Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cal is 11 Months Old

I have an almost toddler!  In one month, we will be celebrating Cal's 1 year birthday.

Sorry this post is a couple of days late.  The days are getting too short for all the things I need to get done!

Cal, buddy, you are turning into a little boy before our eyes.  This past month has been quite the adventure.  You are doing so many new things.  It is so fun to watch you grow.

* You are walking like a champ.  You took three steps back in November and now are walking 90% of the time.  It's so cute to watch your little zombie baby walk.  I took a video so I could remember how it looks.

* In addition to walking, you also started standing up from the floor.  You put your feet on the floor near your hands like a little A-frame and stand right up.  We watched you do it once on a Friday and ever since than, you stand all the time.

* Even though you knew how to clap before, you are now copying us when we do it.  I make a game out of clapping and say "Yayyyyy!" and clap my hands just so I can see you do it too.

* You wave bye-bye.  Just this morning you were toddling into your bedroom and you turned around to make sure I was watching.  I said "Bye" and you responded with a wave and a "buh buh" which I am pretty sure means Bye Bye.

* You have three teeth.  Both your top front teeth and one of your bottom ones.  I am pretty sure your second bottom one is on its way because you have been pretty fussy.

* In the last couple of weeks, you learned how to give hugs.  If you want to be hugged, you will put your head down on someone's chest or shoulder.  It is just the sweetest little thing.

* Similar to above, if you want someone to pick you up, you bounce up and down and go "ahahahahaha" until they do.  You do the same thing if you want a bite of what someone is eating too.  Silly boy!

* You absolutely love to eat.  If you are fussy, it's generally because you are hungry.  You will try anything but your favorite food is blueberries.  This hasn't changed since last month because I am pretty sure I wrote the same thing.

Cal, you are such a joy and absolutely the sweetest.  We love you so much big boy!  Next month, I will posting all about your birthday.  I can't believe it!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Have a Brother

I don't think I have ever talked on this blog before about my younger brother Charles.  Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 marked 26 years ago he was killed.  Not passed away because that indicates we knew it was coming from an illness, but killed.

I want to tell his story because I am forgetting so many things about him and his life and I want to be able to remember him always.  My children have so many things in common with Chucky and I want to make sure they know about their Uncle Charles.  I tried to be as accurate as possible but it was 26 years ago and my memory at 8 wasn't the best, especially with something as sad as this.

My family was living in New Hampshire in 1986.  My mom and Dad had separated and were in the process of divorce.  All us kids, three girls and a boy, lived with my mom while she worked like a dog to support us. My older sister Rebecca was 13, I was 8, Charles was 6 and Carrie was 9 months.  On November 14th, my older sister was in England with family members.  It happened to be a Friday and my mom was working late and wanted me to meet my brother at school so we could walk home together.

Concord, New Hampshire is a small town and back in 1986, it was perfectly safe for an 8 and 6 year old to walk home alone.  My brother used to walk home alone all the time since his school was only a few blocks away.  After school let out, I decided to go to my friend Erica's house instead of picking up my brother.  I can't remember if I asked my mom first or just decided to go on my own, but to this day, I will forever regret that decision.

I played at Erica's house until it started getting dark.  It had to have been around 5:00 when Erica's mom came into her room to get me.  My school principal was waiting for me in the kitchen and was going to drive me home.  This was very confusing to me and I knew something was bad.  He told me "Your brother has been in an accident".  That was all he said and I think I was so shocked that the principal was there that I didn't question him.

The drive home, even though it was mere blocks, seemed to take forever.  When we pulled into my driveway, there were cars everywhere.  Some I didn't even recognize.  I walked inside, who knows where Mr. Cogswell was (my principal) but my mom was on the phone.  Her therapist or counselor, whatever he was, was in the dining room.  Something was very wrong.

To this day I can't tell you who told me my brother had died.  Was it my mom?  Was it her counselor?  I don't know.  All I remember is running upstairs to my room and just crying and crying and crying.

My brother was walking home from school and was very excited because he had just found out that his class was going to be taking a field trip to see dinosaurs at the museum.  You see, Charles LOVED dinosaurs.  He could name every dinosaur, spell it, tell you when it lived and every single detail about it.  At 6 years old.  He was so smart.  You can imagine this field trip was going to be the highlight of his short life.

