Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Can you tell they adore each other? I love this picture.....
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin patch time!

We went to a local pumpkin stand and corn maze this afternoon. At first, she was more interested in the gravel on the driveway of the orchard than in the pumpkins, but once she realized she could take one HOME, she was thrilled. The maze itself was extremely muddy, but we'd come prepared and all of us had boots to wear. El got a big kick out of stomping through the mud in her froggies and splatting water and mud all over Mama and Dada's jeans!
Froggy boots like deep squishy mud.
It's fun to tromp through the mud with Mama and Daddy!
Can you tell she was excited to go to the Bouncy Castle? It was her favorite part of the day, and she sobbed when we took her away from it.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Living large

I actually took 24 hours off. I don't like to think of myself as a work-a-holic, but there are occasions where my overly developed sense of responsibility kicks in and I work myself to the bone. The last few weeks have been more on the overwork side of things. My husband made the comment today that he was proud of me for actually leaving dirty dishes in the sink for 2 full days. I watched The Ugly Truth this evening with my college roomie, who is visiting for the holiday weekend, and have been giggling to myself ever since.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Playing catch-up

Unfortunately, playing catch-up is not near as much fun as Ella playing in ketchup. It sounds similar. But not as much fun. In fact, I feel almost like I'm writing our Christmas card letter because it's been so long since I blogged!

Our trip drained our energies, and we came home to be thrust back into the fray of life far too quickly for my taste. Work is insane for me right now, as we are getting close to our launch date and preparing all the final materials as well as doing QA/QC runs on the entire site. Because the site is dynamic, I also continue to work on developing materials for the refresh schedule after launch. I'm putting together a basket of goodies and a carrot cake as a thank you to our friends who cared for Priscilla while we were away, catching up on clerkwork (I'm the church clerk), sorting through bills, trying to keep the house clean and the inmates of the house fed and clothed in clean garments... and spending at least a couple hours of each day this week relaxing with Ronnie, my college roommate, who is visiting us until Labor Day. We girls also went to Julie & Julia this week and the story, if not necessarily or specifically the people involved, renewed my resolve to build/write a family recipes cookbook. I'm even contemplating setting myself a specific time in the weekly calendar in which to work on it! (Note: I haven't said I SET a time yet... but Im THINKING about it!)

Hubband started school on Monday, and his 18-credit class load is intense. Even more intense than that was the feeling in the pit of our stomachs when he went to update his VA status and found a note on his file stating that he'd never been accepted to his degree program! None of his degree path advisors could figure out what was going on until they'd reviewed all of his paperwork. He's been taking degree classes for 2 years so there was a lot of confusion! Once they figured out where things had fallen apart (communication, mostly), he was able to enroll without incident. His classes are, for the most part, fun and interesting and will keep him busy! Of course, on top of that, he continues to help me with the housework, repair what breaks, and try to get ahead on the renovation projects that remain. He also cares for the cars and yard, and is in the process of building a computer (from scratch, so to speak!).

Ella has been growing and developing in leaps and bounds. She is learning and using regularly approximately 5-6 new words each week. Today alone, she added "bright" ("STACE! bight. bight!" when the light was in her eyes) and "water" (wuhwer). We also had another huge milestone this week....Ella PEED IN THE POTTY! She's shown interest in what we are doing and wants to "sits" with us when are using the restroom, so we decided to put the little potty Grandma CMom gave her in our bathroom. For the last couple of weeks, she would sit on it a couple of times a day, most usually when she was waiting for the tub to finish filling for her bath. Yesterday, we undressed her and let her do the naked baby run from her room to the bathroom (its a blast to dash naked around the house giggling, you should try it sometime!). She arrived in time to see me using the restroom and immediately sat on her potty. She then kind of smiled and patted my leg and I looked over at her to see that she had peed! We were VERY excited and praised her mightily, which got HER excited and she leapt off the potty.... and finished her peeing on the floor. BUT! It was still a big fun first for us that signals potty training for real may very well begin within the next few months. She also has started trying to get out of her crib in the morning, and I think the day is near when we will need to convert it to a "big girl" bed. This evening, she experienced another first and used fingerpaints (while wearing daddy's tshirt)! I'll post some shots once I get them uploaded. It was VERY cute.

