Monday, September 15, 2014

summer ending

We've had tons of things going on this summer. I'm falling behind on blogging, but here's a mega post to catch up! 
It was killin turkey time! Julia didn't want to watch the actual death, but she was totally fascinated by the process of butchering. She will inform anyone expressing the least interest in how it's done: "First you hang it upside down, then you get a knife and cut it and whens theres a hole the blood comes out. Bath it in hot water, i cant member why, pull the feathers out, then pull out the insides cause you can't eat them! BLEH!! "
It was a huge learning process for us all. We did one initially, as a practice, then we did the other 3 a few weeks later when a bunch of family was here. They finished about 20 lbs.  It was a big learning curve, but we did it, and maybe come spring we'll want to do it again. 
Uncle Joe Joe, doing story time
birthday parties
with mega balloons
one fat, happy baby!
EMT training. not a bad setting...
for a navy helicopter rescue 
Theo loves his bouncy seat
and outgrew his mini crib. now we've got a full size one, and are on new adventures in sleep. Julia slept with me until she was 2 1/2, but Theo is super restless now when he's sleeping next to me, and neither of us sleeps well. We experimented with having him sleep in the crib, and while he was fine with it, he woke often to nurse, leading me to spend half the night dozing in the chair nursing him. Just a few nights ago I decided to try stopping the night nursing in the hopes that he'd stop getting up 5 times a night. for a couple of nights I was running back and forth, supplying his pacifier just as often, but he didn't cry about not nursing, just needed a snuggle to get back to sleep. Well the other night, he slept from 9 30 pm till 4:10 am straight!!! Happy birthday to momma! (I'm 31!) Hopefully this wasn't a fluke and we are onto something good! 
Summer has been busy in the garden. Dave's cucumbers were (are) prolific, and we've done tons of pickles. 
Theo and his Godfather, Henning.
alas, he's also outgrown his little bed in the kitchen. It was pretty great to have him nap there while I got a few things done. Now there's a blanket on the floor there and a pile of toys and he plays while I get a few things done. 
helping momma make pie!
cuddles with Julia. She's still thrilled to bits with Theo.  
She's also thrilled with her bike. We live on a road that's too busy for her to go alone on, but not so busy that she can't go on it with me beside her.  
Theo and Grandma Gini
Theo, making friends at the farmer's market
We tried deep frying a turkey the day we butchered the other 3. Lots of family was here as it was also Theo's Baptism. 
Momma Dawn and Theo
some beach snippits. You sure wear out swimsuits when you live by the ocean. We started the summer with 4, and they are all worn out!

our mini family reunion finally had to end, Julia had to say goodbye to her "Ofo" Olaf. 
and to Grandmomma Dawn and Grandpoppa Jack 
but no time to mourn as Canada awaited! Camping near Harrison Hot Springs

Theo was a champ when it came to camping, charming the socks off the family we were with. I must say though, that setting up a tent by myself, with nothing but a hand held flashlight,  at 1 am, with rain threatening to pour while the kids waited in the car (out of sight) almost undid me.  

theo does not like lifejackets.  
but he had to wear one so I could take Julia out in a bumper boat. She picked the pink one. 

camping was wonderful and fun, but as always, it's pretty great to sleep in a bed again when you get home.  
Julia's in a fashion mode where the outfit gets changed between 6 and 30 times a day. 
We loved having uncle Joe Joe around. an extra arm is soooo handy. 
one night we tried a little oatmeal, but it didn't go over too well. We haven't tried again, mostly as life is too busy! 
Julia adores her friend Gavin, and especially adores dancing to his incredible piano playing. 
I left Julia and Dave at one wedding and took off by air with Theo to Montana for another. My college girlfriends were all gathering and i would not stand for being left behind!
there were two new babies besides theo and two more on the way, so lots of conversation revolved around babies! We all got to stay at a lovely B&B in Helena and it was wonderful to have the time to renew our friendships. 
The baby backpack got good use, and Theo was a champ the whole time. 
Kelly was our beautiful bride, and the reason for the occasion. Her wedding was lovely! Low key, intimate,  rustic with beautiful touches and great food!
Theo was a great traveler, but I was completely exhausted upon my return
but no rest for the weary! 100 chickens had to get butchered. 20 of them went into our freezer, and while i didn't terribly mind gutting and dressing the plucked birds, i haven't really regained my appetite for chicken yet. When I do, though, I'm super pleased to have meat we raised in the freezer. My friend Terry had the birds in tractors in her field and she choreographed the renting of the equipment (and all the rest, really) so I am so grateful for her hand-holding!
Theo charms wherever he goes 
I got a job! I'm the dessert baker for The Bay Cafe,  a restaurant just a few minutes from my house. I make cheesecakes, flourless chocolate cakes, tarts, sorbets, ice cream, and whatever else suits the season and my fancy. I go in at night to work, from about 9pm to 1 am about 2 nights a week and then I pop in occasionally other days to see what's still around. I love the baking, but the hard part is getting enough sleep! This is why I'm so into the idea of getting Theo to sleep at night. If I'm up till 1 working, then up again at 3, 4, 5 and 6 am, and maybe once for Julia too, nobody's too happy in the morning. Of course, Dave is back at school and busy as can be getting the year off to a good start, so he needs sleep too and I hate to feel like I'm leaving him with an unhappy baby. The last few nights have been headed in the right direction for sleep, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will all work out. 

