Saturday, October 24, 2009

Martins Hillside Orchard

Today, Saturday, we went to the Hillside orchard once again and for the last time this season. We LOVE it there! When you arrive, there's this GREAT arrangement of pumpkins and cool gourds for a photo op.
This Martins own and run this wonderful, family-friendly, kids-centric, photo-op-abundant farm! They have made it a beautiful place to come and visit- totally free to get in, park and play! They only charge for the produce you carry out! So, they have :
The classic Corn teepee. This is in the Kids area.
Pumpkins EVERYWHERE! James is such a ham.
This is Rocky. He's the family dog and is GREAT with kids! We were the ONLY people there today so James played with Rocky (amazingly not getting even the littlest bit scared of him). Actually, when we pulled into the "parking lot" Rocky followed us in and waited for me to get out of the door so he cold be the first to greet me!:) Gave me warm-fuzzies.
This is why we went today- we needed pumpkins! James gravitated towards the little ones (thank you, lord!)- Drue gravitated towards the cookable ones (yum yum!) and I got a PERFECT carving one:)
My pumpkin boy. Indian name: Dances with Pumpkins.
This is the entrance to just one of the three apple orchards. So cool.
Boy on hay bale with pumpkins. Showing off HIS choice.

Isn't this just so homey and quaint? I love it.
This butterfly garden is now barren. BUT in the summer and early fall it is teeming with the Monarchs during their migration to Santa Cruz!
The entrance to the corn maze. It's short, but always fun!
See how GIANT those pumpkins are next to my 3 year old?
This is Mrs Martin. She was so sweet.
We LOVE going to the Hillside Orchard- and we'll be going again at the beginning of next season to pick strawberries!

The Boys

Are you ready for this?
We intentionally took these pictures in the same footie- thank HEAVENS it survived James:)
Oliver has just started sitting up for long enough to take a picture, so we figured he might like to sit in a high chair at dinner.... Whoa- I'm sliding! phew! Dad to the rescue!
An added bonus: James giving everyone "the finger"- which is really his way of pointing to his busted-chin-fixed-with-a-blue-band aid while holding TWO trains in the same hand. Crazy kid!
I love my boys. They are too much fun!

Apples Apples

We went to Martin's Hillside Orchard a month ago and had a WONDERFUL time apple picking! Here's what we did with the apples:

C'mon. Who doesn't love caramel apples?! And they were SO easy! Here's my recipe:
Popsickle sticks (small craft sticks)
about 50 small caramels (the brachs works really well. Kraft is okay. we found some local candy- heaven!)
CHILL apples- I like the freezer while you're getting the caramel ready to zap.
Microwave the caramel and 2 tbs. milk for about 2 minutes.
Stir until the caramel is melted with the milk.
Poke the stem of the apple with a craft stick (they slide in REALLY easy)
coat the COLD apple with caramel.
place on a wax paper/ parchment paper/ cooking spray coated plate.
cool (again)
Eat as many as you can handle!:)

This is the other thing I did:

Ashley's (almost) award-winning Zesty Apple Crumble Pie.
I entered it into a local pie contest. We didn't win. But we ALMOST DID!
I may be bribe-able for my recipe.:) But it's obviously not perfect yet.
I could just tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Dentist

This is not how our visit to the dentist went.
You see in this picture a happy, smiling, showing all of her teeth little girl with a happy, smiling, father figure dentist.
How idyllic.
How impossible.

Why is it that my 3 year old needed to go to the dentist in the first place, you ask?
Well, since he's in a special preschool here, and they require a dental visit, we had to oblige.
Maybe "oblige" is to nice a word.
Yes, it is. But I don't know what word is more appropriate.

Here's how things went.
We were running behind this morning, so I was rushing everyone about trying to make sure we made it on time. Miraculously, we did. We arrived with 5 mintues to spare, but I forgot- Paperwork. James' appointment was at 9am. I don't think we saw anyone until 9:30.
Oh well.
James was all interested in the chair, the tools hanging from the dish etc. He was directed to sit in the "comfy chair" and choose a toothbrush. This all went very well.
The "comfy" chair started to move. James was NOT happy he had to lay down in that chair. Then have a bright light flashed in his eyes. Then have someone try to brush his teeth for him.
I had to warn the hygenist about James not being able to use toothpaste yet. James bit her as she was trying to floss. Twice. By this time, Oliver has awoken to James' crying and has also started to cry. Wonderful.
So, the hygenist says she's not going to do the "tickle toothbrush", nor will they try to do any imaging. Read: the dreaded dental x-ray. Good, I say. He probably would not tolerate that.

