Thursday, December 10, 2009

We're going AWOL for awhile

Chopper and I have been so incredibly excited because we decided one of the things we really needed was a new camera. Ours just doesn't take pictures well unless every little thing is perfect! So for Christmas (and our anniversary I guess), we saved up the money from my subing and splurged on a new camera. I cannot tell you what a difference it makes! It actually takes pictures, it's that good! We have had SOOOOO much fun playing with all the functions and trying tons of things.

Here's the problem now though: our computer (which is also 7 years old by the way, just like our marriage) can't handle the software and so we can't download anything. Our camera is more sophisticated than our computer!!! So until we figure something out I guess -- or find a way to save for a new computer -- we're going AWOL on the pictures.

And they're so darn cute!!

If you want copies I'll mail you some.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Is it wrong to celebrate an anniversary on Pearl Harbor Day? I always feel like it's a day of remembrance and yet 7 years ago today was one of the best days of my life! Today is our wedding anniversary and all I can say is what a blessing Chopper has been to me!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Black Friday and other joys

I did it! I got up and went to the stores at 4 a.m.!!!!! Ok I need to deflate my head a little bit -- I did not pull a Joyce -- my sister-in-law does this marathon day starting with the earliest store she can get to and does the whole Walmart/Target/ToysRUs thing plus more. No, I only went to Kohl's and Belk and THe Children's Place in the mall. THere was a line at Kohl's but I was still in and out in half an hour and I got what I wanted at a killer price! The Children's Place was only supposed to be pajamas but I broke down and bought the cutest cutest skirt for Megan to wear for Christmas -- pictures to come in a few weeks!! But how can you resist when it's on clearance plus an additional 40% off PLUS %25 off the total purchase? You can't. Ok I can't. So my first BF experience was actually quite tame probably because I did avoid all of the crazy areas.

Chopper and I and my brother Jeff did hit Target on Saturday though just looking for basics like curling ribbon and wrapping paper. They have a ton there that is really cute but we got better deals at Joann Fabrics so I probably won't hit up Target for wrapping paper again until after Christmas. I did get one of those large spools of curling ribbon -- the cylinders -- and of course handed it to Megan because she likes to examine our purchases before we buy them -- presumably to check the quality and defects. She then spent the next 10 minutes putting the spool on her head and yelling "unicorn!" That surprised me a little because, well, we don't have a lot of exposure to unicorns but she apparently knows it and it was hilarious.

I love the holiday season with a nearly-2 year old. Of course our electricity bill is going to be atrocious because the Christmas tree lights have to be on ALL THE TIME and she repeats over and over "Chris tree, Chris tree star, Chris tree lights" and kisses it constantly. She doesn't bother the presents (no tree is complete without presents underneath, even if they are already from Santa) but we had to move them back because she falls over them when she leans in to kiss the tree. She LOVES LOVES LOVES Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas music. We've been watching a lot of their performances on YouTube and listening to it in the car and after every song she claps and says "yay! Again?" But when Chopper and I try to sing it's "no no no!!" Apparently she has a better ear for music than either of us do . . .

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Books Please

The other day in Goodwill I had two older women stop and stare at Megan sitting on the floor reading books while I combed through the stacks. They couldn't believe that she was a) turning the pages (of a regular book) and not tearing them, and b) actually "reading" the book. I take no credit other than loving books myself and letting her at them from day 1 but really, she is not a normal child. So we get books from the library every week too and there are some that are her favorites. Right now one of them is Lunch by Denise Fleming. It's pretty simple but really cute and Megan now knows the story well enough that she reads it along with Chopper or I. That's what the video is and it's pretty good!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My new addiction

I am completely addicted to Goodwill! We now have two in our area now and Chopper and I have scored big time on children's books and videos. Today it was Dr. Seuss and Berenstein Bears 25 cents a piece! Plus Sesame Street videos for a buck. Who can beat that? And if they get ruined, no big deal! Last week we found Fisher Price Little People sets for an awesome price. I'm not kidding people -- I know they're not all spectacular but I highly encourage some digging! Unless you live by us and then I need you stay away from my new treasure chest . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Love Virginia!

We had amazing weather the past two weeks culminating in 74 degrees and clear skies on Monday. I'm not kidding that we were out in short sleeves in November! Of course the past two days have been cold and rainy but it was a beautiful spurt that we definitely took advantage of!

