Saturday, February 20

2010 Resolution #3

Among most bloggers this year is the resolution to blog more. Of course as we add to our family, and cut from our spending (cutting Internet) the opportunities for me to blog become increasingly less, however, this year I would like to make a goal to blog more often.

I'm not so crazy as to say that I want to post once a day, but I would like to keep this blog more updated than I have been with the going-ons of the Keys family. This is a great way for relatives, primarily grandparents, to keep up with our lives and get recent pictures, but more importantly for me, this is a journey of our lives. I am able to go back and see documentation of events, struggles and milestones we have been through.

With the new baby coming in May, I would like to keep this blog updated with the progression of my pregnancy, the excitement of the new baby, and well as the continued growth of Brendan. My husband gives me a hard time that sometimes my blog leans too much on updating about Brendan, and every post is about him. So I would like to try and post more of my thoughts and ideas, what I have learned or observed. But unfortunately, for me this is an update on our family and on Brendan.

I completely understand if my blog is boring at times to others, but I blog for me. I enjoy when others read my thoughts & updates and comment on my posts, but this is my journal of my family.

So for my resolution, I would like to post at least 3 posts a week, and 15 a month. In 2009, I averaged 10.5 posts a month, which was an improvement from the 9.25 posts a month in 2008. So far, I am already behind with on 10 last month, but I am well on my way this month. Hopefully, I can keep it up and keep this updated!

Thursday, February 18

19 months old - Running like crazy

Brendan is now 19-months old this week. It is amazing to me how different he is than even 6 months ago. Every month I receive e-mail updates from Gerber with monthly updates as to what to expect developmentally. They are interesting to read and determine what is "normal" and what is going on with my toddlers mind and body.

Yesterday, however, I got an e-mail that was a little surprising to me. It read: "Around month 19, your child may begin to run! She might look a little awkward and fall quite a few times before she's able to master this skill, so make sure her environment is safe."

Excuse me? Did you say my toddler would begin to run? I'm sorry, have you met my child? He has been running since he learned how to walk! Okay, maybe a month or so after...but still, this is no new feat for my child.

Then I realized, I'm in big trouble!

Wednesday, February 17

18 months pictures

I debated back and forth whether or not to get pictures done for Brendan at 18 months. I just had them doe for his 1 year, and I will do it again at 2 years. but I decided to go ahead and take pictures at 18 months. After getting the pictures done, I realized how much he has changed from his 1 year pictures!

We went to Sears to get his picture taken on Tuesday the 9th. I was very impressed with our photographer, she did an excellent job! She was able to capture some cute poses of our active toddler even though he was a little off!

I know the pictures are small, but there are a lot of them! In the pictures, Brendan is wearing little cowboy boots that belong to my little brother. I love the boots, Brendan was not as thrilled with them and had trouble walking in them. But they made for cute pictures! The sweater he is wearing was a gift from a coworker. She thought it looked like a "Teacher sweater" and since Scott is a teacher, we just had to have it!

I'm having trouble picking my favorite one, I think the last one is my favorite, although there are a lot of cute poses. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 16

2010 Resolution #2

Just a note: These resolutions are in no way in any type of order of importance, just what I felt like writing about.
Being a working mom with a husband that works, and is gone, 2 nights a week, it is difficult to find time for myself. With the second baby now on the way, I know it is going to be even more difficult to find "me" time. I feel as though I am rarely ever alone. Brendan tends to be with me at all times, and typically on weekends, we have "family time" in which the three of us try not to make plans that don't include each other. Of course there are exceptions like a planned girls weekend away and such, but typically it is family time.
That being said, I have decided that in 2010 I need to actually make an effort to find "Me" time. It may not be too long or complex. I doubt I will make it to an entire Saturday to myself with a massage and pedicure. But I need to find a couple hours a week at least where I just focus on me.
To some of you this may sound very selfish and self-centered. However, most of my time is spent caring for my toddler, who requires a lot of attention. And when he goes to bed, I try to catch up on laundry, dishes, and other much needed items around the house, as well as the occasion work brought home for the evening.
I am making it a goal to have some quality "me" time at least once a week, and my hour lunch break runs to target for toilet paper do not count.
So a couple weeks ago I made my first real effort to have "me" time. It wasn't really too big of a deal since it was only a couple hours, but it was time dedicated to ME. It was on an evening when Scott was working late, I had put Brendan to bed at 7:45 and realized I had no other plans...

