Saturday, November 22, 2008

Halloween 2008

We had a pretty chill Halloween this year. Took Toby to the mall for his first real Trick-or-Treat experience. He figured out how to take candy from people and put it in his bucket. And then he was so excited about eating his first sucker (wrapper and all) that I finally gave up and let him have it. It lasted for about 30 minutes of trick-or-treat madness before it was gone and I threw the stick away. Oh man, was he mad about that!!! Threw himself on the floor, and hence, our first trick-or-treat experience ended early. :) Lovin' the toddler years!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back on the web

Well, it's been a busy summer. Mostly hanging out at the barn with Toby and friends. We did visit family a few times and took a fun trip over to Lake Chelan, as usual. I haven't taken many pics lately, but here are a few.

Toby is doing well. He was 2' 9" at his last check up, he's getting so tall! He loves to point out noses, he's working on saying ears, eyes, and mouth. He brings me books to read to him all day, and he really likes flash cards now too. Of course he's still very busy with balls, and now he plays with his duplo blocks a lot. And he's 18 months going on 2...practicing tantrums and no's. A bit frustrating, but consistent time outs are starting to pay off.

And there is more news about baby #2. It's a girl and she should be joining us sometime around January 27th. The name game is still ongoing. She had her arm behind her head in the ultrasound - a diva already. My belly is much bigger with this little one, she takes up as much space as possible

Ted's family together for Jack's birthday

Toby on Christina's horse, Kyle Rachelle's daughter, Kyleigh, brushing Willow

Monday, June 30, 2008

Big boy potty!

Toby used his big boy potty today for the first time today! I haven't gotten the potty training books or anything. He was squatting in the hallway to take a poop, and I just pulled the potty chair out and showed it to him. He looked at it for a minute and flipped the lid up and down. So we pulled down his pants and sat him down and he did his business on the potty like a pro! It is so exciting to think we might have Toby out of diapers before the next baby gets here :) Let me know if you've got any tips or favorite books I should know about.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June updates

Okay, I haven't blogged in a while. Been working 50 hour weeks with a 1.5 hour commute people, gimme a break! :) And I haven't had any energy lately! I've been falling asleep at like 7:30pm. So one day last week I wasn't feeling so hot and actually got sick at school....are you following where I'm going with this yet?...Yes, we are expecting another baby! And it took me 2 - 3 months to figure it out :) So I don't know when we're due, January - February-ish. We just never slow down!

Toby is doing really well, learning lots of words. Mama, Dada, Nana, no, more, thank you, ball and bubble are some of the regulars. Still working on up and please... He went out to the barn with me yesterday and rode the tiny mini (my friend Kaila's pony)! I think he's even more addicted to horses than I am. He gets so mad when he has to get down :)

And 2 weeks ago, we FINALLY took Willow to a show. (we've been trying to go since February, but the weather has been most uncooperative!). Stephanie showed her in 1 flat class and 3 jumping classes (18" jumps). She did so well! She took like 8th place, but she was riding against a lot of old school horses who've been doing this forever. For her first jumping show and second show ever, she was awesome! I didn't end up showing because she did so well and was tired after the morning classes, so I gave her the afternoon off. She's super cute this year with all her dapples. Here's a pic of me messing around for a few minutes on her. I have no idea what I'm looking at...

That's all for now.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Our little Cowboy

Toby has officially begun his cowboy training! He took 2 laps around the barn yesterday! All those piggy back rides from Dad are paying off :)

Friday, April 4, 2008


Toby did his first painting yesterday!

Not happy when it was time to be done!

In other news: I've got my own classroom now! I took over on Monday for Ms. Bauer at Kenmore Jr High teaching 7th grade life science. We're learning about the human body systems right now, and then we head into genetics and evolution (my favorite subjects!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Toby's first birthday!

We had Toby's little birthday party at our house yesterday. Notice was very short, and only a few people were invited because of limited space and planning time. Layla was the only other baby in attendance! We had a pretty good time, and the little man was such the entertainer.

Toby with his birthday balloon

Can you say "Just gimme a Dr. Pepper?" (already emptied)

The cutest guest

Structural testing of the cupcake was essential before any tasting could be done!

After thorough investigation, the cupcake was deemed acceptable.

Completely unhindered by the fact that this present was bigger than he is!

Dad helping train Toby in the art of aerial assault!

Hard to tell who was having more fun...

Shark attack! The shark prevails as one of the favorite toys.