Last Tuesday after voting we drove out to James Madison's house Montpelier and celebrated our voting rights by learning more about the architect of the Constitution. The house is still under restoration but the grounds are very nice and the Blue Ridge Mountains were very blue!

Sunday I was so excited because Megan fits into this adorable dress I got on sale ages ago at The Children's Place (I LOVE LOVE LOVE their clothes). That's really one thing I love about having a girl (soon to be 2!!!) is that they are so fun to dress up! Of course she wouldn't really hold still until she had the apple and then she looks like she needs a cape or something to be a fairytale character!

Then Monday, the most gorgeous day of all, we went to Williamsburg, Virginia and had a wonderful time! We toured the capitol and the Governer's Mansion and wandered the town and Megan was sooooo good! I think it's because we kind've went at her pace and let her do a lot. I can't post all the pictures Chopper took -- he took a lot of architecture and things that he was just excited about how neat it was and yet all done by hand. We did not get a cheese slicer at the cheese shop if you can believe it (sorry Alicia) but we had a great time!

You can kind've see the baby bump in the picture of Megan and I -- she's growing! And kicking! Still no name -- we have a list of about 7 that we're talking about and it's still growing even so I think it will be a while before we decide.

I love Virginia and the history opportunities!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween (of course)

Ok I'm doing this post quick so Grandma can see it before she goes to bed! Megan was the most adorable flower ever! I know I was going to do Little Bo Peep but I decided to hold off on that until she's older because it was a pretty involved costume. But I made her flower costume and it turned out really really cute! Plus it was cheap and most of it she can wear it again. She's wearing the skirt over her pajamas but she plays with the ladybugs and says "bug, ewwww".

Anyway, I took lots of pictures and I'm glad I did because it was dark at trunk or treat and our camera is dumb. She did not get the concept -- loved walking around just randomly and was only convinced to go to the cars if they held out the candy to her and she got to hold it in her hands. She loved sitting in the back of our car though and tried to claim our entire bowl of candy. In fact, when Chopper first took her out to trick or treat she threw a fit because of all the candy she was leaving! But we had a good time and saw lots of friends.

Don't you love our car? Chopper had to have lights! Megan will now smile when you ask her too -- the problem is getting her to stand still for the picture too -- but when she smiles when you ask it is this wide, cheesy grin that I love but it looks EXACTLY like Chopper! It is sooooo cute.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Big News!!!

We had our midway point ultrasound today. I love it! I love seeing all the little parts and the movement. Everything looks good according to the tech and it's a . . . drumroll please . . . baby girl!! Chopper's "intuition" wasn't right I guess! I'm supremely jealous (in a very very excited and can't contain myself kind of way) that Megan is getting a sister. We've been so boy-focused though that now we've got to start thinking girl names and such! Fun fun fun! In addition to the paper copies, the tech gave us a CD with pictures and video so hopefully they come out. She was awfully wiggly and kept putting her hand to her mouth so it looks like we'll have another thumb-sucker on our hands too. Chopper's a little concerned about the amount of estrogen that's going to be floating around our house but he's excited too and grateful that his hearing is already going so he can hopefully get through the squealing years. The one labeled "peace" was actually when the tech was taking pictures of the head and brain and we kept seeing this hand coming up so she moved up a little bit to show us and all of a sudden we're getting a peace sign! Chopper says it's "v" for victory.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Chopper and I decided that since he's still in the maze of the Dept. of Labor (which is very annoying) and he can't work, I would start doing some substitute teaching to bring in a little money to do things like fix the car and have Christmas -- you know, the important stuff! ANYWAY, today was my first day and let me just say it wasn't bad at all but it was difficult in the sense that you walk into a school with little to no awareness of their procedures and protocols and it's very easy to make mistakes concerning them. It's difficult to be fair and consistent with what the school demands.

But I realized something else: I really don't miss it. These Virginia schools are so SOL driven it bothers me -- they even have a specialized version of the SAME TEXT BOOK I USED IN IDAHO -- specifically to coordinate with the SOL's. That must have cost a bundle. I just looked around me at the piles of graded and ungraded papers, the chaos that is the high school classroom, the planning materials and I just thought -- I'm not ready to go back to this. I listened to the teachers in the workroom at lunch about failing students and problems with just stuff and just was glad it wasn't me. I'll sub for a while but just one day has cured me of any longing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spelling conundrum

We'll we've entered a new phase -- and it's causing a bit of an issue. Megan is picking up and using words so fast. Today out of the blue while having dinner and Grandpa and Grandma Whittacres she announced, "go home". And then on the way home when I asked Chopper for chapstick, in the back seat she started asking repeatedly for "chatstic" and got upset when I didn't give her any. She loves the stuff but the way she applies it it's probably a good thing I don't wear lipstick!