So I decided to just relax for the rest of the evening and enjoy the time alone. I started with a cup of tea and thought I would read a magazine that I desperately needed to catch up on. Eventually I made the entire evening into a romantic bath all to myself. It was actually the perfect evening to myself. I had a nice hot bubble bath, surrounded with the relaxing scent of Night-Blooming Jasmine. The soft glow of tea-lights in the dark house provided just enough light for me to enjoy my cup of tea and Martha Stewart Living magazine.

I realized that I had not taken the time to myself for a bath since before Brendan was born. That defiantly needs to change! My husband laughed when he came home, saying I was romancing myself, but either way, I was relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed my evening "alone".

So my goal is to continue to take time to myself, at least once a week for "Me" time.

Friday, February 12

Another One...

Brendan's Grandma sent him a Valentine's Monkey in the mail from Idaho yesterday. Brendan was very excited, mostly because the monkey had candy with it and my kid can spot candy anywhere. But the little 80's monkey is very cute! So Brendan now has another monkey to love! :)

...I haven't told Scott we got a new monkey yet...He can take that one up with his mom! :)
Thank you Grandma for the Valentine's gift!!

Thursday, February 11

Internet Shopping

My father taught me from when I was little that when you have a question, you look up the answer! I remember being young and asking my dad a question, when he didn't know the answer (and didn't try to just make one up that sounded good) he would say"Look it up". So we would go to the shelf with our set of encyclopedias and see if we could find the answer.

With the explosion of the Internet, research became a lot easier. Now we can ask questions like "what other movie did that guy play in" and other more "useless" questions. Now when we ask a question, the answer is usually "I bet you could find it on the Internet!"

So naturally, having this ingrained into my head from a little girl, when my son lost his monkey my father's words came to mind "I bet you could find it on the Internet!"

I began my search to try and replace the missing monkey. I started at since that is where the monkey originally came from back in April 2008. I found a monkey that was described as I would describe Brendan's lost monkey. Little Monkey 10 inch plush rattle. "cheerful chimp, who rattles when he plays, is just the right size for babys tiny hands and just the right furry friend for a bouncing, bundle of joy." Perfect! The only problem is that the picture was not available at the time. But it sounded perfect and was on sale. I got really excited and ordered the monkey.

What arrived in the mail is this monkey:
I'm not sure if you can really tell by the picture but it is NOT Brendan's monkey that we lost. I was very upset. It is made in the same material so it is just as soft as his old monkey, but the "rattle" inside is more of a "Bell" unlike the old one that had a "rattle" sound.

So I went back on the Internet to try again. Brendan's monkey has to be there! You can find anything on the Internet! This time I turned to ebay. I found a monkey that looked pretty close, 11 inches high with a long tail. It was called "Swingsly the Monkey" made by Gund and sold by This time I saw a picture, it had to be Brendan's monkey! So I waited and waited (the shipping took forever!) Finally, the package arrived outside our door.
This is the monkey that we got:

Closer, but not quite right.

This time Scott told me I had to stop buying monkeys. In fact he told me I was a little obsessive about this whole monkey thing and said that Brendan didn't need that many monkey and we should save the second one for Caleb. Scott also told me that Brendan didn't know any different. Which is probably true. I wasn't planning on giving the first monkey we received to Brendan because I was so disappointed with the way it looked, Scott didn't realize that I was being selfish and a little crazy (so he says) about the whole monkey thing, and had given the first monkey to Brendan. He is already carrying it around and calling it "His Monkey" so I guess as long as he is happy...

So Brendan has A monkey now, although it is not as compact and cute as his old one, it does take his place. And Brendan loves him just the same. It's a good thing my son is not as discriminatory as I am!

Brendan with his new monkey this morning. "Monkey" (as we so lovingly call him) seems to have taken the place of his much loved predecessor quite well.

Wednesday, February 10

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Notice my "Mr. Independent" with the fork in one hand and eating with the other?
No help from mom! I can do it myself!
Oh, and the cow-lick from our nap just to top it off!