This is where I interject a bit about parental control. There's only so much I can do to help my 3 year-old (ASD) child understand that the dentist is just trying to help, and to get cooperation from him. He's EXTREMELY sensitive to any stimulus on his face- ears, nose, mouth, hair etc...

The dentist comes in and tries to "count your teeth"- top or bottom? she asks James. Top, he says back. So, she tries. And tries. And again. By now, the hygenist has pinned James' arms down in an effort to keep him still.

But wait! There's MORE!

Since a flouride treatment in the conventional sense is absolutely out of the question, the dentist decides to paint on a VERY VERY VERY sticky flouride concoction with a special paint brush. This is where the fun beings. James clamps his mouth shut, lips shut and starts flailing this legs and crying for me. The dentist is trying to peel his lips apart to paint this gunk on, the hygenist is holding his arms down and his head back. My heart was so sad to have to help pin him down (I got the legs) so the dentist could paint this "bubble gum" flavored stuff on his teeth. He hates bubble gum flavor. After he's done with this hullabaloo, crying, he tells me he's "ticky ticky" which is "sticky" for the rest of us. He has this stuff not only on his teeth, but also on his lips, tounge, chin, fingers and now his shirt. I'm surprised it didn't get in his hair!

Oliver is still crying, by the way.

My poor little boys.

On the way out, the dentist says "oh, we'll need to see you in about 6 months. okay?"

Oh boy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Since I do not have a separate blog to record my success and distress while I'm pursuing my dreams of once again fitting into my good jeans, I will report on this one. So, if you've NO interest in hearing what I did this week and do not really care what I'm doing next week, you can leave off and I won't be offended.:)

Last week I said I'd work out. So I did.
Monday, I swam for 30 minutes. Wow. I forgot how good it feels to be in the water, how powerful my body can be, and how exhausting it is to do flip-turns. honestly. I thought I had pretty good lung support. Well, not anymore! I was taking breaths every 2 strokes. Boo. New goal: get through a 30 minute workout breathing steadily- every 4 strokes.

Tuesday, I had the best yoga class of my life. The lady who teaches it is named Reesa James and she's in my ward. We work together a LOT- I'm her choir pianist and we're combining our piano studios for the Christmas concert and the year-end concert. After the class, I was sore from my eyelashes to my pinky toes. And I'm really NOT kidding. My FEET were sore. Not in a "I wore high heels for 8 hours and my feet are KILLING me" way. oh no. In a "I was in a triangle pose for 45 minutes and my feet are going to fall off" kind of way. But it felt really good to identify all those muscles and muscle groups that get lost in poor posture, child rearing, pregnancy and housework. New goal: Do this twice a week. Not just once:)

Wednesday was my Eliptical/Treadmill day! This was the more relaxing workout. Not that I wasn't sweating. The eliptical heart-rate monitor said I was getting an appropriate cariovascular rate, so no worries there! But the mind was less tense. You know what I mean. Sometimes it's nice to forget about your body working hard and just WORK. The treadmill is always fun to get off of. I feel like I'm such a smooth walker for a few minutes! I'll never need to know what it feels like to be stumble-drunk! Just do a half-hour power hike on a treadmill and POOF! Feels like you're walking on very slick air. New goal: increase climb on treadmill and do an actual "program" on the eliptical.

Thursday was my day off. Not that I really wanted one- but my YMCA only has 6 slots for infants and when those are taken, they cannot accept babies. Ergo, I cannot drop mine off for an hour. However, I was still productive! I cleaned my house and went to find a winter coat because the weekend was supposed to be (and ultimately was) VERY cold, snow, wind, rain.

Friday: Eliptical and treadmill again. Not bad. Took headphones this time and actually got to watch CNN while working out. So nice.

I'm really looking forward to continuing this program of exercise. I'm happier, more productive, more energetic (if that is possible) and a better person all around.

favorite quote about exercise:
"Exercise produces endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill their husbands. They just don't."