Charles went to cross the street and didn't look.  He was so excited to get home to tell my mom about his field trip.  The driver coming down the busy street at close to 60 miles per hour didn't see him.  Not only was she speeding in a school zone but she was driving a truck that had a lift kit.  She probably didn't even see the little boy in front of her.

My brother was killed right in front of our house.

The 16 year old driver had to be flagged down several blocks away because she didn't realize she had hit something.

My mother happened to come home from work and happen upon the scene in front of our house.  By that time, the ambulance had arrived and taken my brother to the hospital.  She didn't know the extent of the accident but she still drove like a maniac trying to get to the hospital.  Can you imagine what she must have felt in those 5 minutes it took for her to get there?  As a mother, my heart and stomach get sick just thinking about it.

When my mom arrived, she learned that my brother had been taken off life support, without her even being consulted.  The extent of his injuries were too great.  He had been struck in the head and there was no hope.  The nurses sobbed alongside my mother trying to comfort her as she tried to understand what had happened.

At 8 years old, life was a blur.  The next few days were certainly a blur.  The day after my brother died, I had a visit with my dad.  It was the first time I had ever seen my dad cry and it was very distressing.  I opened the door, he saw me and broke down.  I also remember arriving at my dad's house and my Memere was on the phone speaking in French.  I remember her saying that her grandson had died and sobbing.  I remember funeral plans occurring and reciting a poem that I would say at my brother's funeral.

It took several days or even weeks for the city to clean up the accident scene in front of our home.  The blood was covered up with sand but it was still a constant reminder of what happened.  The driver of the truck was not arrested or even cited for driving over the speed limit or driving a truck that had an illegal lift kit.  The driver had only had her license for a couple of weeks.

My family was not rich by any stretch of the imagination.  My mother barely could scrape together money for a funeral.  Many people from the town stepped up and helped out.  If I remember correctly, my brother's headstone was paid for by his principal, although we will never know for sure as it was supposed to be an anonymous donation.  Others donated their time, money, or other things to help our family out in the weeks after my brother's death.

I am not really sure why I remember certain details of my brother's death or life.  It's the little things that stick out in my memory that are significant for some reason:

* How his grave marker has a picture he drew of a dinosaur and himself and the poem that went along with it.

* How the cemetery he is buried at didn't allow large headstones any longer but they made an exception for my brother.

* The poem I recited at the funeral.  I remember it word for word to this day.

If I were a rocket shot high across the night, I'd rather burst in silver stars than green or purple light;
For then, perhaps, I'd fool the moon, although she's very wise, and thinking me a baby star, she'd keep me in the skies.

* I remember going to the funeral home to visit him before the funeral and thinking there was nothing strange about it but I to this day have to defend this to people.

* His injuries were massive.  He supposedly died instantly but someone mentioned to my mother that he tried to speak in the ambulance on the way to to the hospital.  I don't want to believe that because the thought of my brother being in pain makes me physically sick.  The poor child had road burn in between his toes.  How does that even happen?  He suffered endless broken bones and he had an indent in his head from the bumper of the car.  I am sorry if that is morbid to some people but it's the truth.

* My uncle did the music for the funeral but I truly can't remember who all the pallbearers were.  "Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera will always be special to me because it was played at his funeral.  My brother loved anything Karate Kid and that song was in the second movie.

* What his school picture looked like that year.  He was wearing a grey and blue striped shirt with royal blue Osh Kosh overalls.  He had a scab on his chin that was very clear in the picture.  He had a bowl haircut and looked just like my mom.

* How smart he was.  You know those parents that always say "Oh my kid is soooo smart".  Honestly, I will never meet a smarter 6 year old.  Ever.  He wanted to be a paleontologist and I truly believe he would have been successful.

* How my family was treated by certain people in the city after he died.  I don't want to get into many details but the girl who killed my brother had a boyfriend who's dad was important in our town.  My mom never got closure from his death.  As an additional sucker punch, my mom ended up being sued by the girl's insurance company for damage done to the truck during the accident.

* I vividly remember packing a picnic dinner often and going up the cemetery as a family.  This might seem very strange to all of you, but it never was to us.  My mom would load us into the car with Burger King and we would sit on the ground at the cemetery, eat, and talk to my brother.  We went to the cemetery often.

