Friday, August 31, 2007


I figured that if 2 out of the 3 boys in my house were buzz cutting their hair then why not all of them! He looks more like a little boy to me now and not so much a toddler.

How About A Stepstool?

Joel and I heard Oliver rustling around in the closet, no big deal there are fun things that aren't dangerous in there. However, he started to say, "down, down, down" so we went to investigate and this is what we found. If you look at the very top left of this picture you will see some bright green and pink Floam. This is what he wanted and was well on his way to getting. Good thing the shelves are bracketed well and now that I think about it, I better have Joel check the strength of other shelves in and around the house!

TAG! I'm it...for now

Heather has tagged me and now I'm it. Apparently there is a game of blogger tag going on out there and I wasn't the fastest kid on the playground today. Just so you know how it works I am to list 8 random facts about myself. Just like Heather did to me, I too will be tagging some of you out there. Don't worry, if you don't have a blog you can leave your randomness in the comments to this post. Here we go...

1) Those of you who know me well, know that I would love to own a 1967 Chevy Camaro. I've been infatuated with these cars for over 20 years now. I can't exactly remember why or when it started but I speculate that I was rebelling and since my father loved the other white meat (a.k.a. Ford) I crossed over into Chevrolet land.
2) I am a COMPLETE sucker for the kids who come to my door trying to raise money for their band, club, sport, school, etc. I LOATHED doing this and know just how much fun it really isn't. I may not always buy a lot but I almost always buy something.
3) My favorite memory of my Grandma Murphy is jockeying for position in her unbelievably small kitchen on Thanksgiving day. When it came time for her to make the gravy a few of us would shove in there to dip the freshly pulled turkey into her gravy - yummy! My two biggest competitors were my Uncles Tom and Carroll. The funniest moment/memory with my Grandma was when she tried to hold a sneeze in during a quiet time at mass and ended up farting so loud that all of us grandkids lost it!
4) I get thoroughly annoyed at people who call me for a phone number and then when I've found it and am ready to give it to them they say, "wait, I need to find a pen." WHAT? You called me for a number/information and you don't already have a pen? Seriously, don't waste my time.
5) I don't tell my sister enough how much I love her or how great a mommy that I really think she is. I love you Shana and you do a great job with that cute son of yours!
6) My favorite brand of athletic shoes are Ryka. My feet are somewhat flat and wide and these not only fit me very well but my knees don't ache after exercising. That's huge for me. I currently own three pairs.
7) I clean organically. This means that I use only natural products to clean my home, no harsh chemicals at all. My friend, Stephanie, loaned me a book (which I need to give back to her) a while ago and I was sold. I also buy as much organic as I can, recycle a lot and hope to start a vermipost bin soon. May sound nerdy but it's true.
8) When I grow up I want to be a 911 Dispatcher. I've focused my time and energy on being a wife and mother right now which is rewarding beyond measure. Someday I may want to go back to work full-time and this is what I hope to do.
So who do I tag? Heather also got my sister so I won't tag her again. I am going to tag Katie (even though Heather got her too) in hopes that it will jump start her blogging again. My mom, my friend Steph, my sis-in-law Su, my friend Tamara and really, anyone who reads my blog and feels inclined to respond. I would love to hear from you all!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Noon Tunes Summer Concert Series

Today was the last day of the KINK sponsored Noon Tunes in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. I took Noah, Oliver and Jackson (they would say that I made them) downtown to see this concert. I mentioned that I had seen a show earlier this month with Breanna Paletta, well she is the lead singer/vocals for Rye Hollow and that is who was playing today! We picked up Joel and headed down, sat on the steps, ate our picnic lunch and listened to some great music. The boys may have been a little bit bored but it was free and fun to get out so I'm planning on catching more of them next year. You can go to to hear Breanna and her solo stuff or to to hear her with the band.

