Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Minute 2010 Snapshots

In an effort to start 2011 with an empty camera card and all blogged up on life, here are some last minute miscellaneous snapshots from 2010 that I just couldn't go without posting:

With a thoughtful Baby E in the backyard

BB loves his bike, a birthday gift from his Great Uncle - when I started taking these pictures he was pushing backward on the bike and he just opened his mouth like this to express his joy!

Our little engineer making sure the irrigation system is in proper working order. He will observe us doing something, trying to figure out how it works, and then next thing you know, he's trying to do it himself. I love that first picture because you can just see him thinking "I know this is how Dad does it."

Pumpkin head

My family about to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast at my sister's home in Washington. BB ate so much turkey!

You can see the remains of his Thanksgiving feast all over his face :)

All bundled up with Mama in Olympia, WA in November

The Mahan Clan, plus BB
We were reunited with our South African hosts Dana, Sibongile, and their sons Owethu and Tumelo in early December when they visited Tucson and stayed with us. BB couldn't have been happier having two big boys to play with - Owethu especially was great with BB, and you can tell by BB's adoring gaze that BB felt the same way.

A Merry Month

We didn't let December slip by without celebrating with a few festive traditions:

Lighting the Christmas Tree

BB's first sight of our lit Christmas tree - he giggled and danced to the Christmas music playing in the background

Cookie Decorating

J's sister had us all over to decorate Christmas cookies, and BB even decorated and ate his own sugar cookie.

The fruit(cake) of our labor
(Look out for J's "creative" cookies: the gingerbread man with a bloody amputated stump, the ginger-zombie, and the ginger-Jersey-Shore-man (orange-spray-tanned) )

BB and his cousin B jolly with a sugar-cookie-high

Visiting Santa
You can read all about J and I's thoughts on Santa Clause in this post from last year. I found this hilarious rebuttal to our concerns this year - but J and I feel peaceful about our decision to include Santa Clause as a fun, fictional story in our celebration of Christmas. So off to the mall we went to visit Santa.

Waiting to see Jolly Ol St. Nick

BB and GG waiting to see Santa

On Santa's lap - not sure what he's doing there or how he feels about it

Christmas Morning

Reading What is Christmas with Daddy while breakfast is cooking

Opening his wooden train set from Daddy and Mama

Gifts from Auntie Jen, Uncle Aaron, and M & A

The only photo of our little family on Christmas Day, taken after our delicious, huge dinner at J's sister's house, during our family gift exchange. BB got so many gifts from his aunties and uncles and grandparents - he was new-toy-crazed for a couple of days after Christmas, just spinning from one new toy to the next!

Me and my Mom's Christmas boots!

Christmas Cheers

J and I wrapped up the Christmas season with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party with some great friends, where I put away some Shirley Temples and J downed Dr. Pepper, and I learned that I should only ever wear long, loose sweaters, leggings, and boots because it's the most comfortable outfit ever, especially after two days of rich Christmas food.

GG left town last night after a week-long Christmas visit, and we were all sad to see her go.
BB's loves his GG!

Falling for BB

Trees and fall leaves in Olympia, Washington over Thanksgiving...He makes this look good.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

18 Months

At 18 months old, my Barking Baby is turning into a Barking Boy.

He talks.
He says hot ("Hahtt"), Nana for banana (typically in a desperate, if-you-don't-give-me-that-banana-right-now-I-simply-can't-go-on tone), Mama, Dada, milk ("mok", which is sometimes accompanied by pounding on the refrigerator), socks ("soxsss"), shoes ("shuce"), hat, bird, dog, ball, and responds to questions with "yah" and "no". The first time he actually answered a question I asked him I was floored - a year and a half of talking at him, and suddenly he responds! Out of nowhere! With an answer, a desire, a response to my words!
For the last week, "no no" has been on constant replay, at times in reference to something specific, at times when he is performing a no no, and at times for a reason no rational reasoning can infer. (I hope this phase is a short one.)

He climbs.
Everything climbable. He's our wild little man. Tonight he was standing in his high chair dancing because he liked how it wobbled (Daddy, of course, immediately interceded).

He loves.
He gives kisses. Open mouth, slow-lean-in kisses. He tries to make kissy lips.
He hugs other little kiddles, with big, unrelenting hugs, hugs that sometimes land him and the other little on the floor. Actually, now that I think of it, he mainly only hugs little girls. Hmmmm.
He worries if one of us leaves - the other night when Daddy took him to go get the car while Mama checked out at Target, he whimpered "Mama? Mama?", very concerned until Daddy reassured him they would be picking Mama up in just a minute.
He pats Baby E on the back when she's sad.
He loves brushing his teeth and smiles and giggles when we pull out the toothbrush.
He loves dancing, and will do so to anything that sounds like a beat, and he sings to music in the car.
He loves socks and shoes and opens the drawer after we get him dressed in the morning saying "Soxsss...Shuce..." and hands them to us. He is quite concerned if it's not time to put them on immediately.
And he continues to love slides. Leaving the playground is always a traumatic event.

