Monday, November 30, 2009

Farm Play

What to do on a farm?

Gather apples:

Go for wagon rides:

Play in trucks:

Check out the wood pile:

Pet cats like Sparky:

Now for some videos of garden play...

Exploring Grandma's garden:

More garden fun:

Blake playing in the bed of Grandpa's truck:

We Gave Thanks

We are back from a great Thanksgiving holiday trip to Oakhurst. The weather was great and the company was better. Paul and Sandy bought a home (hitting my head, why didn't I take pictures?) so they spent all their time ripping up carpet and washing the windows. The people before them hadn't cleaned their house in 8 years so they have their work cut out for them. The best part about it is that Paul and Sandy are tackling this great project with smiles on their faces. You can't say that family doesn't work hard.

Onto the pictures...

Blake and Mia watched the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade together. Poor Mia always had to protect her glasses or hair from Blake. He sure loves her though:

Ellen preparing the turkey:

In she goes:

Ellen and David's neighbors, Casey and Ted, joined us for the feast. She just passed the bar and is practicing law in Oakhurst and Mariposa while Ted restores historical buildings. I put him in charge of coming up with a first name for our baby that has to do with woodworking. No names came from the discussion considering they tried to pick the most obscure words they knew:

Blake loved all the food:

Boys will be boys:

Mia waiting so patiently:

After dinner comes dessert:

What goes with whipped cream?:

Pies! Here is my pie before the top sunk in:

Pumpkin and apple pie. I discovered the two are delicious when eaten together:

Uncle Paul not understanding the fun of blogging:

I am so thankful for all we have and each day I try and remember this.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Holiday hustle is amongst us (or just me). Things seem to be halfway done around here, but I am not feeling a sense of urgency.

This hat will get done:

My baby is safely brining:

And the second pie will be baked:

Maybe I am calm because I only have to make pies for Thanksgiving. My good wishes to those of you who cook the whole feast. Ask for help and happy preparation.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Photo borrowed from this website:

Blake and I are so lucky to have been invited for a vacation weekend in Cape Cod. We will be staying with our dear friend Carolyn for some much needed girly girl time (with kids!). Carolyn and her family were just showcased on her friend's photography blog:

Davis Turkey Trot 2009

Who were the turkeys this year? That would be Andrew, Shannon, Blake, and my parents. We all decided to participate in this year's Davis Turkey Trot race. Andrew ran the 10k portion while we walked the 5k stroller run/walk. Why did that make us turkeys? Well, the weather was in the upper 40's when we were driving to Davis. I am guessing it was in the low 50's during the race. Cold, cold, and did I say cold?

The soon-to-be used starting line:

Grammie giving Blake a high ten to get ready for the race:

Two minutes until the start:

These videos were taken with Andrew's cell phone so the quality isn't great. Unfortunately, I left my camera at home.

Here we are at the start of the race. My mom leaned over and pointed out that we were the only ones without a jogging stroller. So what if we were the lame ones. It did say run/walk on the sign up sheet. You can see us (maybe) on the far side towards the very end of the video!

A video of us walking one minute into the race. I was mouthing "my thighs hurt" to the camera. Everyone just took off running and we were left in their stroller dust:

Andrew ran the 10k portion of the Turkey Trot. Here he is finishing the race (beware, turn down your volume since I screamed for him). Also, sorry I couldn't flip the video:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Pair

We have been living without a heater for two weeks now. I am going to go crazy. Everyday I call the furnace repair guy and he swears the magical part will be in "tomorrow." He has said that for a week and a half straight. Our landlords loaned us two space heaters, but they scare me because the plugs are super hot to the touch and they keep blowing our circuits. Could be worse I guess. Anyways, what is one to do when the heat is out? Knit with wool.

Here is the complete hat/mitten set:

Blake and I are now ready to visit our friends in Cape Cod come the first week of December.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sometimes Easy, Sometimes Hard

Monday in words...

I finished it:

Finally the words found their way up on the wall in Blake's room:

Blake spelling out his own message:

Now for words that pain me. Andrew's cousin Grant took his own life seven years ago. Today would have been his 34th birthday. He is always in our thoughts, but today deserves a special kind of remembrance. I only knew Grant for four years, but he definitely represented the carefree side of Andrew's family. He was strong, charismatic, and was always finding humor in whatever was going on around him. We may just have to have a slice of cake tonight and light a birthday candle in his honor:

The mittens are done. Blake loved them and wore them around the house for a while:

We are well on our way to potty training! Blake loves his potty and is always eager to go through the process. This morning he pooped on the potty for the first time. Without encouragement, he asked to use the potty and did it all by himself. Of course his mommy cheering squad did quite the production, which was followed by a half naked child running room to room jumping up and down. I better get serious about this or I am going to miss the window of opportunity. Here is a video of Blake using the potty for the first time for his daddy:

Friday, November 13, 2009


I love Fridays. It is the day of the week that I don't feel any pressure to get much done. My productivity level during Monday through Thursday is nothing to get excited about, but there is a sense of obligation. I can proudly say I cleaned my upstairs bathroom from head to toe for two weeks in a row now (it is true that more often cleanings help keep things from getting to dingy). Anyways, to my point. Today is a half day where everything seems half finished and because it is Friday, I like it this way.

Thanksgiving banner - half finished:

My new knitting project, toddler mittens - half finished:

How nice Fridays are. Last night, my son tried to take off his own clothes to use the big potty. I took this as interest and bought him a potty seat. He went pee-pee three times in a row and then I told him we needed to take a break because I was afraid he was going to give himself a hernia. Then he shook his head when I put his diaper back on. I asked him if he wanted big boy underwear and his eyes said yes. Hmm, I guess this might be our new adventure.

