White noise from The White House

Archive for the month “September, 2011”

Rice Cereal: Before and After

First go at rice cereal….






Summer recap

Since I haven’t posted on what we’ve been up to lately, I thought I would do a recap of our busy summer and revisit our Summer Bucket List.

June:  Most of June was spent at home with lots of visitors.  In late May and early June, my mom came out and so did Tim’s dad and Sue and Mary to celebrate Avery’s birthday.  It was a fun celebration.  We mostly just hung out here, as Micah was only about 2 weeks old.  Avery’s big thing was that everyone should wear party hats for her birthday, which everyone was a great sport about.  We mostly just hung out, ate some cake and played outside.  My mom was able to come out again with my sister Katie a few weeks after Avery’s birthday…it was a huge help to me with Avery and Micah.  Avers initally wasn’t Micah’s biggest fan…she was known to say “Bye, Addisyn” (her friend Brooklyn’s baby sister’s name) to him, signaling it was time to go.  She now loves him to pieces though, and often says “Hi Big Boy” or “Its okay Big Guy” to him.  One of her first questions when she wakes up in the morning now is usually, “Where’s Micah?”

Tim and the kiddos

July:  We had a very busy July, starting off with our annual 4th of July trip to Iowa City to stay at the Cottage with Tim’s family.  This year was special because we celebrated Papa White’s 70th Birthday.  Everyone had an awesome time eating good food, seeing family and friends and Avery had an awesome time this year playing with all of her cousins.  Her and Micah are the youngest cousins and the older ones really took care of her and played with and included her a lot.  It was really sweet to see.  She especially loved following her cousing Brayden around (although I’m not sure how he felt about it!) and playing with Aunt Mary and Ken’s dog, Millie (also not sure if Millie had ever met someone with more energy than her!)  She went to bed tired and happy every night.  Tim and his siblings also surprised Big Jim with a trip to Canada to go fishing, which they used to do as a family when they were younger.  After Big Jim realized that the trip was already planned and good to go, he was excited and his plotting and planning began.  We then went on an adventure with my family, leaving on July 8 and returning the 13th.  Yosemite National Park which Tim blogged about in an earlier post.  It was an amazing trip and we had a lot of fun, even traveling with a 2 year old and a newborn.  Micah did awesome on the 5 hour flight, and an antsy Avery did pretty well too all things considered.  We were able to see some beautiful sites and enjoy God’s creation…it really was majestic.  Tim and I also were able to go on a longer hike one morning while my parents offerred to watch the kiddos.  It was a fun time to be with family…one of the few times it happens now since we all have our own families and don’t live so close.  It was wonderful.

One of Avery's first ponytails

August:  At the beginning of August, we took the long drive back to Iowa again to stay with my family while Tim went on the Canadian fishing trip with his dad and siblings.  We had a lot of fun in DSM, and my Grandma Harriet was able to come out and spend a few days with us while we were there.  We did some shopping and relaxing and enjoyed the family and I really appreciated the help from my family while Tim was gone.  Tim wrote about his trip in a previous post.  We got back to Dayton on August 8 and started to settle into a routine for the first time since Micah was born.  We enjoyed what was left of the summer.  Avery loved playing outside in the water table again this year.  She loved ice cream and also discovered the deliciousness of ketchup.  She started talking this summer in full on sentences about things we didn’t even know she knew about.  She is truly a joy and her fun loving spirit is infectious.

Typical evening around the house

Here’s how we did on our Summer Bucket List:

First, a few trips:

  1. Yosemite with my fam
  2. 4th of July with Tim’s fam
  3. A week in DSM with my fam, while Tim is in Canada

Around our city:

  1. Listening to live music at our local outdoor mall…still might be time for this?
  2. Zoo
  3. Splash park
  4. Park
  5. Walk to local ice cream shop…Micah wasn’t really game for this one too often.
  6. Picnic (on our picnic table…not sure this counts:)
  7. Fly kite
  8. Running through sprinklers
  9. Attending a local festival (every city has one around here)…maybe next summer.
  10. S’mores over the fire pit
  11. Library
  12. Bubble maker

Personal goals:

  1. Start running again (and get back in shape/lose the baby weight)…half done, I guess I did “start”
  2. Sleep when I can??????
  3. Read a book…hahaha

Not too shabby considering how often we were here this summer, I suppose.  How did you do on your bucket list?

On purpose.

Since the arrival of Micah, the Hubs and I have struggled to get on a schedule.  Obviously, after the nugget was born, it was difficult…he’s not eating, sleeping, pooping on a schedule and we were pretty much reacting to his needs.  Also, we had a couple of trips to the ER and hospital so we were just kind of surviving…thankfully Grandma took over everything during that time.  Then we traveled…California, Iowa and Iowa in the first 3 months of his life, then another trip in early September while Tim was traveling.  All of that, as well as me not being great at keeping a schedule, made us feel a little rushed and like we can’t get much done. 

So, Tim and I were talking last night about how we feel like we are spinning our wheels a lot…we are going going going but not getting anything done.  We would both like to feel we are doing a good job with our family as well as eating healthy, working out and having a little bit of time for ourselves and family fun, of course.  The only conclusion we have come to is that we need to wake up earlier and at least one of us needs to workout in the am.  Usually, Micah wakes up once in the night (yes, he’s 4.5 months old and I have been Babywising, Baby Whispering, and Happiest Baby on the Blockin’ and nothing has gotten him to sleep all night, mmkay?) and sometimes twice and then wakes up for the day between 6:30 and 7 am.  Usually we hear him, roll over, look at the clock, pray that tomorrow he sleeps all night and get up to get him.  Well, folks, this has to stop.  Who knows when he’ll sleep all night?  He’s a {cute} little baby.  He doesn’t know what’s going on…I need to let it go and we decided to we need to start being grown ups and get out of bed and start the day on purpose regardless of when the Big Boy wakes up. 

