Dunbarshall Party All The Time

OK folks, I’m still alive.

It feels like I’ve got
about 10 years worth of material to post.  Stupid blogging is hard, you
guys.  I put it off because I don’t really have time, and then by the
time a month has gone by, I’m like, there’s too much, I need to really
just dedicate a couple hours to it… and then I never do.  And then
suddenly it’s TODAY, and looking back I realize all the things I failed
to post that I meant to… whew.  
 I’m a pressure activator,
guys (when I want to tell people at work that I’m a procrastinator but
don’t want them to think poorly of me, those are the words that I use). 
Somebody put some freakin’ deadlines on me over here!

Never mind.  I start every post with some random rant about how late
this blog is.  You guys are used to it by now, right?  Also,
the title of this post has nothing to do with what is actually in this
blog.  It just sounds fun, so that’s what I wrote.  Yup, you’re welcome.

to kick things off this time, let me tell you a hilarious story about
Evelyn.  We were getting prepared for my trip to Kenya, and I had to get
a bunch of crazy shots, so we pop onto the bus to go get them.  While
on the bus, we’re sitting right at the front in seats that face
sideways.  Not too far away from us, in seats that face forward, sits an
older gentleman.  He isn’t paying us any attention, but is occasionally
opening his mouth as he’s chewing gum or something, so you can see he’s
missing four or so of his front teeth.  Evelyn can’t look away.  As I’m
trying to distract her so that she doesn’t do something embarrassing,
she turns to him, grins wide at him (more like growling, really) and
“I have all my teeth.”  And says it like 4 times.  Dear lord.  He
pretended he didn’t hear her, and I tried really hard not to laugh hysterically. 

like, 3 minutes later, randomly, to a woman across the aisle, she says,
“I ate all my broccoli.  I ate ALL my broccoli.  I yike broccoli.” 
(She’d eaten broccoli like 2 days before.)  And 5 minutes down the line,
when a woman gets on with a leftovers container, she asks her very
loudly and directly, “What’s that?  What’s in there?”


an apple on the bus on the way home, she turns to a lady sitting next
to her and
says, “It’s really crunchy!”  Only, because her mouth is full of apple,
the lady can’t understand her, so she turns quizzically to me, which
means I repeat, “It’s really crunchy” over and over as Evelyn says it
like a hundred times.  And finally, about 5 stops away from home, she
busts out and sings ‘Santa Claus is Coming To Town’.

think children are a social experiment.  I just haven’t figured out yet
exactly the finer points of what the experiment is supposed to be
measuring.   I, of course, fluctuate between trying not to show Evelyn
that I think what she’s doing is the funniest thing ever (because that
would only encourage her to do it more, because she looks like me but
acts like Jason Marshall), and being completely frustrated, which is
basically mom-ing in a nutshell.

So anyway, that’s a
story to start us out, just so you can have a bit of a mental picture
about the kind of child Evelyn is as I tell the rest of the stories. 
She’s a freaking trip, every single day.

During her friend Eloise’s birthday party at the climbing gym.  Which,
incidentally, is where she now thinks ALL birthday parties are held.

Riding bikes!

Who’d have guessed? Climbing trees.

Lots of things have happened since I last put anything on here!  The
big things: we took an international family trip, one of my uncles
passed away and the other was diagnosed with brain cancer and had brain
surgery, we bought a second (very used) car, I got pregnant again!, had
the busiest summer at work ever, and got and started a new job.


than that actually happened, but that’s the rough overview if you
already feel like you’ve read enough blog for a while.  Now you can just
skim through and look at all the pictures!

though, it’s been quite a year.  I’m now 23 weeks pregnant, which is
CRAZY!  I can’t decide if it’s a good idea or if I’m actually just not
that smart, since now we know what we’re getting ourselves into and
we’re just doing it all over again.  Although, to be fair, we don’t
really know what we’re getting ourselves into, because this time it’s a
BOY!  What do I even do with a BOY???


 Anyway.  Yup.  How about some more pictures?

A lady at a cafe on the road to San Jose CA gave this adorable umbrella to Evelyn…
She lets Grandma do her hair!

Hiking with Dad while I was in Kenya.
Larry Marshall came to visit!

It feels like ages ago (let’s be real, it probably was…) but we took a trip to the beach with Shane, Julia, Adam and Maia!  This is the reality of the west coast friends… the beach is like a visit to the Arctic.  There is no such thing as sunbathing on the Oregon coast.  I remember visiting a beach on the East Coast for the first time and being completely amazed… beaches like that aren’t just in the movies!

Not so great at the selfies here.