I tried so hard to find a picture to post here but I didn't have one.  My mom has pictures of my brother but I don't have any.  The closest picture I could find was this one from my sister's Facebook page.  I really hope she doesn't mind me borrowing it.

This post has been cathartic for me.  It honestly feels good to write about my brother since I don't often talk about him.

We miss you Charles.  You still have so many people that think about you often and love you dearly.

Anniversary Weekend

Wow am I behind on posting!

Jason and I spent our 6th wedding anniversary at the Oregon Coast.  We try and do something special ever year and this year, the coast it was.  His parents offered to take both boys for the entire weekend and we decided not to pass it up!

Friday was spent packing and getting the boys ready to go to Nana's.  We left our house at 3:00 and made the drive towards the coast.  We had planned to stop by the casino on the way to try our hand at gambling and then eating dinner at the buffet.  We are classy people yo.

The drive to the coast was so nice.  It was lovely being able to talk with my husband and not have any backseat drivers.  We chatted about the holidays, what the plans were for the weekend and what we would do if we hit it big at the casino.

We gambled for a bit - I usually only play $40 at the most - and then ate a nice dinner.  Since it was getting late and I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, we made the final drive into Lincoln City where our hotel was.  I found our hotel, The Looking Glass Inn, by reviewing travel sites online.  We typically stay at a bed and breakfast but our favorite one just wasn't in the budget this time.  This cute little boutique hotel got really good reviews and it was cheap by beach standards!

It was super dark and rainy when we got to the hotel but our room was so cute.  It had a full kitchen, a separate living area and a bedroom.  I liked the separate living area so I could get up earlier than Jason, watch tv, knit and enjoy my coffee while he slept in.

A not so great picture of the kitchen and living room.

After a quick trip to the store for necessities like beer, champagne and snacks, we settled in for the night. Can I just say how awesome it is to not have to worry about babies waking up in the middle of the night?  I was able to get a restful night of sleep and even woke up late (for me).

Our hotel was right across the street from Mo's, an Oregon favorite for their clam chowder.  We literally could see the restaurant from our front window.

After a leisurely cup of coffee, a nice long shower and a free breakfast, I decided to let Jason sleep and take a walk down by the bay.  Our room was literally feet from the bay which led to some pretty views.

You can almost see the water in this picture.

It was a gorgeous day on Saturday.  Sunny, cool but not cold and a lovely day to enjoy a walk.  There were sea lions playing in the water and looking for fish.  I had a blast just watching them.

Jason was up when I got back and after he showered, we went the convenient route and walked across the street to Mo's for lunch.  I don't recall ever eating fried clams before but I had them at Mo's and they were delicious!

After lunch, we did some outlet mall shopping and made a trip to the Christmas store.  The rest of the day, until our dinner reservations, we literally just laid around and did nothing.  We sat in the hotel room, watched tv, talked and I knitted.  It was divine and completely restful.  I almost took a nap before dinner but I was having such a good time just talking and watching tv with Jason that I didn't want to get off the couch.

Typical "us" picture.

We headed to dinner at 7:30.  We chose a little restaurant called Tidal Raves based on a recommendation from the front desk staff at our hotel.  We wanted something nice since it was our anniversary but not anything truly fancy.  I didn't want to have to get more dressed up than a sweater and jeans.

Oh my goodness, the food was amazing!  Jason ordered a steak and I ordered a shrimp dish with polenta.  The best part of dinner was the tiramisu for dessert.  I have never in my life had tiramisu as good as that.  The custard was so light and fluffy.  I would definitely recommend going to Tidal Raves.

I mayyyyy have had too much to drink on Saturday evening.  This girl hardly ever drinks and I had a drink with dinner, a glass of presecco with dessert and champagne back at the hotel.  Oh boy was I feeling it on Sunday morning.

Our Sunday was spent taking our time eating, getting ready to go, grabbing coffee, hitting up Chinook Winds (Jason insisted we stop - he ended up winning some money) casino, leisurely driving home and picking up the boys.

Did I miss the boys?  Yes.  Would I go out of town for another weekend?  Oh yes.  It was well worth it to reconnect with my husband after far too long.  Our marriage has been revibed and refreshed for sure.

