Monday, December 7, 2009

More like Mom

I think I might be a little uptight. A neighbor kid came over this evening for a couple hours so that his mom could take a test. I thought it would be fun to make cut out Christmas cookies, and in my head I was the coolest neighbor-lady ever. But here's how it really happened. I rolled out the dough (which I had made ahead of time so that it could harden in the fridge). Then I laid out the cookie cutters and then told them exactly where to put them on the dough. After they cut the cookie, I moved it to the pan. I even set the timer myself. I guess it was okay, but it seemed like I didn't really let them do anything. Because I wanted them to turn out right, obviously. I remember my mom being so good at letting us really make the Christmas cookies. The woman has untold levels of patience.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I can't help but feel a little prideful. This little boy is just too cute for me. I find myself wanting to take him out and show him off. I don't think I've ever met a happier, friendlier baby. Of course he gets fussy and grumpy, and he doesn't always sleep when I want him to, but every time I see him, I am blown away by how absolutely good he is. Babies have a pureness to them that you can't find anywhere else, but this little guy. . . I am anxious to watch him grow. I can already see that he is a better person than I am, and I know he will be a good example to me his whole life.
Love, love, love him!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh, just a bunch of random pictures

I really feel dumb about this one. We went to a Christmas tree farm to get our tree last Saturday and . . . well, somehow or other we wound up buying pictures, too. And since I can't read, we paid about twice what I thought we were going to. Possibly it was a reasonable price for professional photography, but that's not why I went to the tree farm, and I just think that if you're going to pay someone to take your picture, you should probably comb your hair first. Maybe I'll send out Christmas cards with the other picture we got, but at least I can post this one. Gotta get as much use as I can for my money.
Lizzy likes to help with whatever I am doing. This is her helping with the laundry. Doesn't she make the cutest ballerina? And if you look in the background, you can see the microwave that (sadly) no longer works. I can't melt butter with the touch of a button anymore. :( Our new one is prettier, but a lot less cool.

At the beginning of November, Isaac went to an academic conference in San Fransisco. Lizzy was pretty sure she should be allowed to come, too. She was kinda mad when we made her get out so he could pack. (But then she did a great job helping throw things in the suitcase.)

Victory! Barak has been doing a lot better with hand-eye coordination. Sometimes he can reach out and grab what he's after. You can really see him concentrate as he works at it, which i find vastly entertaining.

In our neighborhood, when you don't want a toy, you write "community property" on it and put it outside on the playground. Classy. And since I'm a classy mom, I let my daughter play with these little gems, like the dirty old dollhouse she became obsessed with. Seriously, she begged to go play outside for a week, and would make a beeline for the dollhouse every time. And those leaves you see in the house? They aren't there just because it's autumn. Those were her "dolls." That's beyond ghetto. That's just sad.
I love the fall. Lizzy, Barak, and I had a great time playing in the leaves. I didn't really get any good pictures, but we had so much fun making a leaf pile and then jumping in it. We worked hard, for about an hour, scraping together the best pile we could without the benefit of a rake. Then we went inside and got Isaac and he and Lizzy decimated that pile in minutes.

There would be more pictures of Barak, but whenever we're outside, he's strapped to me, which makes it pretty hard to get a decent camera angle.


The baby is asleep on my lap, and I know if I move he will get very sad, and THAT is why I am sitting here wasting time instead of doing the week's worth of dishes piled in the sink. (Or vacuuming, or scrubbing the ring out of the tub/ toilet/ bathroom sink. . . . I am a good housekeeper.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Little lady

This morning, Lizzy wanted Barak to lie down next to her in her brand new big girl bed. They were pretending to take a nap. Well, Lizzy was pretending. Barak was just hanging out. As I looked down at the two of them lying there, they just looked so beautiful, I couldn't resist telling them so, and also telling them how much I love them. Lizzy face flushed a little and she gave me a funny look. I wondered a bit at the emotion she seemed to be showing. Then she said, "I'm trying to fart." We are raising such a lady.

