Monday, January 14, 2013

Native American Languages

So in my research for my novel, I came across an excellent web site with all kinds of resources relating to Native American languages. At,">Native American words
, I think a person could find just about any kind of information on Native American tribes that they were looking for. At any rate, it's a great place to start and branch off from! For my novel, this will be an essential resource.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Bun is ONE!

So, my cute little bun is one. And suddenly a little man. Who knew this would happen so fast?
AMAZING accomplishments have heralded his one-ness. Like, for example, his first haircut. I know what you're thinking.
Ok. It's true. He's a little baldy. But there was this seriously absurd right-behind-the-ear hair that made him look like an octogenarian. Or Gollum. And I wanted him to look like a cute little boy! So Brian got out the clippers and went to town. And by "went to town," I do mean, completed his haircut in less than two minutes. Mommy got her clipping for the scrapbook, and now he doesn't resemble a creepy creature.

Yes. Well. What a darling. So obviously I made him some birthday cupcakes...they were half whole wheat flour, which sounds sketchy for cupcakes, but actually they were the best cupcakes I've ever eaten. Airy and light as a feather with a rich, surprising flavor. Then some buttercream frosting, and Hyrum's favorite - fresh blackberries. Which, not shockingly at all, he ate off the top, mainly mangling and smashing the rest of his cake (with just a little frosting-licking for good measure. See our shameless documentation?

Oh, and did I mention he walks all the time now? Five and six steps in a row sometimes. He says "dada" (dad), "bah" (ball - his favorite birthday present. $1. thank you Walmart), "ohhhhh" (uh-oh), and "mama" ("I pooped, and I need you to change me, mom." Seriously. He only calls me mama in this instance. Hopefully this will change). So in other words, he's amazing, and his hugs and kisses are like the best present anyone could ever get. More updates soon!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hyrum and the Holidays

Here's a quick snapshot of my little guy's first Christmas and New Year's, complete with those all-important photos!
As many of you know, we moved to West Virginia to stay with my family for a few months while Brian waits for training to begin for his job as a Spanish teacher in Maryland.  Here's Hyrum helping with the packing.  It really freaked him out that his bed, his toys, and everything else he loved was going into cardboard boxes, but he did enjoy climbing them.
The scariness of moving did not, however, interfere in any way with his extreme enjoyment of his baths. Bathwater has become his second favorite beverage (nothing can compare with mother's milk, of course) whenever we have put cups into the bathtub.  He'll even suck the water intensely from a washcloth, which my mother informs me used to be rumored to give one typhoid fever.  Yikes! (And yes, that is a string of drool hanging from his mouth.  Amazing, I know.)
Ok, but on to actual holiday-time delights.  Here's my little bun-son enjoying his Christmas orange (aka "cutie").  Ok, actually just licking the outside.  But he still liked it.
One of Hyrum's favorite activities continues to be going on a walk.  Whether in the stroller or the backpack, as long as it's not freezing he's game.
With Daddy and "pretty Aunt Mary"!

"Help! They're making me wear this HAT!"

Hyrum and Grandma in winter attire.
Hyrum was very excited about the visit he received from his cousins Savannah, Matthew, and Johnny and his Uncle Bill and Aunt Angela at New Year's.  Besides enjoying Quinn family "FUN-due!" he also appreciated Johnny's willingness to wrestle with him and Matthew and Savannah's more gentle caretaking.  Uncle Bill got him to wave for the first time by pointing at him and saying, "I know YOU!  We met at Kukenhoff's!" repeatedly.  It was great.

Uncle Bill, Matthew and Johnny shooting hoops

Here's Hyrum at "The Little House" in Shepherdstown! Just the right size!

Johnny takes on Uncle Brian.
This was the best.  Hyrum and Johnny wrestled very nicely, as you can see from this video.

