best of: 2009




nothing to write about, so...

just a couple of thoughts. really irks me when people steal carts from walmart or target to carry their stuff to the bus stop, then just leave them there. seriously, it's stealing, people. it probably makes your life easier, but as todd says, you wouldn't steal a boombox from walmart so that you can listen to music while you wait for the bus, then just leave it there when the bus comes. just because you leave it at the bus stop doesn't mean you didn't steal it.

okay, enough ranting.

..we have friends who are MAJOR subaru enthusiasts, and i thought it was really funny when they told us they were members of a subaru social networking group (in real life - they go bowling and stuff). then our friend andy told us it's actually not uncommon for groups to form based on what kind of car they drive. i wonder if there are any ford windstar groups, because i would TOTALLY join.

..i have been craving different foods a lot more with this pregnancy. sea food/fish, jarred jalapenos and olives have been my strongest, most recent cravings. i don't even like olives; i think they're gross even as i'm eating them, but i just can't stop. two nights ago, i ate like half a jar of green olives and chased them with straight lime juice. less surprisingly, i've been craving donuts, chocolate anything, cheesy anything, and microwave popcorn with crazy salt. also...salad.

..i got a couple of craft/sewing books for christmas, and i am having the HARDEST time deciding what to make first!!!

..atticus is THISCLOSE to saying "mama!" i'm so excited!!!!!!!! husband is the best. and i'm not exaggerating. he is the best husband there is.

having myself a crafty little christmas

this year, i've really tried to take advantage of some of the creative opportunities that christmas holds. here are some of the things i've been working on:

i replaced the blue glass in this vase with some festive red berries and some sticks from our "backyard" (the trail behind the garages).

the wreath i made out of pages from one of todd's old textbooks. (go here for a tutorial.) next time i think i'll make a little one from a bible! (or at least not a textbook on argumentation...or at least pay attention to which pages i'm using and not put the page entitled "GAY MARRIAGE!" right in the middle...)

ahh, there it is right above the couch!

our tiny tree...we didn't have enough room for a full-size tree, so my mom picked a 3-footer for us from the dollar store and i just picked out some of our older, smaller ornaments in a red, cream, and green theme. no star? no prob, i just tied a ribbon on top. i didn't have a tiny skirt either, so i just bunched up some burlap around the bottom.
i made all of our stockings this year, which was really fun!

this is atticus'. i made it out of burlap and sewed on the cross-stitched cuff my mom made for him last year.

todd's i made from an old gap sweater i found at the salvation army, then i sewed on some antique mother-of-pearl buttons in a snowflake pattern.

this is mine. i made it from some's undergarments and some ruffles i bought at hobby lobby.

this is penelope's. i made the stocking from some quilted material, then i sewed on an antique hand-crocheted doily for the cuff, then cut apart another antique doily for the flowers.

here they are all hung up!! i found that board in a pile of trash wood at a campsite, then just screwed on some cup hooks. (there's an extra hook for a growing family...who knows what next christmas will look like?!)

you can see the fresh wreath i hung in the window (for that perfect christmas-y smell). i've been stringing the christmas cards and letters we receive with clothespins.

here's a sampling of some of the gifts i've wrapped. i used brown contractor paper and cloth ribbon to give them kind of a home-grown look. (the one in the top left is embellished with burlap, since i ran out of ribbon.)

my sister found this pair of little dutch shoes at goodwill and gave them to atticus. they were in pretty rough shape, so i gave them a fresh coat of paint, then sanded them to age them. in dutch tradition, kiddos put out their shoes and santa (ahem, i mean sinterklaas and his sidekick black peter) fills them with gifts. basically like stockings, but i couldn't decide which i liked better, so atticus will get both this year.

it has been so fun working on this stuff! once christmas is over, i'll turn my crafty energies toward penelope's nursery and girly-girl outfits. (i'm thinking...tu-tus.)


we've decided on a name for baby girl vv. we'd like to introduce you to...

penelope page!

we really liked the name penelope, which means "faithful." in the odyssy, odysseus' wife is named penelope. odysseus gets called to fight in the trojan war, goes MIA, and is gone for 20 years. in the meantime, everyone assumes he's dead so a bunch of guys start to try to court penelope, but she believes he's still alive, so she says that once she's done weaving a burial shroud, she'll consider remarriage. but every night, she undoes the weaving she did during the day to buy some time for odysseus to come back. 20 years later, odysseus does come back, disguised as a beggar to see if she's been faithful (and obviously finds that she has). cool story, cool name.

we chose the middle name page because it's a family name, which will probably seem obvious to anyone who knows that my name is paige. however, what you might not know is that my mom's maiden name was page and i was named after her side of the family. i love the idea of naming our kids after our family, and i thought it was neat that there will be four living generations of "pages"! also, it doesn't hurt that we'll share a name...that's cool to me! plus, it means "servant," so her whole name will mean "faithful servant," which is definitely something we pray she'll fulfill.

