The Blueberry Thief

In our household, all of us are a bit fanatic about blueberries. The Costco size pack of blueberries only lasts about two days. No joke. We are that out of control. Or maybe, blueberries are just that good.

We love blueberries so much, we even had our own blueberry plant (who sadly got left in Scotland).

Connor, just like is parents, is crazy about blueberries. And he will do just about anything to get his hands on them.

As you can see, the dog is really into blueberries too. But, I am pretty sure she is in to just about any type of food. Except for french fries. No joke...weird dog. And she enjoys having Connor around because it means she gets to eat a lot of people food. And Connor enjoys feeding her.


I am happy to see that my son has interest in a food that is good for him. He is even into vegetables. Connor, you make your mom and dad proud!

What's Your Plan?

Now that I am living back in California and seeing lots of people I haven't seen in a while, everyone seems to want to know the same thing...what's my plan?

A plan is such a tricky thing, isn't it? Back when I was with child, I didn't know how I would feel about staying home. Because of this, I was perfectly fine with the idea of going back to work. Then this adorable lttle guy came along and I was never the same.

The thought of abandoning leaving him and going back to work seemed awful. I kept getting sick to my stomach when I was actually talking to Starbucks about going back. Alas, that never happened and we ended up in California...the place where everyone seems to want to know what my plan is.

The truth is, I don't have much of a plan. I really do love staying at home with Connor. I pretty much think it is the life. But, for some reason, I feel so awkward telling people that I am staying at home. It makes me feel like people think I am a loser, a mooch, not driven. I know that isn't true. But it is I feel. I don't want to feel that way. In fact, I realize there are all sorts of people who wish they too were in the position to stay at home with their kiddos. So really, I should be talking about how blessed I am and not complaining about my feelings.

But back to my plan. If there was a job that really got my heart racing, I would consider doing it part time, but that is it. Part time. My time with Connor is much too precious for me to give it up.

Now I just need to get over myself and get to the point that I can admit to others that I spend my days with a one-year-old and freaking love it.

Driving with Baby

Back before Connor, when we would drive anywhere, all we had to worry about was my nervous bladder. Seriously though, that could be bad. I have some issues with not being around a bathroom. I used to not drink for hours before I went on a road trip. Ian helped by always being so cool about stopping for me to pee. But if anyone else was with us, I would get all weird and nervous again. Then Connor came along...

At first, car rides with Connor were a breeze. I mean, we drove to Italy and back without a problem! Long driving days, not a problem! The older he got, the less true this became. And now at a year, he definitely starts getting frustrated after an hour. Sure we can drive late at night, which we have chosen to do a few times. Problem is, I just want to sleep and Ian is left all by his lonesome.

If we are going on a daytime road trip, I have taken to stuffing the car with anything and everything for Connor. We have snacks, sippy cups, toys, toys and more toys. There are books, noise-making toys, small toys, large get the picture. And even then, it the the non-driving parent's responsibility to entertain the little fellow. And when he is done with the car, that is a pretty hard job.

Though I don't see us cutting road trips out of our lives, I do see us not deciding to make 3 trips to LA in a month again. It was just a little much. And I do still see a road trip across America in our future, just with WAY MORE stops than I originally thought.

Play Time

Our local Barnes & Noble has a train set in the kids section to play with. It has become a place we enjoy to go. Mom & Dad can drink some coffee and hope to have Connor entertained for 90 seconds before he runs off. Now, if there are other kids playing, Connor will stay. He doesn't play too well with others though. He must play with the train the other kid is playing with (even though there are a gazillion others) and he also has to stand right next to the other kids. When you think about it, it really is funny. Once Connor looses interest, he starts to run. Everywhere. And that is the end of peaceful coffee time.

This got me thinking...what is so wrong with Barnes & Noble putting up a fence around the train table? It really is a win-win situation. The parents get extra parent time and the store doesn't get trashed by the running youngsters. Come on Barnes & Noble. You know you want to help a mama out.

**You know you love the high quality cell phone picture!


One of the most annoying things to me is to hear a man say that stay at home moms have it "easy". It makes me want to punch the guy in the face. I know, violence is NOT the answer. The thing is though, it always seems to be dads saying this and the dads that say this always seem to be the laziest and least involved with their children.

On the flip side, it irks me to hear moms complain about how easy their husbands have to go off to work. It is as if they forgot they chose this life. If you are that miserable, throw your kid(s) in daycare and get a job. Problem solved. Now, I am not saying motherhood is a walk in the park, but it is the life I have chosen. And, I consider it an honor that I get to hang out with Connor all day. Ian actually has to wake up in the morning, go to work and function. I roll out of bed, feed Connor breakfast while drinking coffee and stay in my pajamas until 11...that sounds like the life to me! And Ian would love to be a stay at home dad. Problem is, we would have to live out of a cardboard box if I was the sole provider for the family. Sorry Ian. Plus, Ian didn't seem too keen on trying to breastfeed!