Big toy adventures

Toby's first big toy adventure! (From February)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Our family lost another great matriarch last week. My great grandmother, Faye Louk, passed away at 89 years of age. Services were held Tuesday in Sumner. Ted and I both took the day off to support my grandparents in the loss of a mother.

At the end of the day, we went to the park. Toby was climbing the big toy all by himself! And very keen to see what all that running water business was about in the creek. (Pics to come)

Today at Jenn's house Toby said "cheese" as he got his cheesy snack!!! It's all going so fast! I know, I sound like a broken record by now.

And I've got news on the job front... I got the maternity leave position in Northshore SD to start Mid-April and possibly continue to the end of the year!!! I'm very excited about the opportunity.

Today I subbed at SAS, the alternative secondary school in NSD. It was a great day! I got to play my fair share of 4-square (which I haven't done since elementary school, myself). The kids were working on a program called Garage Band, where they make songs by mixing tracks, writing music, and recording vocals (this was science class, mind you). It was also really great to catch up with a couple of my colleagues from UW's teaching program. I would love to spend more time there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Grandma Jones

Grandma Elmoline Jones passed away Sunday night at 11:40 pm at 81 years of age. It has been a long and hard year for her battling bleeding ulcers, blood transfusions, dimentia, and the dialysis ceasing to work for her. She is in a better place now, but the world will not be the same without her. Funeral is Friday, February 22nd at 1pm at Evergreen Baptist Church in Renton.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Losing a matriarch

My mom called me tonight on the way home from work to tell my that my Grandma Jones will probably pass away before this weekend. She's been heading down hill for a year now, but has had a really rough couple months. She hasn't had dialysis for 3 days now so her body is shutting down. We went down to Renton immediately to say our goodbyes and console family members. It was a long night (I say at 2am) and I'm sure these events will last into the weekend or next week. The world is losing a wonderful woman...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Considering Hillary for '08?

Interesting day

So today was an odd one. I took a full day subbing in a Special Ed contained learning classroom. I only took it because the teacher and 4 helpers were going to be there. It was at a Jr High way the heck out in ...I'm not even sure where! It took me at least 90 minutes to get there! I called to let them know that I was going to be late, but I figured Mill Creek - Woodinville ~15 minutes. Nope, another hour! So they called the sub office on me and I'm in hot water now. The office manager reamed me when I got there. Now I would never, ever suggest that it is okay to show up an hour late to work, but the teacher was there. I had figured I'd be a little late, but jeez!

The Special Ed kids were - well, special. At first, I was unsure how to act toward them and felt pretty out of place. But they melted my heart long before the end of the day. I did sustain a brief attack! But we quickly isolated the student in time out and he was fine about 10 minutes later.

Then a job interview for a long term job in Mukilteo SD (right by my house) for a 6th grade science position. I think it went well. They asked all the tough questions and I answered them all. I actually enjoyed the interview and felt like I had 3 new colleagues when I left. They should call me by Friday to let me know what they decide.

The cool/tough thing is I met another teacher going on leave this week in Northshore SD. She graduated from UW also and teaches Jr High life science. She is talking to someone else too, but would like to have me. If only I had run into her a week ago! So 2 possible long term jobs. So excited!!! But also dreading the decision making...

Monday, February 11, 2008

New words

So Toby walking is now old news. The new news is him saying a new word every couple days. He's got Mama and Dada, of course. But recent additions include: blue, hello, and Bella (the little girl at his daycare). Yesterday he said "hello" clear as day. I was surprised so I repeated it back to him. He looked at me and said "hello" again, then walked away!

Today at the sitters, Bella started fussing while her mommy was in the kitchen making a bottle. Jenn usually soothes her by saying her name until she can get to her. Today when she started fussing, Toby jumped right in and said "Bella" before Jenn did!

And last Friday he held up the picture of the banana to the actual banana. Could be a fluke?

As for me, I've been subbing pretty much every day and loving it. I had a brief interview for Mukilteo SD today (very close to my house). It went well, so I'll start subbing there in March. They've asked me to interview this Wednesday for a long term sub job teaching Middle school science from mid March to mid May!!!!! I'm so excited, you don't even know. Of course, I'll be more excited if I get in.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Toby's new friend

Toby is really enjoying playing with Jenn's 5 week old daughter, Bella. Or...trying to play anyways... Apparently he brings her toys to play with and pushes her in the swing all the time now. What a sweetie!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Superbowl Sunday and substitute teaching

So how about those GIANTS??? We enjoyed the game in the company of friends complements of Renate's family! Awesome food and a big hi-def TV. That was a really fun superbowl game, crazy catches, lots of sacks and scoring in the last 2 minutes! The commercials were somewhat lackluster. I did enjoy Will Ferrell, Shaq, and the Budweiser Clydesdales, but there were some seriously dumb commercials in there.

