Sunday, August 31, 2008

Right on schedule

Two developmental advancements in the life of Ms. Erin, in picture and movie form.

1. Instead of immediately tasting every object grabbed, she often passes it to the nearest person for inspection.  Half the time she pulls it back, laughing. 

2. Standing, unassisted, for up to 10 seconds at a time.  When she realizes it she either sits or grabs onto something, but if she's nicely distracted it's a piece of cake.  Walking cannot be far behind. 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nearing completion

The kitchen remodel is nearly complete.  Here is Erin helping Dad by holding the ladder while he paints.  

Ms. A realized she was done at two points in the recent past. Event #1: it took 20 min one morning to make toast and coffee in the "kitchen" set up in the spare bedroom. With only one outlet in the room the circuit breaker kept getting tripped every 30-45 seconds.  Event #2 when Brian made dinner - salmon burgers - in the electric skillet plugged into the bathroom outlet (see event #1), with the skillet balanced on the toilet seat lid. Eew.

But, with the ovens, cooktop, hood, fridge, dishwasher, sink all installed we are so close, so very close. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Home, Sweet Home!

Casa De McMiller was visited on Saturday by some of its previous residents. The house was owned by Virginia's parents between the 20's and 60's. She lived in it until she was married, in the house, in 1943, to Steve. Their wedding photo was taken in front of the fireplace, just as they stand here 65 years later. Many things about this visit were surreal and wonderful. The look on her face as Virginia slowly scanned around the front rooms. She made a few comments... "you've taken half the wall down on the staircase..." .."this pillar is new." But the house was, for the most part, as she remembered it.

This made me happy beyond words. For those who are recently introduced to Casa de McMiller, it was, well, a s*@% hole when we bought. Anything that came close to what Virginia was remembering was re-created by Brian and Ms. A with the intent to "restore" the house to it's original glory. I think the level of our success can be summed up this way: as the happy couple was leaving they asked, "so, you were able to save the front door." Well, no. The door is new, restored from someone's botched job at making it a double door. I was happy to be able to see the memories floating by Virginias eyes, unblurred by the chaos of what the house was 4 years ago.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hood To Coast 2008

This Friday and Saturday was Hood to Coast, a 197-mile relay race. Sounds pretty impressive, but with a team of 12 people splitting up the miles, the really hard thing is staying up all night. 12,000 people (from 1,000 teams) pass along the route over 36 hours. Our team started at 5:30pm Friday at Timberline on Mount Hood, and finished on the beach at Seaside at 7pm Saturday.

The teams are split into two vans of six people each. Greg and I were in a van with four extremely fit women wearing small running clothes. We were famous. I felt like we were roadies for some popular grrrl band. Everyone was checking out the women on the team and Greg and I were like, "Um, yeah, we're with them -- we're with the band."

John, Ash, and Erin met us at the beach for beers, food, and a ride home.  Thanks, drivers!  

It was a great race -- good weather, a really friendly team, fast running.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maybe we all need a little more sleep

Ms. A, bemoaning the predominance of light during Erin's bedtime (ensuring it's a longer affair than anyone prefers): Silly Daylight Savings Time messing with my baby's sleep.

Brian: Good thing we're not on the surface of the sun.

Ms. A: Come again?

Brian: Because then it would be sunny all the time, even in the middle of the night.

Ms. A: Riiiiight.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Up up up.

Her world keeps getting bigger.  Her parents keep getting grey hairs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Excuse me, Sir. Can I have more?"

At the beginning of this month, Erin moved up in school from the infant room to the mobile room. This was a big step for her because things are different in the mobile room.  They nap once a day (though Erin gets to nap as much as she'd like) and they eat at little table and chairs. They use sign language, do art projects, work on imagination-based play, and engage in all kinds of snazzy-sounding curriculum.  Currently they're focused on the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See, which is Erin's 3rd favorite book. She especially likes that her friend, Henry Finn is also in the classroom with her. They are the two youngest kiddos by about 4 months. 

The second day we brought her in the teacher saw us putting her things away, looked at us negatively and commented, "Hmm, you didn't bring any food?"  We were confused: she informed us the day before that day care provides food for the kids this age.  We said as such, whereupon she recommended that although they did provide food for the older kids, we probably wanted to bring purees and things that might be easier for Erin to eat.  We agreed to bring more baby-ish food in, shamefully thinking what bad parents we were for not providing age-appropriate food.  

When we picked her up that afternoon, the teacher, half shocked and half amazed, told us that Erin ate: soft tacos, yogurt, graham crackers, chicken, rice, peaches, peas, banana, toast with cream cheese, crackers, cheese, water and milk.  

She then told us, "Uh, I don't think you need to bring in any more baby food."  

That's my girl!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Totally OT

It is a vengeful god who forces little babies to cut eye teeth.
It is a beneficent modern scientist who produced Tylenol and OraGel. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


To observe:
* Remnants of her first shiner - given to her by another kiddo at school. On accident, for sure. 
* Crusty nose.  Tail end of a cold, first one in several months.
* Red eyes from rubbing - dinnertime is precariously close to bath/bed time. 
* Slightly raised left eyebrow.  Poor thing is destined to become a Treckie.  Sorry, Trekkie.
* Tinges of green in those irises(?)
* Bemused, perhaps self-assured countenance. 

The face of a 300 day-old woman, her mien is of one unafraid to face challenge.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Trip report: city nature

Walk #1 in Portland Hill Walks meanders around Willamette Heights.  We learned there used to be a lake, Guilds Lake, swamping around what is now NW industrial area, filled in by blasting the side of the hill just South of Leif Erikson Drive.  The walk snaked around homes, historical and new, and meandered through parts of Forest Park, all the while narrating interesting natural and historic features. 
Balch Creek, highlighted on the last stretch of the walk, is a year-round running creek that used to supply Portland with much of its fresh water.
Some of the hikers on this trip got a little tired part way through.
But soon everyone was rested, perked up, and enjoyed the vistas and natural splendor just within the city limits. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

in time < out time

At some point this past week, Erin officially has been "on the outside" longer than she was on the inside.  She was born just shy of 42 weeks and this is her 42nd week of life.  This particular milestone is not one well noted, at least not in a way I'm aware.  Yet it seems very important to me.  All that time she spent just with me will now and forever be surpassed by the world as she experiences it on her own.  And as much as I tried to provide a healthy, nurturing place for her to be on the inside, so will I endeavor onwards for as long as I am her mother. 

Go on, little girl.  The world is yours. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Accident At The Cheerios Factory


Blueberry Picking

Dave and Anneke joined Ash, Erin and me berry picking at Sauvie Island yesterday morning.

Picking Blueberries

Bleckmanns Picking Blueberries

Let the pie-making begin!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Go, Magic Pony!

Ash and I ran in a marathon relay this weekend with friends Becky and Ang.  It was a big day, with hundreds of other people picnicking, listening to the bands, playing in the bouncy castle, getting faces painted, drinking beer.  Oh yeah, and running.

Our team had the fear-inducing name "Magic Pony".  It's all about the mind games.  

Here's Ash finishing her third lap with our talisman, the Magic Pony.  Please note that without the sweatbands she is not completely wearing the required uniform.  She claims it was an oversight.

Here's me and Erin in the bouncy castle.  I love bouncy castles.  It's nice having Erin, because the staff let me in when I lie, "Oh, yeah, my nine-month-old daughter really, really wants to go in.  Really." Erin loved it.  She totally went bananas.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I Think Erin Has Been Doing Some Weight Training

Tonight we went to Mount Tabor for a picnic, where Erin did some sliding, some swinging, and then some surprisingly graceful pull-ups.