Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Five months!

Our little Pumpkin is five months already! She rolls tummy to back, back to tummy, and she just doesn't stop. She loves toys now and rolls to get to them. She puts everything in her mouth - toys, fingers, wrapping paper. She wants to pet Scoop now, but Scoop is a little unsure having caught a foot or two in the face on accident. She laughs and smiles all the time. She is such a joy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pumpkin meets Santa

Our office does a cool thing where Santa comes and meets all the kiddos and brings them gifts, so Pumpkin got to come and meet Santa for the first time during the first week of December. As luck would have it, Santa was also making an appearance at her daycare on the same evening, so she actually met Santa twice on the same day! She'd had a bit of a meltdown at my office Halloween party, so I wasn't quite sure to expect, but she handled it like a champ and was all smiles! After a nap, she was even happy to see Santa No. 2. I'm wondering how this reaction will evolve over the years ...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Four Months!

Since our little Pumpkin will be five months in a few days, I figured it was about time to post her four month picture! As you know, this was a big month as she laughed and rolled (back to tummy) for the first time. At her four-month doctor's appointment, she weighed in at 13 pounds, 10 oz. (50th percentile), measured 25 inches (75th percentile), and her head circumference was 15 3/4 inches (50th percentile). The doctor was pleased with her development, and impressed that she has already rolled and at how well she sits up (while being held) and holds up her head. I think this has been the fastest month since her arrival. I can't believe she's almost five months! Since hitting four months, she has had her first haircut (sort of, I trimmed her bangs), changed daycares, rolled tummy to back, and met Santa. We're so excited for her first Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I realize we're a day late, but no one was reading blogs yesterday anyway, right? We had a great early Thanksgiving dinner at our house with friends before Chris headed to work and then Pumpkin and I stopped by cousins Brad and Linda's for seconds. Pumpkin can't wait until next year when she can eat some turkey! Hope you all had a wonderful day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baby's big week

In the span of about a week, Pumpkin had her first Halloween, laughed for the first time and rolled over for the first time!
Here she is trying on her costume. What a cute elephant!

Trick-or-Treating at momma's office Halloween party.

My office party was on the Thursday before Halloween. Two days later, Pumpkin laughed - really laughed - for the first time. We were sitting on the porch swing in the backyard and Scoop started running all over the place and she was just cracking up. It was great. On Halloween Monday, there was more trick-or-treating, but only to two houses - our friends Chris and Carlie down the street and cousins Brad and Linda who recently moved into our 'hood. Then, on Wednesday Lila started rolling over! She first did it at daycare, but rolled again as soon as we got home. Check out video here. What a week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Nursery additions

I never really wanted a theme for the baby's room, and I'm glad we didn't do one because I can now add things at random without worrying about whether or not they match the theme. Recently we added a couple "new" things that I think are fun ....

First, we took one of each color of paper lantern from our shower (after leaving them hanging over the back porch all summer) and hung them over the window. Pumpkin likes to look at them from her crib.

The next one was a little more work. I had seen on a blog one time an idea of buying used children's books and tearing out and framing some of the pages as decoration. I was going to go shopping at Goodwill for books, but then I remembered this favorite poem from when I was a kid.

I found the book used on Amazon for about $5. I then realized the poem was on three pages, so instead of tearing it out, I made color copies. (Which is nice, actually, because now the book is still intact.)

I bought frames on sale for $5 each at Michael's, and had mats cut in the color I wanted for about $10.

The entire project cost about $30 and I think it looks really cute, plus it has a personal touch. I like to read the poem to Pumpkin and show her the pictures.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Three months!