For now, I am off to bed. Leaving you all with this very long post to contemplate---and the idea that in just one more week I am being flown to an entirely different state to bake a pair of birthday cakes (it sounds so awesome to say that... the rest of the story is that I'm thrilled because the cake is for my niece and I will be able to see her, all the other Eastern nieces and nephews, and attend her Dedication service as well!)

Good night all... photos... will come someday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sabbath joy

We went for a hike on Sabbath afternoon with some friends. It was really Ella's first actual HIKE, and she did really well! She hiked on her own legs for about a mile and then used Daddy's for the rest of the trail. We'd thought we were doing a 3-mile trail, but missed a signpost and ended up doing a little over 5. Needless to say, after a 20 hour drive that ended at 4 am on Friday morning and then the hike? We were TIRED. Sunday was a lot of little house chores, laundry, and playing with the baby while Daddy mowed the lawn.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 15, 2009

HIS name is...


Because he takes care of us and everything we need is available at the push of a button....

Except a bank within 200 miles that will accept deposits from us.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Newest Member of the Family

Isn't she purty? We haven't named her yet.... any suggestions?

She is a 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring Edition. :-)
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Pain...and such

I posted a little status on Facebook about how I was looking forward to my chiropractor consult today and hoped that he would be able to help with my pain issues... Boy, did a storm of comments come out of that one! Here is the skinny:

I've had neck issues for years, and actually went to a chiropractor in the 90s to help alleviate the literally blinding headaches I would get occasionally. I continued to have occasional pain and headaches over the years, but when I became pregnant with Eleanor the situation got a lot worse. By the time she was born I had severe pain and daily muscle spasms in my back. I hoped that after delivery things would go back to "normal", but they did not. I have pretty bad pain, fairly consistent in nature, in my lower back as well as some pain in my neck. I don't get the spasms as regularly, but lately with Ella getting bigger I've had some problems getting her in and out of her carseat. It has gotten to the point where I wake up several times in the night with discomfort and pain, and sometimes can't stand straight in the morning until I've had a chance to do some light stretching because the pain and stiffness are so bad.

Today, I saw Dr. M and we did an initial assessment. He could tell I was significantly out of alignment just by looking at me as my right shoulder was nearly an inch lower than my left! After reviewing some older xrays I'd taken in for him and doing a comprehensive exam, he thinks that I have scoliosis as well as some potential disc and probably fused vertebrae issues. We took more x-rays today, and I'll meet with him in the morning to go over them and get a really accurate read on what's going on so he can customize a treatment plan. He is a holistic care provider, in that he believes in not just adjusting your back and sending you on your way. He incorporates nutrition counseling, physical therapy, exercise, and some inferential therapies as well. He gave me some tips on how to lift Ella and how to put her into her carseat to alleviate the strain on my back, which I also hope will be a big help!

Because he said my shoulders and lower back were "as hard as a rock", he hooked me up to the machine for some inferential work today. It felt very strange, but did the job of loosening up the muscles a little bit! My insurance does not cover this kind of treatment, but Dr. M is working out payment plans and giving me some "deals" on treatments. I was referred to him by a good friend who sees him regularly and he also gave us both a discount for the referral.

I'm excited in that I think it will be a big help in my daily life to get some of the pain out of here...We'll see!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A hodge podge

I can hardly remember the days when a summer meant sleeping in, relaxing by a pool, eating potato chips and hot dogs, and reading copious amounts of books from the library. This summer has been a haze of heat and work and illness in the Boyd household. We seem to be recycling the germs, Ella will get sick, just as she gets well I will come down with it, and a few days later Hubband will be down for the count. What with all of the house projects (including the broken AC which at least is limping along these days) and my full time job and my sideline job (which will be ending soon), we've barely been able to take a deep breath before plunging into the next big thing.

Ella is just as busy as we are, learning learning learning! Her words and phrases expand practically by the hour, though her pronunciation is not really clear yet. My current favorite is "breakpoot" which is actually "breakfast". Yesterday she patted my arm as I changed her diaper and said "breakpoot, mama. Atta dooce!" She did indeed receive breakfast with apple juice.....after Mama stopped laughing!