Friday, November 6, 2009


First, I have to apologize. I took terrible pictures of the Halloween season, and this is late anyway. Oh well. This is for you, Anne. For Halloween this year, we went as Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell, and one of the lost boys (dressed up as a bear).
Such a cute Tinkerbell! Half the time she decided she wanted to be Thumbelina instead.
At the pumpkin patch.
Again at the pumpkin patch.
But no pictures of the actual pumpkins. (Would you tar and feather me if you knew we never carved them? I know, I'm a terrible person.) And now I must go. The baby needs to be tickled.

Friday, October 30, 2009


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Cream the butter until very creamy. Add the sugar and eggs and beat very well. Add vanilla and dry ingredients. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

It's probably a pretty standard recipe, but it actually worked, so for me it's magic. I think the secret is the oven temperature. I must have been baking cookies too hot before. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


My least favorite part of two is that I am never right. It doesn't matter what the issue is, big or small, I am wrong. If I'm invited to her tea party, I invariably sit in the wrong seat. When it's time to put pajamas on, I choose the pair that are currently out of favor (even if she did insist on wearing them last night). Whichever cookie I offer MUST be the one with fewer chocolate chips, because obviously I can't count as well as she can. I am an evil, horrible tyrant when I insist that yes, it IS nap time. When I put her into her car seat, she wants to get in by herself. If I decide I can be patient and wait the ten minutes it takes her to get in all by herself, she whines and demands that I help her. Every sentence I utter is contradicted. I respect her independence. I think it's great that she can assert herself now, and I want her to be able to do things for herself and make decisions about her world. I'm just a little tired of always, always being wrong.

(Incidently, there are many things I love about two, including her spunkiness, that she obviously wants me to be happy, that she often tells me she loves me with no promptings, and she is absolutely the best at playing pretend.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I did it!

My entire adult life I have been unsuccessful at baking chocolate chip cookies. They never, never, never turn out. Sometimes I cry. Usually I vow I will never make them again. Yesterday it was make cookies or spend another hour playing barbies. (Honestly, why does my two-year-old play with barbies?!) She vetoed the nobakes that I wanted to make. I can get those to work, most of the time. I accidentally mentioned chocolate chip and her mind was made up. It had "chocolate" in the title. OF COURSE she wanted to make them! So I gave in. And they turned out great! It was a miracle, I tell ya. A miracle. So thank you to Caroline, who gave me the recipe months ago. It's a keeper.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chocolate love

The other day I was telling Isaac about a dream I had. I'd met a woman in an underground parking lot who was illegally selling German chocolate. (I'm not sure what was illegal about it.) In the middle of the story, Lizzy grabbed my chin and pulled me to look eye to eye with her. She said, "Where is that chocolate, Mommy!" She thought I was holding out on her. Poor girl has never had German chocolate.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Daddy's Girl

Lizzy is definitely a Daddy's girl. She always has been. Nothing makes her happier than playing with Isaac. Sometimes it's so extreme that she becomes anti-Mommy. Yesterday I finished nursing Barak and went to find the other half of my family. When I walked into the room, she started screaming, "No! Go away. Don't play with us, Mommy!" Isaac asked why I couldn't play, too, and she said, "Because I don't love Mommy."
Whenever I try to get her out of the crib in the morning she screams for her dad. As much as she doesn't want to be asleep anymore, she wants me even less. I know she's only two. I know there's a (relatively) new baby in the house. That doesn't make it any better being the less preferred parent.
Meanwhile, my infant has decided that he can only sleep if he's being walked around. Any time I wanted to sit down last night he wailed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Baby Faces

I love this little guy whether he's happy:
Or sad:
He makes the best faces. I love it when he shows off his double chins.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Barak and his Ladies

Lizzy insisted that Barak wanted to hold her dolls.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

They got the blues

I'm babysitting another two-year-old. It's nap time. This should be my hour to relax a little, maybe get some housework done (ha ha), but the girls are not happy. Coming from my bedroom I can hear the intense ululations of an almost-three-year-old. My very articulate little girl, meanwhile, is screaming, "I want to make a deal! I want to make a deal! Do you hear me? I want to make a deal!" Apparently, if you try to bargain with your toddler too often it will come back to haunt you. At least the baby is happy, but then again, I'm not asking him to take a nap. He's happily chewing his shirt. Never mind the poop stain blossoming on the back of it. His other clothes are all in one of the napping rooms.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mommy Moments

