Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Park City

Desperately wanting to escape the awful inversion in the Salt Lake Valley, we headed to Park City for a family outing:


We took Grace to an off-leash dog park and then went for a hike.


Other than having a runny nose from the cold Aven did well and enjoyed the ride.


Aven experiencing snow for the first time.


A happy Grace dog shaking after burrowing her head into the snow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Christmas

From Ian, Cara, Aven, and Grace

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Cactus.

In 2005 the year we bought our house, one of Cara's friends gave her a Christmas gift. a plant called a Christmas Cactus, or Zygocactus truncatus. It's a plant that blooms only when the it gets cold, i.e. in the winter i.e. around Christmas. The plant was flowering when we got it in 2005, but there was no flower in 2006. We doubted that we would ever see it flower again, since flower shops routinely use hormones to make flowers bloom in the store which sometimes ruins the plant for any future flower's. So we were very excited when we saw our first flower in 2007. I didn't get around to taking a photo until the flower was on it's way to the grave so it's a bit droopy, but this was our holiday flower in 2007.

And in 2008 we were greeted with another flower.



Finally the end of my story, this year we have had one blossom already and another 2 that might bloom here soon. Here's my photos from this year.






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Friday, December 11, 2009

Stone Cold Santa Killer

You better watch out, you better not cry, Gracie Dog is coming to town . . . on a toy killing rampage!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Color Wheel, An Artistic Interpretation

My 7th grade classes have been learning to mix colors. The end result of their color mixing experimentation is supposed to be an accurate color wheel similar to the one below (some of the colors look dark because the pictures were taken with the camera in my Mac).

I explained complimentary colors and in exactly what order the colors should be assembled.

Apparently my lesson and the multiple examples hanging on the board were lost in translation in this case:




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can I Smell That?


It has been 5 months since I discovered that Aven was allergic to the milk in my diet and 3 1/2 months since I found out that corn and all things derived from corn were probably also giving her a hard time. This makes my diet limited and difficult. I really can't complain. I'm eating healthier than I ever have before and I am 20 pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant. But, with the holiday season right in front of me, I can't help but feel a little left out due to my dietary restrictions. No pie, cake, fudge, hot chocolate, etc, etc, etc . . . since just about everything contains either dairy or corn syrup. At times it seems as though America has been built upon these two food items.

Recently I have found myself indulging my cravings through smell. When I bring Ian a piece of cheesecake home from the Cheesecake Factory I insist that he eat it when I am with him so that I can smell to my heart's content the delicious food that is currently forbidden to me. My friends have also taken to waving whatever off-limits-to-me food they are eating under my nose whether I ask them to or not. I even attended a pancake breakfast in the faculty room this morning just for the smell. I'm becoming a smell-a-holic.

Since I have been on this diet I have wracked up quite a list of foods I want to eat as soon as I am restriction-free. The two top contenders are a cupcake from Kara's Cupcakes in San Fransisco (little out of reach, but hey, I've been making a sacrifice here!) and a cheeseburger from Acme Burger Company. I am somewhat afraid of what I might do to myself once I can eat whatever I want, but I am holding out hope that I will be able to maintain my healthier diet now that I know that there is life beyond cheese. So, if I ask you if I can smell your fettuccine alfredo try to spare me the strange looks an just indulge me a little.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photo Shoot!

One of my grandma's friends gave Aven a fancy pink dress. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it as we are not church-going folk, so I did the only thing I could think to do with it- a photo shoot.

Aven humored me and was a good little model.


She even gave me a darling smile.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Aven in Film.

Aven just hit the 6 month mark. That's right she's .5 years old. A half a year. And that marks an important milestone. Real food. Sort of, it's just some ground up rice and sunflower oil mixed with breast-milk. It kinda looks like cream of wheat, but we mix it really liquidity to ease the transition to real food. Later on we will thicken it up.

Here's a video of our first attempt at feeding her. It's been a few days since this was shot and she's gotten a lot better, but she's still leaving most of the food on her bib.

video

This second video is Aven giggling, I don't know what I'm doing that's so funny but she finds it hilarious, and her laugh is just adorable.


video

MillCreek Canyon Photos

I just wanted to post a couple of the shots I took up on the Trail.
I liked the way the sun was filtering through the leafless trees along the path. Combined with the colors of the dead leaves on the ground with the contrasting little bits of still green foliage along the sides of the trail. I thought it was very nice.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Hiking" in Milcreek Canyon

On Saturday we went on a nice walk along the pipeline trail in Milcreek Canyon. I'd like to say we went hiking, but the trail is pretty level. Aven enjoyed herself- she spent most of the time babbling away, probably telling anyone who would listen that she is too big for the front carrier. Grace also had a grand time sniffing every leaf and twig and meeting other dogs.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2

No matter what age your kids are you can't miss the opportunity to carve a pumpkin and to try to put them inside that pumpkin if they are small enough.