So, this morning, at 6:30, both alarms (electronic and human) went off.  I got out of bed and went to get the cute one while Tim turned off the electronic.  I made coffee.  Tim went for a run.  I showered.  Tim got ready for work.  We both felt better and less rushed about our start to the day. 

In an effort to try to be more organized (never a strong suit), I am also going to try to start planning meals for the week and posting them on the blog on Mondays..Meal Planning Monday, if you will.  While I try to do this at the beginning of the week anyways, hopefully it will help to have it written down.  Any easy, healthy recipes?  I would love it if you would send me the recipe or the link to the recipe!  I don’t mind making meals, but I  love new ideas….I get stuck in the same old ruts a lot.

Do you start your day on purpose?


I almost lost my child at Target.

And no, it’s not the child you are thinking it is. 

The scene:  Target parking lot, after buying a few essential items…and yes, a pumpkin spice candle is something I consider essential for the fall…thankyouverymuch.  🙂

So there I was, getting ready to put my purchases in the back of the Ody (as in Odyssey…as a sidenote, check this out: www.odyclub.com  ).  And because I’m such a clever mom, I developed a system for getting the kids into the car in the most efficient way.  First, I put the groceries/bags in the back of the Ody.  Then I open the door to where Micah’s seat is and ask Avery very cleverly, “Do you want to climb in yourself, or do you want some help?” to which I know the answer will be “I wanna do it myself.”  See, I’m so clever that I can trick my two-year-old…another win for the parents.  This allows me to put her in on Micah’s side so she will walk over and climb into her own carseat while I put Micah in his carseat.  She’s trapped in the car and usually it works very well. 

Today, however, as I was helping Avery climb into the Ody, what do I see out the still open back door?  Micah rolling away in the cart.  The wind, which apparently was a lot stronger than I noticed, took him on a short spin down the parking lot.  Thankfully, a lady walking by ran over to stop the cart right before I got there.

Maybe I’m not as clever as I thought;)



Off to Cambridge

Skipped a few days as I ‘blog through Europe’ – will catch you, my avid followers, on what’s going on.

Attended the International Liquid Crystal Elastomer Conference from Monday through Wednesday.  It was an enjoyable conference.  Initially I was underwhelmed by Lisbon.  As I posted earlier, I toured Belem on Sunday – but I had not happened across any of the stereotypical environments (cafes, squares, etc.) nor anywhere but a mall food court to eat.  Tuesday, however, after the conference day ended we took a ‘panoramic’ city bus tour before making our way to a restaurant with a nice view of St. George’s castle and the Targus River.  Had a nice evening – and finally got a better sense of the city.  On Wednesday, a colleague of mine and I went down to the “Restaurarde” district and hit up an Italian cafe.

Thursday – flew from Lisbon to London Heathrow.  I lived Jaymie’s prior experience sluffing WLS (World’s Largest Suitcase) and WTS (World’s Tiniest Suitcase) to the Express train, then caught the City Line train…before heading north from King’s Cross.  Checked into the hotel (kind of a big deal)

and wandered around the city – visiting a famous pub, The Eagle, for a couple pints of Guinness…  Watson and Crick first revealed the structure of DNA at the Eagle.

Friday morning got up and visited a colleague at Cambridge.  Cambridge has a comparatively different model – there are 31 colleges associated with the university.  The Professors and students belong to both the university (take big classes, work on labs) but also have one on one ‘tuition’ (teaching) at the college.  I visited Corpus Christi College and spent the day there:

Turns out, a little bit of history was going on in my visit to Corpus Christi…  The short story is that Corpus Christi was founded by Matthew Parker, who was the first Archbishop of Canterbury (Pope of Church of England).  Queen Elizabeth tasked him with the disassembly of the Catholic church in England – and in doing so he collected an assembly of manuscripts from the convents and monasteries.  In his will, he said that if the college ever lost a book – the collection would be passed along to another college.  Since that time – the other college comes in and audits the book collection – counting them and assuring they are all there.  It now is a festival/formality of sorts.  The book counting was yesterday.  They were all there.  Last night – I went to a viewing with my colleague and observed the 39 Articles (he compared it to the Constitution in terms of how it was the basis of England) which Parker presided over the formation…as well as the Bible of St. Augustine.  The Bible of St. Augustine was from 500 AD, approximately – 1500+ years old!  Afterwards we went to dinner in the college (very formal).

This morning I made sure to see the sights in Cambridge including the ‘Old Cavendish Laboratory’ (9 Nobel prize winners):

and King’s College Chapel:

Monument to Explorers…Pictures and Thoughts

So I went to an area of Lisbon called Belem tonight. Three notable things there:

This statue (Monument to Explorers):


Obviously Portugal had a big role in exploring the new world…and are proud of it.

View from the top:


The thought that struck me here and elsewhere is the Christian themes. If a monument like this was put up in the US in last 5 yrs all sorts of grief would be heard. Seems like the secular in the US are hypersensitive…while in Europe they hardly care.

Tower of Belem was the second:


Finally, a place called Pastries De Belem. I was heading home on the trolley as we drove by…disobeying the front desk guys urging that I must go there (his forceful encouragement made me uncomfortable…was he thinking and indirectly saying I look like a guy that loves his pastries?). Seems like a popular place given that the line went out the door and around the block. No picture of that though.

Going to try to blog my way through Europe…

Where am I?

Looks like the Golden Gate, doesn’t it?

Lisbon, Portugal. City is similar in geography, climate, and style to SF too.


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