Pumpkin turned three months on Saturday! She is smiling (and drooling) all the time. She grabs at her toys. She rolled onto her side, once. She's starting to notice things more, like Scoop and the other babies at daycare, and recognizing our voices and turning when she hears us talk. She loves to be sung to. She likes Moon River and Close to You a lot, but sometimes her mama's song selections are quite the random mix of Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin, Elvis, Motown, show tunes, Britney Spears, Vanilla Ice and theme songs from '80s sitcoms. She doesn't quite laugh yet, but she'll smile and coo at the same time which seems like a laugh, and sometimes she times it so that you wonder if she understands what you just said. She loves the patio swing and I think we might have to move it inside for the winter. She goes to sleep facing east, and she wakes up facing south from wiggling so much. She is basically the best thing ever. It's so amazing watching her learn so much every day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Last weekend was the rivalry UNR-UNLV game and so we thought it would be fun to go hang out with our friends and take Pumpkin tailgating. We didn't stay for the game, which probably would have been a little too much for the little one, but the cannon did stay blue!

Here's Pumpkin all dressed and ready to root for the Pack!

Pumpkin and Momma

It was nice to see our friends Vickie and Kyle who have been living in Maryland and New Zealand, respectively, for the last two years. Kyle just returned stateside with a job in Colorado.

The girls

The fam

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Seven years ago this weekend I moved to Yuma, Ariz., to start my first job as a reporter. Best decision I ever made.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Winner, winner. Chicken dinner.

Many of you interested in the results of our baby pool probably went and checked, oh, about 10 weeks ago to find out that our cousin Kristy is the winner. Congratulations, Kristy! Finally this weekend I had a few extra minutes to make the prize. I decided to go with onesie and football cookies. I still need some practice with the icing, but they tasted pretty good! They're on their way to Illinios now - hope you enjoy them!

Pumpkin decided to dress on Sunday to match the cookies. Silly girl.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Two Months!

Our little munchkin turned two months last week and this week had her two-month appointment at the pediatrician. She weighed in at 10 pounds, 15 ounces and is 24.25 inches, which puts our tall monkey in the 50th percentile for weight and the 97th percentile for height! She also got her first shots, which upset her a little at first, but she was asleep by the time we got to the parking lot and spent most of the rest of the afternoon snoozing on momma's desk. Now she is back to her smiling, drooling happy self!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Everything Changes

I'll admit it. I miss being a reporter. Before Pumpkin was born, when there was breaking news, it felt wrong to be sitting at a desk watching from the sidelines instead of jumping in my car and rushing to the scene. And then a few weeks ago, a gunman opened fire at an IHOP in Carson City. A year ago, I probably would have been covering the story, but on this day I sat at my desk, reading about it online, fighting back tears and wanting to go home and hold my sweet little girl in my arms. Having a baby is an amazing and wonderful and beautiful thing. But it can also be terrifying when you think about how many things in this world are out of your control.

Last week I was given passes to the air races through work. A local hospital is my client, and I went to the races twice to do social media related to its sponsorship of the event. The races are also a client of the agency I work for. I thought it would be fun to go walk around and see the planes on the weekend, but we ultimately decided it probably wasn't a good idea to take Pumpkin just yet, because of the noise and the heat. We could never have imagined the tragedy that would occur on Friday. To say it hit close to home is an understatement, but it was a much more personal and emotional event for many of my colleagues. On my way to pick up Pumpkin from daycare that evening, I wondered what it would still be like to be a reporter. I wondered what I would do on those days that turned into late nights, if I would still be able to do my job. And would I want to. I shudder to think of what I might have seen had I been sent to cover the story. I read the stories and I cry for the people affected. I am thankful not to have been there, thankful my coworkers were unharmed, thankful for friends and family from across the country who knew I'd been there the day before and reached out to make sure I was safe.

Thankful, especially, that Pumpkin was miles away from the accident, blissfully unaware of anything that happened, and that the only thing I had to do that night was bring her home and hold her in my arms.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baby Boom

I had no idea when I was pregnant that little Pumpkin would be a part of a little Baby Boom for the QHS Class of '97, but there have been six other babies born to my classmates since December and two more who are expecting - and those are just the ones I know of. I guess nine babies maybe doesn't make a 'boom' - but considering that my graduating class had less than 90 people in it, it sure seems like it!

On her first trip to Quincy, Pumpkin got to meet the daughter of my friend Kasey, during lunch at the Polka Dot ...
And later that afternoon, she met the son of our friends Jed and Nicole. He has already asked Pumpkin to the prom ...

