Friday, March 27, 2009

Please Join Us...

In Celebrating the lives of 4 Oakland police officers killed in the line of duty last week. Through many generous efforts of other organizations to staff 911 lines, and other duties over 18,000 people and ALL of the Oakland Police Department were able to attend the memorial service.

Between the 4 officers they left behind 10 children. Please be in prayer for their wives and families. Even for the level of violence that our city sees, this was truly shocking for all Oakland residents.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fun fun!

82 words


Visit to Sacramento

We went to Sacramento yesterday for Matt's work. He took photos in the Capitol and a few other locations of Jean-Michel Cousteau and Lukas Nelson (son of Willie Nelson, but I couldn't find any info on him). They are both involved in environmental issues and were doing some lobbying with their various groups. He is planning on writing a story along with pictures for his website so hopefully I can put up a link for that soon which should be a little more informative.

Since Matt didn't have to work until 1 or 2 we decided to go early to do some touring and then I planned on touring around the city while he was shooting (until about 6). We left early in the morning and got to the California State Railroad Museum shortly after it opened. Trains are becoming a big part of our lives lately. What with Joey loving to play with his little Brio trains and tracks and Matt and I getting The Polar Express around Christmastime, we were excited to see some of the largest and oldest trains in our nation's history!

The day really couldn't have gone smoother. Joey slept a good part of the way to Sacramento and woke up as we pulled into the train museum. We got a parking spot right in front (parking is exciting to us now, living in a city where it is ALWAYS hard to find!) We toured the museum for a few hours getting to see, among other things: The largest remaining steam engine (the last of it's size, since the rest have all been scrapped) and lots of cool train cars and engines that traveled the west coast. We also got to see the new(ish) exhibition of toy trains (a $1 million donation from a collector) with trains dating back to the 1800's. I didn't even know they made toy trains back then! We got to see where Lionel got its start and the earliest trains it made. We even saw our own Polar Express in a display case! There was a great exhibit for Joey with lots of tracks and trains for kids to run around and play with (think lots and lots of Thomas and friends ;-) The museum was really interesting. The guides are retired conductors and we learned alot! For example when visiting an old mail car and sharing with the driver that we lived in Oakland we learned that it was only in the late 1970's that mail begun to be sorted in post offices and not in trains. Now Oakland is a central location for much of the sorting for CA mail that used to be done on trains.

After our visit to the train station we walked through Old Sacramento in search of cheap food, which we actually found!! Cheap food.... in a tourist location. *expression of shock* We got hot dogs and french fries (I didn't say healthy...I said cheap!), and Joey ate his first hot dog (the whole thing!) without a thought. He tends to be picky with unfamiliar food, so this is exciting! After the food I dropped Matt off at the Convention Center where he was beginning the afternoon and Joey and I went on to the Capitol building to look around (this was free!). We didn't take a tour because honestly, they looked like they were taking FOREVER, and I'm more a "take-a-museum-at-my-own-pace-which-is-usually-fast" kind of person. :-) I got to see the historical Governor and Lt. Governor's office, and the old office of the treasurer. I also saw the galleries of the Senate and Assembly (not in session) and the Capitol gardens. It was beautiful! Joey had a great time running around the gardens and was quiet and cooperative in the Capitol.

After we were done with that we decided to check out Fairytale Town, a young young amusement-type park that I had seen in our No. CA guidebook. Fairytale Town was free for Joey and only 4 dollars for me. (that is super-cheap for here). It was a really neat park. I couldn't see spending more than 2 hours there but I could see taking an 8 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old and everyone being completely engaged and happy for 2 hours. It was really neat to find a place that you could take a young young child to. When we arrived at FTT, Joey had fallen asleep so I read for a while until he woke up and then we played there until it closed at 5.

When we were all done at FTT we walked around the surrounding area enjoying the scenery. FTT is in the middle of William Land parks which (this link shows a map of the area, we were RIGHT across from the Sac. Zoo entrance and within walking distance of everything!!) includes an amusement park (county fair style) for older children, the Sacramento Zoo, and a Golf course and beautiful grounds with pond, fountain and ducks and geese. It was so pretty! Also the weather was stunning, a 70 degree day all day! Then Joey and I headed back to Old Sacramento to walk around and see the sights. We looked in cute shops and bought some $1 ice cream to share as we sat on the river dock where the boats were settling in for the evening. Joey was tired from not so much sleep, but we were eating ice cream and he was a dream. For a guy that is still pretty dependent on his naps, he was such an angel all day that I am proud to sing his praises!!! It's so nice to be able to take him to do things now that he is old enough to play and be interested and social and FUN!