so there you have it! penelope page vv. (just don't call her p.p.)

you should have to show your I.D. to eat chinese food.

on friday, we went out to eat at the local chinese buffet. it's usually hard to go to a sit-down place with atticus in tow, but i figured since you get your food right away and atticus could try a bunch of different things (since i didn't know what he'd prefer) for free, it was worth a shot.

he was not a fan of the rice or the seasoned green beans. he could not get enough of the mushrooms and mandarin oranges. he fell somewhere in the middle on the chicken. i also forgot to bring his sippy cup, but he figured out right away how to drink from a straw, so that catastrophe was averted!

after a while, he started to act kind of, for lack of a better descriptive word, drunk. he would babble nonstop for a while, followed by a crazy dance (getting rice and soy sauce all through his hair), followed by a short head slump down into his chest, followed by a new burst of energy and a laugh, then a shriek, then it would start all over again. it was SO FUNNY, but it really made me wonder what the heck is in the food there....i'm not sure i want to know.

i, on the other hand, could not get enough of the CLAMS they had! they've never had them before, but i have been craving seafood - specifically, clams and oysters - NONSTOP, so it was like a little christmas miracle straight from heaven to see them under the sneeze guard...right next to the crab legs....mmmm.

and on a little sidenote while we're talking about food, atticus still isn't saying actual words, but all of his official "communication" has to do with food. he has been signing "more" for a while now, and about 10 minutes ago he signed "all done" for the first time! also, whenever you say any of the trigger "food" words ("eat," "snack," etc.) or start to prepare food, he'll go, "MMMMMMMM!!"

stole the idea from allison.

ten things you may not know about me: first "official" boyfriend was jesse barnes in the 7th grade. he dumped me because i offered him a grape jolly rancher, totally forgetting that he was diabetic. second "offical" boyfriend was jesse burns in the 8th grade. (no, i'm not lying. jesse barnes and jesse burns are two seperate but very real people.) he dumped me during PE roller skating because i told him i wouldn't make out with him behind the dumpsters during the school dance. he later dropped out of school (assumingly unrelated to the eighth grade incident).

..i've only cooked red meat twice since we've been married (2.5 years). i LOVE anything with beef, but i don't cook it myself.

..when we get our own yard, i will do anything within my legal power to have chickens.

..i used to make my own yogurt. it was not good.

..i watched gone with the wind once, but i accidentally watched the second disc before the first. it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure it out. i've never seen it in order. favorite book is east of eden by john steinbeck. you should totally read it.

..i used to be a vegetarian.

..i have no idea how many times i've been to disneyland.

..i peed my pants in public when i was 16. it involved the sweet corn festival, a joke about a chalupa, and a debilitating (albeit temporary) illness. i couldn't find my mom so i sat on the curb by our locked car for like an hour, crying and waiting for my mom to find me.

post two! introducing....

we had our ultrasound! meet the tiniest van voorst...

...doesn't she swallow amniotic fluid like a true lady?

post one of two for the day...

today we have two scheduled family appointments (well, three actually, if you count todd's dentist appt). we have already attended atticus' one-year appointment and will have our ultrasound at 1:30! i just thought i'd update with atticus' news before we go for our next appointment.

so, it's official: the hole in atticus' heart was considered "resolved" and won't pop up as an issue in later appointments! however, he apparently has had a sinus infection for the last month, so we're starting him on a round of antibiotics.

he also received his last round of HIB and Pc shots today. they also wanted to do Hep A, chicken pox, flu and MMR, but we decided against it. he'll get his MMR shot in 3 months and we won't be getting the flu, Hep A or chicken pox vaccines at all (along with the Hep B shots we've already passed up).

our doctor couldn't care less that we weren't getting the hepatitis shot today, but really was adamant about chicken pox...weird. i'm adamant that, considering it contains aluminum and human DNA (yes, true and yes, gross) and it's just to prevent chicken pox, we'll take our chances.

his stats:
height: 75th percentile
head circ: 75th percentile
weight: 3rd-4th, yeah. he's a little guy. (apparently with a huge head and a stick body considering his weight...he's like a little lollipop.)

we'll have to go in at 15 months to check his weight gain since he's really not tracking where he should be. the doctor said in the meantime i'm supposed to limit his milk intake (i would have thought the opposite). so we'll see.

other than that, he was a champ when they drew his blood - he didn't even cry! what a tough guy!

alright, i'll update later with the other tiny van voorst's medical news.

fluffy puff nibblin's first birthday.

