Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It's been a busy week of prepping for Halloween. First, there were the annual Halloween cookies to bake!



This year I went with pumpkins, owls, cats, hats, tombstones, ghosts and candy corns. I didn't know how I was going to bake and frost the 100+ cookies with a now-walking baby, but Grace, for all of her months of not sleeping, decided to cooperate this week (possibly due to the seasonal flu booster and H1N1 shots she got earlier this week) and took two solid naps each day. Amazing! Almost the best thing about this busy Halloween week! (Perhaps we've finally got this sleep thing under control!?!)

Then, there were the "glorious" pumpkins (remember the ones not from the pumpkin patch) to carve. Our Safeway "beauties" were transformed into a cat and a devil.




Next, there was Grace's 'Mommy & Me Halloween Extravaganza' where even the dads were included! I was in charge of snacks and, admittedly, went a little over board supplying the treats. I dragged a box the size of a small coffin brimming with goodies - meats, cheeses, crackers, juice, Halloween napkins and plates...and of course, COOKIES!!! Best part, seeing the kids in their very first Halloween costumes!



Grace and her buddies - checking each other out.



Penguin.



Bumble Bee






Doggy & Penguin



And finally, most importantly, there was the Halloween card to tend to.  For something so simple, it sure took a lot of leg work...








But finally, the moment was captured.


Hope you have a safe and memorable Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Look Who's Walking!

It's official folks! Grace took her first steps yesterday!

video

I can't believe she is walking.
Hmmm....Christmas is going to be interesting.
If we make it through without a broken ornament or a tree toppling over, I will call it a success.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mashed Potatoes

We went out to dinner last night and ordered Grace her own bowl of mashed potatoes.

video

All I could think about while she stuck her hand in the bowl and smeared the taters everywhere was what she was going to do on her first birthday when we presented her with her own sweet and delicious birthday cake! I can't wait!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Aquarium

Last week, we were able to sneak away to Seattle where we took Grace to the aquarium for the first time.
I haven't been to the Seattle aquarium since college for a sorority dance. I'm not going to go into too much detail about that night, but I will say the Seattle Aquarium no longer permits Greek events on their premises.
I didn't think this trip to the aquarium would be all that fun because Grace would be too young to understand what was going on.
I was wrong! While she may not have understood,
she definitely loved it!!
As for me, this visit to the aquarium, with daughter and husband in tow, was exponentially better than the last! Can't wait to go back!







Looking through the glass at the tide pool.



It was so fun touching all the critters.
I could've stayed here ALL day!



Looking at the jellyfish.



Hard to tell in the picture, but she is looking at/touching an octopus...through the glass of course.





Feeling a (fake) octopus tentacle.



Um...need I say more as to why I don't swim in the ocean?







So many pretty colors!





Losing-it at the Otter Exhibit.



These guys were so cute and playful.
I REALLY could've stayed here all day.



Grace, me, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
Did I mention I can't wait to go back?!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Lindey Lu!

Lindey turned six today.





She was pretty excited about it.



The good news?
She did not require one trip to the emergency vet in the past year! 
I did think she had a stroke a few weeks ago after I found her scuttling around on the floor not able to use one of her paws. However, after jiggling the treat jar, she came a-running...using all of her limbs.
Problem solved.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chasing a Boy...I mean...a Toy...ERRRR

I still remember the first boy I liked.

Frank Corzine.

He was the tallest boy in my preschool class and I could see his head over the coat rack.

Love at first sight!

So I am fully prepared for the boy-girl interactions to occur early...long before they probably even know what is going on. But I wasn't prepared for the game girls-chase-boys (oh you know you played it at recess in elementary school!) at ten months old!

video

Originally, Grace had been quietly playing with this toy by herself. The little boy came up and started playing with the toy with Grace but it quickly digressed. He announced "MINE!" and then ran away with the toy. Without hesitation, Grace followed. This exchange occurred about six or seven times. I was able to capture this little snippet on video.

I was surprised by Grace's reaction. She didn't get angry. She didn't cry.
She just never gave up!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Bust

I've been looking forward to starting a family pumpkin patch tradition. I still remember the pumpkin patch I went to as a kid so I was looking forward to providing that kind of memory for Grace. As with any good family tradition, it of course, starts with a cute outfit.


These pictures were taken before leaving for the pumpkin patch.
Everyone was still all smiles at this point.

Even though we live IN THE MIDDLE of farm country, I thought it best to drive an hour to pick out a pumpkin. That long drive would be just the right amount of time to create a spell-binding build-up that would make this the most memorable pumpkin-picking-extravaganza of all time. We get loaded up in the car and set out on our merry adventure. Or so we thought...

Grace cried and fussed the entire way to the pumpkin patch. Not having napped before we left, I was absolutely positive she'd fall asleep in the car on the way there. Strike one.

Upon arriving to the pumpkin patch, we were greeted by an unattractive smell, not to mention a handful of unattractive pumpkins. Strike Two.


Next to spending a fraction of a minute in a shopping mall, I think this pumpkin patch was the next closest thing to Hell that Court has experienced.


He was a "real happy" camper. Strike three.

If that look doesn't say "It's time to go...now!" then I don't know what does!

Oh but wait! There is more!
We still have an hour long drive home...with a 10 month old who has still yet to nap. She must fall asleep on this leg of the trip you say?

Nope.
Not for a second.
Not for a nano second.
She just cried and fussed the ENTIRE way. It was like she knew the pumpkin patch was going to be a bust and she was warning us on the way there. On the way home, she was just rubbing our noses in it.

But wait!
No...there can't be more you say? This is already the worst pumpkin patch adventure of all time.