Happy 6 years babe!  Here's to many more!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

* I have two other posts drafted but don't have the time to put much thought into them.  One is a sad post full of heavy material and I keep plugging along on it.  The other is a happy post about our anniversary but I just don't have 20 minutes to spend on a dedicated subject.  Posting sometimes gives me ADD.

* Oh my gosh Cal is walking all over the place.  It is INSANE!  He just took steps two weeks ago and now he's toddling everywhere.

* I am still going to knitting class and so far have finished two hats, started a new hat and almost completed one slipper sock.  I still have the finishing touches on the hats, like the ears, but I am at a standstill because I don't remember how to start the ears.  This next class will be what I need to kick start me into finishing.

* Jack is doing this new thing where he says "This is me Mama!".  It's like he is trying to announce his presence all the time.  It is super cute.

* Jason and I are probably going to do our annual Christmas shopping trip on Saturday.  I just have to sucker my in-laws into watching the boys and feeding them dinner.  We do this every year.  We usually go to the mall, pick up some gifts and then either go out to dinner or lunch after.  Last year I was hugely pregnant and we only went to a few stores before we called it a day.  The year before, we brought Jack in a stroller.  The year before that?  Also pregnant.

* I ordered the invitations for Cal's 1st Birthday last week.  I wanted to get them ordered so I had them in time to be able to mail well in advance.  Since his birthday is right after the holidays I want people to have enough time to decide if they want to come.  I am going with a Mickey Mouse theme since Cal loves Mickey.  I have a Pinterest board dedicated to my ideas.  I am not a crafty person so likely I will probably only make the food.  The decorations will be either store-bought or simple like balloons.  My best friend, who is an awesome pastry chef, has offered to make the cake and favors (probably Mickey cookies).

* I am struggling with some ideas for age appropriate toys for the boys for Christmas.  I think I am done for Jack, but what about Cal?  Everything either lights up, makes noise, sings, or is generally annoying.  Whatever happened to good old fashioned toys?  He doesn't need blocks, Legos or anything too babyish.  I need to head to Finnegan's, our cool toy store to see if anything catches my eye.

* Can I tell you how ridiculously excited I am about this year's holidays? I didn't take any time off last year but this year?  I am on vacation starting on December 17th all the way through the end of the year.  I fully plan on taking my boys to fun places and baking with my sister.

* Our Thanksgiving was awesome.  This girl didn't take a single picture of the day (oops) but Jack ate nothing and Cal ate everything.  Well, Jack did eat some apples and pumpkin pie but that's it.  And can I just brag on my kids?  Jack didn't have a nap that day and was seriously SO GOOD over at my aunt and uncle's.  He usually is a holy terror when he doesn't nap but he was great.  I was a proud mama.  The food was delicious, the company was even better and I didn't leave in a food coma.

* I am contemplating starting to run. As in, buying good running shoes and trying the Couch to 5K program. I need to get my butt in gear before I turn into a whale.  Who am I kidding?  I am already a whale.

That's it for now.  I keep saying that I will catch up on posts but we know how well that goes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

* We had such an awesome time for our anniversary weekend.  I will post about it another day.  Tons of rest, relaxation, good food and time together.

* Cal slept through the night for the second night in a row!  I honestly don't expect it to continue but it has been awfully nice.

* It feels like fall here in Oregon, which I LOVE.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love the cold, windy, rainy weather and everything that goes along with fall.  Christmas shopping, comfort food, warm clothes, fuzzy socks, flannel sheets.  Ahhhhhh.  Love it.

* I am making quite a few Christmas gifts this year and I think I have bit off more than I can chew.  None of them are particularly hard.  They will just take time and you know I have so much time to spare.

* I am still going to my knitting class.  I actually have one hat mostly done save for a couple of ear pieces (it's a mouse hat) and another hat started and about 75% done.  I saw an awesome pattern for slipper socks at the knitting store.  If it's easy, I might pick it up because clearly I don't have enough to do.

* I have cut back my pumping sessions to 4 times a day rather than 5.  This has given me a break as well as lined me up to start weaning from the pump at some point.  I have a great freezer stash and if I were to stop tomorrow, I would have enough milk to get Cal through 12 months.  I am not sure how to break the news to my donor moms that I am cutting back and weaning though.

