Friday, December 17, 2010

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Owen's current favorite "toy" is this empty tissue box. I showed him how to put his blocks in it yesterday and he's been carrying it around with him, searching for other small objects to put in it, ever since. He also enjoys all manner of empty containers. Currently, we have one cleaned out peanut butter and one applesauce jar lying around the house (he's playing with one of them as I type this). I'm glad he finds creative ways to entertain himself with items from the recycle bin, but it kind of makes the closet full of unwrapped Christmas gifts we've bought for him seem a little pointless.


Is it odd for a 17-month-old to enjoy Wheel of Fortune? Owen will stop whatever he is doing when it comes on at 6:30 every night and check it out. Tonight, he even sat down in the middle of the living room to follow along. Maybe it's all the applause (he loves to clap along with any and all applause on TV, radio, etc.), or maybe the colors and clicking sound of the wheel. Or maybe he just enjoys learning his letters by shouting them out after the contestants call them, which is way cute! Who knows???

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We've got it! By my estimation (which is based solely on looking out the window), I'd say we got about 3 or 4 inches last night and this morning. It is 2:00 P.M. now and ours is still the only driveway in the cul-de-sac that hasn't been cleared. I did manage to shovel a path 2 shovel-widths wide from the garage to the street (which is a loooong distance, and steep, too!) so I could get the garbage can down to the curb this morning. Initially, Owen was out there with me. I got him all bundled up in two layers of pants, two jackets, hat, mittens, and new snow boots that I can't quite get his feet all the way into. Maybe it was the boots, but he did not want to leave the garage. So I just kept an eye on him while I shoveled until I got about half-way down and heard him screaming. He somehow tumbled over, face-first into the cold, wet stuff. I'm sure it was stinging his little face, so I whisked him inside right away and...after peeling off all those layers...he was fine. Not a scratch on him. But I'm thinking now, "those boots were a waste of money!"

Ryan just touched down in Moline. He's been in Boston on business for the past few days. I'm sure he'll be excited to try out his new snow plow attachment for the riding lawn mower. He told me over the phone earlier that I was welcome to try it out. HA! I'm certain that I would crash into something; that is, if I could even figure out how to get it started! That thing is a total mystery to me and I'm fine with it that way. That's his domain. I'll stay inside and make my grocery list for the extensive baking I'm planning for the next few days. Once I can get out of our driveway, that is!

We've been working on getting Owen to understand that "no" means NO and have started implementing time-outs as punishment when he doesn't listen. Sometimes I think he's getting it, but then other times, I think he thinks time-out is just another form of playtime. The other night, I threatened him with a time-out if he didn't stop doing whatever it was he was doing. He did stop, so I started to praise/thank him, but then I realized that he only stopped to walk over to the time-out rug and put himself in time-out. He just sat there and smiled at me like he was having the best time! So, I counted to 10 (which is how long I make him sit there when we are doing it for real) and then he got up and went back to his toys. Hmmmm. I guess we'll keep trying and hope that he gets it eventually.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Feeling grateful and grace-filled

I should be working on my Christmas letter right now during Owen's nap time. Instead, I am sitting here contemplating the powerful testimony I was so privileged to hear at this morning's Bible study. The woman who spoke shared her tale of tragic child abuse and later, the unexpected death of her husband (that's a nutshell if I've ever seen one - it was an amazing story, made even more captivating by the way she told it). Her message was not one of sadness, however (despite the near "sobbing like a baby" tears that I, and most of the women at my table, were reduced to), but one of redemption, forgiveness, and grace.

I feel compelled to share with the world how grateful I am for all of the blessings in my life. I have never know such tragedy and, although I am constantly fearful of the loss of a beloved, so far I have lived what some (including myself) would call a "charmed" life. I know that things won't always be this way. The Negative Nancy inside of me is fully aware that one day, tragedy will strike. (Nancy also seems to take for granted on a daily basis so many of those beautiful blessings. Bad Nancy!) From my current perspective – which is, essentially, "easy for me to say" – I believe that I can trust in the Lord to see me through whatever life throws at me. As our speaker reminded us, He will NOT forsake us, and we should never forsake Him.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

There's a whole lot more on my heart about this topic, but that's all I think I can say in words at this time. I'll keep praying about it...