Court and I think we know of a pumpkin patch in, of all places, our home town.
Nooo...you don't say.
There is a pumpkin patch within less that a five minute drive of your house?!

The key word folks..."think." We "THINK" there is a pumpkin patch in town.
So we pull off the highway...Grace is still crying...and start tearing...I mean...driving through the country roads trying to find a pumpkin patch that may or may not exist...trying to salvage this excruciating experience and make a GOD*#$# family tradition!

After fifteen minutes, we give up. We tuck tail and head for home.

Now mind you, I've had a vision of making this the best pumpkin patch experience ever so I am near tears. Grace IS in tears and Court can't believe he just spent his only afternoon of not working to live the story we now live to tell.

As I am wallowing in my failure at being the world's-worst-pumpkin-patch-picker-outer,
Court takes off in the car. I know not where he goes...

...the next thing I know, he has returned...
BEARING PUMPKINS!

He knew pumpkins was what I wanted (really the photo op is what I wanted) and by God,
he was going to deliver!

He went to Safeway, got the fixins for pumpkin pie, a flu shot and you guessed it...
PUMPKINS! (When he goes, he goes big!)

Our sad pumpkins....all the way from Colorado. Go figure!

At least I got some photo ops...

Look no hands!



Not the memory I was looking to create for Grace's first Halloween but now, after looking at how the day unfolded, just going to a plain old pumpkin patch and picking out a perfectly shaped pumpkin would have been sooo cliche.
I mean, anyone can go to a fantastic pumpkin patch and pick out perfectly wonderful pumpkins. How many people can pick out and travel over an hour to the worst pumpkin patch in probably the entire world?! This definitely will be a memory we will never forget!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ten Months and Counting

Grace is ten months old today and while we did not wake up "camera-ready" this morning, Grace DID wake up ready to (almost) walk! She is oh-so-close! She now walks pretty well just holding onto just one of our hands and I even caught her (although not on camera) standing this morning using both of her hands to drink out of her sippy cup. She was using nothing to balance herself! She even managed to tilt her head way back and lift her cup way up high to get that last satisfying gulp! WISH I had gotten it on camera. It was priceless! "Fortunately," I was able to get you a sneak peak of what I look like first thing in the morning. It is just a quick peak so stay alert.


video

Seems I had one too many glasses of wine last night as I managed to put together stripes and polka-dots as my pajama ensemble. "REALLY" glad we got that on film!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mommy & Me

Two weeks ago, Grace and I started attending a "Mommy & Me" class. I was a bit hesitant to join because I figured all the other mothers would be unbearable...I mean crazy...I mean opinionated...but to my very pleasant surprise, I find all the mothers to be warm, fun, and down-to-earth. (One of the mothers, in her life Before-Child, worked at a zoo!! With the
BIG cats...AND the goats!! Can someone say new BFF?!?!?) I have learned a lot from the other mothers as well as our teacher. It has been a true delight!

Best part, without a doubt, is watching Grace interact with the other children. She gets along really well with all the little boys in her class as she is the only girl!

video

If anyone knows of any other classes for babies in the area, let me know.
I think Grace is more than ready to expand her social network beyond her parents!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You Can Sleep Peacefully...Until Wednesday

I am sure everyone was losing sleep last night knowing that I had to drive to Boise yesterday with Grace and all the dogs. Not to worry. We made it. 

Just in case you were wondering, it did snow...A LOT! 


Leaving 'The Valley' on a picture-perfect autumn afternoon.
I laugh in the face of any possible snow storms. HA HA I say!


Is that I storm I see "a-brewin'?"


Why yes...yes it is a nasty snow storm.
OF COURSE IT IS!


I figured no one would believe me that it was snowing HARD in the mountains, so my plan was to take pictures along the way. However, removing my rigamortis-like grasp from the wheel proved to be rather difficult. Grace only cried when it was snowing (of course she did) just to add to my stress that much more. When I pulled off in La Grande to tend to her woes, the snowing had subsided and turned to rain. It even warmed up a bit to 35 degrees. It had been down to 32 degrees going over Deadman's Pass. (Really? Do we have to name passes where you feel like you could hit black ice, swerve off the road and then be T-Boned by a 16- wheeler and die at any moment Deadman's Pass? It REALLY seems unnecessary. Although, on the flip side, as I drove through Pleasant Valley in almost white-out conditions, that name didn't help too much either.)

The good news is we made it. Bad news? We have to drive back on Wednesday. UGH. Any "postpone the bad weather until Thursday" rituals would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boise Bound

Remember how I've said the universe is out to get me whenever I drive to Idaho? (Well, if you don't you can read about a few of my drives here and here.) Even though it is still in the 70's, I decided to check the weather report just in case....





Forecast for Northern Blue Mountains of Oregon
Hide
Updated: 3:50 am PDT on October 2, 2009
cloudy
Today
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs 46 to 54. Light wind. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.
nt_snow
Tonight
Rain showers likely in the evening...then rain or snow showers likely overnight. Snow accumulation up to 1 inch. Lows 29 to 39. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph in the evening becoming light. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.
snow
Saturday
Showers and snow showers likely in the morning...then showers likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation up to 1 inch. Snow level 4500 feet. Highs 38 to 46. Light wind. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.
nt_snow
Saturday Night
Rain or snow showers likely. Colder. Snow level 4000 feet. Lows 19 to 29. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.
snow
Sunday
Rain showers and snow showers. Snow level 4000 feet. Highs 40 to 46. North wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent.
nt_snow
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy. A chance of rain or snow showers. Lows 16 to 26.



That's right! It is supposed to S-N-O-W!! On Saturday AND Sunday! So if you don't hear from me by Monday send out the search crews. Have a great weekend...and wish me luck!