cause this little pile of sunshine wakes me up by 7, if Theo hasn't already done that. 
she's still a delightful big sister. no resentment whatsoever toward the baby, and very concerned that we take good care of him. 

as she grows, I have funny dejavu moments. she was playing cheerleader and running under the bleachers at a football game a few days ago, and many of my early childhood memories are of doing similar things, as my dad was a coach when I was very young.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

i was going to call this The Present, but time has dictated that its now the past, again...

Two weeks ago I embarked on a journey south, to Klamath Falls by train to visit my family with Theo and Julia. Grace and my Aunt Jean joined me on the train, and a good thing they did as I learned that traveling with two kids is 3 times as hard as traveling with one. Even when everything went according to plan. Despite the stress of travel, we had a lovely time, as evidenced below. It was so great to see Aunt Jean. I don't get out to Minnesota much these days, and so it was really wonderful to have her come visit us.
all together on the train!
Theo started saving up his poops, to be dispensed at inconvenient times, such as while on a train. Wish you were here, Daddy! (he had to stay behind to interview and hire the new elem principal)
Theo meeting Grandpoppa Jack for the first time.
and Grandmomma Dawn, for the second time. 
and meeting Great Granny for the first time too. We had a lovely dessert of lemon cake, ice cream and raspberries from her garden. No photos to show for it, but we also had a great dinner with my Aunt Christine and Uncle Mark. Everyone else went for a sail on his boat while the kiddos and I swam in the pool. 
My Granny is an amazing and prolific quilter, and while visiting her we got a show of recent works. Here's most of them, as I missed photographing the first couple ones.  

she's pretty incredible. oh, and she does all her quilting by hand. 
Julia was thrilled to bits to be with "Owaf" again. They played and played and I'm always impressed with his tolerance of her energy.  
Our friend Daniel Lund joined us
momma cooked and cooked and baked and cooked some more. 
getting ready for breakfast in the cool of the morning. It was hot hot hot!
Olaf's room is looking more grown up these days. Not just an enormous pile of legos. 
Then we loaded up and took off for the Oregon/California coast and the Redwoods! This picture is at Lake of the Woods on the way. Julia was charming some ducks with bread. 
Momma Dawn is convinced that someday a pit bull is going to eat Loki, so she scoops him up whenever she sees one. 
in a tree house along the way
after a long couple hours of driving, the temperature finally plummeted and we arrived at the beautiful coast. Here my pictures end as my camera/phone drained of all battery on the drive over and the campgrounds had nary an electric outlet to be found anywhere. We camped for two nights and had a fine time. Julia loved being in tents, and Theo did really well too, despite the chill nights and the bouncing of sleeping on an air mattress. We hiked a fairly challenging trail to the coast and had lunch at a beautiful isolated beach. We also revisited a favorite river, the Smith at Jedediah Smith State Park. The whole trip, Theo was a model of perfection. All smiles and charms and coos and long naps and sleeping at night. Well the changeling is here now, and he's all gas and fussy and put-me-down-for-one-minute-and -i'll-scream-so-loud-you'll-be-sorry. Not to mention how he saved his poops up for so many days that when he finally quietly let loose one day while sitting in my lap at lunch, I looked down and could have sworn that someone dumped a giant bowl of squash soup into my lap. unfortunately no picture of that to share, but i've since spend a good deal of time wondering what I would have done if we'd been out in public. No amount of baby wipes was going to clean up that mess.
Anyway, we traveled back by train, and again I was grateful for my sister and Aunt's help on the train.  
We stayed a night with Grandma Gini, said goodbye to Auntie Gracie,
ran lots of errands, and went home on the ferry. (Julia took this picture!) 
It was good to be home! The garden was growing in leaps and bounds! Dave started fermenting pickles, I tried starting a little batch of sauerkraut. Kale, potatoes, chard, green beans, eggs and onions and herbs are in abundance in the garden, and flowers are blooming all over the place. 
We are back into our routine of sharing childcare playdates with friends, EMT call schedules, Dave busy with work, dinners with friends, visitors, and trying to catch up on the endless list of chores. The summer is rolling by and I'm trying to remember to look around and enjoy it every now and then!