And here's a final word: don't try to wrap Hyrum up in a blanket and carry him around like a cute little baby.  He just doesn't like it.
NOOOOOO I hate this blanket take it away NOW!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Continued Adventures of Mr. H. R. Quinn

Well, the little guy just gets cuter every day.  He's actually stood on his own a couple of times, but only for a split second before he falls on his bum.  But there's a lot less dramatic head-smacking crashing onto the floor, which is better for everyone.  For those of you who haven't seen him crawl yet, here's H in action.
Little Baby Quinn and I recently visited the pumpkin patch and got some cute pictures.  We didn't really do much besides walk around taking cute pics and buy some hecka good apple cider, but next year I have a feeling he's going to be ready to take on that hay bale maze head-on.
I think this is the best idea EVER.  Mystifying....but only if you're shorter than three feet tall. ;-)

"Mommy!  My tummy is showing!  The world will know!"
Hyrum, Official Halloween Quality Control Officer, inspects the pumpkins.
Hyrum's recent favorite activities include clapping (which is silent, but still adorable), taking all of the tupperware and my springform pans out of "his" kitchen cupboard while I'm cooking, and eating everything.  And by everything, I mean if there is a microscopic piece of say, oh say dead leaf, that the vacuum does not pick up, Hyrum uses his newly-acquired pincer grip to get it between his (VERY SHARP) teeth and usually swallows it before I can get to him.  I know that this makes me sound like a terrible mother, but even though I vacuum and sweep daily, sometimes TWICE daily, there's some things you just can't get.  Like, say, those little paper dots that fall out of three hole punches.
On the bright side, he also likes real food.  Recent favorites include yogurt mixed with pureed fruit (LOVES this) and cracker.  He can hold a whole big piece of cracker and take little bites out of it like a big boy, causing me to sob, "My little baby's growing up!!" But I can't stop it, so I might as well just enjoy every darling minute.
And for your final enjoyment, here are some cute-face pictures of my little dumpling and his blocks, which Brian made for him. Still no hair, but isn't he the sweetest baldy you've ever seen??

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bathtime and Pine Cones

Recently a friend of mine started bathing her baby on a daily basis as part of his bedtime routine, and when she mentioned how much he loved it, I thought, "HEY!  My baby loves baths too...why am I not bathing him on a daily basis?"  I mean, he's usually covered in dried food bits by the end of the day despite my best efforts, so it's not like a little soap and water would hurt anyway.
Turns out Hyrum thinks this is a GREAT idea.  Here is an example photo:
This is Hyrum, waiting for his bath, which he does every night.  Really.  It never gets old!  All I have to do is walk into the bathroom with him and say, "Hyrum!  Bathtime!" and he begins staring at the shower curtain.  Once I actually start running the water he crawls to the edge of the tub, stands up, and jumps up and down panting excitedly, sometimes actually trying to crawl up the edge to jump into the water.
Please take note of the adorable little right-side "beauty mark" on his bum. I love it!

"Tasting" the ring, which really means "licking the bathwater off it"...yikes
And here's my enthusiastic little helper, ready to "assist" me with the laundry.
Finally (and I know this does not involve Hyrum, so it's not NEARLY as cute) I have been taking advantage of the plethora of pine cones available here in the evergreen state by making them into fall-time/holiday craft projects.  Here's my wreath:
I know, it looks pretty simple, but it actually took about five hours of painstaking labor and cursing under my breath and lots of pricked fingers.  It was really cheap to make though, about five dollars for the materials (not including pine cones, since those were completely free).  I got the basic instructions from Martha Stewart, who is a very talented but definitely unlikeable person.  Anyone who makes it look like making something like this is easy is just...not someone I could be close intimate bosom friends with.  I wish Martha would say things like, "Man!  This sure was tough!  I had all kinds of blood flowing from my hands as I wrestled with these nasty little buggers, but this great wreath was pretty much worth it!"  No, instead she offers something with that pleasant smile like, "There's no end to how you can use pine cones to enhance your holiday!" And I am not making that up.
Fortunately, there are more honest crafters out there, like the Little Birdies (of the popular Little Birdie Secrets blog--see link below).  I love them.  I steal all of their ideas.  Well, technically not steal, since I do give them credit, but let's just say that without their genius cute ideas I would be completely lost.  Here's my most recent project from them:
This awesome up-cycled book page table runner only took about fifteen minutes, including digging my sewing machine out of Hyrum's closet, and was so easy a ten-year-old could do it.  But I was very pleased with the results, and Brian even completed its shabby-artsy-chic look.  All you need is an old book (I had a free copy of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates with a totally ripped-off cover), some thread, and Elmer's glue.  The best part is how you can dress it up on top with holiday-appropriate decorations (like found pine cones, our candlestick, and some awesome berry-covered branches that I dug out of our dumpster!).  Plus, it's so eco-friendly to do stuff with things that people would throw away if you didn't take them (like free books from your local library).  Yes kids!  Rip up your books!  Make 'em into crafts!  (What am I encouraging here??)
Maybe someday Hyrum will make crafts with me.  I'm excited already.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Marvelous Adventures of Hyrum Quinn