Yup.  I cut those bangs.  Bet you couldn’t even tell.

I just love these guys.
Somebody loves Eliza.

It was pretty cold, but Evelyn really wanted to play in the water anyway.

Evelyn starts pre-school this week!  It’s crazy to think how fast these last few years have flown by.  She’s starting at a school that’s right down the street from us, which is awesome, both because the school is really great (with an amazing outdoor space, and they do a gardening class with the kids), but also because now I don’t have to commute anymore to take her anywhere!  Driving her around to a babysitters is the WORST.  Traffic is terrible, and parking downtown near my work is the worst…  Yuck.  So clearly we’ve gotten her into a school for HER best interests, and not mine.  🙂

Evelyn and her ‘hangaburger’ at Burgerville.

 Mmmkay, so another story about Evelyn that references the picture below.  We were hanging out at my dad’s house, and my dad wants to make brownies with Evelyn.  Sure, no problem, grandparents can get away with all kinds of stuff, right?  My dad is helping Evelyn to measure and pour the ingredients while I’m piddling around the kitchen.  He’s got the sugar and the cocoa measured out and poured into the bowl, and then moves away for just a second to grab more ingredients.  Evelyn is dutifully stirring things around in the bowl.  While my dad is grabbing things from the cupboard, I look away for probably all of 20 seconds to put something else away.  By the time I look back at Evelyn, she is scooping entire spoons of this cocoa/sugar mixture directly into her mouth.  Of course I’m surprised (I mean, really, should I have been surprised?  No.  No I should not have.), and when she catches my eye, she just says, “Mmm!  It’s really good.”

A pink-clad sugar stealer.

 The brownies turned out okay.  So far, so has Evelyn.  🙂  Of course I’m going to withhold judgement until she gets way older, and then when she does something stupid, I’m going to totally blame it on this moment in time.  “It’s because when you were young, Grandpa used to let you eat entire spoonfuls of pure sugar…”

Inspecting the back of Grandpa’s truck.

Carousel at the zoo with Grandpa!

She got a big girl bed!  It’s actually the bed that I used to sleep in as a child at my grandmother’s house, which is pretty cool.  And she’s totally in love with it.  The only challenge is that now, she can both get out of bed on her own AND open her own door.  Which means I’ve had some creepy moments lately when she wakes up at 3am and decides she’s done sleeping, so she quietly walks into our bedroom and stands right next to me and tugs on my fingers or clothing (whatever she can reach) STARING at me in the PITCH BLACK just making these little “mmm” ‘notice me’ type noises.  SO CREEPY.  I vow to never watch another scary movie (not that I needed convincing), especially not one that involves small children.  How can they be so cute and so TERRIFYING at the same time?

Look how innocent I look in my new bed!
Totally not planning creepy ‘how to freak mom out’ things in this brand new big girl bed…

 More in the creepy vein– several months ago we drove down to the Bay Area to go to a friend’s wedding (you already knew we weren’t very smart, right?  Well, just to solidify your belief in that, we drove down there and back – 13 hours each way – in 3 days.  So STUPID.).  As we were on our hellish, I’m sorry, totally placid and enjoyable drive home, Evelyn had a few moments of freak out.  (She slept for a combined total of 2 hours out of 13.  It was fantastic.  Take a road trip, they said.  It’ll be fun!, they said.  Of course you should bring your kid along, they said.)  During one of those freak outs, she just starts screaming, “NO! Don’t!”  And when I tried to ask her what was going on, she said, “Don’t Mommy!  I’ll take it away from you!”  And when I asked her what she would take away from me, she said, very calmly, “Daddy.”


Or, the time we were driving up to visit my older brother.  She was talking about how she couldn’t take her head off of her body because it was attached!  Miracles of miracles.  She was really hoping to walk around headless, I guess.  Then, as we were explaining why that is probably a bad idea, she exclaims to Jason, “I could get a knife and cut YOUR head off.”

Yup.  That’s the stage we’re in right now.  Have you seen this post?  Read it, but if you have kids and then you have nightmares afterwards, it’s totally not my fault.

Showing off her guns.  We haven’t named them yet, though.

Mmmhmm.  That’s my kid right there.

Yeah, so what else?  It feels like this has been a completely insane year – they just keep going faster and faster.  Managing family stuff after my uncle’s illness has been a bit crazy, and I’m just helping in a small way, my sister is doing a large chunk of it.  He’s living with my dad now, which is nice because he’s close and has easy access to the healthcare he needs.  So far his cancer is holding stable, which is relatively good news, considering that his diagnosis is the most aggressive brain cancer, stage IV.  So we’re hoping for continued progress, as he goes through chemo monthly.  He’s in good spirits, which is good, considering all the changes he’s been through in the last six months.