So now we've moved into the realm of spelling things when we don't want her to understand. THe problem is that Chopper is a horrific speller. Case in point: boion quibs = boullion cubes. It took a while for him even to figure that one out and he wrote it! It's always made me laugh, and proofread everything he writes, but now when he talks to me, Megan's not the only one who has no idea what he's saying!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Festival Fun

Yesterday we drove out to Graves Mountain (yes, my dear Idaho and Utah friends, that is a Virginia mountain -- you don't need to laugh quite that hard!) for their fall apple harvest festival. It was a little bit of a drive but Belvedere Plantation was like $15 per person and this one was free! And it was a lot of fun. Megan really enjoyed the pumpkin patch and seeing all the dogs (I was surprised at how many people brought their dogs -- especially in purses, clothes, and strollers!). We picked apples (ok from a barrel but they were very fresh from the tree), had cider and saw farm animals. We actually had a really good time and I LOVED the fact that we only wore jackets! No snow! Short sleeves underneath! I love Virginia! I think Megan's favorite thing was the rocks -- of course. And she walked a lot and slept hard last night. That's always a good thing.

Ok the haybale man was kind've creepy -- Megan's not looking at the camera because she's busy examining and as soon as the picture was taken she wanted away from that thing -- but it was picture worthy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

More walking

Grandma complained that they had to watch the last video about 12 times to really see her walking since it was so short so here are 3 more!! But that's all they are.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Crafty, crafty

Chopper and I have both been busy and now we need to show off! We've been anticipating the expense of putting Megan into a bed when (or before) the baby comes and I don't believe in toddler beds so it's meant a lot of looking and A LOT of sticker shock. Then Chopper remembered an old twin his parents had that was broken. Thank goodness for a handy husband!!! Some repairs, new stain, and a decorative touch and VOILA! It's pretty much a brand new bed! I'm very proud of him and it looks great.

I on the the other hand have been getting too excited for Halloween. I pulled out our decorations a week ago but we don't have very many and not a lot of money to spend either so I've been trying to make things around the house useful. I don't do scary Halloween -- just fun stuff. I realized the other day that our bedroom lamps are the right shade for monster's faces and so add a little felt with tape and again -- VOILA! I think it's goofy cute.

Oh and I'm learning new math skills as a mom:
car ride + quilt shop browsing + unknown variable = screaming banshee of a child. My easy life is definitely at an end!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Step, step, step!

I know it's sideways (I can't figure out how to flip it -- tips anyone?), but other than that -- I don't know if I can even speak. There just are no words for how I am feeling right now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fat and happy

I cannot believe how much I am already showing and only 13 weeks! I should be in maternity clothes by October I think. But I'm happy because the nauseousness is finally going away!!!!! Now I can finally enjoy my pregnancy!

Megan is becoming so interesting lately. You can tell she's growing up but she does the funniest things -- or at least they are to us. We spend a lot of time laughing at her, sometimes it makes her mad too . . .

Megan's eating has improved SOOOO much since we did a very simple thing -- introduced her to the fork and spoon. She is now eating things she never touched before: yogurt, spaghetti, manicotti, all kinds of sticky things. It's amazing and wonderful. Of course we also have to deal with the screaming at every meal when she can't get her food to stick on the fork. I've decided toddler forks are useless because the tips are rounded and she can't spear things very well. So regular forks it is -- just like mom and dad -- and she loves it.

At Megan's 18-month check one of the things the docter asked was whether she can put on and take off her clothes. Does doing it wrong count? Everything still goes on her head! I'm grateful she can't take things off yet because she really likes being a naked baby after her bath and I have a feeling I would be hard pressed to keep her clothed.

I have no idea why this picture is blue! But I still had to post it because we've just recently been able to introduce Megan to the playground equipment and she's now getting good at it and you can just see how much she loves it. I tell her we're going to go slide and she's scooting for the door as fast as her bum will take her. Doesn't like the swings though . . .

Monday, September 7, 2009


Megan is making wonderful progress! SHe is cruising everywhere and standing up on her own -- although unfortunately she thinks it's great fun to fall down once she gets standing so no real practice there. I'm trying to get pictures and video to post but she likes the camera too much and comes after me when she hears it turning on.

