Friday, October 31, 2008

First Sibling Costumes!

As promised - one chicken and one chicken farmer.
And one little boy eager to go!

Went out trick or treating with Angie, Jack and the boys. It's always more fun with somebody to talk to. Otis was soooo funny and cute. He was thrilled to be getting candy and was so worried about making sure he got some for his baby brother at each house.

We came home to a lovely chili I had started in the crockpot earlier. I found this great recipe with pumpkin in it, and it was pretty darn tasty!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Fun!

Nothing like waiting until the last minute! We are poky this year. I wonder why. :)

First you need a spoon for scooping out seeds and guts.
Naked pumpkin carving! A new Olympic sport?
Ooey gooey!

Orion is not so sure he likes this stuff on his hands....
I lost count of how many times he washed his hands.

Sister's vantage point.
Daddy took over near the end.
Orion's chosen design. It is supposed to look like a ghost. No time for anything too elaborate this year, but at least we got one carved!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Friendship Cookies

Orion's new name for Fortune Cookies. Funny kid.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Finally got a picture of the cute little pearly whites.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Assuming Good Intentions

In other news, we have an awesome finished house project. Or I should say Ron has a finished project! For anybody who has been to my house, you may remember how horrid this table was. It was damaged in our move from CA to OR, and the varnish was just old and getting all sticky. It is now beautifully refinished! You can see it shining in the picture! This was our first dinner sitting down at a table in this house. Not a very exciting meal, but at least it was at a table LOL. Yes, that is a bowl of peas and Earth Balance for Orion - one of his favorite things to eat!
So we figured we would see what Akasha thought of this highchair I picked up on freecycle, and she loved it! Not sure how much we will use it, but it is nice to have part of the time.

So I bet you are wondering what this all has to do with assuming good intentions! We had an interesting interaction and discussion at this first dinner. Orion immediately started messing with the little toys attached to the tray to see how they could be removed. Ron was getting annoyed, but I could see he just wanted to see how they worked and also figured he would put them back. Either way, I was OK with it as he was just checking out something new in the house and she certainly didn't care.

One thing I have been realizing with Orion is how important it is to always assume good intentions with Akasha. If I start expecting him to treat her meanly or hurt her, for sure that is going to start happening more and more! But also, if something has happened that might appear like he is doing something "questionable", I try to think about if I can see it differently, or view it in a better light even if I have a pretty good hunch that he didn't intend it that way.

For example, he reaches over to her in the car alot. Sometimes I think he is trying to pester her or get her toy, but I will ask him if he is holding her hand. And then sometimes he is! He hates it when she cries in the car and will usually try to cheer her up.

Also, I am realizing a really important thing, which is to not project my likes and dislikes onto Akasha! Orion loves to make loud noises. Many of them sound like he is yelling or trying to scare her. *I* don't like these noises, and I would think alot of babies wouldn't, but Akasha loves just about everything Orion does. He will make these sudden loud noises that drive me crazy, but she just laughs! So I am working really hard to feel her reaction to him. The one thing that is constantly apparent to him is how much she adores him, and I think he is just drinking it up!

So far what I have on my hands is one pretty darned amazing big brother! He often will hear her crying at the end of her nap and go running to try and get to her before me. He'll say, "No! Let me go to her and get her to stop crying!" He loves making her laugh. Sometimes she will start laughing at things he does that weren't even funny seeming. I have no allusions this lovely relationship will continue without hitch once Akasha is old enough to get mobile and go after his toys, but I am loving it while it lasts.

Honoring the Dead

We went to an activity day to decorate sugar skulls today. Orion wasn't interested at first. Then he wanted his own so I tried to clean mine off, and we found out the frosting stains! Then another kid cleaned his second one off to give me my own! So here is the one I made for my mom:
And here is Orion eating the frosting off the one he decorated.
I also noticed one of the many toy horses around the NE laying in a pile of fall leaves and thought it looked cool.
This made me feel inspired.... One of these days I would love to just walk around the NE streets and take pictures of as many of these as I can find.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Otis is Three!

And Orion has been introduced to the evils of Chuck E Cheese hahaha.