My new job is going well, I’ve been in it now for about 3 1/2 weeks.  It’s only a temporary position (through my maternity leave), so I’m hoping to turn it into something else at some point, but we’ll see.  I’m working at the same company, but in a different department.  I’m helping with systems and efficiency for the department that provides help and expertise directly to our field teams working on the ground in the various countries where we work, whenever they request it.  It’s pretty cool because I’m getting some exposure to some really amazing and smart people, and doing work that I haven’t done in ages.  And spending lots of time in spreadsheets, but hey.  It is full time though, so that’s been a bit of a transition, both for me and for Evelyn.

The summer has been gorgeous!  Pretty dang hot, which apparently is the trend for us (yay climate change) so there have been lots of opportunities for outside stuff, though it’s raining right now and feels like fall has arrived again in force. 

Hiking with Adam and Maia.

Portland sucks.  This weather is so lame.

Dunbar face.

So far my pregnancy is going well, although in the last few weeks getting onto and off of the floor has started to get harder… whew.  Big bellies.  Everything is going along swimmingly, and this poor child is due on December 25th!  So we’ll always have a jam packed fall – Thanksgiving, Evelyn’s birthday, then Christmas and this dude’s birthday, whenever he decides to arrive!  Hopefully before Christmas?  Also, I have to admit, part of me knows that we really aren’t very smart.  Something happens biologically to be able to convince yourself that it’s a good idea to go through the whole pregnancy/childbirth/newborn no sleeping craziness.  Evelyn is REALLY excited about a little brother (she keeps referring to the baby as ‘MY baby’), though she really has no idea what she’s in store for.  🙂

And yes, we’re staying in our apartment.  For the time being, anyway.  We can squish two kids and two parents into 850sq ft, right?  It’s going to be fine.  Until it isn’t, but hey, at least I’m not moving while pregnant.  🙂  And plus, maybe it’s the perfect fodder for a blog that will get tons of people to follow it, just waiting for my next crazy update about how we are managing… oh wait, people do this all the time.  Nevermind.  🙂

Cooking with Aunt Nicky.

Someone loves Nicky’s dog Trapper.

Did I mention we went to see a live male strip show?  Um, it was AWESOME.  And completely RIDICULOUS.

Frozen yogurt pop.

I’ve still got a TON of stuff to post, but we’ve made some progress!  The next one will be all about our trip in May to Italy and Greece (we took Evelyn along, which made it a totally different kind of vacation!).  So yeah!  Thanks for putting up with me during a huge hiatus again… I’d like to say it won’t happen anymore, but we all know how that goes.  🙂

Before I sign off, I have to tell you the most amazing Portland story I’ve heard in ages.  I was hanging out with my sister last night, and we got to talking – her oldest chicken recently died, on one of our 100+ degree days.  This was the first chicken my sister ever got, and her boyfriend Brad named her Krissy, because obviously.  So for ages whenever anyone said Krissy we’d have to ask which one they were talking about until Krissy Chicken became the nomenclature.  Anyway, this chicken was the ruler of the roost, clearly (obviously gets it from me), and Nicky was really sad when she died.  She came home to Krissy Chicken breathing her last breaths, and then just couldn’t manage to deal with the chicken body, as I’m sure you can appreciate.  So, as we’re chatting last night, she asks me, “Do you want to know what we did with the body?”

Clearly the answer is yes, just as clearly her question indicates she didn’t do something I would expect.  So I ask her, “WHERE did you bury it?”

And her response is something like, “You’re going to judge me.”

Nope, I’m not, and now I REALLY want to know what you did with that chicken.  Where did you put her?!?

Turns out that my sister, in the most Portland move ever, put her beloved chicken’s body in the city compost.

You guys.  This is SO FANTASTIC.  Nicky’s description?  “It’s the best burial ever.  You put the chicken in there, cover it with wood chips, and then someone carts it away to make compost out of it, and my chicken is helping yards grow all over Portland.”


“Do you want to know something else?” She asks me.  “Do you want to know how many chickens I’ve put in the compost?”

At this point in the evening, ladies and gentlemen, I’m completely lost.  This is so freaking hilarious and Portlandia to me that I’m practically in tears at the table, and cannot wait for the answer to this question.

You know how many it was?  Like 5.

My sister is the BEST HUMAN EVER.

So with that closing thought, here’s a summary photo, and talk to you guys again soon!!!

Finally mastering the oh-so-important thumbs up!
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