After we had exhausted Old Town We drove back to the capitol (hoping that Matt would end up finishing soon nearby, little did we know that he had actually done most of his shooting in the capitol building all day!). We played right on the capitol lawn while we waited for Matt to call, with some toys that we had brought and Matt was less than 2 blocks away when he finished. We met up and then enjoyed the last event of the evening which we had already planned, a visit to the Old Spaghetti Factory (which if you know Matt, is like a dream come true). We got to share details from our days and Joey was easy to feed, pigging out on spinach and cheese raviolis, cheese and tofu (from home), applesauce (a present from our waiter) and lots of bread. Even at 9:00 I was still proud to be his mommy in this restaurant. It was busy and noisy (which if you have kids, you know is PERFECT). After we ate we put Joey in his p.j.s and headed home. He was asleep before the GPS had calculated the route.

I hope I find an excuse to make more trips out to Sacramento. I was really impressed with the navigability of the city and the ease of parking. The traffic was a dream (I drove on the interstate right into downtown Sac. at 5:45, in the MIDDLE of rush hour) and it was only a teeny bit jammed) and parking was inexpensive. It was so hard to decide what to do. There were parks and lakes and lots of fun outdoorsy stuff to do just 15 - 20 miles outside of Sacramento and the weather in the summer is supposed to be HOT, something we won't get in Oakland. I hope we can drive out and visit some lakes and parks and stuff and enjoy the summer weather just a little over an hour away!

I'm going to post our pictures a little later, or tomorrow, I just wanted to get this post up. Tonight...I get to go out to the movies with a friend and Matt and Joey are staying in to watch basketball with my friend's hubby. The best of both worlds for sure!! :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sacramento and No Work!!

Oooohhhh it is LATE!! So I will have to share my post sometime tomorrow, but for now, a teaser. What works for me, is not working anymore until the baby. Woo hoo!! I have the next 12 (roughly) weeks to paint and decorate Joey(/baby's) room, and get ready for baby! (Ummm not that we didn't do that when we moved in here, of course!) I am excited to be done with work, thrilled to be helping out Matt more at home with the business and really glad to share all the fun things that I can do now, like go along with Matt when he has to travel.

What worked for me today was going along with Matt to Sacramento (he had a photo shoot) and Joey and I spent the day touring the city. We had a wonderful time and I can't wait to share the pictures and stories of what we did. I am totally bushed though, and definitely going to put that off until another day. Tomorrow is our last puppy-free day and we will be spending the next few months training that little guy also! So much to do, but so much fun stuff too!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not Me Monday - postponed

Please visit if you have a chance today. MckMama, who is responsible for sponsoring "Not Me Monday", is now in the hospital with her youngest child who also faced many troubles in utero. This family could definitely use your prayers today more than I could use your laughter... (But I'll take it another time!:-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Talk About.....

Rebound Bars.
Blogging friends.... Matt and I need a little help...

A while ago, we were rear ended in our car. Not really the issue now, but we have been given a check from our insurance company to replace our infant carseat (not the one we use now) and since we have an infant on the way, I'm trying to research the seats.

There are a whole series of seats now with a "rebound bar" at the bottom, to help in an accident, in case the seat flips forward into the seat backs in front of it.

It sounds in theory like a beneficial feature, but I'm curious to hear from someone who has a seat like this. Is this a convenient feature? It looks like it might get in the way. Is this true? Does anyone know anyone who has one? Ever heard a comment about one?

We'd love some help with this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Another edition of Works for Me Wednesday. I think I would put this in the highly coveted position of "The One Baby Thing I Can't Live Without". yes. I know, it's that good. It's hard to put anything over a bouncy chair or a pacifier but this is just that close....and that good.

The KidCo PeaPod. This device is a portable bed for your child. What, you say? You have a travel bed? You have a pack n' play? oh no, this is a thousand times better than a pack n' play (IMHO)! A pack n'play is great while your child is young and un-observant, but I'm sure we've all hauled that pack n' play to someone's house for an afternoon or a dinner or something and put it in an unfamiliar room only to have your child scream or worse yet, stare at all the new, fun, things to look at for the entire nap/bedtime.

The peapod is wonderful because it is it's own portable environment, it is SUPER-small and light (and therefore easy to carry), and if you train your child to sleep in it they can nap and sleep there for years! We have a pack n' play that I love and wouldn't trade for the world, as a matter of fact it might be our next crib for a while, but the peapod is just on another level.

We don't hesitate to accept dinner invitations or stay out late, at all, because we can just grab the pod (which is lighter than the diaper bag) throw it in the car and go. In the bag with the pod I keep the same blanket and stuffed animal for Joey and he sleeps in it so frequently (at least 3 times a week between my work and time with our friends) that he knows exactly what to do. Now he'll even crawl in himself and lay down. We throw his noise machine in with the bag (which is also really small) and he can sleep anywhere!