To start things out, here's a little video of Hyrum with his band (The Pots and Pans Band).
They are thinking about touring next year when Hyrum can eat solid food. (And when I say "they," of course I mean Hyrum and his pots and pans.)
Hyrum is very fond of standing; unfortunately I have no pictures here at this time to prove this, but let me assure you it's a near-constant activity.  He's even started to cruise tentatively along the edge of the couch, cautious but very excited that he's one step closer (no pun intended!) to walking.
In case you haven't noticed, Hyrum and his father bear a rather striking resemblance, as noted in the photo below.
They're a handsome pair, aren't they! (And yes, of course Hyrum spit up on his vest moments after this picture was taken.  It's not as if he'd actually look this nice at church!  It's a miracle if he's wearing CLOTHES at church.  Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating slightly, but not that much.)
Brian's favorite shot of Hyrum: said baby, curled up for good night's sleep.

I swear we didn't pose him.  He does this on his own.
Oh yeah...and all those people who think the Ferber method of sleep training is cruel and unhealthy?  Then explain why it works so well and my little guy is now SO much happier and more energetic during the day.  I like the line they use: "The only reason your baby will finally go to sleep by himself in his own bed is because he's GIVEN UP ALL HOPE that you'll come to get him."  OH NO!  Give up all hope?  Not my precious baby!  Except that, wait...I do want my baby to give up all hope that I'm going to play with him at 3:00 in the morning.  Just that.  He can have hope for everything else, my complete attention during the daytime hours, but when everyone is sleeping better at night...yes, I think I am willing to hear a few little tears shed at first, sad as they may be to a mother's heart!

Hyrum practicing the piano (a possible addition to the Pots and Pans Band? perhaps...)
There's no cuter face than my baby's face...or as I tell him, "Hyrum!  You are the cutest baby that ever LIVED!  Well, maybe baby Jesus was cuter, but I wasn't there."
More drool per capita than any other baby since 1912!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Peach-Pickin' and Home-Run Hittin'

The Saturday before Brian started law school (a.k.a, became buried in a nearly impenetrable mountain of thick books that cause his backpack to weigh fifty pounds and cause me endless amounts of worry about the future relationships we may have to develop with chiropractors), we had some "good fun."
(My dad tells me this is a West Coast expression. On the East Coast, he says, they have "great fun," but apparently we only have "good fun" in the West. Dang it!)

We started out our morning by going to the Green Bluff Growers' Association to pick some peaches. This is a misleading title, since Green Bluff is a big area with a lot of independent growers (therefore, if you go, it's a good idea to plan ahead and check their website to see what farms have what fruits or vegetables available.) But what a fun time! We started out by going to Walter's Fruit Ranch and were taken on a cart pulled by a tractor to the peaches, surrounded by delightful old ladies with sturdy boots and cardboard boxes (who all commented on how cute Hyrum was---naturally).
Hyrum and Mommy Pick the Peach (Mr. Putter has nothing on us!)
Brian shows that peach who's boss.

"Don't they have any baby-sized peaches around here?"

"This is my peach friend and I wanna give him a little kiss."

Walter's Fruit Ranch had a good price on peaches ($1.59/lb.) but when we wandered over to the Harvest House to check out their allegedly famous pumpkin doughnuts, we found that they had a $1/lb. deal if you bought a whole box.  So we lived and learned on that one.  The pumpkin doughnuts, by the way, were truly delicious, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, made fresh moments before you eat them, with a very pleasant pumpkin-y flavor.  Can't wait to go back for more when the apples come into season (did I mention this place is only about 20 minutes away from us???).

Later in the afternoon, we attended a Spokane Indians baseball game at the Avista Stadium (the law school had given the new students tickets for themselves and their families).  Hyrum, true to form, was very happy throughout the entire experience and even loved the fireworks at the end. 

"Look!  Daddy's baseball cap fits me!"

"What are they running around down there for?"
Not that you can see Hyrum, but we were trying to show off our matching face paint.