I really want to make these:
They are from the website:
The pattern is from this website:
But do I really have the time???

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Hike

This last weekend we took a hike near where Andrew bikes (Thornewood Open Space Preserve). Teenie and Lulu were so surprised that we actually included them in something outside of the house. Poor neglected doggies.

Here we are starting out:

Blake loved all the nature and kept trying to walk down the sleep sides of the trail:

A bridge:

Nature's teeter-totter:

There is a small lake at the end of one of the trails. We sat and ate snacks before heading back. The hike was about 2 miles round trip. Blake walked the whole way:

Blake insisted on walking Teenie the whole way back. Teenie had slowed down enough to not pull Blake. Here is a video of his first ever dog walk. Thank goodness for this or Andrew would have had to carry him back!:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fall Garden

I am back to report that my "early fall" garden did not produce any pumpkins. What a surprise! My mom said gently, "Maybe you weren't meant to grow pumpkins." As much as I should heed my mother's advice, it has now become some inner competition with myself to produce a pumpkin someday!

Here is my second chance at growing something in my mini garden. I planted Erin's hollyhocks in each corner to encourage Holly to grow big and strong. My brussel sprouts have been the same size for a couple of months now. Two carrots have survived and might just make it to adulthood. On the right side of the garden I planted spinach and the back row consists of swiss chard. Good luck plants:

Of course I had to buy some orange flowers to give my backyard that fall touch:

Toddlers love wearing their parent's gardening shoes:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Meet Victor Frost. This morning I was reading over my election booklet trying to figure out who would be the best five candidates for city council. I ran across Victor Frost's qualifications:

"Homeless advocate, Panhandler: USN Electronics, Humboldt State University, Electronics, Art, Constitutional Law, and Film Making, Lockheed Martin, Engineer, Sony Technology Center, Engineer, Mainstream Coordinator, on Sight Inspector...Organic Gardener."

So when I tried to locate his political website I came across an article from Palo Alto online. It read:

"Victor Frost, a local panhandler who is running for City Council, was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly shouting racial epithets at a homeless amputee.

Frost, who regularly solicits donations across the street from Whole Foods Market, received an arrest citation after a female passerby witnessed him yelling at and berating a homeless person, according to police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ryan.

The woman called police, who arrived at the scene and interviewed Frost, the witness and the victim. Ryan said Frost accepted the misdemeanor charge and is scheduled for an appearance at Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto on Nov. 10.

Ryan said Frost was arrested for disturbing the peace after the police found him to be using "words likely to produce an immediate violent reaction." Frost potentially faces six months in jail, Ryan said.

Ryan said Frost left his usual seat across Homer Avenue from Whole Foods for an hour or two, at which time the other person took over the spot. Frost returned and allegedly lashed out at the man, an African-American amputee in a wheelchair who also is a panhandler.

"He was berating the fellow in a wheelchair, who was an amputee, and calling him all the horrible words in the English language," Ryan said. "I think there was a competition for what Mr. Frost considered to be his own personal space on the sidewalk."

Frost is also facing six counts of violating Palo Alto's sit-lie ordinance. Attorneys are scheduled to discuss those charges on Nov. 30."


Monday, November 2, 2009

Rah Rah Rah

Where have I been? I knew David, Andrew's father, had gone to Stanford, but I thought it was for a few classes. Turns out, David was sent to Stanford to get his Master's Degree in Computer Science (correct me if I am wrong David) Electrical Engineering when he was working for Bell Labs. All fees paid to boot. I asked if he was proud that he and his son got their Master's degrees paid for in full by their employer and his reply was somewhere along the lines of "definitely." So now Blake wears red proudly. David gave us a personal tour of the campus and it was great to hear his college stories. Friends and family should email me some college pictures so we can showcase your alma maters!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Past

It's November. That means Halloween has come and gone. This year was wonderful and Blake had a great time. I couldn't have asked for a better Halloween. Ellen and David came up for the weekend and boy did we pack in the activities.

Andrew and David went for a 9 mile bike ride up Old La Honda in Portola Valley. Ellen, Blake, and I went shopping in downtown Menlo Park so we could hit our favorite, Penzey's Spices. We all took naps and then headed out to California Street in Palo Alto for some business trick-or-treating. It was fun to see him interact with the other kids.

I had so much fun making Blake's costume. Here Blake transforms from a little boy into a little mummy:

Leaving treats for the neighbors before we set out:

Blake had no idea what he was in for:

What were all these crazy kids doing dressed up in costumes too?:

Once he found out candy was involved he got really into it:

Then came the best surprise! Raisins! He threw his other candy down and had to stop and eat the raisins. Right now these are my magic, mommy weapon. If I need him to be calm and focused I can always win when I whip out the little, red box.

Blake met a friend named Richard:

Then came another friend dressed as a wolf in sheep's clothing. It was so funny to watch them walk up to each other and touch one another's costumes:

After eating a great Thai dinner we headed home to get ready for trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. He had plenty of energy left and loved walking door-to-door. We had some issues with taking "just one" and he even perfected a move of knocking a couple out of the bowl and putting the extras in his bucket. Hmmm, sounds like he is taking after me in his love of candy. We quickly redirected his inner devil and he was back to being polite at the next house. He was so tired by the end of the night that he actually started to walk like a real mummy.

Just the beginning:

Ding dong:

Grandma and Grandpa got to go too:

Once back at the house, he had a few pieces of candy and got a second (er, third) wind and turned into a crazy sugar kid:

Mmmm, candy:

He didn't make one peep once we finally put him down for the night. He was so full of Thai food, candy, and cheerios by the end of the night I thought he would pop. What a blast.