Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankful for friends and family!

Our month of November slipped away pretty quickly. Here's the highlights:
We've been making friends! This is Julia's buddy William, who we see with his mom Jody at a couple of our regular activities. It's been wonderful to see them bond over the past few weeks. They get really excited to see each other. 
Wearing the daddy shoes, while visiting daddy at work. Big shoes to fill. 
More time with buddies! Julia's little friend Klaus and his mom, Jenny.  
joined by her little buddy Louie and his mom Michelle. These two are my walking partners, and we seem to make it out in some combination most mornings. Now Julia gets quite put out when we go for walks alone. 
more playtime with Klaus
and playtime with her friend Aurora! Aurora has a baby brother, 4 month old Asher whom Julia adores. We went swimming with them, plus mom Amanda and had a great time. Two adults to three kids was a managable ratio in the pool. Julia loved going and I think we'll add it to the weekly routine. 
Thanksgiving week came and we drove up to Seattle to visit Dave's folks. Here's Grandma Gini and Julia looking at pictures. Julia can recognize family now, and called her cousin Sierra "my sister."
At Grandpa Dave's Julia was on the lookout for deer! 
We spent an afternoon at Great Grandma Olive's care center. She was fading, but knew who we were and was pleased that we had come. 
we got to see Dave's brother Bob and sister in law Shawna
Great Grandma Olive passed away a few nights after we left. Rest in Peace Olive. 
Gini had to spend a great deal of time sitting with Olive, but we managed to have a good visit despite her divided attentions. We cooked dinner at Grandpa Dave's on thursday and had Dave's aunt Rebecca and Uncle Bob over. Then on friday, we decided to do it all again at Gini's since she had a turkey hanging around. We didn't know if she'd be able to come home for dinner but cooked it anyway, and she was able to come, and uncle John was there, and Gini's friend Sy came and my sister Caroline and her boyfriend Matt came up, so we all had a good time and left Gini with a fridge full of leftovers.
Julia has been obsessed with birthday cakes for awhile and somehow decided that she was going to have one at Grandma Gini's. So she did! She did the mixing and did NOT want help. 

Grandma Gini frosted and Julia decorated!
She was soooo pleased! (and hasn't mentioned birthday cakes since, so perhaps she is satisfied.)
Julia watched Bambi at Grandma Gini's and became obsessed. I think she saw it about 12 times in 3 days.  One night she had a bad cough going on and woke up at 4 am coughing and coughing and couldn't go to sleep again. Gini was up too and she took Julia and sent me to her bed and they sat and watched Bambi 4 times in a row!  I was so grateful for the sleep! (I was extra tired since I had come back late from Seattle where I had a lovely toddler free evening with my friend Erin!)
It rained and rained and rained and rained
Julia and Daddy attempted to go hunt for a tree in the woods but Julia wasn't much of a trooper.  We'll have to find a tree elsewhere. 
It was lovely to visit and lovely to come home! We've been back in our routine, walking, going to activities, going to class, and endless housework. 

We had our first frost on Nov 26th,  and really liked the subtle change on our walk.  
and we've been noticing lots of mushrooms. 
Our latest sleep adventures are ongoing. Julia still comes up sometime in the night and crawls in bed to sleep with us. This is fine and I don't even notice she's there until about 5 am when she starts to get restless and kicks and pushes and demands pillows and wants to sleep on top of my arm and wants food and wants a toy and is in a million ways utterly obnoxious. I get pissed at the rude awakening and yell at her and she yells at me and it is a bad way to start the morning. So here's my plan. I went to the store and bought a crown. A plastic glittery jewel incrusted monstrosity of a disney princess crown. Today I put it on a high shelf in Julia's room and showed it to her, explaining that if she slept in her bed the entire night, she got to have it. Oh, did her eyes get big. All day we had conversations about the crown and how she could get it and oh my, does she want it bad! So tonight is the ultimate test. If she comes into our bed, it stays on the shelf. I REALLY hope it works since I feel kind of like a jerk, dangling it in front of her. If she succeeds and gets the crown, I think I'll move to M and M as a reward next, just to keep the incentive going for awhile. It's got to be something she wants since she can get out of bed freely if she so desires.