Tuesday, February 9

2010 Resolution #1

I'm not sure exactly when or how this happened. Maybe it started during my Maternity leave with Brendan, perhaps it has been slowly increasing since I got married. Anyway it happened, I have come to the conclusion that I have too many magazines!
I have been slowly accumulating magazine subscriptions, I guess from the time I got married and we got our own apartment. It began with Real Simple. I loved the magazine, which introduced me to Martha Stewart Living. Although her recipes and ideas are usually a little complex (or time consuming) for me, it did provide some great ideas and reading material. I also received a subscription to Better Homes and Garden for a two year subscription the kept getting renewed. One year, for my Mother-in-laws birthday, I got her a subscription to Everyday with Rachel Ray, and bought a year for myself as well. After I had Brendan, I was subscribed to Parents as well as Family Fun. Finally, one of my favorite magazines to receive is Kraft Foods.
While I love all of these magazines (with the exception of Parents which isn't really my favorite) it became overwhelming after a while. I never really thought about cancelling them because I would eventually read them. Some would automatically renew because they had my credit card number, others would send me notices and I would send them back renewal notices without realizing that I still had months left of my current subscription. Finally, my husband said ENOUGH!

I had stopped reading them, lack of time mostly. How often do I get a chance to sit down with a magazine and just read? Usually on a plane, which is almost impossible when flying with a child, or sitting poolside on vacation, and when was the last time that happened?

Currently, I have a stack of 32 magazines in my storage ottoman waiting to be read.
All these magazines are "new" and yet to be opened. Some still in the plastic wrap.

My Resolution for 2010:
Cut back on the junk mail (or mail in general)! This is mostly unneeded magazines. But also includes cancelling other junk mail that we get in our mailbox. Receiving bills electronically when possible. Cleaning out my e-mail box and unsubscribe to the hundreds of junk e-mails sent monthly.

Finally, part of my resolution is to cancel all magazine subscriptions. Read the magazines that I already have stacked up, and then if I desire, I can subscribe to one magazine a year. Except Kraft Foods, we are keeping that one!

So although it may not sound like a very exciting resolution like getting fit, losing weight, changing a major life habit of mine, it is enough to get me started.
Anyone have a need/use for a bunch of old magazines I can unload??

Monday, February 8


Do you ever start to write a blog, get halfway through and realize, this is a really boring post! Well, it just happened to me. So instead of boring you through the series of Illness Drama in my family the past couple months, I thought I would instead post a light-hearted video of Christmas that I didn't post after Christmas as I intended to do. Hopefully this is slightly more interesting than the plagues of my family!

as an introduction, we taught Brendan the sign language word for "Please" in order to begin teaching him manners (rubbing your hand in a circular motion on your chest). He is very good at saying please, and it cracked me up on Christmas morning. For every present he opened, he wanted it REALLY opened so he could play with it right now! I had to capture it on film. Sorry it is late, and not really Christmas anymore, but enjoy!

P.S. you can see that Daddy is a little impatient as well and is "helping" Brendan open his presents. I would have let him take his time, but that is just me.

Sunday, February 7

Caleb Joseph

I realized that I had not yet posted the name that we have picked out for our new little one. As you saw in my earlier post, our baby is defiantly a little boy! :) We have told most of you the name but it had not yet been posted. You may remember back in November when we thought we narrowed it down to to names. And then again in December when we had the results of the voting, but decided not to go with either. The name we have chosen together, and both very much agree upon, is:

Caleb Joseph

I'm not sure how we came across the name, we threw names back and forth at each other, every day, after working all day with student files I would bring Scott a new list of names. Finally we came across Caleb. We both enjoyed the name but I continued to look for other options. Finally we decided to just stop looking, that Caleb was still our favorite. It was a week before Christmas when I got an e-mail from with the top 100 baby names for 2010. I was very upset to see Caleb listed at number 14. One of the reasons we chose Brendan was because it was not very common when I chose the name, although it too is gaining in popularity. I came home that evening with a list of names not on the list to try and sway my husbands decision and to go with a less popular name. Much to my constant..well..nagging, my efforts fell flat. Caleb it was. To be perfectly honest, I think I may have been very disappointed if Scott had given into my request, I have grown quite fond of the name Caleb.