* I have to go to a client site on Thursday and am stressing about what to wear.  I have black pants and plenty of tops but I am still stressed.  I will find something but it's always fun to get new stuff.  I don't need new stuff though.  Dilemmas!

* I have been putting off making a couple of doctor's appointments but I finally bit the bullet.  I am going to the eye doctor next week and the dermatologist in December.  My eye visit is just a routine one.  I need new contacts and I was running out so it was time.  The dermatologist?  I am dreading it.  It's a necessary evil though.  It's for a routine mole check.  I have a couple of questionable looking ones and it's always important just to get your moles looked at.  That sounds gross doesn't it?  Moles.  Ew.

Did I really just start most of these bullet points with "I"?  I promise I am not this self-absorbed.  Geez, there I go again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

10 Months Old!

I am two days late posting this update since Jason and I were out of town for our anniversary.

There are lots of exciting things going on with Calvin the past couple of weeks.  Here are some important noteables:

* Cal has two teeth!  Both his top teeth have popped through.  Oh my goodness how grown up does he look!  So stinkin' cute.

* HE IS WALKING!  We went away for the weekend and came back to a toddling baby.  He took three unassisted steps over at Nana's this weekend.  He has been trying but we have never seen him actually walk.  Now he is taking steps all over the house.  I give him about two weeks and he will be full on walking.

* Someone slept through the night last night.  Cal went down to sleep at 7:30 and didn't wake up until 5:30.  That is 10 hours of silence.  He woke up at 5:30, drank his bottle and then went back down to sleep until 6:45.  Yahooo!  I don't expect him to do this all the time but boy was it nice.

* You spent your first night away from Mom and Dad this past weekend.  Not only was it one night, but two!  You did great over at Nana and Papa's and slept in their Pack N Play.

* He loves food.  LOVES.  If you are eating something and he wants a bite, he will bounce up and down on his feet until you give him a bite.  He has actually started crying when you don't give him a bite fast enough.  It would be pretty hysterical if it wasn't so pathetic.  I promise we feed him.  As you can see in the picture of the month, he is trying to steal what Jack is eating.  We often hum the Jaws theme when Cal starts prowling around for food.

* Cal's favorite foods are anything fruit related (especially pears and peaches), Ritz crackers and peanut butter sandwiches.  We try to feed him what we are eating so I don't have to prepare multiple meals.  He loves feeding himself and we love to be able to eat without sticking a spoon in his mouth every second.

* Speaking of spoons, I gave you a spoon and a dish of Greek yogurt the other day so you could try and feed yourself.  Amazingly enough, you did pretty well.  I had you stripped down to just a diaper and a bib and a tablecloth under your highchair.  I am super duper behind on having you learn with utensils and sippy cups (second child syndrome) so this was good practice.

* He is solidly in 12 month clothing.  Since Jack was still in 9 month clothing at 10 months, a lot of Cal's stuff isn't really seasonally appropriate.  Example: He wears Christmas pajamas most nights since his 12 month sleepers were all used by Jack around the holidays.

* Your favorite toys are pretty much anything that Jack is playing with.  However, you do like "reading" which means pulling all the books off the shelf and flipping through them.  I try to read to you but your attention span is really short.  Maybe you will love books more as you get older.  You also love putting things in things and opening and closing doors and drawers.  You are happy to open and close the door on the play kitchen for minutes on end.

* You typically take a short morning nap and then a longer afternoon nap.  If we time it right, you usually go down right after lunch and sleep until 3:00.  You are certainly a better sleeper as you get older.

* As always, you are a super happy baby.  Even when teething and not feeling well you still put on a smile. You are never too tired or grumpy to laugh or hand out smiles.

* Bathtime might be your favorite time of the day.  Whether it's taking a bath by yourself or with big brother, you love it.  You splash around, crawl in the tub and don't even mind getting your head wet.  It's funny because you stand up against the side of the tub and get cold because you immediately sit back down.  You repeat this several times and think it's hysterically funny.  After bath you get either nakey time or diaper time where you play for a few minutes in the buff or in a diaper.  You love this.