There are certain moments throughout my day that remind me how wonderful it is to be a mother. When two-year-old Lizzy runs into the room as fast as her little legs can go and throws herself into my arms with a look of gleeful terror on her face, I can't help but feel special. She's only fleeing from her growling, roaring, playing father, but even in play I represent safety to her. I hope she always feels safe running to me, whatever her problems.
When I find myself quietly doing dishes all by myself (no toddler insistently splashing at my elbow), I have to check on her, just to see what she's up to. I never know what I will find. Once I found her reading a book to herself on her little princess couch. It was dark in her room so I turned on her light. She looked at me with a very grumpy expression and said, "Hey, my wood chip is sleeping!" Sure enough, a piece of bark from the playground was nestled on the pillow of her crib where she had carefully placed it. Obviously she was sitting in the dim lighting, reading until it fell asleep, just like Mommy and Daddy do for her. I turned the light back off and went back to my dishes.
I love my cuddly baby boy, too. Though it makes sleeping somewhat difficult for me, I love the snuffling, grunting snorts that he makes in his little bassinet next to my bed. I can't wait until he sleeps through the night so that I can too, but for now I enjoy snuggling with him frequently, at all hours.
Today we covered empty oatmeal containers with crayoned paper and called them drums. We marched around the house (with a somewhat bewildered Barak slung under one arm) and had our own little parade. One of the best and worst phrases I hear is, "Let's do it again!" Best, because I know I've just done something fun. That always makes me feel kind of like a rockstar. Worst, because there is no telling how many times I'm going to have to do it.
Yesterday, Lizzy told me she was going to marry me. I wouldn't trade being a mother for anything.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Look what I can do!"

And he was less than six weeks old at the time this video was taken!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Too tired for text

My modern girl, listening to her MP3 player. So little and already so strong.

Riding the train with Aunt Amy at Enchanted Forest. She wanted to ride it again and again.

Isn't he handsome? I think he gets this look from his daddy.

Brother and sister.

My handsome husband.

My cute little boy looks like an old man.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two Weeks

Barak Reuben Washburn

Barak Reuben Washburn was born August 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm. He was 9 lbs 5oz and 22 inches long. It has been two weeks and we are doing great, apart from not getting more than two or at very best three hours of sleep at a time. He is s sweet little boy, and he really only cries when he's hungry. He is hungry ALL THE TIME. Thus the lack of sleep. Lizzy seems to like her little brother just fine. More than anything, she likes helping. She helps change diapers, give him baths, and she is the keeper of the pacifier. I've really been impressed by how little jealousy she has shown. And now some pictures:
Lizzy was very excited to come to the hospital and sing Happy Birthday to her little brother. Grandma and Grandpa Jensen came to visit.
Our good friend Loradona also came to visit. Lizzy and Barak.I've been trying to make sure Lizzy stays entertained so she knows she's still important. We went to the park, but it was hot and kind of miserable. She was a good sport about it, though. Mostly. Lizzy and her dollhouse/castle. She is definitely all girl.
Oh, and just to clarify, his name is said BEAR-ik, not ba-ROCK.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Here are some things we've been doing this summer.

On Memorial Day (I know that was a long time ago, but I still have Easter pictures that I never posted) we invited the neighbor kids to help us bash in a pinata. I made this one. It's a pig. Isaac made one that looks like Mickey Mouse, but we haven't smashed it yet.

Here's Tommy taking a swing at it.

The kids scoop up the goodies. Even though Lizzy looks like she's right in the thick of things, she ended up with one lollipop, and that's about it. Perfect, if you ask me.

Barbecue with our fabulous neighbors, who were kind enough to invite us. The food was excellent.
Lizzy hitching a ride. Thanks Tommy!
My little Coppertone Baby

This was our pool at the beginning of the summer. Nice and roomy. (Sorry I'm too computer dumb to figure out how to put it right side up.)

Isaac finally couldn't stand it anymore, so we got a little pool that we could fill up on the grass outside our apartment. Lizzy absolutely LOVES it. She talks about her little pool all the time.

The little garden we planted outside our apartment is going crazy. For some reason we planted a ton of sunflowers. This variety was only supposed to grow 18 inches tall, but I guess this is what happens when you use organic fertilizer. We've also gotten radishes, lettuce, and strawberries. We're still waiting on our tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, but they should be done any day now.

