Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Yesterday, we drove up to Oakhurst to spend the beginning of the holiday season with Andrew's side of the family. I was so excited to see snow when we came over the hill because it always starts snowing after we leave for my parent's house on Christmas day. Blake and I enjoyed sticking our bare feet in the snow (we had to really experience it). It is raining now so the snow will probably be gone by morning, but I am hoping and wishing for more.



Mia had a holiday choir concert this evening. Blake loved watching the choir sing and sat through an hour and half without a peep to watch his cousin sing. Mia impressed me with her singing and theatrics (aka fun, silly faces while singing).

Here they are before the concert began:


Using those pipes:


We left before the production was over (it was an hour after nap time) and a little boy ran up to us and handed this to me. It reads, " This is you, you are the cutest baby ever, God blesses you, Love Justin." That melted my heart!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back In The Quilting Saddle Again

In November, I met up with an old friend of mine so our sons could have a play date. I found out that she is an avid quilter and oogled the quilt she made for her baby. She gave me some simple tips and ideas that inspired me to attempt more basic quilts (thanks Katie!).

I attended Skyla's baby shower today and presented her with this quilt. I hope her baby enjoys the funky birds. Of course, the quilt didn't turn out the way I really envisioned it (http://applecyder.wordpress.com/2008/02/25/three-little-birds-quilt/), but I reminded myself that I am a novice quilter and need to keep it simple.


My attempt at embroidery:


Up close bird:


The back of the quilt:


It is nice to be crafting again. Andrew has been a great sport because I decided to turn our breakfast nook into a sewing/crafting corner. Now onto my new found LOVE, knitting. Ew, I am addicted now. I love, love, love knitting and wish I had all the free time in the world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas In The Park

Last night we piled in the car and experienced San Jose's Christmas In The Park located in the middle of downtown. It was cold, but we sipped on hot chocolate and ate a churro to stay warm. Blake enjoyed seeing the dioramas and meeting Santa for the first time.


Crazy diorama. I showed Blake the one with the swinging penguins, but they looked like they were being hanged so we quickly walked by that one.


Listening to the choir sing silent night.


Busy workers.


Hey Santa! It looks like Santa is telling Blake what he wants for Christmas.


What a pair.


Our family loves Santa.


So this trip was originally planned as our "get the Christmas tree" excursion, but Andrew found the Christmas In The Park website before we left. So by the end of downtown San Jose it was already 8:30pm and way past Blake's bedtime. We forged on to find a Christmas tree lot, but the two we drove by were already closed. We were driving down a main drag and I told Andrew we should just stop by Home Depot since it was about a mile up. Poor Blake had to be woken up only to find himself in front of Home Depot amongst a million trees still bound and piled next to each other. I laughed and told Andrew we should buy a bound tree (without seeing it in its full glory) so we could just plop it on top of the Prius and enjoy the surprise of what the tree may look like. Andrew is such a good sport and agreed so we threw the thing up on the car and zoomed home. We were pleasantly surprised when the tree opened up to a normal tree shape. Pictures will follow once the thing is dressed! So much for a natural tree experience.


Fa La La La La, La La, La, La

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Who's The Turkey?

Well, Thanksgiving came and went and like usual, reminding me what great friends and family I have. The food was delicious and Blake entertained me the whole way through. Here is Blake a couple of days before we started our travels. He chews on the foam discs, which then become slobbery, and then stick perfectly to his head. I only have a limited time when I can torture my child without him knowing.



The Burtons:
From the left (Amy my sister, her boyfriend Chris, Grandpa, Mom, Nana, Dad, Paula, Paul, Uncle Larry, Aunt Sandra, Me, Blake, Uncle Richard, Auntie Constance, Andrew)


Blake's Thanksgiving crocheted vest and shiny new shoes:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time To Get Out The Kid Leash

I was so excited for Blake to start crawling so he would gain independence and explore the world. I didn't mean for him to push the limits! He crawled for about a week and then decided it was time to pull up on things. Then came the small steps sideways while holding on to dangerous things like the bathtub or the sliding glass door. Today, he tried to pull himself up on a shelf in his closet by grabbing the edges of his clothes and tugging as hard as he could. All of this is done without any balance mind you. We have had so many backwards free falls that I now can't get anything done around the house until Blake takes a nap.

I put Blake down for a nap and heard the weirdest sound. I thought for sure he was choking and I walked in to find him like this. So much for that nap.


When Andrew was in Ireland I stopped by Erin and Cliff's house in Stockton. Here is Blake hanging out with his surrogate father, Great Cousin Cliff.


Tonight, we started Blake on Kefir and he loved the stuff. He definitely didn't make this face.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Autumn

Today was craft day around our house. This banner is made from our handprints (Tom Turkey Andrew, Hen Turkey Shannon, and five Blake Poults). This project reminded me of my nanny days and I am glad Blake is old enough to pitch in.

