much about the hows and whys of why they ended up in Wyoming over Kansas with Vince's family but this poem I think gives a bit of insight toward grandma's thoughts about leaving the city and coming back home.  He credits Ethel Arbenz with the text, but I could find no good reference for it anywhere. So, here you go:
Take Me Back to Old Wyoming

Take me back to old Wyoming
When I'm through with all my roaming
Let me settle there and finish out my life
There is nothing that can beat it
If you're big enough to meet it
Though you'll surely meet with lots of care and strife

When you wake up in the winter
And the snow is on the ground
You'll just have to grin and bear it
There's nothing you can do, I swear it
But in summer it will fill your heart with pride

Just to see the rollin' prairie
With a breeze that's light and airy
It's a country I will tell you is sure and sweet
You can look the country over
From Seattle back to Dover
But you'll agree that old Wyoming can't be beat

Folks who ever try to leave it
Let me tell you they will grieve it
It will call to them and never give them rest
Till they stop their wild roaming
And hit the trail to Old Wyoming
And settle in a home out in the West.
- By Ethel Arbenz


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Smorgasbord

Much like cleaning out my dreaded drafts folder in my email, I came across these drafts in my blog posts that never made it to publication.  Most are links and though it seems incongruous to post these together, know some were in my draft folder because I just couldn't get the phrasing right to honor the situation . . . or because I didn't know how to share them.  So, as I try and let go of my perfectionism, here are some of the things I've been thinking about, serious or not.

First was a post temporarily titled "Thinkers and Pray-ers".  It has been an incredibly rough month for friends and family around me with regards to illness, diagnosis and death.  For those of you who pray, please do, and for those of you who don't, keep sending good thoughts their way.   Good thoughts are needed for the family of James' godfather, Parker Archibald.  I am so lucky Sheryl and John took Matthew and I down to visit he and his wife this spring, as Parker passed away last week.  A very nice obituary was posted in The Washington Post.   A close yet very private family member has also been diagnosed with some serious illnesses and needs all the good thoughts we can spare.  My good friend also just received a scary diagnosis regarding her father and needs our prayers.  And earlier this month, a friend and fellow band mate from college was diagnosed with cancer.  She (and her sister) share about it here and if anyone is going to take all the biology knowledge she has and use it to fight for the best treatment to kick cancer's butt, it's Rachel.

Another post that's been sitting around for a while is "Awesome Things my Friends are Doing". It was inspired by having another college friend and band mate who at the time was riding her bike across the country which is crazy impressive, and then building affordable housing along the way.   It was also inspired by a thank you card I got that kinda rocked my world.  One of my good friends from elementary school went to Haiti on a mission trip with A Home in Haiti.   We donated money so she could buy supplies to take with her and in turn she sent us a beautiful thank you card, similar to this blog entry she wrote.  It's hard to put into words the variety of emotions I felt as she shared her journey.  I'm proud of her but saddened by the enormity of the situation.   I think I also had more friends I was proud of to add to this post (which is why I never finished it) but suffice it to say, we have some pretty awesome friends doing awesome things.

And for a bit of silliness, here's a blog that my dad found this and shared with me.   Apparently I missed my blog calling as I helping clean out grandma's old house, though unfortunately this blog hasn't been updated in a while: Stuff From My Mom’s Garage

So after purging some of the waste, there's the stuff that's been sitting around waiting for its blogging moment.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We better find a travel agent . . .

. . . . this boy loooooves salmon and we probably ought to teach him to catch his own as soon as possible. Though Grandpa Ron and Uncle Matt may claim to be quite the fisherman, we all know that it's Uncle John and Don who can really help him to reel in the big ones instead of the fabled giants that got away :-) And lord knows with the way this boy eats, little ones just won't suffice.

And here's some more cuteness.

How could anyone resist this little dude as a houseguest . . . even if he will eat them out of house and home!

And, okay, maybe Dad and Matt aren't that bad of fisherman :-)

I guess they can come too.

Wellllll, maybe not. That's definitely not enough for little Matt.

Okay Uncle Matt, that should be enough, you can join us!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Penguin Waddle

Matthew and daddy took his walker (or should we say waddler) out for a test drive last night.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things I wish Matthew hadn't learned

I was making dinner the other night and looked over to find this (which is far easier to video than the series of 6-7 steps he likes to take on his own, only when I don't have the camera of course!).





When we went to the Children's Museum on Thursday the stairs were also his favorite exhibit . . . well, at least the bottom stair.

So, we have an almost walker and a beginning stair climber. We're all in trouble.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Family Photo Friday

So, today we'll get to the real reasons for Family Photo Friday. Besides my obsessions with old photos, I need help piecing a lot of things together. So, I find the blog to be a nice, quick way to share photos with family and (hopefully) get their emails telling me either a)hey, I know who that is or b)stop blathering already, you're crazy off the mark . . . or something inbetween :-)

So, here are some unidentified photos I've come across:

This one's labeled 4.5 months

This one's labeled 1 month.