All I am trying to say is we are a team. We aren't working separately. We are working together to keep this family going. I love how involved Ian is in our family. And I love that he can provide for us and enjoys providing for us. I love watching Connor get excited when Ian gets home and am not jealous at all about that.

Its all about supporting one another, not tearing one another apart.
Its about making each other's lives easier, not harder.
Its about love, not hatred, jealousy or rage.
Its about family.

I love my little family.

Weekend Update

By Connor

On Friday, I finally mastered the straw. Mommy was really excited about this. To make it even better, I was even drinking water through a straw...which I normally refuse to drink.

On Saturday, I got to hang out with Mom and Dad. They love spending time with me because I am so dang cute.  Then Saturday night, Mommy and Daddy went out and Uncle Jeremy watched me. He did great, though he was a little unhappy about having to change my diaper. Twice. And both times I had a nice surprise in there for him!

On Sunday, we headed to Ikea to pick up a dresser for me. I was tired and slept the whole way there...holding my pal Woody, of course. Mom and Dad stayed up after I went to bed, putting the dresser together.

I was also able to convince Mom that I really needed a lawn mower. It reminded her of her childhood...but she said her's (well, her brothers) blew bubbles. I love it. Though I haven't been outside with it, I am great at mowing the carpet!

And what weekend would be complete without a trip to Starbucks?!? I am pretty sure we went way more than once. I love "drinking" Starbucks. And if I can get my hands on a lid, all the better!

 So that's it. Hope your weekend was a good as mine!


Apparently Modesto isn't a place people walk around much. I have taken Connor on many a walks around the neighborhood. I rarely ever see anyone outside their houses, let alone see anyone walking around.

Last night we went on a couple mile family walk. Ian and I were both annoyed by the sidewalk having planters and trees on opposite sides forcing you to zig zag your way along the sidewalk. Then, half the trees have caused the sidewalks to buckle. It made me feel bad (or maybe even mad) for the people in wheelchairs. How would they even get around by themselves?

Then, when we were crossing an intersection (the little "white man" told us to "walk") someone turning right stopped for us (they had a red light anyway). Someone about 3 cars back started honking incessantly as if the person was stopped for no reason...again, at a freaking red light!

I seriously think people in America, or at least suburbia, need to learn to get out of their houses and walk a little. And, they need to be a little more respectful of pedestrians when driving. I hate having to fear for my son's life every time we cross a street.

Oh, and on our 3 mile walk, we saw 1 other couple out walking. Seriously, 1 couple. And people wonder why America is having a weight issue.

** On a side note, I remember when I was one of those speeding crazies driving through the city like a maniac. It is amazing how having a child will change your perspective!

My Little Concert Pianist

Connor has played with a piano before, but never really been into it. The other day he walked up to a piano and started pressing the keys. I didn't even know he could reach the keys without help! So, I set him on the bench and let him play. It was so freaking cute. He instinctively used both hands. And was actually pressing the keys rather than banging on them. So cute!

I'm not a proud mom or anything.

The Toilet Situation

Today when I was using a public restroom, a thought came to me

I could care less about toilet seat covers.

I don't use them. Gross? I really don't think so. Its not like a toilet seat cover really protects you. It is so thin and anything wet soaks right through anyway. Now, I am not gross. If a toilet seat looks gross, I just hover over it.

I know I discussed this subject a couple years back, but I really don't think toilet seat covers protect you. I think they are a waste of money and a drain on our sewage system. Sure, I used to use them like the rest of Americans. In fact, I even knew the trick of turning them around so they wouldn't fall in the toilet. Then I moved and resided in a country for 3.5 years where toilet seat covers didn't exist. I can't remember if this bothered me or not in the beginning. But it certainly doesn't bother me now. And when we were in France, we came across squatty potties, Cambodia style. If you want to be sanitary, that's the way to go!

I am proud to say, I have not used one single toilet seat cover since being back in the states. And I have sat on the toilet seats. Take that germ-a-phobes!

Goodbye & Welcome Home - Part 4

Today is the day we were originally supposed to head back to Scotland. We had booked a trip to California for the holidays before we knew we were moving. And that round trip ticket turned into a one way ticket. A thought I am still trying to wrap my head around.

Looking at pictures of Scotland makes me sad. It is so close to my memory, I can close my eyes and feel like I am there. But I know my house and my life there no longer "exist". Its weird. It makes me sad.

Sure California is great. At one time, I thought it was the best place to live. Ever. And I am sure I will get back to that place. However, I have gotten used to a much slower pace of life. And sometimes I have been getting overwhelmed by all that is going on in California. The first couple times I went to the store or the mall, I just wanted to leave. There was too much going on and too many people everywhere. Sure, it was before Christmas, but I think there was more to it.