Miniature Golfing - Sort Of

My mom came over yesterday so I decided, that with an extra set of hands, I would take the boys over for some miniature golf. Noah loves it and asks all the time if we can go and honestly, we really should because it's inexpensive entertainment for the family. Anyway, Noah and Jackson got their balls and putters and Oliver was looking at me like I was the Wicked Witch of Vancouver for not giving him anything. The guy at the counter was kind enough to give Oliver a ball to play with on the course with Noah and Jackson. Noah would tee off, then Jackson would tee off then Oliver would "step up to the plate" and throw the golf ball at the hole. With just a little bit of instruction he soon learned to roll the ball in the direction of the hole then sprint after it, grab it and "slam dunk" it into the cup. I figure Oliver had a great game of golfbasebasketball that day! Noah decided to have a great day on the course too and had at least five hole-in-ones that I counted. There may have been more but I didn't officially keep score. Jackson was more of the curious type that day and wanted to know what would happen if he hit the ball off of those rocks or that stump or that brick, etc. Thanks mom for helping to keep the crowd under control.

Swim Lessons

Noah has a ton of fun in our swimming pool, Oliver does too but he stays on the ladder unless I go in with him. The pool is deeper than he is tall so the ladder is his safe haven. Noah decided that Oliver could use a couple of swim lessons. These were the best lessons that I've ever watched. Noah did great with Oliver and Oliver trusted big brother just like he should. Noah carried Oliver around the pool, spun him around, asked him to kick and then helped him float on his back. The only part that Oliver didn't do was get back onto the ladder when brother asked him to. Ollie wrapped those arms and legs of his around big brother so hard that there was no way the lesson was ending! The last picture is of Noah trying to get out.

Marco! Polo!

I could hear him but I just couldn't see him. I narrowed it down to my bedroom, looked in the closets, looked in the bathroom area but no Oliver. I checked under the bed and saw two toddler size feet at the head of my bed. I found him stuck between my wall and headboard. I have no idea how he got in there exactly but he did.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How To Clean a Bathroom

STEP ONE: Encourage 21 month old to use potty by letting him run around naked. Use of said potty (yeah Oliver!) is followed by pleas for a bath. This is my fault because each night before bath we use the potty then get into the tub. Tell stubborn child no but please wash your hands then leave the bathroom.

STEP TWO: Go back to the bathroom because you feel water has been on for too long and find child washing feet.

STEP THREE: Laugh in good nature as child slides all the way into the sink so he can have the bath that his mother denied him. Also, knowing that childhood goes by fast, do not get upset at the copious amounts of water flowing out of the plugged sink and onto the counters and floors.

STEP FOUR: Have an awwww moment when, after a fair amount of time in the "bath", you ask your child to say goodbye to his friend and get out of the "tub" and he gives him a "bye-bye" a cute little wave and a kiss goodbye.

STEP FIVE: Pull out your vinegar (or cleaning substance of choice), rags and scrub brush and clean sink, counters, floors and toilet as you mop up the bath water. Voila! Clean and fresh smelling bathroom.

My mom has been having fun with her fancy sewing machine. We have received some cute towels from her, this was her latest gift to Oliver. Ollie likes to give the bear kisses then mimic the bear and brush his teeth too.

Big Foot Has Been Spotted

Okay, just big feet have been spotted, no need to send the tabloids my way. Noah got some new shoes for school and Oliver was trying them on too. Cute that Ollie was stomping around in big brother's shoes and also scary that Noah's feet are actually that big! On a side note, because we all have to brag at times...after all of my coupons, special discounts and in-store promotions, I paid $1.99 for this pair of shoes! Not bad at all. I had to buy another pair, one to leave at school for gym, and after my discounts with those I paid $10.99. Still not bad considering the high price of shoes these days (these two pair would have cost me over $50 if I had paid full price). Needless to day, spending less than $13 on two pairs of shoes for Noah made my day!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Last Couple of Days