This weekend, we're going to be driving across the state to spend the 4th with DangerElf and her family. An actual vacation! Complete with swimming pools and cousins!

I'm off now, leaving this hodge podge entry to fend for itself while I go prancy dance with my daughter to Barenaked Ladies "7-8-9". Bye!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tired and Sickish Sabbath

She's not feeling very well, but will be better soon....
Posted by Picasa

Ice Cream during the Blackout of '09

The lack of AC in 100 degree heat was making us all a little cranky, so Mama ran down to Sonic and got us an ice cream to share. Its yummy!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Today's New Words/Phrases


and our favorite to date...upon tripping on the tile she said--

"Whoa. I TIPPED. Uh Ohhhhhh"

Similarly, yesterday morning when Miss Stacy brought her to Mama for after-nap snuggles, I noticed that one of her socks was missing. I said "Ella! Did you lose a sock?" and she looked down at her bare toes, wiggled them, and said very solemnly "Uh Oh". She then proceeded to look around the office to see if that wayward sock would magically appear. She and Miss Stacy had to go on an expedition to rescue it from the wild world of Crib After Nap.

Shockingly, with all the words she DOES know, more than half of what comes out of her mouth is still gibberish. Even to us.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Like her Mama

Reading in the bathroom starts at a very young age, apparently. She likes nothing better than to have a book or her Sabbath School paper to read while you change her diaper... Couldn't resist this pose. She carefully examined every page and then turned to the next.
Posted by Picasa

Round and Round We Go!

Krissa was kind enough to have a birthday a few days back, and her request for "party" was to hit the zoo on Sabbath afternoon and then gather at Amerigos for cheese fritters... and dinner. El had a blast at the zoo, and had her first ever ride on a carousel! You can tell how much she enjoyed it...

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Oberon Bagheera Plantier Boyd: 1/20/1999 - 6/3/2009

This morning we had the very difficult task of saying goodbye to a member of our family. For the last 10 years, Oberon (aka Obie, Obi-wan Kenobi cat, Bubba, Boo, Boopy, and Oobers) has been the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde of our home. Loving and imperious, crotchety and misbehaving, snappish and purring, he was a very definite personality from the start. He had paws the size of salad plates (polydactyl, he had 7 toes on one paw and 6 on the other) and learned fairly quickly that he could open doorknobs, grab the edge of a coffee cup to sneak a sip, or push on your cheek to wake you up when he wanted scritches. He adored coffee, and was discriminating enough to know which mug was fresh and which was "stale". Tuna was his favorite food, but he was ever curious as to what the rest of the world was eating.

For the past 2 years or so, he has steadily been going downhill, becoming sicker and more frail as time passed. Just before Eleanor was born, he underwent surgery for bladder disease and severe urinary tract stones. He seemed to rebound a little after that, and was almost "himself" again for a couple of months. However, for the last year he has steadily declined and with his hip problems had reached the stage where he could hardly walk a single step without falling over. He's been turrning his nose up at food, not using his litter box, and in the last week or so had even stopped enjoying scritches. He would actually try to avoid your hands most of the time rather than lean into them.

From his glory days of preening on the television for his "Goddess" at 19-21 lbs, when we said goodbye this morning he was 10 lbs and 6 oz, literally a shadow of himself. The vet put in an iv catheter and brought him to us to hold. He laid on the table, nose to nose with me, and as I softly petted his ears and told him how much I loved him he looked at me and purred...and then was gone. We have loved him and been annoyed with him, cooed at him and scolded him, and we will never stop missing him.

Here is our Obie....


He pads to me quietly

on big black feet with

furry thumbs.

Green eyes glow as he

coming into the light from

shadow tells

me of his displeasure.

His boredom.

No bugs here, mom.

No new toys here, mom.

No more books to pull from the shelves, mom.

None of my leather MICE, mom.

That reminds me-

I look my good-luck in the face and

purr with him.

I'll stop at the pet store-


Feb. 12, 2001

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sentences... Already?

I didn't think that this would happen so soon, and we've kind of laughed off a few other times but the last 2 days we have truly had sentences. REAL sentences! Yesterday morning she did something adorable (there are so many things I don't recall exactly what it was) and I said "Eleanor, you are too cute!" and she nodded and said "I TOoooooo COot". Which shocked us to the core. This morning, she got a ball stuck in a bowl and she held it out to Stacy and said "I need Hep".