Back to subbing today! Another great day of substitute teaching under my belt, and I've got requests to return to the same school on Tuesday and Friday as well! I am so excited. I'm really enjoying being around the kids again. I did write 3 kids up for excessive screwing around (I gave them each 2 warnings first!) stuff like attacking eachother with scissors, throwing glue sticks across the class...these are 8th graders for Pete's sake!

I also got to help out in the class of one of my fellow UW TEP teachers today! It was so cool to see how she's doing and know a face in the building.

And Toby, oh Toby got to hang out with his new sitter Jennifer. He's in love with her 7 year old daughter and he did great today. Jennifer wrote a list of what he ate/drank/bm's and activities they did together. I'm so glad I found her. I've never gotten a warmer reception from Toby or seen him so willing to jump in his carseat. Is it wrong that I like it?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

1st horse show this year (and other updates)

There is a training show on Feb 24 at Gold Creek Equestrian Center in Woodinville. I'm going to start Willow off early thi year! It means a lot of work on staying on rails, inside flexion, and relaxing at the canter. I think I might just enter a walk/trot class for this first one, and start the canter classes in March. There are 2 wonderful 17 year old girls who are going to start riding Willow once a week in exchange for stall cleaning. (Possible leases?) And that's exciting because it should help her gain experience, and we can also get her started jumping small jumps this year.

On the job front - I subbed last Friday at Northshore Jr High and went silky smooth. I was out of town last week, but I got 19 calls to sub! So I think I should have pretty steady work. And I found a wonderful nanny! She's been in early childhood education for 10 years, mostly working with 2-3 year olds. She's taking some time off work to spend at home with her 1 month old daughter and wants to watch a kiddo at her house. She also has a 7 year old daughter in school, so she's been through parenting as well. I'm really excited about her.

On the Toby front - he's now pretty much running laps! He stands up without using furniture, and he can bend down and pick objects up without falling. He's starting to explore climbing out of his walker and onto the coffee table...yes, it all starts now!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Day

We are basically snowed in here today in Everett, WA! So much for shopping or mall walking, or the barn, or my HIGHLY anticipated visit to the newest member of the Salerno family.

With nothing better to do...I gave Toby his 2nd haircut (my first time cutting his hair!) I decided to try it while he was in the bath, thinking he'd have plenty to keep him busy and the cleanup would be easier. That was all true, but I didn't account for the sheer amount of movement he's capable of in the tub! Sharp scissors + inexperienced stylist + a squirmy baby = a good time. Only a little blood - just kidding! No blood and no tears (from Toby anyways). It was quite frustrating though, and I think next time I'll try the high chair as our cutting location.

The weekend

Saturday night, I was going to host a Silpada jewelry party at my house. But with only 3 confirmed guests and a pending snow storm, I called off the jewelry part of the evening. I still ended up with four friends, lots of food and alcohol, and board games. The boys badly needed a drinking night after the week they've had at work - but they were too rowdy to hang with us so we sent them away. They ended up with Superbad and spiked slurpees. (Classy!) Ted was in rare form at the end of the night. Good times all around.

And Sunday - Grandma Julie and Grandpa John came up for a visit. We all had a great time and had brunch at Mitzels. Then we played Stupidopoly until they had to go.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The job hunt

Well, I'm all set in the sub system. Just need to find jobs now. And I've spent hours scouring ads for prospective nannies. And then hours more researching interview questions, questions for references, how to go about background checks, etc. I found one I'm really excited about, I'll interview her tomorrow. She has worked as an early child teacher (2-5 years old) for 10 years. She's staying home now with her newborn (December 2007!) and she has a 7 year old daughter in school. She's willing to accept a reasonable rate and be flexible for days when I don't get work. I hope it works out. Several of my friends are willing to serve as backup or emergency sitters, but none of them can handle another kid full time right now.

In other important news: Toby is walking up a storm today! Longest stretch was ~15 steps! I got it on video too. I'll try to get it on the web soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dressing Your Blessing

My friend just launched her home business selling new and gently used baby/toddler clothes online. Check it out at: She's got some great deals on brand name clothes!