Thursday was my dad's birthday so I made him a cake. It was nothing fancy and not decorated much but it was incredibly yummy! Banana cake with whipped cream frosting. Probably one of the best tasting cakes that I have ever made. The boys (Joel, Noah, Oliver and Jackson) and I took the cake out to my Dad and Lavelle's on Thursday evening. We had pizza, played at the park and then had cake. It was a fun evening to celebrate my dad turning 61! Ha, your secret is out!
Last night I took Oliver and Noah downtown (Joel had made other commitments) to meet up with Chris, Amy and Ian to watch a bike race. The race was called The 6th annual Health Net Portland Twilight Criterium. Cri*te*ri*um (krI'-tir-E-&m), noun [Latin]: a bicycle race of a number of laps on a course over public roads closed to normal traffic. Can I just say that this was crazy! It was a rush to watch these guys fly around that course. Downtown Portland, streets blocked off and these guys going right around 40 mph. We stood on one of the corners just before the starting line and they went by so fast...I wish I could do this race justice but really all I can say is that they are nuts. We will definitely be going next year. Not only was the race fun but they had good music and some fun vendors to check out too.
Today we just spent the morning running errands, cat food, return movies, grocery shopping, etc. We did it as a family though and that always makes it more fun for me. Joel just got done making up a new batch of ice cream base (yum!) that will go into the ice cream maker tomorrow and now he and Oliver are relaxing in the chair watching football. Noah rented movie so he is in his room watching it and building new fun stuff with his Legos. Have a great evening! Love, Tiff

Thank God for Tow Trucks

We were out playing in the water and having a good time when these two decided that they couldn't share anymore. Apparently they had met their sharing quotas for the day. Noah was yelling at Oliver, Oliver was screaming at Noah (literally screaming) and both were getting wetter than they wanted. My demands went unheard so I caved and started to beg but still no luck. I got up said, "Lord help me" and was about to do the unthinkable...turn off the water for the day. But God, in His infinite wisdom, sent me a tow truck. Yes, a tow truck was my miracle that day. It pulled up and all squabbling, yelling, pushing, pulling and screaming came to an instant halt. The world, well okay just the neighborhood, was silenced and in awe. It was a beautiful moment and one that I enjoyed. By the time the tow truck was done dropping off the neighbor's car they had completely forgot that they were fighting and went back to playing in the water just like boys should. Give credit where credit is due...and that is why I thanked God for the tow truck.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lunch With A Friend

My friend, Tamara, came over for lunch yesterday. She brought me yummy sandwiches to try along with cookies and grapes for the boys. We sat out back on our patio furniture and had a great time chatting and eating. It's amazing how much of the chaos you can tune out when you've got something sane to focus on. The boys entertained both of us and Oliver loved showing off for Tamara. We will hopefully being going out sometime next week so if any of you gals out there would like to join us just let me know and I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the great afternoon Tam!

Love The Smell of Clean

Just a cute picture of a freshly washed little man.

Dear Santa

All I want for Christmas is my own Ipod! That way mom won't get so uptight about me using her MP3 player. Can you believe she "locked" it so I couldn't turn up the volume? The nerve!

Noah Won't Always Admit It

But he really does love his brother. Noah helped Oliver up onto his top bunk with the goal of making Ollie feel better. Noah knows that being in brothers room is huge to Oliver but being up on the top bunk, watching a video with brother, well that's a dream come true. Oliver was outside, on the sidewalk, watching Noah and Jackson ride their bikes. The two older boys were playing a game of bike tag and Oliver was cheering them on. Noah was it so Jackson was trying to get away and rode up onto the sidewalk (which I do NOT promote). Jackson claims to have been watching where he was going and that Oliver took a step forward and that is why Oliver got hit. Jackson swerved a little bit but still hit Oliver hard with his bike. The handle bars hit him on the side of the face and head and sent him flying backwards. If you look closely you can see the red and welted area on Oliver's face. Anyway, that is why big brother was trying to make little brother feel better. Makes a momma proud!

