Thursday, September 15, 2011

Two posts in two days?!

Yes, ladies and gents, it's true.  You can read all about my baby's booty here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New blog!

Since our little Mann was born, we have had a hard time keeping up with our blog - but there is so much to document! In an effort to continue keeping our friends and family updated, we will be creating a new, private blog at Please leave a comment or email me at karenruth(at)gmail(dot)com if you would like to continue creepin' on our family. Also, for you Google Readers out there, I will post a link on this public blog each time I post, since private blogs don't update your Reader. And, we'll still probably post our travel journeys on this public blog in case we're ever in an extreme natural disaster again and the local news needs to steal our photos for a story. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hello, neglected friend.

I'm sure we've gone longer than four months without a blog post, but wow! What a four month time period to miss! I feel list coming...

  • crawls. And cruises. And climbs. We are excited/scared for his next milestone...
  • has four sharp teeth. Very sharp. Probably because he went through a stage for three weeks where all he would do was grind his teeth. I am so grateful that stage is over, though I'm not a fan of the biting stage.
  • babbles, laughs, whistles inward, claps, dances, and says "dada" and "mama" (though he only says "mama" in the middle of the night when he is crying...).
  • refuses to eat baby food. He wants what we're eating and wants to feed himself. Some favorites are watermelon, cantaloupe (whose child is this?! I hate melons!), ravioli, sweet potatoes, banana, and broccoli.
  • thinks he's a dog. He likes to eat treats off the floor and crawl around the house with toys in his mouth.
  • now wears cloth diapers. We had wanted to do this since before he was born, but finally had the resources needed to make it work (ie...washer/dryer!).
  • met his Aunt Hoonie (Hermana Susan was serving in the Peru Lima North mission...he was born at her half-way mark!).
  • met his Great-Grandpa Homer Mann of the great men for whom he was named!
  • will be ONE YEAR OLD in about two weeks!

  • survived her first year of teaching. Barely. Those last couple weeks were rough, especially as they added new students in her classroom and the adult-student ratio was not as ideal as it was supposed to be.
  • is switching to working full-time until Adam is done with school.
  • is anxiously searching for a full-time job. :) The back-up, back-up, safety plan is to continue teaching half-time where I am and work as a building aide in the morning. Not ideal, but as I have heard more in the last few months than ever before in my life (not counting the Geico commercial), "A bird in hand is worth two in a bush."
  • is enjoying her summer vacation. And her monthly paycheck that still comes for three more months!
  • still isn't finished with her Master's degree. One project/thesis stands in the way, but so does lack of motivation, no topic, and an adorable son who wants to play all summer. The new goal is to finish by this December. We shall see.

  • returned safely from Haiti.
  • enjoyed days with Everett while I was at work.
  • enjoyed nights where Everett slept (those have been few and far between...).
  • is working during the summer for Federal Student Financial Aid. Call with any questions...he knows everything.

  • bought a house.
  • bought a couch.
  • bought a washer & dryer.
  • bought a piano.
  • had a VERY nice tax refund (see above items).

So much of the last few months has surrounded the purchase of our new home. We closed in the last part of April and it is really starting to feel like home. A year ago, we had heard about this program, Tenants to Homeowners, which creates energy-efficient, affordable housing in Lawrence. We had looked at our circumstances at that point and decided to wait before purchasing a home. Now that we actually have a real "big girl" job, we felt much more comfortable taking out a mortgage. Plus, the fact that three family friends were living on the same block that we were looking at didn't hurt either. So, we qualified for the program, met with the bank, locked in a great interest rate, and bought our house! It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, complete with a finished basement and 2-car garage. We're especially excited that my sister Rachel will be living with us next year. It gives us room to grow, especially since we'll be in Lawrence for a while as Adam finished school and gets a"big boy" job somewhere close by. It's been great. We finally have the space to comfortably have people over! We're also less than a mile away from downtown, so Everett and I enjoy walking down to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings or taking a family walk on the trail near our house. There's even a park a street over that my niece and nephews love to visit. It's hard to believe that we'll even take Everett's "first day of school" pictures by the tree in the front. Wow!