I wasn't great about taking pictures this past month, but here is a cute one of you in action.  It was after bath and you were enjoying diaper time and trying to steal Jack's juice pop.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

All About Food

Here is a catch up of recipes I have made lately.  Enjoy the delicious looking food and ignore my terrible picture skills.

Overnight Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

So my picture doesn't look nearly as good as the cover picture but this was amaze-balls!  I loved that I was able to prepare it early in the morning and have it hang out in the fridge until it was time to bake.

The only thing I would do differently would be to get the cream cheese soft and spread it between the layers rather than cube it and drop it in.  I used a combination of day old French bread and older wheat bread.  I for sure thought Jack would gobble this right up since he is a huge fan of blueberries.  Alas, he wouldn't even try it.  I served this as a dinner item along with some breakfast sausage.  Brinner for the win!

Slow Cooker Pork and Green Chile Stew

Soooooooo sooooooooo good.  I will be making this again for sure.  I swear everything I have made off of the Skinny Taste website has been awesome.  This had the perfect amount of heat.  I cooked up some rice to serve alongside.

My grocery store didn't have a 1 pound pork loin so I bought two pounds and cut it in half.  Also, the only thing I did a little differently was thicken up our stew a bit.  It seemed too thin to me so I made up a little cornstarch slurry and added that to the pot and let some of the liquid cook off.  


Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins with a Spiced Glaze

I needed to make a dessert for our grandmother's 80th birthday and it needed to be easy.  Cue the easiest muffin recipe ever.  I have made this before and it is two ingredients:  A boxed cake mix and a can of pumpkin.  The end.

Aren't these cute?

Mix the cake mix of your choice (I used a spice cake mix) with a small can of pumpkin puree.  Bake per the directions on the box.  I made a glaze to jazz these up a bit.  Add some powdered sugar to a bowl, stir in milk to the desired consistency.  Then add whatever spices you want.  I used a teeny bit of ginger, some nutmeg and some cinnamon.

These were a huge hit.  I brought zero muffins home and I know for sure other people had leftovers of their desserts.

Spaghetti with Quick Turkey Chili

This was a recipe from the Food Network Magazine.  It was quick and it was easy.  Even better, it's healthy!  Even healthier if you use whole wheat pasta.

I made a couple of tweaks to this but it was simply out of substitutions.  I used ground chicken since I had that on hand.  My scallions had gone dead in the refrigerator so I used a regular yellow onion instead.  Oh, and I upped the hot sauce.  We like things spicy!

I may or may not have eaten two servings of this (there goes the whole healthy thing).

Butternut Squash Mac n' Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Apple

Sorry for such the long title.  But you just can't leave out an ingredient you know?  I will disclaim that I was the sole member of the household that liked this.  My husband hates squash and if he knows that squash is in something (even if you can't taste it), he assumes he will hate it.  Jack didn't eat it because even though it was macaroni and cheese, it looked different than he was used to.

Whatever, more leftovers for me.

I used my own butternut squash puree.  I bought a squash and roasted it and scooped out the flesh and it took a spin in the food processor.  What wasn't used in my recipe was given to Cal mixed in with some cereal.  He appreciated the handouts.

I am lazy and used store bought precooked bacon.  I also hate cooking bacon so there's that.  Yummy!

Fall Snack Mix

No recipe needed here.  Just mix up whatever fun fall candy you like with other fun crunchy stuff.  My mix contained pretzels, mini Teddy grahams, candy corn, and two kinds of M&Ms.  You could add nuts, dry cereal or anything your fancy strikes you.  

I don't find all my recipes off the internet.  This one was actually from a library book I checked out.  Rather than type out the recipe, I found a link. 

This was pretty good.  It definitely needed more spice - story of my life, tee hee. 

I LOVED the polenta though.  My goodness.  I have never made polenta like this before and it was easy and tasty.

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

Another Food Network Magazine recipe.  Yummy yummy!  Very easy and very tasty and relatively inexpensive.  My chicken got a wee bit brown in the oven but it was still very good.  I hardly ever cook chicken that still has the skin on and bone in but now I see why it's necessary.  Super juicy and super tasty.

I really liked that you also roasted the peppers.  It was a veggie side that you cooked along with the protein which made my life easier.  Add some rice and a green salad and the world is good.