I am sure the neighbors think I am a horrible mom because I let Blake crawl around on our driveway while I picked up leaves. Blake was filthy by the time I was finished and I let him chew on all the leaves (how am I to stop such a wee one). I figured I have never heard of a child who died from licking leaves. He doesn't have teeth yet so he didn't shred them! Okay, I am probably grossing people out by now.

We are thankful for so much and are having a blast watching the seasons change (even though it is still in the 70's).

Everybody Else's Blogs Are So Cool

I have become addicted to checking out other people's blogs. There are tons of really creative people out there in the world and I am thankful for the inspiration they have given me to spend more time creating fun stuff at home instead of wasting time watching online TV!

Here are some of my favorite blogs right now:

http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/

http://pookieandfig.blogspot.com/


http://newlywedcooking.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archive.html

Of course I am totally focused on bringing up babies and trying to cook decent food so there is a pattern to my blog voyeurism.

Now for my attempt at culinary blogging: (I will re-learn how to use Andrew's SLR to take better pictures!)

Making the tortillas from scratch:


Mine never turn out perfectly round:


Andrew enjoying his fajita dinner:


Bon Appetit!

Sacramento Visit

While Andrew was in Ireland, I spent the week up in Sacramento hanging out with my parents and other family members. Like usual, Blake seems to conquer a milestone whenever Andrew isn't around. First, it was rolling over during the Olympics and now he learned how to crawl forward. The best part about this milestone is where he decided to crawl for the first time. We were shopping at the Folsom outlets with my mother, Aunt Sandra, and Uncle Larry. I got tired of holding him so I put him down on the sidewalk in front of a store. Any normal person wouldn't put their baby down on a gum stained, dirty sidewalk, but I guess deep down I knew it would be magical. There Blake was, picking leaves out of the cracks in the sidewalk and then he suddenly put one hand in front of the other and crawled for a few steps. We were all so excited and cheered him on. Cheers to my baby growing up!

Here is Auntie Amy giving Blake his first dancing lesson:

video

Now for the crawling. This was Blake crawling later in the evening:

video

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last full day in Dublin

Well its finally come to and end. Today is my last full day in Dublin. I walked all around the city this morning, and then came back to the office to rest my legs and upload some photos I took.

I've had a great time here, all of my coworkers are great people and were gracious enough to show me around and go out for drinks.

Shannon, I got to see Ryan and Susan's house here in Dublin, its a tiny little cottage like thing, you'd love it.

The weather is overcast but no rain for the rest of the day, probably tonight though. I'm still carrying my umbrella though because last time I left it at home it rained!

I uploaded some more photos to the album, you can see the start of the new photos here: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vPgPnDdpRs90dy10x_AZ6w.

Hope everything is going well in the states, I fly out in about 22 hours. See you then.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 3? of Dublin

First off I'm adding a photo here of Blake because heaven forbid we go more than a couple posts without a photo of him. This was on my camera when I left, and its of Blake working himself into the corner of the kitchen doing his backward crawl thing.





I've uploaded some photos from my trip to a picasaweb album at an album here, but I'll add a few here as well so you don't have to click through to see them.

To the right is a photo of the canal near my hotel, I took it while wandering around yesterday.

And here's a photo of one of the streets I was walking down. The town was pretty empty on Sunday when I was walking around, nobody really out and about. Monday morning and last night it was much more lively.

Last night my friend Ryan and his wife went with me to the Porterhouse brewpub and we sampled all of their beers. Apparently if you show up there with a bottle of beer that they don't have, you get a free pint! I should have brought some homebrew.

Well, its 11am here and I should really start working. I'll try to get around and take more photos tonight, and post another update tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello from Ireland

I'm over here in Dublin now for the week. I arrived at 8:30am Sunday Dublin time, which is about 12:30am Sunday back home.

I spend the first day just walking around like a zombie, figuring out where my Hotel was, getting lunch, and wandering the streets. Then I slept from 2pm Dublin time until 8am Dublin time, with a short 3 hour break for TV in the middle (mmmm... British sitcoms).

Fun things I've noticed so far:
- There are a ton of cafe's, and most only seem to be open during the week
- All of the bars look the same from the outside (old style stone building has a corner on the first floor of it with wood paneling and gold lettering saying "PERSON's Tavern/Bar/Pub/etc").
- Even though someone is speaking English, you can't necessarily understand them.

I'd have pictures, but I forgot my card reader in my Hotel room. I'll post some tonight/tomorrow.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just Some Thoughts...



The election is over and for some their hopes were achieved and for some their hopes were shattered. I myself am happy to see and hear new ways of thinking. I understand this new administration will have its fair share of issues, but can't we wait until something is actually done before we start judging it?