Monday, August 20, 2007


When Oliver woke up from his nap yesterday Joel and Noah were gone so we sat down to have a glass of juice and surf the TV for a few minutes. I came across the last few minutes of the movie Drumline, which is the best part, and tuned it there. Oliver has always been into music, singing and dancing more than Noah ever was and loved this part of the movie. He got up and did some dancing and then started to mimic the drummers. When the movie was over he kept pointing to the TV and kept saying, "more? more?" When Joel got home I was telling him how much Oliver liked that part of the movie and while we were talking Oliver ran to his room and got his drum to show daddy what we were talking about. My future...chemistry sets for Noah and drum sets for Oliver, big bangs coming from both but for very different reasons!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just Relaxing Today

I don't have many pictures to post, I either forgot the camera or brought it than failed to use it over the past couple of days. But here is a quick re-cap of our busy weekend: Joel took Friday off so we headed up to the Clark County Fair and spent a few hours up there. It's a great fair and Noah looks forward to it so much. Oliver did a great job of identifying the animals and telling us what sounds they made. His favorite barns, or at least I think it was his favorite, were the cattle barns. Lots of mooing going on from both toddler and animal. Noah and I went on a few rides together, my favorite one was the mini-roller coaster. When we got off the ride Noah turned to me and said, "That was a BIG first drop, it gave me heart burn!" I chuckled and said that it sometimes happens when you go on rides like that. I think we spent about 3 hours at the fair and had a great time. We came home did a quick re-charge then headed over to Christie's for some swimming and pizza. Christie and I have concluded that we shouldn't make Ben the on-duty lifeguard. The "Ben, grab him!" and the "Ben he's right there!" don't seem to register quite quickly enough. Oliver even points at him and shakes his head no when you ask him if he wants to swim with Uncle Ben. But, in Ben's defense, he is great at diving for toy-pedos at the bottom of the pool! Christie is a great hostess and we had a great time that night. She even gave Noah one of Christopher's old Lego sets which Noah is working on right now! We obviously had a great time that evening and our hostess was wonderful.

On Saturday, we got up early, packed and headed to Olympia for a family barbecue at my Aunt Cherie and Uncle Tom's place. They had all three of their daughters home and two of their grandsons there and it was wonderful to see them all. I know that my mom (because she sent me some pictures already) and my Uncle Tom were taking pictures so they need to send me disks with pictures...please?? It was so much fun getting to see everyone and, as usual, us girls sat around and made each other laugh the entire day. The men seemed to congregate and then migrate outside to form their own alliance. Little did they know that we were just to strong to be overthrown by such silliness! And thanks to my cousin Amy, I now know all that I need to know about night vision eye. My grandmother had 8 children, 3 boys and 5 girls. Below is a picture of her three sons, Carroll, Mike and Tom. Yes, they are as dangerous as they look.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One Two Tie Your OWN Shoes

It today's world of flip-flops, slip-ons and Velcro the concept of having to tie one's shoes is foreign to many kids including Noah. With him starting first grade in September it means that he will be at school all day and have to change his shoes for gym class. Your selection of shoes and more importantly shoes on sale increases exponentially when your child can tie his own shoes. Now, I must admit that I've not pushed the learning to tie your shoes lesson because even with the goofy little songs out there it can be quite difficult to convey exactly how to do it. So I grabbed Noah a pair of my tennis shoes and we sat on the bed Sunday afternoon and went for it. I got him excited by explaining his friend, Jacob, could tie his own shoes and bribing him with a toy for his new pool if after a couple of days he could prove to me that he could tie his shoes all on his own. This morning, bright and early, me still in my pajamas and barely into my first cup of coffee, Noah comes out fully dressed with shoes on and tied ready to go to Target to pick out a new pool toy. As you can see, he did a great job.