I have a couple of new recipes to try in the coming days.  I have been trying new things but don't necessarily need a recipe such as stir-fry.  Can you believe that I never make stir-fry?  It seems intimidating to me.

That's it for this time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fir Point Farm 2012

Rain or shine!  We made the trek to Fir Point Farm a few weekends ago.  I brought Jack last year and he absolutely loved it.  This is definitely a tradition that our family will keep.

It was pouring rain as Lynn (my mother-in-law), Jack, Cal and I made the trip down to Hubbard, Oregon.  It's only a 25 minute drive so it wasn't terrible.  When we pulled up to Fir Point, the rain had slowed to a drizzle.  We came prepared and I bundled up the kiddos in coats, hats, gloves and boots for Jack.  I even wore my super cool tomato hat.

With Cal in the Ergo and Jack holding hands with Nana, off we went.  The rain had stopped by the time we sloshed through the paths to see the animals.

We saw goats, bunnies, chickens and pigs.  Jack had a blast feeding the goats and wanted to keep throwing food their way.  The sheeps' names were Shrek and Fiona.  Jack was very confused because he knows what the real Shrek looks like and it isn't like the dude below.

Cal enjoyed the view over my shoulder.  He just sat content and happy the entire visit.

Last year, Jack was afraid of Hazel's Nut House.  It's a little log cabin with the floor filled with hazelnuts.  They are a good 6 inches deep.  This year?  He loved it!  We all climbed in and tromped around and had a blast.

There weren't pony rides this year.  The farm is under new ownership so a few things had changed.  Last year Jack's favorite activity was sliding down the big slide over and over and over and over........This year?  Not so much.  He was afraid of how high it was even with help and he wouldn't slide down.

Instead we enjoyed a lovely hayride.  We enjoyed each other, the views of the pumpkin fields and samples of the fresh apple cider donuts.

This child couldn't stuff donuts in his mouth fast enough.

Among the highlights of the trip in Jack's opinion were the giant Noah's Ark and the bounce house!  A little running off of some energy is always good.

After a trip to the farm store for some donuts to take home, we drove back towards the city.  We stopped for lunch at McDonald's where Jack proceeded to get stuck in the Play Place.  He was scared to climb back down and just stayed there.  Since there were no other kids around to help, guess who had to climb their fat butt into the structure?  I kept praying it wouldn't collapse under my weight.

We had a great time at Fir Point Farm and will definitely be going back next year.  I just hope they bring back the pumpkin donuts next time!  


Better late than never!  Jack was so so SO excited for Halloween this year.  He kept asking about it, kept practicing saying Trick or Treat and would jump for joy when we told him he would be getting candy.

Jack dressed up as a fireman and was able to wear his costume to school that day as well.  Cal dressed up as a pumpkin.

We headed to my in-laws in the late afternoon.  The plan was to trick or treat in their neighborhood because they live in a nicer area and that way, we could have dinner together and they could see the kiddos dressed up.

Jack was so dang cute while we were out and about.  At one point he tried stepping into someone's house so he could have a better chance to snag some candy.  The video posted below is evidence of my little grabby-pants.

Cal wasn't sure what was going on.  We just carried him and he enjoyed watching people answer their doors.  Plus, he loves watching his big brother, a.k.a. His Idol.

Here are some pictures or our evening.  Jack ended up with quite the haul of candy for only going to 10 or so houses.  We are mean parents and have been rationing it so he doesn't end up in a sugar coma every day.

Obligatory costume shot.  Jack's reflector tape really worked!  Can you tell?

Walking up to a house.  Getting ready to yell "Kick o teet!"

Cute pumpkin!

Blurry shot but Jack was just so excited!

The video proof that my kiddo is trying to weasel his way into other people's homes for candy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Funny Little Dude

Jack is a funny kid.  Lately, he is getting to the stage where he will say anything on his mind and while this is okay at home, it's not so okay out in public.  And so begins the years of public embarrassment and apologies.

The other day at the store, a man was wearing a knit hat.  Jack pointed right at him and yelled "Snowman mama!".  I have no idea where he came up with that but it was pretty funny.  The man just looked at him and then looked at me and smiled.

There are so many examples of funny stuff he says.  He is super inquisitive and also will correct you if you answer a question incorrectly.  For example, I was changing his diaper the other day and he farted.  Loud.  I giggled and said "Nice fart Jack".  He looks at me very seriously and says "No Mama, that toot".  I guess toots and farts are different in his mind.