Joey will nap in this until he is old enough to obey and stay in a bed for an evening or a naptime and then his little brother will move into it. To help him learn to sleep in it, we used it in his bedroom (when he was about 7 months and we got one) for every nap and for all his nighttime sleep for about a week. Then it was a cinch! We purchased the largest one intending to use it until he wasn't napping anymore, but I imagine by 2 1/2 or so we'll just tell him to stay in whatever bed it is and that will be fine. We'll use this for all of our kids. I can't think of an better tool, especially if sleep or napping is an important part of your routine.

It wouldn't be fair to praise praise praise without some disadvantages, so I'll give those to be fair. Ours, (at least being the largest) takes up about 4 feet of floor space in length and a little more than 2 in width. It's not small. (But Joey can move around in it while he's sleeping just like his crib, or the bottom of a pnp. It's nice for him not to be trapped in a small space). Even though it takes up a good bit of floor space on our last trip we still managed to put it in a closet with his noise machine and shut the door. Everyone slept alot better that way!
Another disadvantage, (again with ours I think because it is tall) is that Joey can stand up in it. He's a fast learner and doesn't anymore but he did flip it once before he learned that. He spent an uncomfortable few minutes sitting on the (uncushioned) top half with the bottom over his head. Not dangerous, just inconvenient), although I wouldn't place it at the top of the stairs for your older child. So aside from the fact that it takes up alot of floor space and they can possibly stand and flip it, this is my favorite baby/child tool.

I hope that's helpful to you all. If you want to read another post about it check out Elisa's post from almost 2 years ago!! This is where I heard about the pod... I also found this review, while I was looking for a good picture.

I can't say enough how much I love it, and for flying, it fits in our checked bags! (an important issue what with the luggage regulations now).

If you have one of these (and love it) give me an "Amen" here! (If you don't love it, keep your crazy thoughts to yourself! ;-)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I didn't challenge my good friend Elisa to participate in "Not Me Monday" and then fail to have anything funny to confess to myself. I also did not read her "not me's" and wish mine were that funny and think about making some up. I am definitely not still thinking about making any up, while I am writing this blog.

Matt and I did not stay out until 10:00 tonight without putting Joey to bed at the house we were at, and then expect him to come home and go to sleep. So at 10:30, I am not typing this blog while I listen to him babble and play in his crib. I am SURELY not considering disciplining him for not going straight to sleep since it is clearly my fault that he is wound up. It would be wrong to expect him to go right to sleep when he was playing with other children not 15 minutes ago. My expectations are always very reasonable! (excuse me while I step away for a moment to check on my son...)

Since I am a committed pet owner, I did not consider giving our cat up for adoption after he sprayed on the new carpet (TWICE!) we got for our family room so that Joey wouldn't have to play anymore on the sample scrap of carpet that we keep as a doormat. Lexie, I did not even let it creep into my head that you and Jamie would probably take Mocha at any time. Even if he has been stressed I would never just consider ditching him like that.

Since I have been lamenting over the vacuuming that really REALLY needed to be done this weekend, I definitely did it today, while I had time instead of other things that were not important. Since tomorrow I have Joey and Ethan to watch here, I did NOT tell myself that I would just do it tomorrow while both boys are napping. That would be crazy. And, definitely impossible, because someone would wake up. And I would definitely be lying to myself about doing it tomorrow.

I DID NOT, absolutely not, forget to notice that today was the 15th, and Joey's 1 1/2 yo birthday. I am also not in the slightest worried about being judged for not realizing that he is 18 months old today. Congratulations Joey!!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ANNOUNCING the (almost) ARRIVAL of.....


We get Ziggy in just about 2 weeks. He is in the process of being weaned. You can see him in this picture on the right. We named him after one of our favorite Reggae artists, Ziggy Marley, (Bob Marley's son) who we listen to alot and also Matt thinks he has kind of a rasta look with his hair) We can't wait to meet him!!

Now, since no one commented after I mentioned that we were getting a ALL have to comment now on how cute he is. Go on, get to commenting!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Another trend I have really been wanting to participate in..... Works for me Wednesday!!

Here is a chance to share a household (or other) tip or trick that you or your family use!

I don't have much time, so I'm just going to start with one thing, but hopefully next week I'll have a little more time!

Do you buy ground beef at the supermarket?? Well I don't know if you've noticed, but they used to ALWAYS been in 1 lb. containers. Maybe 1.01, or a little more. But in the effort to increase people's consumption (I think) and their spending and eating, over the last few years, ground beef has been creeping up in quantity. Now the packages (at least here in CA) are almost always 1.3 or 1.4. They are just getting bigger and bigger.

So now, when I buy it, I cut away about a third, or whatever amount I think the extra portion is, and put it in a ziploc bag and freeze it. I try to get it to about a lb, and then save the rest. When I get another lb, I do the same thing and put the extra in the same bag. After about 3 purchases of ground beef, I have another whole lb that I didn't have to buy. We aren't eating a bunch more than we need to, and we are saving on the purchase of a whole package!