In other news, I taught Owen about "knuckles" today. Here's a cute video of our lesson:

When I picked him up from the nursery this morning, the woman who's in charge (I always forget her name, even though it's been told to me no less than three different times) was impressed that he knew some sign language (no doubt it was "more," displayed at snack time, little glutton!) and that he was saying so many new words. Here are the latest:

  • "ha" - i.e., "hat"
  • "abba" - i.e., "apple"
  • "too, too" - i.e., "choo, choo" (when playing with his toy train, naturally)
  • "ssss" - i.e., "shhh" (with finger pressing on the tip of his nose)
  • "wow, wow" - i.e., "Yo Gabba Gabba," his favorite show! (This one's been in his repertoire for a while now and I have no idea how he gets "wow, wow" from it, but whatever.)
  • And recently, after his Daddy sneezed during a car ride, Owen repeated, "oh choo!" Guess I need to teach him "bless you" now.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Who's house is this??

So, I've never claimed to be a stellar housekeeper, and I know that my friends with multiple children will tell me to "just wait...," but how does my house end up looking this unrecognizable every single night? Our evening ritual now involves putting Owen to bed and then assessing and repairing the day's damage. That is not to say that I don't pick up after him (and myself) throughout the day, but I just can't seem to keep up. So each morning, the house starts off relatively picked up and organized and each evening it ends up looking something like this. I officially apologize for all the snobby things I thought (but never said) about my friends-with-kids' messy homes in the days before my own. I get it now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I am pleased to announce that the Peterson's very first live Christmas tree is sitting proudly in our living room this year! It seems that since we've been married, there has always been some very good reason why it makes more sense to do an artificial tree or no tree at all in our home. But this year, we have a house large enough to accommodate one, we are not in the process of moving/selling our home, and we do not live 2,000 miles across the country from where we will be spending Christmas. 2010 is the year!! And I couldn't be more excited! Have a look...

In other news, after 5 weeks of on-again, off-again icky sicky stuff, I called Owen's pediatrician and said, enough is enough. He prescribed ammoxicilin and almost immediately our happy, fun-loving little boy returned to us! My, how we missed him! And after a bout of flu myself over Thanksgiving week, I am fully healthy again, too. Praise God! Since all is finally well, out came the camera again...

Posing with his special Aunt Jackie during a play date with cousin Brody.

Best buddies! Owen with his cousin Brody.

Check out my Batman jammies!

Daddy with his two best boys. And they're all smiling!

After about 17 attempts, we finally captured a decent family self-portrait for the Christmas card. Too bad O isn't smiling in this one!


Saturday, November 20, 2010


My poor, sweet boy is so miserable. He woke up this morning with crusty, gunky stuff around his eyes (similar to the crusty boogers that have been around his nose every morning for the past week or so) and things got progressively (and quickly!) worse as the day unfolded. After a call to the doctor's office and some online research, we've figured out that he has "bacterial conjunctivitis," which is essentially pinkeye. We started giving him antibiotic drops (which is one of the most un-fun things I've had to do as a mother) and are hoping the situation will improve soon. I'm terrified that he's going to wake up in the morning (or the middle of the night) with his eyes crusted shut, unable to open them. Aaah...what a scary feeling!

In more pleasant news, here are a few of Owen's latest words:

"oh bah" - oh boy!
"too" - shoes
"choo" - juice

And those of you who are friends on facebook have already seen this video, but it's so cute, I have to post it twice!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The latest...

Our sweet boy just keeps getting cuter, and smarter, by the day! He seems to be picking up new words all the time. Here are the latest:

"mauw" (or sometimes, "mill") - a.k.a. "milk"
"baw" - a.k.a. "ball"
"li" - a.k.a. "lion" (his lovey)

Here's the book, "POUCH!" (as described in a previous post) and a quick video of him saying it while enjoying a nice bath.

And here's a couple cute shots of him wearing Mommy's apron. He's such a ham!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


As promised, here are some goodies from my photo shoot with Owen this afternoon. Ryan took him trick-or-treating later this evening and he had a blast. I'm told that several people complimented him on having the best costume of the night! (Probably just because he's so gosh darn cute!)

(P.S. These are the same ones I posted on facebook.)

Oh, and the reason behind the lion costume is that his favorite "lovey" toy that he sleeps with every night and always has close at hand is a lion. Until he can tell me what he wants to be for Halloween, I will just continue to guess based on what I know. And a big thanks to Janan for letting us borrow this awesome costume!

We love Fall!

Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. So many people are SO into it (in a crazy way!) that I think it makes me feel the opposite. But, there is no denying that this time of year is absolutely one of my very favorites! I'm looking out the window now and getting excited for Owen to wake from his nap so I can put him in his costume and try to take some pictures of him under the sunshine in our back yard. If only we had a tree or two to show off the pretty leaves....sadly, we have NO trees at this house!

I've started a list of the fun new things Owen has accomplished since my last post. I'm sure I've missed some, but I realized recently that if I don't start writing these down, I'm going to miss more and more because he does something new almost every day! So, here's the latest:
  • I'm not sure how it started, but over at G'ma and G'pa's house recently, O tried jumping for the first time. His feet don't actually leave the ground, of course, but I'm not sure if he knows that. He gets so excited squatting down (with his butt almost touching the ground when he really gets into it) and swinging his arms on the uptake. Need to get that one on video!
  • He also discovered every child's favorite past-time, walking around in a circle until he gets so dizzy he falls. The best part is watching him get up, only to fall right back down again!
  • Some new words include, "Ah-dee" (def. "all done," heard after most meals), "bah-by" (def. "baby," in reference to new cousin baby Brody), "hhhhhot" (def. "hot," obviously, regarding the stove, coffee mugs, and some things that are actually cold - he must be confused on the real meaning of that one), and "BOWWW!" (def. "Pouch!," which is the name of one of his books about a baby kangaroo that gets scared and repeatedly cries out to go back to the safety of his mama's pouch).


This one shows O's joy at the fact that his head touched the top of this tunnel at the park.

Just hangin' back with G'ma's cell phone, calling my homies.

Aren't we the cutest cousins you've ever seen?

Learning to share Grandma's love.

Big shoes to fill...checking out Aunt Jackie's kicks.

On the way to church with Mommy.

Hangin' with G'ma V on a gorgeous early Fall day.

Mama's coffee mug is much more fun than my sippy cup!

Hmmmm...what kind of trouble can I get into with this hose?

Gus has found a new buddy.

Visiting a small pumpkin farm in Muscatine, Owen enjoyed the little games and toys they had set up. He especially liked the hay maze, but unfortunately, none of those pictures came out very well.

According to this chart, he's about 30 inches tall. According to the doctor, he's actually 31 1/4 inches.

Goofing off with Daddy at the pumpkin farm!

He insisted on riding in the wagon with the pumpkins we picked out.

Our "salesman" farmer pulling our loot into the barn to weigh. I doctored this photo a little bit, and think it looks so retro and charming!

Mama trying to teach O how to color with toddler crayons. He didn't really get it. Maybe in a few months...

Pasta face! Uhhh, how much does he look like Ryan in this picture???

Mommy and Owen's very first pumpkin carving experience. O had fun smashing the guts all over the kitchen table while I carved. Didn't get any pictures of that because we were all by ourselves and covered in goop! But he did VERY well sitting on the kitchen table while we worked and then playing with his toys while I cleaned up. My little guy is getting to be such a BIG boy!

Stay tuned for (hopefully) some fun shots of Owen the Lion. Grrrrrr......!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Welcome, Cousin Brody!

Owen's first cousin on his Mom's side was born this week. Aunt Jackie gave birth to a very handsome boy named Brody Lee Petersen on Tuesday morning (Grandma Vera's birthday!) and Owen can't wait until he gets big enough that they can be best buddies! Ok, so maybe it's Mama that is excited about that one. So far, Owen has shown no real interest in the new baby upon meeting him for the first time, but I know they will be very close one day...getting into all kinds of trouble, no doubt.

Here's a couple shots of the gorgeous little Brody. Isn't he adorable? Mom and baby are both doing well and adjusting to their new lives together. Our family is so blessed!

Gazing lovingly up at his Mama.

Such a little bundle of joy!

Here are a few other pics from the past week or so.

Reading books with Papa Vern.

Picnic lunch with Mommy's MOPS group at Wilson's Apple Orchard in Iowa City.

Owen wasn't so much interested in the apples at the orchard (we actually left before the picking even began), but he sure was intrigued by the pumpkins!

"This one looks different."

"This sure is a funny looking ball."

It wouldn't be a successful trip to a pumpkin patch (or apple orchard, as it were) without getting a little dirt on your pants.

"Hold on a sec, Mom, I'm playing with the mulch."

Too bad that sun was right in his eyes or this would have been a cute(r) photo.

Enough said.

Pretty mums. "Be gentle," says Mommy.

The John Deere tractor that pulled our group on a "hayrack ride" through the orchard.