'i'm one years old!'

atticus had his first birthday on saturday, and it was a major hit. he ate his cake and ice cream (much like a gentleman, i might add), opened his presents (or rather, played with them after i opened them), played with yaya karen and papi doug and had an all-around good time. i'll post more pictures later, but here's a teaser vid. whatev, nbd.

my baby's butt is all green.

atticus has been wearing "big boy" (cloth) diapers for a week now. they're taking some getting used to, and there are definitely pros and cons.


..the price. a one-time-price of 25 bucks for the current size he's in, and i'm guessing i have 3 or 4 times the number that i actually need.

..he actually went up a pants size since they make his butt kind of bubbly. i've been struggling with pants for him lately, since his waist fits 6-month pants and his long legs fit 9-month pants. now he's officially in all 9-mo clothing.**

..i don't know why, but i feel like he stays cleaner or something...i just feel better about not having those weird chemicals up against his skin.

..they don't smell as gross as disposables, and they're less maintenance (yes, it's true!). the pee-pants don't smell as strongly, plus no more back-and-forth treks to the dumpster every time atticus poops since the poop just gets flushed down the toilet.'s super trendy and green, and you know me: super trendy and green.


..atticus' bubble butt. it looks ridiculous, and whatever pants he wears look like mom jeans in the front.

..i didn't think through the fact that wet clothing is wet on the outside as well, and i have to touch his pee-soaked diapers to get the pins out. so. gross. (today we're experimenting with the no-pins method to see if we can't eliminate this con.)

..rinsing out diapers in the toilet after more free-spirited poops take place.

..extra laundry. although it'll probably only amount to 1-2 extra loads a week, which isn't a big deal at all, i hang-dry them, which is a pain.

..atticus has a fascination with the diaper pail and can easily get the lid off if left unsupervised for a half a second.

in all, i'm actually really excited to get into the groove of using them! they're really not as bad as i thought they'd be.

***on a side note, he has only gained six ounces in the last 6 months, and i'm so ready for him to start growing...i'm getting really tired of dressing him in a lot of the same clothes he's been in since he was 5 months old! he seems like he's been gaining weight since we moved him to whole milk and all table foods, so we'll see if he starts moving up in clothing sizes!

snow day

today we had a family snow day! todd got the day off of work because his office was closed, and jenni stayed home from dsm with kaiden, so it was just the three of us and the snow drifts!

i decided it would be fun to take atticus out and see what he thought of the snow. so after having todd haul in the snowpants from the garage, getting atticus all dressed, and finally getting outside, it may or may not have been worth it.

i broke down and it was AWESOME.


i never *had* to get maternity pants last time (though i probably should have), i just made my belly band work with my normal pants, but now looking toward getting bigger again...i broke down. i was DREADING that stupid belly band, so i decided on cyber monday that since old navy was having 20% off and free shipping, i could splurge on a pair of maternity pants!

(plus, since we're hoping to be blessed with 5-6 kids, i'm sure they'll be worth the 26 bucks in the long run.)

i also got a couple cami's for layering - you know, basics. I AM SO EXCITED TO GET MY STUFF IN THE MAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (not that i can wear it yet, but eventually.)

it makes sense - when you gain 20 pounds in a single spot, your normal clothes shouldn't fit - you should get clothing that is made to fit you. i was just too proud. but i have come to my senses and am embracing the opportunity to get some new clothes!


i had this grand idea to start a tradition of making "first day of snow" fudge. i love snow (at the beginning of winter) and i love fudge. so it would make sense. my mom passed on my great-grandma's fudge recipe to me, which is seriously the BEST, and i was waiting anxiously to whip some up on the first day of snow.

enter thursday!

so i got all my ingredients together, followed the recipe to the letter, and once the fudge was made i put it in the fridge to set up.

12 hours later, it was still not set. so i put it in the freezer.

6 hours later, it was still not set. it was still pure liquid.

when i pulled it out of the freezer THIS MORNING, it was still liquid.

so, my grandiose plans for a great family tradition flopped. i was feeling defeated until todd came home and added a new idea for the first day of snow: ordering in pizza. um, fine with me! fudge can wait until next year. (or at least the second day of snow...i'm now officially in the mood for some fudge.)

re: thanksgiving.

thanksgiving was a smashing success this year. i made most of the food beforehand, and it all turned out swell, and i even took the time to set the table and try to make the buffet look nice. my parents and sister came up for the day and we all hung out, ate too much and watched football. and my stepdoug fell asleep. all in all, a good day.

atticus cuddling with yaya karen

on sunday, our little family went down to my mom's for the day and did it up in style with stepdoug's daughters.

atticus developing an affinity for the baby jesus from his little people nativity set.

...and rediscovering his fascination with my mom's cats. lauren looks cartoonishly sad in the background.

our first all-three-of-us picture since atticus was two months old.