Because there are lots of pictures and based on the unofficial statistical breakdown of the rest of the photos we have, I'd assume it's the first baby, John. However, I have no idea who's holding him and/or whose house they are in. If it was grandma and grandpa's house in Superior, where in the world did those gorgeous chairs go? Also, it could be photos sent from a cousin/aunt which means I really have no idea.

Also, in my unidentified file is this photo:

On the back is written "Mom and Dad, May 19th 1915" plus some crayon scribbles. I'm quite certain my great grandfather is not hiding in this photo, but is this (my great-)grandma? Most of the pictures we have of her she is much older so I'm not quite certain and the info is ambiguous.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Haircut

So this adorable monster

"Who Me?"

needed a haircut. He was fluffy around the ears and had these seriously adorable curls in the back that apparently were perfect for food storage when necessary. After putting it off long enough out of my own fears of screwing up my adorable child but not being willing to pay someone else to snip a few wisps of errant hair, here's the result:

"Mom, what the?"

"I hate it!"

"Why God why did you let her do this?"

Okay, all dramatics aside, he was actually upset that I had closed the laptop which was running classic Sesame Street clips. Besides being a nice walk down memory lane for me, they are perfect for occasions where I need M to sit still, like clipping nails and hair cuts. His bangs are shorter than I intended though as he was not pleased that my actions were interfering with watching the "How do we get to school" song. Oh well, hair grows back, right?

Blurry proof he's not scarred for life and went immediately back to my happy, slightly less hairy snuggle monster :-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Matt and Mom in Missoula

12 years ago I made an awesome friend in the little old town of Hot Springs, VA. In the past 12 years we have collectively lived in over 10 states and every once in a while, we manage to live in the same state which meant it was time for a road trip! Thursday afternoon Matthew and I loaded up the car and headed to Missoula, one of many Montana towns with a big M on the side of a hill (more about that later). Friday we hit up the Missoula Fair where Matthew chilled out in his new backpack from grandma and grandpa while we hit up the sites and of course, the fair food. Matthew's favorite however, was the cherries (the messy, staining, difficult to pit without stained hands cherries) from the nearby Flathead Lake area. I didn't take any pics of the day unfortunately but it was great :-(

On Saturday, however, we checked out the Carousel in Missoula, inspired by a cabinet maker in 1991 and hand carved and built by all volunteers. Pretty impressive. Matthew and I chose our horse and then truthfully, held on for dear life. It's a rather quick carousel! Matthew was not overly impressed, and the fact that he leaned forward and hit his head on the brass pole at the beginning of the ride didn't help at all! A huge thanks to Jenn for taking pics of this traumatic first carousel ride.

Afterwards we hung out by the river and checked out the farmer's market (fresh huckleberries!!) and another street fair. Matthew spent plenty of time terrorizing loving Jenn's cat and dog and we were able to catch up. An excellent weekend and I certainly see more road trips to Missoula in our future!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Family Photo Friday

As I posted a photo of my great grandmother and grandfather via my paternal grandmother last week, here's a gorgeous photo of a portrait of my great grandparents via my paternal grandfather, Papa Vince.

As noted on the back of the photo (thanks grandma!) Mary Podobnik was born in Kamnik, Austria in 1883 and John Pozun was born in 1873 in Sivnica, Austria. He came to the US in 1901 and married Mary in 1905. They had 5 boys and possibly one girl who passed away very young. Three of the boys got married, though only Vince and Jennie had surviving children. Because of this, grandma was highly interested in piecing together the Pozun lineage but hit quite a few stumbling blocks due to the small size of the family and the language barrier once the family immigrated.

Jennie's mother, however, was one of 11 and Jennie herself was one of 6 . . .5 of whom married and went on to have children. So, while gathering all the information for that side of the family is intriguing and complicated and there's a lot more to gather. However, generationally, I hit the same stumbling block regarding the point of immigration (which really doesn't go too far back). That said, I have a ton of organizing to do with regard to the Setina girls (paternal great grandmother's family) before I try digging further back.

So, I say this a lot, but the following photo ranks in my top 5 favorite finds and I think it'll take a lot to bump it from that list. It's my Papa Vince and 4 of his army buddies. According to the folder the picture was in, it's a souvenir from Port Arthur in Providence, RI the "famous Chinese-American restaurant of distinction". Though the photo is intriguing, it's the text around the photo that makes me weepy each time.

Inside are the following notes:

* Vincent is a good boy I will send him back to you

* Don't get any wrong ideas, just a friendly get together

It's then signed by Sgt. William Long, Sgt. Bill Keefer, Sgt. S Lavecchio, and Sgt. Bob Johnson, presumably the 4 guys on the left (Vince is on the far right).

And here's the part that makes me weepy every time, it's addressed to grandma on the front and signed by Papa on the back:

And on a less serious note, here's a cute one of the twins (my dad's on the right) washing a steer (presumably for fair).

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...