Her new favorite phrase is "all right" but she likes to yell it. She sounds like a beligerent teenager even though she's complying as she says it --

Me: Megan it's time to go get in the bathtub.
Megan: All right! All right! All right! (As she's crawling in that direction because she actually loves the bath)

Question is -- if she sounds beligerent now, how bad will it actually be when she's 13? Yikes!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Ok I know that this is probably REALLY early to start thinking about it, but I love Halloween and since school starts today, fall in on my mind. I have to decide early what I'm making Megan so that I can get all my materials on sale as I get coupons from Jo-Ann's but I'm having a hard time making a decision so I thought for fun I would put up a poll and have ya'll tell me what you think:

#1 -- a candy corn. I think the pictures would be adorable, Chopper thinks it's a tortuous idea but that if I'm ever going to make a child a candycorn it should be know before she fully realizes what I'm doing. On the down side, the hat that completes the outfit kind've makes the kid look like a conehead . . .

#2 -- a flower. Back at Easter I picked up a flower headband and Megan loves flowers so it would be pretty simple to do a tutu with leaves and petals and make her a pink flower.

#3 -- Little Bo Peep. I got the cutest pattern for a little Bo Peep outfit with lacy bloomers and all and Megan has a ton of stuffed sheep (I'm not quite sure how that happened) . . .

I could always make us a family costume but those are only fun if you have fun parties to go to and I don't know that we do yet. I saw one in a magazine where the family dresses up as different parts of a BLT -- Megan would be lettuce, Chopper would be bread and bacon, and I would be the tomato since I should be sufficiently round by Halloween -- oh yeah, did I forget to mention I'm pregnant? March 23!

Anyway, VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Now the Pictures!

There's nothing like a good book to read and a comfortable box to sit in!

Of course a trip to the pool with Grandma Gasser and dad is just as fun! Megan loves the water and loves "swimming". I love that I don't have a picture of myself with a bathing suit on!

I love all the farmer's markets and vegetable stands. We got some really good sweet corn the other day which Megan really enjoyed off the cob but then had to try it grown-up-style too. More and more, that's the way it has to be -- the way mom and dad do it!

My mom tries to be really good about exercising and took long walks every morning while she was here. When she would get back she would stretch out on the living room floor and Megan would join her. Somehow I don't think it was much of a stretch for her though since she can still put her feet right up to her face without even trying!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Megan had her 18 month check today (I can't believe she's 18 months!) and she comes in as follows:

Height -- 30 inches (3-10th %)
Length -- 20 # 10 oz. (10-25th %)
Head -- really big (90th %)

SO we have a small girl with a big head. We still haven't switched her car seat to forward facing for various reasons and when we got in the car today Chopper said to me, "maybe we should leave it rear-facing even a little longer -- with a head like that she would really get whiplash if we were in a car accident!" And it's true.

But she's just big-headed because she's in the 90th percentile for smarts so there!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


So my nephew's girlfriend Sheena tells us today that she saw us on Caroline County's website! We finally found it -- I think she saw it when they had the pictures posted on the front page -- but if you google Caroline County, VA and then click on their main site and go to site map, click on P, click on photo archives and there are pictures from the Port Royal 4th of July event. If you place your cursor over them, the picture pops right up and there we are! You know why they took the picture though, Megan's a cutie -- Chopper and I are just ok.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

I think that I've apologized for this before but to all those who I needlessly judged because their children were picky eaters -- I'M SOOOOO SORRY!

Megan is getting pickier by the day and I wish I had pictures to prove it (of all the things she's rejected on the floor). She does eat green beans (for which I am grateful) but she splits them apart and eats the seeds (is that what they are?) in the middle. That's it. I hope it still counts. Her latest food-capades (like escapades, get it?) include gagging herself with her fingers until she throws up, rubbing ranch dressing into her skin (I think she thinks it's lotion -- and it is quite fragrant), and put everything into her mouth except what she's supposed to. And she's never been a chewer until now.

On another note -- no news on the job front for Chopper. He's taking advantage of the time and going to girl's camp next week (I'm jealous) and they are very grateful because they do have such a hard time finding brethren who are able to go. As of Aug. 1st he'll be turned over to the Department of Labor so hopefully things will start moving forward. But physical therapy is going well and he's being sufficiently tortured.