And last weekend, she met her new BFF, daughter of friends Chad and Theresa, at the Rib Cookoff ...
Hopefully she will get to meet some of the other Class of '97 offspring soon! Not to mention, the babies recently/soon-to-be born to several of our Yuma buddies! Pumpkin is in great company.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There in Spirit

I like it when the people that I love like each other. Like, when Chris can hang out with my friends from high school and college, even when I'm not there. So even though it's kind of a bummer that our good Yuma buddies the Nevins and the Volkmanns get to live just an hour and a half away from each other on the east coast while we are still out in the wild west, it is nice to know that they get along quite famously with my sister and Miguel and they can all hang out. It's always fun to get picture texts or phone calls or have Skype dates when they are together ...

It's kind of hard to tell in this photo, but Michelle and Olivia joined my sister Marina, Dad and Deb for lunch and a day of sightseeing while Dad and Deb were visiting D.C. in May. Later that night, Benny and Miguel joined the group for dinner.

Marina and Olivia share the same birthday. This was the first time they met!
Sisters! Chris's sister Alison met up with Marina while she was in D.C. for work in July.

Marina and Miguel met up with Jeremy and Andrea in August to help welcome Jeremy into the 30 club.

We hope to take Pumpkin to visit all of these faces soon!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Yesterday, for Labor Day, the LA Times had a story on Angelinos' first jobs. I've been working since I was 13 or 14, so after reading the article I thought it might be fun to compile a list of all the jobs I've had. It might be confusing as some of these overlapped with each other, but trust me, I really did have all of these jobs.
  • Office Assistant: When I was in junior high I started helping out in the office of the tax consultant my mom worked for, mostly when they had big monthly mailings. I would copy, sort, stuff envelopes, run the postage machine and occasionally answer the phone.
  • Busser: In high school I bussed tables at a restaurant called The Airport Steakhouse, and sometimes waited tables, and later - very briefly - at another restaurant called Mt. Tomba.
  • Movie theater cashier: Every summer we would visit my Dad in LA for a few weeks. One summer when I was 16 I worked at one of my uncle's theaters selling tickets and working at the concession stand.
  • Operator: My junior and senior years in high school I worked for the school district, answering the telephones and as an assistant to the administrative assistant to the curriculum department. The "D.O." (district office) was in the old county school house with a bell. The rope to ring the bell was in the curriculum director's office and I liked to ring it any chance I got.
  • Barista: A friend of a friend from Quincy owned a coffee shop in Monterey, so when I moved there for junior college, she hired me to work at the shop.
  • Barista again: From the first Monterey coffee shop, I moved to another on Cannery Row where I was getting more hours, but I hated it.
  • Hotel PBX Operator: The owner of coffee shop #1 also worked The Monterey Plaza Hotel on Cannery Row. When they had an opening, she suggested I work there where I would make more money and be eligible for benefits. I worked as a PBX Operator at first, then front desk agent, then spa receptionist. I loved the free spa treatments but after the hustle and bustle of the front desk, I was bored.
  • Toy Store Manager: There was a toy store in the same building as coffee shop #2. The owners asked if I'd like to come work for them. They later said they thought they could trust me because I didn't give away things for free like the young employees at other Cannery Row businesses did. I worked there for five years, eventually becoming manager of three stores by the same owner.
  • Hotel Reservations Agent: When I left the Plaza, I took a job in reservations at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley. Once Bill Murray called to make his own reservation and I answered the phone.
  • Sales Assistant: When I moved to San Jose, many of my former coworkers from Quail Lodge were working at a hotel/conference center called the Hayes Mansion and so they hired me to work as the sales assistant in the morning and I had classes in the afternoon.
  • Waitress: I wasn't making quite enough money part time at the Hayes Mansion so I started waitressing at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
  • Newspaper Intern: After a year in San Jose, I returned to Monterey for the summer to intern at the Monterey County Herald in the sports section.
  • Spartan Daily Editor: Back at San Jose State in the fall I was managing editor for the campus newspaper, and executive editor in the spring semester.
  • Newspaper Intern: After graduation I did a Chips Quinn Internship in the news section at the Wenatchee World in Wenatchee, Wash. - the buckle of the power belt of the great northwest. I learned a lot about apples.
  • Assistant Theater Manager: After my internship and before I found a real newspaper job, I again worked at one of my uncle's theaters - this one in San Diego. This job only lasted three or four weeks before I was offered a job as ...
  • Reporter: I applied to papers all over the country and my first offer came from The Sun in Yuma, Ariz. I accepted on the spot. This, of course, is the decision that changed my life since that is where Chris and I met. I at first was a features writer and then became the education reporter.
  • Bath and Body Works: I got a job here as a seasonal employee to make some extra money in Yuma, and continued on for a few months when they needed extra help rearranging the store for new product and displays.
  • Waitress: On nights when I wasn't covering school board meetings, I was waiting tables at Julieanna's Patio Cafe, one of Yuma's nicer restaurants. I miss the tortilla soup.
  • Education Reporter: From Yuma I moved to the East Valley Tribune outside of Phoenix where I also covered education.
  • Breaking News/Multimedia Reporter: After Chris got a job at the Reno Gazette-Journal, I applied and was also offered a job. I started in features, but was quickly moved to the breaking news team, later laid off and then rehired again part time.
  • Graduate Assistant: In grad school at UNR, I helped produce content for the journalism school's website.
  • Social Media Coordinator: And now, of course, I do social media for a firm in Reno.
So, that's more than 20 jobs! Wow, that doesn't even include odd jobs like modeling for a slot machine, working for a vendor during races at Laguna Seca, or helping out with the high school journalism institute.