10 points to whoever can name the film.:)

Monday, October 5, 2009

a movie

In which Oliver demonstrates:
a roll-over
a high-center
a smile
a bit of heavy breathing
"sid walking"

"Sid walking" is at the end of the flick. But what is it?
If you ever saw the movie 'Ice Age' there's a character named Sid (the Sloth). When he tries to get comfortable on night on a bed of rock, his head is an anchor point while his feet "walk" around the rock trying to find a comfy position.

It is a bit long- but I think the grandparent quotient is pretty high:)

my boys

Its been a while since I posted pictures of Oliver. I just thought I'd also add a comparison picture:)
Ollie is a chub. We LOVE squeezing his chubby legs, arms, cheeks, and tummy. And he's such a good sport about it!
This is his "pouty lip"- complete with bubbles:)
This is a picture of James as roughly the same age! Even I was surprised when I compared the two pictures!
This is the Ollie-Bear-Chair. He loves it in here.
Look at this Chubalub!!!

Of course, we think he's adorable naked! But he's stinkin' cute with clothing on as well.
Movie of Ollie rolling over coming! I just have to cut out the waiting parts.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

control issues

I am having a control issue. With my weight.
YES, I gave birth about 4 months ago.
YES, I was not able to move around during the last 2 months of my second pregnancy without intense pain.
YES, I am nursing.

But, I have let these things become excuses as to why I am the size I am now. I don't want to be an excuse-machine. I'll always have reasons to not get out and MOVE. Thats WAY easier- giving myself reason upon reason: I have to clean (blank), I have to fold (blank), I have to do this that or the other thing, I need my sleep... blah, blah, blah.

So, I'm doing something about it.

I've purchased a membership to the local YMCA for my family. It was not terribly expensive, but it is enough to make me USE it in relation to the percentage of the family budget it represents.

Tomorrow is monday morning. I'm going to Yoga at 9 am if I can get Oliver into the Baby Center.
If not, I'll go swimming at 1pm.

If the rule is: More calories OUT than in. A nursing mom needs to be consuming about 2,300 calories a day so I reckon I can do yoga for an hour or swim for an hour- burning about 400-500 calories.
Expending 400 extra calories a day (for 5 days) will equal about 1 lb. per week. And there are 12 weeks left in the year.

So, I want to loose 12-15 lbs by the end of the year. I'll fit into my pre-preggo pants then.

If anyone wants to join me, I'll be reporting my success every week.
And if I don't, then get on facebook and heckle me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I haven't....

plucked my eyebrows

painted my toenails

dressed up cute

caught up on the laundry

been to a movie

been on a date!

lost any weight


baked bread

made dinner by noon

taken care of a sick little boy

put together a christmas program

organized my piano music

paid the bills

Just keeping things in perspective.

Us right now.

Right now:
Drue is at school/work/ He's doing very well in his classes and is keeping up with all the work assigned to him. He likes the professors here and they like him. He even rides the bus with a few of them.:)

I am busy busy busy with James, Oliver, Drue, piano lessons, church obligations, quilting and the house. I've almost got James' quilt done and am starting on a couple others.

James is a big boy- going to school, playing with the next-door kids and being a GREAT big brother! He loves to be outside and running. His teachers have all commented to me about how fast he is! They say "he just TOOK OFF and we couldn't catch him!" I know, I know.

Oliver is DARLING. He's such a HAPPY HAPPY baby- and just loves to smile at everyone. Its amazing to me how different he is from James. He had his first taste of real food- applesauce- and LOVED it. He wants to be grown up SO badly and is almost sitting up. Oh, and he's teething- two at once! Which is amazing to me because James didn't get a tooth until he was 8 months! Again, so different but so dear to me!

Sorry about the no pics- I think James broke my camera. We'll see....

Moving on....

James has moved on! Well, sort of. He still LOVES Lightning McQueen and all the Cars (like "Guidoweegie" which is Guido and Luigi to you non-James speakers). But hes also become VERY interested in this:
We are excited that he's found something ELSE to love- and its a DARN good thing that we've got an amazing train set. Too bad its not Thomas- its Brio. Oh well, can't have everything you want!