I believe that potty training is just around the corner for Ollie. He is more aware of when things are about to happen plus he loves to do whatever big brother is doing. Another clue lately has been Oliver letting us know that he needs his diaper changed. He plugs his nose and says "Stinky" or "p.u." and then runs to his room. I never thought a messy diaper could be so entertaining. It makes me chuckle every time.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Fun Night Out With A Good Friend

Our friend Chris told me about a concert that he and some of his friends were going to. I checked it out and decided that it would make a great night out with my friend Steph. To be honest, I wasn't sure about the show or the venue but figured a girls night out was worth the chance. Turns out it was awesome and please don't tell Joel but I felt guilty that he wasn't there because I know that he too would have loved it. It was three artists each with a mic and their guitar taking turns singing songs. The venue was small and very intimate and Steph and I even talked to Breanna for a minute or two about a song she had sung before the break. After we had a cocktail at a place called Mint and 820 we headed over to Mississippi Station, had some dinner then went into Mississippi Studios to see the show. It was Breanna Paletta who is the front woman for Rye Hollow, Tyler Stenson who fronts The Lander Band and Matt Vrba. Matt Vrba was an incredible guitar player and Steph pointed out that he was also an excellent story teller. I had a great time and loved spending some time with Steph away from the chaos that seems to find our homes. If you get a chance, click on the links below to hear some of the artist's music.

My Apologies

I am sorry that I haven't blogged much this week. I made up for it this afternoon by sitting down and getting caught up. Enjoy! Love, Tiff

Not a Story That Mom's Normally Share

So our Oliver is turning out to be quite the tantrum thrower. He started out expressing his anger at a young age by head butting whomever or whatever was close to him. We got this under control so he tried hitting. He learned quickly that hitting will get you about as far as head butting did so he tried throwing things at us. Well, he has pretty much stopped throwing items at people but will still occasionally throw items, in other directions, when angry. The other day I did something to make him mad, I can't remember what exactly but I'm sure it wasn't nice. He was ticked and wanted to let me know, you could see him go through all the things he used to do and as he recalled each one and knew he couldn't do them he would get more and more frustrated. Finally, he spotted this little table and used it to channel his anger. He would push it around then pick up a corner or side of it and throw it back down. The louder the bang or crash the better he felt. I, in a moment of parenting splendor, laughed and reached for the camera. As you can see, he isn't happy and the table's about to take another beating. The remote on the floor, next to the table, was a casualty of the tantrum. Don't worry, I gathered myself back up, put the camera away and dealt with Oliver. We haven't had a table episode since then but I'm not holding my breath!

Noah's New Bike

Noah received a bike that his friend Jacob had outgrown - thanks Jacob! This means, of course, that Oliver cannot and will not leave it alone. If brother can ride it and have fun on it then so can he. These pictures tell a typical story around warning and/or telling Oliver to leave brother's bike alone, a blurry picture of the bike falling because it was NOT left alone, Oliver crying as he crawls out from under the bike and finally Oliver not to be seen because he has run away from the scene of the crime knowing that mom and brother aren't going to be happy. Yup, pretty typical day!

Just Some Cute Pictures

Oliver playing peek-a-boo from under the fish tank and an up close shot of Noah.

Testing the Waters

The boys tried out the new pool this morning. Noah just didn't understand why I didn't want to go in with them until he got in and could barely talk. Joel filled it late Friday and it has not been warm enough to heat the water at all. Both boys were shivering almost instantly and the first swim didn't last long. Next week should bring us some nice hot days along with a warmer pool!

A Lot of Hard Work

This is the area that the old, smaller pool used to be. You can see that sod has been removed and there is string marking out the area. Joel is going to turn this area into a patio after pool season so he decided to remove sod, dirt and grade the ground under the pool so it will be ready to go at summers end. This took a few days and lots of labor but it looks great now.
Action shot of Joel nearing the end of the task.
New pool being filled...only took about 8 hours.

Daddy's little helpers!