He laughs.
Big belly laughs.
When we're playing (he's such a playful boy) - giving zerbits on the changing table, chasing him up the stairs, or even just when I look at him a certain way while I make dinner. Sometimes he laughs just because we're laughing, even if he doesn't know why.

He breaks stuff.
Expensive stuff.
No no stuff.
Like his auntie's cell phone and our Ipod dock.

He grows.
He is 34 1/4 inches tall, which puts him above the 90th percentile for length.
He is 26 lbs, which puts him in the 50th percentile for weight.

Even though they are just numbers and his clinical picture has always meant more than the numbers, it's still so comforting to see those numbers on the scale reach middle-of-the-road, run-of-the-mill average. The other side of that coin, however, is that it makes me think back to all that time he was weaning himself from breastfeeding and I didn't know and he was, I fear, essentially starving down to the 3rd percentile for weight, while continuing to grow long - looking back at those pictures he looks so skinny. I feel so terrible wondering if he was hungry all of that time. I just didn't know. So the words "50th percentile" just flood me with relief.

And that's our little man at 18-months-old - a busy, climbing, playful, lovey, observant, all-boy, curious explorer full of joy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Journey of 6.2 miles - Check!

Just going to forge ahead.

Remember when I decided to train for a 10K? Well,
my to-do list now reads like this:

10K - CHECK!

(I live for those check marks).

I ran the entire 6.2 miles of the CATwalk around the U of A campus AND I ran it at a 10:37 pace, which was much faster than I expected. I did not pay any attention to my pace or times while training until the last long run I did before the 10K, and then I got all interested in what time I would finish in. My "goal" became to run it in 1 hr and 15 minutes, but my secret goal was to finish in 1 hr and 10 minutes, so when I crossed the halfway mark at 31:30 I was surprised and proud and I welled up a little, especially because I had just seen this:

and I ended up finishing at 1:05:51. Jubilation!

I was surprised at how emotional I was over this accomplishment. And at how much I really enjoyed the training process.

With Wilma the Wildcat, our mascot.
(BB burst into tears the moment Wilma looked at him.)

The Gory Details

If you're interested, here are the gory details of the entire run:
The first half of the race was tough. Way harder than I expected. I actually thought "Am I going to be able to do this?" I was really surprised because I had ran 5.5 miles twice before the race and felt great, I had never felt that weak, even though the 4th mile would be tough, but then I would get into a groove and feel really loose and feel like I could run a lot longer.

I had a friend from work that was also running the race, so we ran the first two miles together - she has a good 6 inches on me and is in training for a half marathon, but was getting over a cold so we decided to start the race together.

After the race she told me she was surprised at the pace we kept (she knew that I hadn't been worrying about times at all, just running to finish the distance), and that we crossed the 1 mile mark at 9:40. So that explained why I felt so drained so early on in the race - I was trying to keep up with her!

The race was also tough because everything was different from my normal runs - I am not used to running with someone, I didn't know the course, we were running on a rough road with lots of potholes, and it was really hot out. I had almost changed my mp3 playlist for the 10K, and I was so relieved that I didn't because it was one thing that was familiar.

I fell back from T about the two mile mark.

Once I crossed the halfway point I got into a comfortable groove and since the race was two laps of a 5K, I knew the course the second time around, and I felt really good the rest of the race. I definitely felt my body want to stop about the 5.5 mile mark, like it was saying "Okay! We're done now right? This is where we always stop!?" but we kept on going, and finished strong.

And that's my 10K adventure! Would I do it again? Definitely!
In fact, on Thanksgiving Day I ran a 4 mile Turkey Trot in Olympia, Washington with my sister, brother, brother-in-law, and niece! And it felt awesome - it was a perfect way to start Thanksgiving. I never understood those people that truly enjoyed the running and not just the feeling of accomplishment or fulfilling a workout obligation afterwards, and now I have been converted. So converted that I even ran those 4 miles IN THE SNOW.
(You know you're from Arizona when you really want to insert a word between "the" and "snow").


Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This Thanksgiving, we were so thankful to celebrate with these wonderful people, who we are blessed to call family.

DIY family photoshoot
(totally worth the planning, coordinating, shopping, convincing, and weather-dodging)