So on that note, I can't sit still any longer without voicing my concern with what I have heard on the radio and seen on TV. The racial arguments are starting to get to me so I just want to say this one thing. Have we forgotten that being President of the United States is a job. Have we forgotten how far we have come in creating equality in the workplace? Why is it okay to suddenly bring race into this position? To me, the issue at hand has more to do with someone's qualifications than how they look (Sarah Palin, ahem) or what color their skin is. It is illegal to base decisions regarding employment and housing on race alone.

All I ask is for each one of you to challenge the concept of racism. Yes, I agree human nature has a deep rooted history of keeping gene pools selective, but there are enough of us on this planet to show diversity can survive and exist together. Drop your racism at the door please (at least mine).

Okay, my rant is over and remember that these are my thoughts so don't judge Andrew in regards to my emotional blogging!

Photos

Here are photos from our trip:

http://picasaweb.google.com/hurstdog/OregonRoadTrip2008#

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We're Back!

The Eurovan made it almost 2,000 miles up the Oregon coast and over to Walla Walla, WA. Andrew hasn't had time to upload the photos to our computer so we will share them with you in a little bit. I want Andrew's folks to add their photos to ours so we can have them all in one place. It was a great trip and Blake was a super traveler.

The hippies in Arcata (near Humboldt) showed me I am far from being a true hippie. Living out of a van with a baby wasn't as super as I thought it would be either. One last lesson I learned is that I don't think I want to live in a trailer park near the beach anymore. The people at the RV/Trailer parks were a bit too odd for me. Nothing like trying to jump into the shower in the shared, public bathroom only to have an artist show me her portfolio and pictures of her daughter's wedding. Didn't see that one coming.

The Hursts are great travel hosts (they caravaned with their RV) and I highly recommend traveling with them because they are very knowledgeable about road trips and cooking great food. Andrew made us stop at so many brew pubs I don't think I will ever eat fish 'n chips again!

We started Blake on baby food. I am following some food recommendations from my midwife so we started him off on liver pate and avacado. To this date, he has eaten: liver pate, avacado, pears, appleasauce, sweet potato, egg yolk, artichoke, and banana.

Me making the pate (Andrew thinks this whole ordeal is disgusting and resembles cat food):


A video of Blake eating:
video

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Professional Photo

The professional wedding photos are in and here is one that the photographer took. Just wanted to post it for the grandparents to ogle over.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Party Time

Our friend's children celebrated their second and fourth birthday this weekend and I volunteered to make the cakes for the birthday party. George (the 4 year old) requested a pink and silver cake for herself and a blue and purple cake for her brother Turtle. The party was a blast and I loved making the cakes. Unfortunately, the cakes were a bit dry. My goal is to one day perfect the cakes inside (I should just use box cake mix)!

George's pink and silver cake (the party was bunny themed):


Turtle's cake - turtle themed:


Back side of the cake:


Here is Megana, the mommy, getting ready to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cakes:


George and Turtle (in his father's arms) being sung to:


Blake partied and enjoyed the grass:


My friend Caroline, from crochet group, knit Blake this adorable pumpkin hat. She is a nurse and makes these hats for the babies delivered in October (adorable!):


Blake sitting in George and Turtle's cool kid chairs:


Without support they both fell backwards:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some October Humor

I know this is a bit tasteless, but I couldn't help but put the picture up for others to enjoy. I love looking at different ways people carve pumpkins and it is rare you see something original. If they had been drinking Andrew's beer they wouldn't look like this!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Gradma El

Happy Birthday Grandma El!

I hope you don't have to work this hard for what you want on your birthday. Eat lots of cake for me!

video

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Wonderous Toy Chest

My father and grandfather built Blake an incredible toy chest. It is now in its new home and Blake loves it. The checkerboard on top is edged with corian left over from my parent's countertops. The toy chest is made out of maple and cherry. It will get many years of enjoyment as a toy chest and then will probably be used as a storage piece once Blake gets a big boy bed. I can't state in words how much I appreciate and love this toy chest and I thank my father and grandfather for the long hours they put into this project.



Bring on the toys:


I love it:


A new home:

Burton Family Reunion '08

September always brings us Burtons back together for another annual Family Reunion. This year we all met up in Sacramento. Andrew and I could only make it up for one day, but the rest of the family hung out for three days together. I wish we could have stayed longer. Here are some snapshots.

Blake and Grandpa Tom enjoying play time:


Auntie Constance and Uncle Richard encouraging Blake with their words of wisdom:


Grammie's friend handed down an Exersaucer so Blake could learn something new:


Entertained to say the least:


We all migrated out to see the wonderful toychest my father and grandfather built:


Blake fell in love with it at first sight:


Auntie Amy loving him up:


Drinking some water:


Can't wait to see everyone again next year!