Living with my parents feels unsettling to me. I want to live in a place of my own. I want to unpack all my stuff from storage and make discoveries in all that stuff. I want to decorate a room for Connor. Decorate it exactly how I want to...a luxury I didn't have in Scotland (given that we were in a rental). I got a car last week and that helped me feel a little more settled. I could stop dragging Connor's car seat from one car to another. And I got to stop begging people for rides.

There are things we did in Scotland that I didn't want to lose. I enjoyed walking places. I really do miss that. There is no where to walk around here, except around the neighborhood and that isn't exciting. I wanted to continue cooking all the time. I still have been doing that...good job Jessica! Of course, there are subtle differences about the groceries in the different countries. Differences small enough to annoy me, but not large enough to drive me crazy.

Today is the first day I have felt "normal". It felt like a routine and I liked that. Connor and I hung out more and rushed around less. That was nice. I want more normal, calm days and less rushed crazy days. So bring on the normal!

New York City, Part 2

When I originally started talking to my aunt about going to New York City, I was excited. Then when it came time to buy the tickets, I started getting nervous. Or, more correctly, I started getting separation anxiety. The thought of leaving Connor for a week seemed almost too much to handle. I could barely handle leaving him for two hours, how was I going to get thru a week?!? But, Ian reassured me. And very quickly I started to realize that this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. How often do I get to hang out with my aunt and cousin for a week? Umm...NEVER. And Connor was in the safe hands of his daddy. A daddy who was kind enough to send me multiple pictures a day and video call with me at night. Thanks Ian!

Sightseeing in New York was great. The shopping, even better. The smallest cupcakes I have ever seen, made my mouth the happiest it has ever been. And the was great. The talking, the meals, the running around New York, it was all so great. And really, a once in a lifetime thing.

My cousin lives on the fifth floor, in a building that doesn't have an elevator. So I am pretty sure even though we ate our way through the city, we didn't gain an ounce. How could you with a climb like that?!? And imagine hauling a Christmas tree up it!

I love Christmasy stuff so was all ready to see all things Christmas in New York. We got to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, complete with someone proposing in the middle of the ice rink! We went to the Christmas shops in Grand Central Station and also wondered around two different outdoor Christmas villages/flea markets. I was able to score Ian a beer making kit, that I hauled all the way home for him for Christmas (and which he has put to good use...although the beer has to "cook" for a month).

New York City is such a magical place. There is constantly stuff going on. Just people watching is amazing. And, my favorite cousin lives there...really what more is there? I am already planning my trip back, but this time bringing my little family with me.

A Lesson for the New Year

Normally on New Year's day, one might want to reflect back on the year before. Or perhaps, share some resolutions. Or even, reflect on their hopes and dreams for the year to come. My dear readers, you are in luck. I will not be sharing any of that with you today, but instead will be talking about something close to my heart.

Gas Station Etiquette

Yes. You read that correctly. There is an unspoken etiquette for gas stations and when people don't follow it, it causes disarray...well, and for people to get pissed off.

I drove into a busy gas station the other day and picked a vehicle to wait behind. A mini van. Sure it doesn't matter what kind of car, but it just gives me another reason to dislike mini vans (sorry all you mini van lovers out there). This particular mini van wasn't pumping gas and everyone was in the car...all three of them, that is. So I sit and wait. About 90 seconds into the waiting, the driver side door opens and out pops dad. Dad opens the back door and gets out son. Then mom gets out and dad proceeds to walk son to mom and get them clear of the dangers of the gas station. Mind you, son looks about ten years old. Does dad really need to be protecting son and mom at the gas station? Then dad starts thinking about pumping the gas. At this point, I am totally committed to waiting for this pump and I am getting annoyed.

Now we will move on a little further in the story as you really don't need a full blow by blow of my gas station experience. Since dad was taking so long, I turned off my car. When dad finished pumping gas, much to my surprise, he turned on the mini van and drove off. I thought for sure he would wait at the pump for his wife and son. Three points for dad mini van for doing something good!

While turning on my car and beginning to drive forward an old lady tried swooping in from the other direction to steal my pump. Mind you, every single pump had a line behind it and every single line went the same direction as I was waiting. Old lady apparently didn't want to wait. Hands were thrown in the air, cars were not rammed (though I considered it) and I ended up pumping gas in my car a few feet away from the gas pump as old lady refused to back up her car and I refused to allow her to pump before me.

I say all this to teach a valuable lesson in gas station etiquette. Always think of others. Be quick at the pump when it is busy. It isn't a parking spot, but rather a place to get gas. Wait in line and don't try to steal pumps from other drivers. You don't want to piss off the wrong person around all that flammable liquid!

Oh, and Happy New Year!!!
2011 is bound to be a great one.
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