As for our piano, it was the most amazing Craigslist find ever. One evening around midnight, Adam mentioned that we had planned on getting a piano before we got tv (we have a tv, just no cable or even local channels). Well, I decided to look at the price of pianos in the area, so I jumped onto Craigslist and there was a posting just 20 minutes before for a piano for $200. And it was beautiful. I emailed the lady, talked to her the next day, went to see the piano, and we decided to buy it. I'm glad we contacted her when we did, because she was bombarded with responses. If my 13-year old self could see me now, she would not believe it. Nor would my 14-year old self, 17-year old self, or even 10-year old self. Those are all the times I quit piano lessons. Still, after serving a mission and seeing the great need for musical talent, I have been greatly motivated to gain that skill. It's slow going, but I try to play each day. Everett will either play the upper keys for me or crawl around my feet and hit the pedals for me. Adam and I have sat down and had a couple lessons for him since he's never had the opportunity to learn either. We're hoping that if our kids see us practicing, maybe they won't quite lessons five times!

This has been a quick update, but hopefully it will put me back in the swing of things. And hopefully the next time I post, it will be with positive news about an amazing full-time job next year!

Can't you see his excitement with the switch to cloth?! His diapers aren't normally that big. We just got a little adventurous with the first overnight diaper and stuffed it a little too full.

Hermana Hoonie! She stays with us on weekends and holidays, so we're trying to catch up on lost time. Everett's been waiting for her...

Sweet Grandpa Witt! Everett LOVED him from the moment he saw him. I think it was mutual.

This kid turns everything into a steering wheel (his stroller wheels, my hairbrush....and this actual steering wheel. Looks like we have another petrolhead in the family!).

Home sweet home!
(Please disregard the bright yellow paint...we're hoping to remedy it in the future)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Tale of Two Sides

Everett likes to move at all times. Even when he's almost asleep, his little hands insist on playing with my hair or feeling the texture of the rocking chair or sheet. He has the hardest time when he should be nursing. I decided to document it one Sunday with a video of his feet. The first video is pretty typical, but the second one surprised me and made me laugh. This kid is hilarious!

Right side:

Left Side:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

1/9/11 - Jacmel

So since I'm so behind on the blog I decided to just make small updates. Today I went to church here in Jacmel and had a great experience. Then Tiana and I took a tap tap out to Kabik and spent some time on the beach. We enjoyed some great "Lanbi Griye" or "Grilled Conch" and just took it easy. We came back on another tap tap which broke down after 5 minutes and then we jumped on another which brought us back into town. We took bucket showers with hot water and headed over to Florita, our favorite place for internet these days. After walking in I found another familiar face: Beleque! He was with Jorgen and the other Danes when we met at the MINUSTAH camp last year. He had just arrived from Cap Haitian this afternoon and it was great to see him and talk with him more. These blog posts aren't as lengthy and detailed as those in the past but I figure it's easier to keep up when they are shorter. Here's a photo of the Lanbi Griye we had on the beach:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

1/8/11 - Jacmel

I am horrible at keeping up with this blog. I promise that detailed descriptions of every day will be posted eventually but as for now I wanted to share this photo. Tiana and I walked into the Florita hotel here in Jacmel which has become our internet source of choice. Walking in I saw Sue Frame sitting in the corner, we had met a few days ago and already had a chance to catch up, but another friend from last year was also sitting in at a table: Jorgen Leth. It was Jorgen's son who chartered a helicopter to come to Jacmel and it was Jorgen who decided to put us on the helicopter in his stead. It was great catching up with him briefly and I plan on seeing him more over the next few days. The 10th, 11th, and 12th will feature several films in the area and one of them will be Jorgen's film he was working on when the quake hit. So, I plan on updating the blog more but until then, enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Update on Adam

I just spoke with Adam...he is now in Jacmel for the week and will be able to post more tomorrow. He returned to Guy's Guesthouse, where we were during the earthquake. I can only imagine how surreal it must be for him.

He sent this picture from his visit to Cite Soleil - this gorgeous baby is the same age as Everett!
Photo credit: Tiana Markova-Gold