Isn't she too young for sentences? Please?

Friday, May 15, 2009

The latest cake...

I'm rather proud of this one. I think it turned out quite cute. I was given the expectant mother's fabric for the colors, and I ended up replicating parts of it on the umbrella. Turned out cute! The fabric is here if you're interested.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Viking Cooking School: A Night in Italy

We all chipped in and got Erin (and ourselves!) tickets to a "Night in Italy" cooking class at the Viking Cooking School. The menu was herbed flan (savory, not sweet), grilled portobellos with herb butter, veal chops with a white wine, fennel, and tomato pan sauce, angel hair with olive oil and fresh herbs, and almond cake with orange liqueur whipped cream (did I forget anything girls?). The flan was delicious, the cake and whipped cream sinful, and the rest just sort of "meh" in my opinion. I loved the sauce for the veal, but am not a big fan of the whole CHOP aspect of the dish. It would be better with just a veal steak, grilled, in my opinion. We had a lot of fun, though we really could have TAUGHT the class, we discovered! It was nice to be out of the ordinary and in something new and fresh. I think Erin had a great 30th birthday! She needs to have another one next year so we can do this again. :-)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

What a great day my baby and my Baby gave me! Hubband woke up promptly when El squeaked (a feat, for him, particularly since she squeaked at 545 am!) and turned off the baby monitor before he went to get her. After changing her diaper and feeding her breakfast he realized I was probably waking up (around 645) and made breakfast. He and El put together a pretty tray with scrambled eggs (dill and sour cream), veggie links, and some whole wheat waffles with real maple syrup. There was a pretty mug with pumpkin spice coffee, a glass of apple juice... and the new Nora Roberts book (from Ella! See above photo). They gave me my tray (the first time in my life I've had breakfast in bed) and tiptoed out to play in the living room. I ate, and read, and ate and read some more. It was bliss. We took our time getting ready and then headed out to Lowes where I got to pick out the paint for the master bedroom and found some pretty throw pillows on sale to match the new walls (which won't be actually painted with my pretty new paint for another few weeks probably). After that it was off to lunch/brunch/2nd breakfast at Brother Juniper's. Technically it was lunch, but we all got breakfast food. Back home, where El napped, I read my new book, and Hubband worked on his desk for the office/studio. After a good long nap (during which I finished my new book!), we took off for the mall and the indoor playground there. El had a blast. Its been so rainy lately that she doesn't get much outside or playground time. Then we drove through baskin robbins on the way home. It was a great mother's day!

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Boyd Zoo

Ella has taken to playing the ABC Zoo Game on lately. Its a great little game for infants (push any button and the game will advance to the next letter and animal), and she asks to play it at least once every day. After only a few times we noticed that she was making the animal sound BEFORE the animal even was completely introduced. The game would say "M." and she would start making monkey sounds. The computer then says "MONKEY starts with M" and the cartoon monkey makes the monkey sound. Beyond knowing at least 10-12 of the animal sounds on her game, she also knows what the kitty says (maow maow, very highpitched) and the sheep (bahhhh bahhhh; accompanied always by a sage nod of the head), and the ducky (wak ak--although not yet consistent with this one). She will sometimes remember that dogs Woof and cows Moo, but we're not quite to the pig stage. Suffice it to say, however, that on any given day if you walk into the Boyd house you may do a double take and start looking for the critters....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Updates... again. When will I write a REAL blog post again?

I know I say this fairly regularly, but Hubband and I are truly amazed at how quickly El grows and learns and changes. She has gotten at least 4 new words this week already, and it is only Tuesday! I have to laugh when she tries to say "down" as it always comes out "Noun". I figure this is an appropriate word for the daughter of a writer/editor. Similarly, "done" is "nun" (I wonder if she has my sense of humor....). A friend at church gave Ella a set of nesting bowls that also are a shape sorter. When she first tried to put the bowls back together she was getting very frustrated because she'd try to put the big one in the small one. Within about an hour, however, she was using trial and error and successfully building the entire tower and then nesting the bowls back down. This has become her favorite toy, and it will keep her interest for nearly 10 full minutes. As I type, she's sitting on the couch next to me with her Haiku Baby book "reading" to me. I took a break to read to her, too.