Monday, November 5, 2012

firefighter fairy bumblebee princess

We are well into fall around here. Things are going well. It looks like we might be able to get the house sale finished sooner than we thought, but I'm trying not to get too excited about it until it is official, because you never know what other little dramas might rear before it is all said and done. I've been thinking a lot about what we might need to get us through power outages which apparently are not infrequent in the winters and other natural disasters. We are looking at installing a wood stove for backup heat and I've been saving gallon milk jugs and filling them with drinking water and stashing them in the basement. We are never at a lack of food around here, so I'm not too worried about stashing away canned goods and whatnot, but I do think we need to buy window fire ladders for our bedroom and Julia's bedroom and some batteries for our flashlight, just to have on hand. I've got lots of candles, but it is something to think about how many we would want to have on hand if we were without power for several days. It is hard to wrap my mind around all that could happen between earthquakes and floods and fires and power outages, but I'm not the type to obsess too much about what I can't control and figure a little prepared is better than nothing! Here's the photos from the past few weeks.

I found a network of gleaners and went to pick pears one day. 
the trees were filled! 
and there was a lovely view. 
in addition to picking for ourselves, we gathered pears for a local food bank. 
I sewed julia new pajamas! they are a little hard to see, but patterned like a sleep sack with feet attached. This was my first time sewing in a zipper and it went surprisingly well. 
I'm still walking, 5 mornings a week. sometime alone, sometimes with others. The fall colors are out and lovely but  the leaves are falling fast. 
Julia is at turns content to sit in the stroller and begging to be set free. I carry snacks and books and toys to keep her in. 
Julia is making some little friends!
We take advantage of the sun whenever it takes over the rain and go to parks. 
rainy mornings we try to go to indoor activities. 
it's helped me meet lots of other moms which is great!
we keep on finding new parks to go to. I've learned to always carry a towel in the car to dry off the slides. 
Julia had fun picking out a Halloween costume from her dress-up box. firefighter fairy? 
bumble bee?
We picked out a few pumpkins, and I made sure to get a sugar pie pumpkin and a cinderella pumpkin so I could save seeds to plant next spring. Hopefully we'll grow our own next year. 
Julia got to paint a pumpkin and took the job very seriously.
hat and sweater weather, mostly. 
the first kale from our winter garden is ready for eating. I cook it Holden style, with olive oil, fish sauce, garlic and lemon and also my own style with bacon fat, garlic and salt.  
My appetite for tea has returned with the cold weather. these days I mostly want chamomile or black vanilla-flavored tea with milk and sugar. 
We still go down to the water, but not in it these days. 
Julia tried finger painting, but was too dismayed at having dirty hands to really get into it. 
we had dinner with some new friends and Julia LOVED playing with all his toys.  
I ran out of fizzy bath tinting tablets, but found a even better substitute: 
One dried-out marker, soaked in a cup of water overnight had just enough color left to tint the bath water but not to tint the tub or kid. Julia has a large collection of dried-out markers, so I think she'll get colored water for a good while. She loves seeing what color I bring out for the day's bath. 
we carved pumpkins with Daddy. Julia was very pleased with the process and result. 
a little rain dance celebrating the pumpkins. 
Halloween morning we went to school to see the costume parade, and we got to watch a gym full of kids dance to "thriller" at 7:30 am. Pretty hilarious! 
Julia went outside often that day to check on her pumpkins. 
we went to the park and to storytime in costume. 

and finally she got to get ready to go trick or treating. Her ultimate costume choice? the fairy wings and tutu.  I was a little sad that firefighter princess costume didn't win, but oh well. I'm rather surprised that she didn't tell me she wanted to be a princess since she's taken to calling everything that is a dress, purple or pink, sparkly or embroidered "princess" attire and preferring it above other choices. This is especially amazing considering she has seen ONE picture of a princess in her young life and that was on a sticker from the doctor. That was all it took to teach her that princesses wear crowns and dresses! I'm trying to keep her innocent of the flood of disney marketing awhile yet, but I'm sure I won't be able to hold it off much longer. 
After 10 or so houses, her basket was full and she climbed up on a chair mid trick or treat to enjoy some of the spoils. She was pretty confident knocking on the doors and yelling Trick or Treat before the door opened, then hiding behind my leg once it did. She'd peep around and see the candy, then slowly come out to put some in her basket. We also collected change for UNICEF in a little pumpkin box and later turned it in to the library to join with the other kid's donations. 

and just a day ago, Grandpoppa Jack and Olaf came up to stay with us overnight, and we drove to southeastern Washington to watch Uncle Joe run at the state Cross Country meet.  
He was the only runner representing Chelan Schools!
It was a fun race to watch! Joe didn't feel so hot going into it and didn't have his best race ever, but he ran a decent race and was pretty excited that he got to run at the state meet. 
He seemed all grown up and college-ish already!
not that either he or Olaf would smile long... He went back to Holden by train, and the next day we sent Dad and Olaf back as well. 
Julia was bummed to see them go, and on top of that, she had a fever! She spent the whole day laying in bed watching cartoons and napping. 
we went for a little walk and she even swung a bit, but then she needed to be carried home. Thankfully she was all better the next morning.