And on another note -- I've been given an ultimatum to get on Facebook. I guess it can't hurt to give it a whirl even if I am a Blogger snob! So maybe I'll sit down and do that -- you'll have to look for me in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Words

Well another misconception cleared up. I don't know why but I had it in my head that when Megan began to speak words I would understand them. Not so. I'm pretty sure that she is saying specific words -- although it's really only if prompted and not too voluntary. But she does quite a few animal noises and will say "sorry" and "hot dog" if you prompt her too. She doesn't really say mama or dada clearly even. I have an odd child. Or rather, an odd husband who's decided that his job is to teach her the unusual things.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Video

The one reading the books is really long -- sorry I couldn't resist.

Megan's favorite things

It's so funny how quickly their personalities develop. Megan already hates having dirty hands, she won't eat anything that is even remotely sticky and that includes sugary things like ice cream or syrup, and she hates being forced or cajoled into eating anything. If it's not on her terms, it doesn't go in the mouth!

But it's more fun seeing the things that she loves: her reaction to animals of any kind, reading books, flowers, and stuffed animals. This last one is particularly cute because she hugs them all. When we go to stores with stuffed animals, she has to hug them. It's ok to put them back on the shelf afterwards, I think she understands that they live in the store or something, but they have to have a hug and be loved.
And after all, don't we all need a little love every now and then?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fabulous Fourth!

I love Independence Day! It was a bonus for us to celebrate twice though -- Chopper's sisters Joyce and Jeri were here from out of town so we did BBQ and fireworks on Thursday. Megan was not a fan of the fireworks -- even though we tried really hard not to get loud ones. She kept going back and forth between Chopper and I probably trying to decide either who was the safer parent or who would finally give up and just go inside already!

Saturday we went to Port Royal -- a small town in Virginia where most of the houses date from the 1700's. At their very old church,
they had colonial reenacters read the Declaration of Independence and then we went inside and sang patriotic songs, had a prayer, and a speech by "Lt. James Madison". It was a small town celebration but it was really neat and I think the best thing was to see people gathered to celebrate our nation and pray for it's welfare. I really think that most people in America feel that way and it's so sad the way it's going . . . Did you notice the little boy marching with the guard? He was right in line with the rest of them but I didn't know that they had cargo shorts and flip flops in colonial days!

These are for Grandma -- I made a 4th of July outfit for Megan. I thought by the picture that is would be a long-ish shirt and shorts. Well the shirt turned out to be a dress. I followed all the directions so maybe the picture is deceiving but I didn't like how the shorts turned out so she just dressed in colors and then wore the dress on Sunday to church but it was darn cute. I had a really hard time getting pictures though because she no longer holds still and instead starts to come after the camera so this is the best you get!

Oh and the picture with the bloomers, this is Megan trying to get dad to put them on her head. He puts EVERYTHING on her head and so she does too and she's usually pretty good at it but needs help this time. Needless to say, she loves her hat.

This is for Grandpa because he thinks big bows and hair decorations are ridiculous and apparently Megan thinks so too but you're only young enough for a short time for mom to tortue you in this way so it has to happen. She takes off her headbands and removes her bows but give her a crown or tiara and it's hours of wearing and staring at herself in the mirror.

Last but not least, look at this! Megan is FINALLY crawling. She switches back and forth between the crawl and the scoot but it is amazing progress for her to be on her knees moving around like this so you have to see it.
I think that's all I have. Oh yeah, I finally saw Ben Hur for the first time -- excellent movie by the way.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Chopper has lived in this area since he was ten and I spent a few years here in college and it is amazing to me what we have not seen. We've been really exploring and this past weekend went to a "park" in Richmond called Maymont that was a really neat place.

Maymont is actually an estate that was left as a park when the owners died since they had no children. The mansion was gorgeous and decked out in gilded age furniture and decor. The owners were of course wealthy Richmond socialites and nearly everything in the house is what they bought and furnished instead of reproductions or borrowed items.
They wouldn't allow pictures of the inside but they have some on their website It is worth looking at!
On the other end of the park was a Children's Farm with buffalo (in Virginia!) bear, birds of prey and of course your obligatory petting farm goats. Megan laughed when he licked her feet and then decided goat spit wasn't so fun after all!

They have beautiful Italian and Japanese gardens with a waterfall and a grotto and a small lake (pond I guess) and it was just a gorgeous day. If you're ever down there for the day, you might have to check it out.