We went with his Middle name of Joseph after Scott's grandfather. I have always liked the name Joseph, and I think that it fits well with Caleb.

Caleb is Hebrew, from the Old Testament meaning Faithful. The name Joseph is also Hebrew, meaning "God will increase".

Having a name picked out makes the coming of our new baby that much more anticipated, we can not wait to hold our little Caleb in our arms. A little more than 3 months away.

Friday, February 5

Toddler Discipline

The other night we had our friends over to visit and have the toddler boys play together. I watched my friend as she tried to discipline her 17-month-old with the limited logical and understanding skills they posses. As she is sternly correcting him for hitting, very upset with him, he walks over to his mom with a big smile on his face and kisses her. She turns to me with defeat on her face.

"It's hard to be mad at him when he just wants to give kisses."

Discipline for a toddler is tough, especially when they don't really understand what is going on. It just takes time, until then, I'll take the kisses!

The Green Popscicle

While Brendan was sick with his bad cold, I knew his throat was hurting badly (because my throat hurt badly). So on one trip to the grocery store, I was looking at the Popsicles and found a box called "Mighty Minis" with slow melt formula. Hoping these would be okay for Brendan to try and eat, and help sooth his core throat I picked them up. They are wonderful for him! Each Popsicle is about 3 inches tall, and they are made with gelatin which makes them a slightly different consistency and slower to melt - therefore, less mess! The box says that a serving size is actually 3 Popsicles if that gives you any idea of the size. Just perfect for a toddler!
Brendan just loved his Popsicle. You can be sure I will be purchasing these again! They serving size is perfect and there is no huge mess to clean up when he is done!

For Christina, the collage was made through Costco's photo center.

Thursday, February 4

25 weeks

So I know I haven't given a real progress report on my pregnancy lately. I am now 25 weeks along. 15 more weeks to go! I can not believe I am almost in my final trimester, it feels as though I just found out I was pregnant.

Here are some recent ultrasound pics that I forgot to post with my last pregnancy update. Sorry they aren't the best quality, I have been carrying them around in my purse since Christmas Eve!

The ever classic profile:
The innapropriate gender shot:
The creepy "face" view
Finally, another head shot, profile with an arm "waving"
Overall I am feeling pretty good. When I walk too quickly I get sharp pains in my side, luckily they are bearable. My doctor tells me it is my ligaments holding up my uterus being pulled and stretched. I am still getting Braxton-Hicks contractions, my doctor says they are normal and not worry about them. It's hard not to "worry" about them when they make me uncomfortable! Not that I am really worried, more annoyed. I was secretly hoping for some more sympathy, or better yet, a temporary handicap parking slip so I wouln't have to walk to far since it tends to be the walks that cause the contrations and side aches. No such luck.
I just had a check-up last Monday with my doctor, actually I saw the PA. It was pretty uneventful, just check my weight, my urine, and schedule more blood work. She listened to the heartbeat again, still nice and strong, and measured my belly. I did ask about my weight gain. I haven't been as careful this time, and since I feel so much bigger with this pregnancy than my last, I was afraid I was gaining too much weight. I also started heavier with this pregnancy than the last. Since I don't have a scale at home, I haven't been keeping track of my weight gain. She looked at my record, and verified that I am still on track for weight gain. I lost some weight between my first appointment and my second, so total, I have only gained 10 pounds so far. She did tell me that I need to gain at least 15 more pounds before the end. Don't worry, that is not a problem! :)

I am now completely in maternity clothes. Yesterday I wore a non-maternity dress and realized that was the last time I could wear that dress. I really need to go shopping for a few more maternity items, specifically, black work pants. It is difficult to still dress nicely for work right now, I feel as though I look frumpy in my maternity clothes and...well...not so professional in my regular clothes.
Although physically I feel pretty good, mentally I don't feel all there. I am very forgetful and it takes me longer to process things at work than it used to. Blame it on lack of sleep, or baby brain, either way, it is frustrating.

Monday, February 1

Jelly Belly Factory

After Christmas, Scott, Brendan and I drove up to Sacramento to spend some time with my family. One day while there we visiting, we all took a trip to the Jelly Belly factory. This was Brendan's first taste of Jelly Bellys. The first picture is of Brendan trying the candy. I must say, it was a big hit with the 1-year-old!