What was the oddest or funnest job you've had?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We like our birthdays (and our desserts) in twos

Chris's birthday wasn't the only one we celebrated this weekend ... Scoop turned 2 on Tuesday! We decided she needed her own dessert, so we stopped at the dog bakery Sunday and got her two pupcakes - one to eat Sunday while we celebrated Chris's day and another for her to eat on her actual birthday.
It says "yappy birthday." Hehe.
She was very interested ... right up until I lit the candle. Then I think she was afraid of the flame.
It was pretty adorable - we gave her the pupcake outside assuming she'd make a big mess, but instead she licked off all the frosting and then came and whined at me to cut it up for her to eat. Tuesday she had eggs for breakfast, a walk with Chris and Lila, and another pupcake for dinner. Pretty good birthday for a Scooper Dog if you ask me!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Family Man

I asked Chris several times what he wanted to do for his birthday, and finally he said he just wanted to have dinner at home with me and Pumpkin. And then he added that he still wanted a dessert bar, so I agreed to make two desserts (I thought more than that for just the two of us would just be out of control).
So, Saturday night we started the celebrations early with some Mud Pie.

On Sunday, Pumpkin modeled the present she got Chris - football leggings to wear while they watch games together on Sundays :-) Since he really liked some blueberry beer he tried at a homebrew fest we went to, I found some blueberry lager to surprise him with. For Scoop's part, she said she would like to take Chris for a walk as her gift.

Chris wanted steak and mashed potatoes for dinner, and since I am only good at burning things on the grill, he had to make the filets himself. Everything was delicious!

Finally, we finished the celebration off with cherry cheese bars, which I make for him every year.

It was a nice, quiet family weekend and just what Chris wanted. Happy Birthday to the best husband and father we could ask for!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Big Sister?

We had to have a little photo shoot this morning with Scoop in her "Big Sister" T-shirt while it's still true ... Pumpkin weighed in at 10 pounds yesterday, and Scoop only outweighs her by a couple of ounces now!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Well Loved

Before Pumpkin turned one month, she had already met all of her grandparents and her two aunties who all came to visit!
First Grandmama came from Quincy

Then Grandma and Grandpa from Phoenix

And Auntie Alison

Then Grandma Deb and Grandpa from LA

And then Auntie Mena from D.C.

There has been no shortage of hugs and kisses and cuddles for this little one!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One month!

Look who turned one month on Monday! And today she weighed in at 9 lbs, 6 oz. She is getting so big! I'm so excited for all the things she will be learning and doing, but at the same time I wish time would slow down a little :-)