Aven wasn't particularly interested in the pumpkin even when it was lit. Her attention requires a lot more flash and sparkle (yay for Christmas!).

Aven enjoying her first Halloween story- not quite the way we intended.

I put Aven in her bunny costume and took her to visit my grandma on Halloween morning.

There may not have been any trick-or-treating, but Halloween was sure a lot of fun with our little bunny.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Having a baby gives Halloween (and every other major holiday) a whole new meaning. I'm excited to see my daughter enjoy holidays the way I did as a child- the way I haven't been able to enjoy them for a long time.

I'm pretty excited to carve that pumpkin.

My dad was disappointed that we're not dressing her up as something scary. How could you possibly make a cute chubby baby scary?

Aven would like to wish everyone a Happy Halloween. Eat lots of candy on her behalf :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Like Father like Daughter.


Aven's only 5 months old and she's already playing with computer hardware. You can see in her face that's she's trying to figure out how it works so she can put it back together and install Ubuntu on it. I swear that's what's happening and it's not that it's just a new shiny thing, that spins.

To the non computer geeks out there, that's a hard drive without the case that she's playing with.
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Soothing the Savage Beast

A couple weekends ago Aven was resisting a nap with all her might and was extremely cranky, so we got in the car. We started driving and she was asleep by the time we got to the freeway on ramp. We drove up Lamb's Canyon and it was breathtaking. Rain at the bottom and by the time we reached the top of the canyon it was snowing and about 30 degrees outside. What a nice relaxing experience after a very stressful day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our First President was a Gangsta


I just love the little things my students add to my books in class. He looks so much more like a man of the people in that hat.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ridiculous Inspiration

The last sentence of an e-mail from my principal was "Please remember- we cannot afford any buts." meaning "we can't afford to make excuses" and this was the first thing I thought of- there may be something wrong with me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Girl's Best Friend

Eye contact. Aven is very interested in Grace and is always entertained when she plays with my mom's dogs.

Eskimo kisses that turned into licks right on the mouth- yuck.

Just a super-cute picture of our beautiful girl.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Delicious Snack

Aven has recently discovered how delicious her feet are.
Our pediatrician said that she's ahead of schedule on this developmental milestone. Hello Harvard!

My friend Amber recently lent us her son's bouncer, which Aven is quickly learning to love and which takes up almost as much space as our dining room table. We may get to eat an entire meal without interruption sometime in the near future.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Aven

Just posting a couple photos from the past week.


Here's an attempted family photo at the Cabin, Grace wouldn't cooperate though she wanted to find the squirrels.


Here's Aven in here cute striped suit as seen in the last photo Cara posted



Here's Aven playing with her rings, they are easy to grab so she loves them.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

We Missed It

Aven in the front carrier on a recent trip to Flaming Gorge

We did not have a very good night last night. Aven woke up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The only thing we could do to get her back to sleep was to bring her into our bed. Not something I want to get in the habit of doing, but when you have to wake up at 5 am to go to work you'll do just about anything to get back to sleep.

When I got up I looked up 'sleep problems in four month old babies' online and read all about 'sleep regression'. I guess when babies are working on a developmental milestone their little bodies and brains are working so hard that their sleep patterns are often disturbed. The article also mentioned that the sleep disturbances can go on for a few days all the way up to several weeks. Great.

So, when I picked her up at daycare her super-sweet caregiver, Robin, asked me if she had done any rolling over yet. She hasn't even hinted at rolling over so I was surprised by this question. Robin told me that Aven rolled over twice today. Major developmental milestone achieved! It was very bitter sweet: She rolled over- yay! She rolled over and I missed it :( So, tonight she'll be spending a lot of time laying on a blanket in the middle of the living room while intently watch her and wait for my own magical rolling over moment.

Can we get some sleep now?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Desktop at Work


I came in to work today after my nice long 4 day weekend and smiled as my computer booted up and showed my kick ass desktop. I love this desktop, The wall paper is from Jason Chan and the bar along the bottom of the screen is my cool custom task bar, it has all the programs I use on a regular bases shown as cool black icons that I can click on to open them up. Anyway my work desktop is something that makes me happy, and I wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Death Bat . . .

Just another reason I love my job. Sometimes I am more fond of these quirky projects than I am of really well done ones.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our House Gets a Face Lift


After four years in our 1921 brick bungalow we decided that it was finally time for a new paint job. At some point in our home's history somebody did a really half asked job painting over lovely red brick, what a shame. Our only choices were to re-paint or to put on stucco or siding. The least expensive option was painting. This option also leaves the house with the most original feel, I think.


As you can see, the paint was peeling off everywhere. I've actually been embarrassed to have people come to my house because it looks so crappy on the outside.


To save money, Ian decided to do the soffit and fascia himself. He pressure washed and then painted with a fancy new paint sprayer he bought for the job. He worked non-stop for two weekends to get this part done.

After Ian finished the soffit and fascia, the professional painters pressure washed, sanded, and scraped the brick . . .


. . . for this lovely result.