What works for you in your family??

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Me Monday

I've been wanting to participate in....

For a long time. You can find this funny blog on MckMama's blog. And If you are just checking her out..... I would recommend her Not Me Monday for this week. It's pretty funny!!

So please enjoy my first attempt...

I am definitely super-attentive all throughout church and because of that, I definitely did not play a game of you poke me, and I'll poke you back with Baby Boy Beardsley #2 you in the middle of our sermon yesterday! If I had, I definitely would not have laughed aloud and then made Matt touch and poke at the fetus, also during the sermon. I am way too Godly for that!

Today when feeding my son pretzels during snack I did not pick out all the salty ones and eat them myself. That was definitely not me. When the salty ones were all gone I also did not resort to re-examining the discarded ones and eating half of a few of them that had salt on them. When there were only 20 or so left in the bag, I definitely threw it away, I did not keep the bag intending to feed them to Joey at a later snack, because by golly if they weren't good enough for me, they definitely weren't good enough for Joey. Those pretzels are NOT in our diaper bag right now.

Today after Joey woke up from his nap (at the house that I nanny at) I had remembered to take a few toys out of Will's room for Joey to play with, like I always do. I would never rely on him to sleep later because of daylight savings time. If I had forgotten to remove said toys before Will went to take a nap, I would NEVER have crept in to get some toys so my own child wouldn't be bored, and risk waking up my little charge. Even if I had snuck in, I would definitely not have planned to tell Will if he woke up, that it wasn't time to get up yet, and make him stay in bed. Not me!
(I promise he consistently sleeps an hour or so longer than Joey and really needs it!!)

Hopefully I'll have many more Not Me's in the future. There are so many funny things during the week that I should confess to, but it's hard to remember them all on Mondays. Looking forward to more though!

**Challenge** Lisi.... I can't imagine a NOT ME that I would rather read, than one which had emerged from your, I challenge you to "NOT ME" in a week. I'm looking forward to it!! ooooo oooo Sarah Gach too!! I want to read some "Not Me's" from Africa!**

A Great Visit

A few weeks ago, we had a visit, from my college roommate and dear friend Becky, her husband Tyler and their daughter Eve (who is 3 months older than Joey).

We all had great fun (although it was the beginning of my FLU, blah!)

It's fun to have a friend to ride with in the car!

Someone was not used to waiting at the top for the Photo Op.....and couldn't stand it!!

First bath with a friend!!

Eve is thinking "What is that boy doing??"

Who says you can't dress a boy and a girl alike??

Eve LOVED Mocha. Mocha tolerated the extra attention most of the time, but after they all left, he seemed a little sad....

Watching as Becky and Tyler pull off into the distance...

We had a great visit with you guys!! I hope we get to do it again soon! Thanks for coming to see us! :-)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Yeah Baby!!

Last night at 9 Joey and I went and picked up Matt at the train station. He had a great (but definitely exhausting time) and we are so glad to have him back. Joey and I are hanging out now in the family room ignoring Veggie Tales waiting for Matt to wake up and then we'll have a fun brunch (Matt and I, Joey already ate) and find something fun to do on our Saturday. We've talked about going to the Zoo (we have a good zoo here in Oakland, believe it or not) or a hike (to use Joey's cool framed backpack in our nice weather) and we are ordering a pizza for dinner!

It's so nice to have him back!! Thanks so much for your prayers during our time apart!!

**I saw a statistic, that the average 2 year old (I know Joey isn't quite 2 yet...) watches 2 hours of t.v. a day, an hour for a child over one....) How do they do this?? I would like to know. I can't GET Joey to sit down and stay still for anything. If I want to take a shower and put on a Baby Einstein I put him in his walker just to keep him semi-confined!! I do not see him sitting to watch anything in the near future unless I actually DUCT tape his little butt to the floor.**

Friday, March 6, 2009

Unless It Is Truly Awful...

I am planning on giving this a go, in a few weeks...

It makes me laugh everytime I see the preview!!

(Appropriate follow-up to the "Babies Don't Keep" post huh?? Just didn't want you all to think I had lost my mind and gone completely sappy. Today I watched my son scream and run circles around our family room for 5 minutes. He wasn't upset. He wasn't bored. He was just being Joey.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lullabye, Rockaby Lullabye Loo

I came across this poem earlier in the week. I thought it was wonderful... Hope you enjoy!

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Ruth Hulburt Hamilton; 1958

Monday, March 2, 2009


I wish I felt like this on a Monday!!

Or like this....

Hope you all have a great Monday!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

When the Photographer is Away....

In Lightroom his wife will play...

I found these cute pictures of Matt and I from Christmas on the business computer (usually very very occupied ;-)