We were at the grocery store the other day and I picked up a butternut squash to put in my cart.  Jack was with me, saw the squash and says "Peanut".  Well, it DOES look like a rather large peanut no?

He also has an amazing memory.  I don't know what is typical or normal for a 2 1/2 year old but he remembers everything.  ::Mental note:: Don't ever tell him something that you want him to forget.  Because he won't.

We drove by a gas station and he says "Get gas Mama!".  I explained that I didn't need gas but used the opportunity to teach him something.  "Do you know why cars need gas Jack?".  "So they can go".  Okay, I did not teach him that.  He already knew.  Maybe Curious George taught him?  At any rate, somewhere along the line he learned it and remembered.

I wish I could document everything he says because when I am having a rotten day, I could read the post and feel better.

This kid cracks me up.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Randoms Post aka I Am Tired

Today will be a randoms post because I am tired and don't have a whole topic that is interesting enough to write about.

* Jack has an ear infection.  The only reason I knew to even take him in to the pediatrician is because he woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday asking for me to clean his ears.  "Tatos tatos".  Which meant potatoes because we always joke we are digging out potatoes when cleaning his ears.

* His left tube was in his ear canal so the pediatrician actually pulled it out.  That is the ear with the infection. The right tube is still in place and was free of infection.  I really hope he doesn't need new tubes.  We shall see what this winter holds for him and his poor ears.

* CAL HAS A TOOTH!  It finally popped through three days ago.  And because he has to be different, it's a top tooth.  Don't babies typically get their bottom teeth first?  He was absolutely miserable the night before it broke through.  He would not sleep.  I had to hold him from 3:00 to 6:00 while he pretty much screamed in pain.  Nothing helped him.  Baby Advil, teething tablets, being rocked, Orajel.  It all around sucked.

* I worked 62 hours last week.  Let me tell you how thrilled I am about that.  I worked every single day including Saturdays and Sundays.  Notice I put that in plural. Work has been stressful.  I won't blog about work for privacy issues but it's been rough.

* I attended my knitting class on the 20th and had to leave after 5 minutes because I got a page for work.  I am heading back this week and am very happy about that.  I scrapped my original project because it had too many mistakes and I am a perfectionist.  Instead, I am working on a mouse hat for Jack.  It is going to be so super cute!  I already have two more projects lined up too!

* We have had some fun new recipes lately.  I will do a post about that soon, I swear.  I also made a neat Fall themed snack mix yesterday as a special treat for the boy.

* Jason and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary on the 11th of November.  Guess what?  We are going away for the weekend.  The entire weekend.  By ourselves.  Eeeek!  More to come on that as well.

* It's raining here which is completely normal.  It will be an interesting Halloween tomorrow with two small children and ran.  We are heading to our in-laws' house to go Trick-or-Treating since our neighborhood is kind of scary at night.

Upcoming posts (I swear!):

* One Funny Kid
* More tasty recipes
* Our Anniversary
* Halloween

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

Jack had his first field trip of his life when he went to the pumpkin patch with his preschool class.  Families were welcomed to attend along with their student so Jason, Cal and I went along!

We had such a good time.  Jack was excited about picking out his very own pumpkin to take home.  Side note:  $3 covered the cost of any pumpkin the child wanted to take home plus a goodie bag from the farm.

The kids all got to listen to one of the farmers talk about how they grow pumpkins.  It was a short talk (these are 2.5 year olds after all!) but the kids looked really interested.

Here are some pictures of our morning.  Enjoy!

Jack insisted on wearing his new tiger hat.  And the rain boots were a necessity.  We live in Oregon after all.

In awe of all the pumpkins

I love this picture.  It was overcast but didn't rain on us!

Jack admiring a tiny pumpkin

A terrible picture of me but I am rarely in pictures with my kids.  Hello boobage!

"Mommy what is this?"  It was a plastic skull.

Cute baby alert!

Stomping through the mud

Picking out his pumpkin

Checking out the hay bales

King of the mountain!

A rare family picture

Cal loved checking out all the people

Little boy on a big hay pile

Listening to how pumpkins are grown