Thursday, December 29, 2005


This is the reason everything was so hectic right before we left. My brother's wife's uncle asked me several months ago if I could get this drawing done in time for him to give it to his wife for Christmas. I said sure, thinking I had plenty of time. (Of course, back then I never expected to still be working on the Hogwarts mural by the time Christmas rolled around.) Well, this is what the drawing looked like Friday morning. I was planning to have it done and get it in the mail on Saturday. Didn't happen.

Doug was finishing up a bunch of grading, and Kate suddenly became very cranky and needy. This is the first drawing that I've done since Kate was born, and it was much more difficult than I'd anticipated. It's not really the sort of thing I can go back and forth on and work on in small snatches--for one thing, my hands need to be clean and dry first--so finding any time to draw at all is a challenge. But it worked out okay, barely. I got it all finished and packed up and off to to the post office at 5:00 Monday evening. Whew!

Note to self--don't use those pencils again. They're yucky.

Kate, slimy and snotty at 51 weeks

We left for Utah on Tuesday, December 20th. This is what Kate looked like on Monday. Poor baby. She did very well on the trip, but still had some stuffiness, off and on (or "snorkiness," as we call it when she's all snotty and can't breathe without sounding like a piglet). We thought for sure she was finally cutting some teeth, for a while there, but no sign of them yet.


We had some neat frost one morning, so I went out and took these pictures with my macro lens. (Didn't stay out long, because my hair was still damp.)

This is Kate while I was outside. Doug was there with her, but she still seemed a little distressed that she could see me but couldn't get to me.

Kate at 50 weeks

Cute as ever!

Back from Utah

We got back on Monday, and I have tons to catch up on. We've had Kate's birthday and her one-year checkup since getting back, plus we got Photoshop CS2 (hooray for academic discounts!) and I've been learning to use that, so things have been pretty crazy around here. Hopefully I should have some stuff up soon!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Painting progress

I wasn't able to do any painting last week because Sylvia was sick. (This did not mean that I got much else done at home, sadly.) So this week I went out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I started working on the rocks, finally. I'm planning to keep the rocks kind of loose and low-contrast so that they (A) don't take me forever, and (B) don't distract from the rest of the painting. The rocks, after all, are not the important part. I still have to finish up that building down at the bottom that looks like a chapel, and add a few little details like bars on some of the windows, and more lamp posts. I'm so close to being done, but I probably won't be able to go out again till after Christmas.

Kate at 49 weeks

I combined the Monday photo shoot with the Christmas shoot (for possible use in cards). Kate was quite fascinated by these big ornaments, which I borrowed for the occasion from our friend Rebecca.

We've noticed in the past week or so that Kate's distractability quotient has gone down considerably. She remembers where things are. She's also started trying to put things in her mouth, which she hasn't done for months. She tries to feed herself, but can't quite figure out how to get the food from her hand into her mouth. Her vocabulary is increasing--she says something that sounds like "Izzat?" when she points at things.

Rebecca gave us this cute Christmas outfit for Kate. (There's a little skirt that goes with it, and some tights that she may very well be able to wear next year.) I took these a couple of days later, on Wednesday when I was out at Sylvia's house painting again.

Thanks Rebecca!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Saturday at the Zoo with Kate

On Saturday the Young Women (from church) went to the zoo, and we got to tag along. It was chilly, but we bundled Kate up in this blue bunny suit that was a hand-me-down from somebody, and put her in her stroller with a big blanket tucked around her till she was nearly immobile. Doug tried to take the stroller through the turnstile at the entrance and Kate's head got bonked on the bar, which she did not like, of course, so she came out of the stroller right away and spent the rest of the time being carried around by Daddy. He didn't seem to mind much. I got to push the stroller with the blanket in it.

We did take Kate to the zoo once before, back in May (mostly I just wanted to go so I could play with my camera). It was so fun, this time, watching Kate reacting to the animals. She really enjoyed the seals, which were out of the water getting fed. When I show her the seal picture on the computer now, she shrieks and talks to it. Maybe she thinks it's a funny kind of dog.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

First snow (sort of)

We have snow! Doug pointed out that this isn't really Kate's first snow. That's true. (She was born in December last year, after all.) But it's the first snow where she's old enough to be aware that there's strange white stuff falling out of the sky. She was very excited when I first took her outside, smiling and pointing at the snow and saying "Ah-da!" like she does. We were on our way out shopping, but I grabbed our next door neighbor first and got her to take a couple of pictures for me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Kate at 48 weeks

Kate and I both have drippy noses. Joy. We weren't up for much in the way of pictures.

These two are titled, "Kate with snot-sucker." Hey, I have to distract her with something, right?

Eleven months

Kate was eleven months old on Sunday! After church I took some pictures of her in her cute little dress.

Cheap and easy toys are the best! This is a piece of ribbon on a cardboard tube. Kate has fun waving it around.

This is a chest that I made in a woodshop class at BYU. (I went through a very brief phase where I was saying I wanted to be a cabinetmaker, but it turned out I was afraid of the machinery.) The chest has been in Doug's parents' storage shed for eight years, and his mom brought it up when she came to visit. Kate has been learning how to work the doors and drawers. We'll have to watch out for pinched fingers.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

It is I, Grammar Police

In school we learn that we should put the other person first and say "Bob and I went to the store" instead of "Me and Bob went to the store." Many people get this drilled into their heads and will over-correct and use "Bob and I" even when it's supposed to be "Bob and me." (On the radio the other day I heard someone talking about "the dedication of my partner and I.") The trick people will tell you is that you should take the other person out and see which pronoun to use. For example, you would say "Sally sat down next to me," so if Bob was there too you say "Sally sat down next to Bob and me."

Most people probably know this. We have grammar threads on Two Peas every once in a while, and it seems like this often gets brought up. People complain about the incorrect usage of "Bob and I" when it should be "Bob and me." I know, I notice it too.

But how about this construction?

"This is Bob and I."
"The winners of the contest were Sally and I."
"That's my mother and I in front of the cabin at the lake last year."

Many people would probably think that they should say "This is Bob and me" rather than "This is Bob and I." But it is grammatically correct to say "This is I." (If you want to get technical, the "be" verb takes the nominative case.)

It sounds awkward and stilted. Nobody talks that way. I don't talk that way. (Though I do say "This is she" when I answer the phone, even though I think it sounds doofy.) But it is correct.

Generally, I tend to be much more of a descriptive grammarian than prescriptive. Feel like ending a sentence with a preposition? Be my guest. Want to boldly split infinitives that no one has split before? You go right ahead. I'm not saying that everyone should go around saying "This is I." That's not my point. The point is that it's not wrong if someone says "This is Bob and I."

Now, anyone want to know the difference between "lie" and "lay"?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Kate and Grandma

We enjoyed having Doug's mom here. She got to spend lots of time with Kate, and I got lots of painting done, which was great. Hogwarts is still not finished, but I'm much closer now.

We took some pictures of Kate with Grandma Mary the night before she left. Kate is the fifteenth grandchild on Doug's side of the family, but apparently it never gets old.

(Yes, that's the ugly couch--we haven't gotten the slip cover back on since we moved.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Kate at 47 weeks

I took pictures out at Sylvia's house this week. It's been quite a while since I've been able to do that. In some ways it's easier than taking them at home.

Our little girl is getting so big! This past week she's been on an eating binge. Maybe her food intake has finally caught up with her activity level. When we had her weighed at the doctor's office recently we found that she'd only gained eight ounces in two months, so I was a little worried. Now I think maybe she's getting ready for a growth spurt.