In other family news, we're in the process (hopefully) of buying a Honda Odyssey! It is far from new (a 2000, with 138000 miles on it), but its in good shape and the price couldn't be beat. Hopefully this morning we'll get final approval from the bank and go pick up MY car! I am trying to not get my hopes up too much that this will actually happen until we drive the thing home. Too much scope for disappointment, to paraphrase Miss Anne Shirley.

El has progressed to unfolding all the laundry, so I'd best get going. Also need to get ready so I can hit the library when it opens. I have some "deep thinking required" work that needs doing today and while I can sort of type a blog entry while doubling as a climbing tree for a toddler, work just isn't as easy to accomplish in such a setting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Advancing in leaps and bounds

This week seems to be one of change and advancements on the part of the youngest member of our family. She has decided that one nap is MORE than enough for a big girl of 14 months (although she hasn't quite decided how long it will be... 1 hour? 3 hours? 30 minutes?). She also is learning and mastering more and more words and concepts. She knows her nose and eyes and ears and mouth and will say "NOoooeeee" and point at Mama's nose and then her own. She is learning what the animals say, and last night when Mama was reading her worship story, she listened to Mama say that the little lamb says "baaa". A couple of pages later, the lamb was again pictured and El pointed to the lamb in the book and said "BAAA". She also is starting to pare down her verbage when it comes to Duckies. No longer are they consistently "DUTDUT" (duckduck), as of this week they usually are just plain "DUT" or "DUTTIE" (ducky). She adores storytime at the library and has made a few new friends...and now recognizes so many things that it just amazes us on a daily basis. Anywho, that's the most exciting updates... there were cakes this weekend, and work is taking off for me (freelance contract through December!), and Hubband is in the middle of studio times and recording projects and final exams and prepping for training in St Louis (that he is GIVING, not RECEIVING) for his Navy time, and church meetings, and friends gathering and friends moving... you know, NORMAL life. >grin<

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Dark Lord

The Dark Lord lives! In cake, anyway... I was asked to do a Darth Vader birthday cake for a church member's son. Here is a brief overview of his creation and what he looks like now, sleeping quietly in the refrigerator until morning....
(not too Darth looking, eh?)
(OH! there is some Darth-ness)
Templates for fondant cutting.
The finished product....

Happy Sabbath!

We celebrated Hubband's birthday today in a noncelebration of a nonbirthday way since he has requested that we not DO anything for his birthday... So we went out to eat as a family and no one sang or gave him presents or anything. His actual birthday isn't until next week, but next Sabbath is YAS so we'll literally probably be at the church for, oh, an eternity or so. Ella wore her "Laura Ingalls" dress to church today, as her Daddy calls it. I thought it warranted a photo. She is becoming eternally more cute. Its hazardous to the health!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Springtime Outings: Part 2

Catherine and I have been trying to get together for a couple of weeks but schedules and weather keep preventing it. Finally today we made it to the zoo with all the kids! Even Claressa, who I'd not met before, is here visiting her mom and sister and brother and was able to join us. Here is the gang, excited to get going! David and Ella are trying to go opposite directions though. He appears to be fascinated with something behind us...

The orangutan was playing with his ropes and eating animal crackers. He was Ella's favorite of the day.

Although the Ducks and Flamingos weren't far behind.
At the bear enclosure, we find a nice cave. :-) Well, sort of a cave. It was big enough to fit Claressa, Emma, David, and Ella though!

David and Ella were happy about the sunshine. And both of them fell asleep about 10 minutes after this shot.

I got home and realized I'd not taken any pictures of the RESIDENTS of the zoo. Oops. Maybe next time! Thanks again to the Spencer, Sims, and Hodson clans who gave us our membership as a Christmas gift! WOW!

Springtime Outings: Part 1

The other day we had gorgeous sunshine and an hour or so with the car before we had to pick up Hubband at the school. We decided to go to the park.
We had lots of fun.
Except for the swings. I don't think I like the swings.
But I like everything else! The park is fun. :-)