Stay tuned for pictures from our trip to Colorado last month. I'm sure I'll get around to posting them soon...

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Wish

I wish my clothes fit.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fat Belly

A couple of days ago a four-year-old came up to me and said, "Excuse me, why is your tummy SO FAT?" I told him it's because I'm going to have a baby and he went, "WHAT?!" When he asked me how it got in there I told him to go ask his mommy. I love kids.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Silver Falls Weekend

We spent last weekend with my family at Silver Falls. It was too much fun. I didn't want to go home, and neither did Lizzy! She loved staying in the little "house" (cabin) and couldn't get enough of all her aunties.

South Falls
Hiking with Daddy (She was a little out of it.)

Best friends!

Helping Amy pack up the car:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rainy Day!

The weather has been gorgeous this week, but a couple of weeks ago we had a lot of rain. We decided to take advantage of that and went on a family puddle jumping walk. We got Lizzy all decked out in her rain gear, complete with galoshes, and let her splash away. She was a little uncertain at first, but warmed up to the idea quickly. We all had such a blast.

Because of all the floating wood chips, you can't really tell, but this water was surprisingly deep.

We all ended up soaked. It was so worth it! Best Family Home Evening ever!

All tuckered out after a good play:

Somebody asked me recently what it means to have a "broken heart and a contrite spirit." I didn't have a great answer. I sort of get it, but not really.
I've been really grumpy recently, feeling impatient and snappish. I was especially grumpy this morning, because I had put off doing the dishes for awhile, and had managed to accumulate a huge mess in the kitchen. Lizzy had not slept as long as I thought she needed to, and was consequently a little whiny. I was starting to find her irritating. As I was trying to sort things out in the kitchen she pushed a chair up behind me, climbed up onto it, and reached for a pair of scissors that were on the counter. Annoyed as much as I was concerned, I snatched them from her, and in the process I managed to smack her in the head with my elbow. She rubbed her now sore eye and clung to me and said in a small voice, "I help Mommy." My heart broke, and I realized I had not even been trying to be kind to my little girl. All she wanted was to spend time with me and help me, and I was acting like she was in my way. So we pulled her chair up to the sink and I gave her a sponge. She had a great time helping me wash dishes, and I did not mind how much water she splashed on the floor (it needed mopped anyway). I realized that it's actually not hard to be kind to someone you love so much if you remember to do it. My mood also improved a ton, and now I would say I'm having a great day. Lizzy is such a fun person and taking the time to listen and pay attention to her brings me a lot of happiness. She constantly makes me laugh. I'm grateful for life lessons taught by a 20-month-old.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am more than a little annoyed. We just got a notice that they are raising our rent. Again. They raised it last year, and this year it's going up another 6.5%. As the cost of living here begins to creep toward other, much nicer apartments in town, I begin to wonder why we're living here. We're close to campus, sure, but I think I might trade that in for square footage, a dishwasher, and counter space. Isaac could handle a longer bike ride. And anyway, where is the extra money going? I doubt I'll see any real improvements. I want to file a complaint.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sign of the Times?

Tuesday night the weather was fabulous, so I was making dinner with the kitchen window open. As I chopped my vegetables, I could hear the kids outside playing. One exuberant eight-year-old boy said to his friends, "Let's pretend we're homeless people!" They then decided to have a mountain lion cooking contest. I love living in student housing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kids are Funny

A three year old recited this nursery rhyme to me the other day:
"Little Miss Muppet sat on her muffin, eating her curry away. Along came a spider and took off his diaper and scared Miss Muppet away." After I laughed, she refused to repeat it.

Lizzy's best friend is named Daddy. Usually she wakes up in the morning crying, "Daddy! I want Daddy!" More than once when I have gone to get her, she has sent me back to bed. A tantrum at six o'clock in the morning because she'd rather have Daddy? Fine with me. I'm going back to bed.

She's also gotten very independent. She wants to put on and take off her clothes all by herself, buckle herself into her chair, and brush her own hair. When she got the sniffles, I caught her doing this:

Today we were reading a story with Lizzy and on one page she suddenly leaned in and gave the picture a series of kisses. Thinking she was giving the fish a kiss (she loves animals), we asked, "What are you kissing, Lizzy?" "Boys!" she immediately responded. We'll have to keep our eyes on this one.