Have you ever seen anything so cute in all your life?
I just love these little bonnet style hats. And we had to take another picture so you can all see how cute the skirt is with the bows.
Here is Orion playing a racing game. He was so super intent.
Crazy Daddy with the ticket bounty.
Tatiana looking serious on the carousel.
Orion looking down sideways. (I asked Orion for a description of this look, and that is what he said haha).
Orion and the scary moush.
Intent on driving.
Another new love - air hockey!
"Hey, where did the puck go?"
The Birthday Boy with cakey chin.
Super cute Sophie!
This one of Tati cracks me up because the chocolate spot makes it look like she is missing a tooth!
And here she is pointing at the cake on her knee hahaha.
"Look Ma, no hands!"
I have decided Akasha has a lovely profile. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Last Farmers' Market

This past week flew by. We apparently brought a cold home from the conference. I almost never get sick but have a tendency to when I travel. Even Akasha has her first little stuffy nose which is annoying her when she nurses. :(

We had to get out to Beaverton's last Farmers' Market of the season today though. It was lovely Northwest Fall day. We spotted this as we were driving away and thought it looked funny.
The effect isn't that good in the picture. It looked like she had a big green friend in her passenger seat.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

La Leche League Conference in Redmond

Speaking of the conference... it was great! Akasha was such an awesome little car traveler again. I can't even begin to write about all the things I learned because I would be here all day! I had a great roommate - a leader from the Eugene area. I was a bit worried since I had never met her, but we had tons of stuff in common, and she was really laid back. As good as all the talks were, I think the best part was the Saturday night Oregon leader get together. Lyla was on the top floor, and they had a private lounge up there - we had it all to ourselves!

Here are some pictures for you Ms. Rachele. :p

Akasha spent lots of time in the MeiTei and discovered a love of strap chewing.
Oh, which reminds me - she got her other bottom tooth in during the weekend!

Hanging out on the floor during a talk. She has a total one track oral fixation. She is just dying to chomp on my finger here!
A little rest on the bed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Virtual Shower Stash!

Behold the beauty!
We did a virtual shower swap with my Due Date Club. Can you believe how much I lucked out?! A pair of Baby Legs, 3 Diaper Covers and 5 long sleeve onesies in increasing sizes! There were even two lovely tie dyed flat diapers as "wrapping paper" (that is them on the left). I am in heaven. Akasha is going to be the best dressed baby at the La Leche League conference!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chasing Chickens?

Hilarious conversation in the car today. Orion is very definite on wanting to be a chicken farmer since Akasha is going to be a chicken. Sweet boy. :) There was a bit of confusion though...

O: But what does a chicken farmer grow?
Me: Oh, he doesn't grow vegetables, he raises chickens. Some farmers grow things and other raise animals.
O: (laughing and talking to me in his "your so silly voice") He chases them around the yard?
Me: (confused) No, he raises them, he takes care of them.
Me: (realizing what he is hearing and laughing) Oh, *raises*, not races!

hahahahaha, I love having a 4 year old.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Four Months Today

That is a third of a year! How scary is that? Made me realize how fast the first year is going to be over. It just so happened she got an official weigh in today as well: 16 pounds, 8 ounces!

She is such a happy and sweet baby. Loves to smile, "talk" and laughs at just about anything Orion does. She also gets into these modes where she just stares at me like she is looking into my soul. I think Susan may have been right about her!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monkey One and Monkey Two

Came up with this awhile ago and haven't mentioned it, but this is just the kind of little cute thing we will probably not remember later unless it gets written down. I was calling both the kids Monkey, so I told Orion they should be One and Two. He was very clear on wanting to be Two. Ron said he came first, so he should be One, but he was stuck on Two. A little bit after that, I was trying to get him up in the morning, so I started doing a little chant.

Monkey Two, the day is new
Monkey Two, I love you
Monkey Two, Juice Plus for you (he takes these in the morning)

Akasha was with me, so I did a few for her too
Monkey One, just begun
Monkey One, let's have some fun

The possibilities are endless, as both words have lots of rhymes. Orion was smart to pick Two I guess, because "you" is especially versatile. I love you, Daddy loves you, Sister loves you.... And Akasha got a new nickname as Monkey One Just Begun stuck. Yeah, long for a nickname, but it is cute!

This has been a great tool for connecting when Orion is feeling out of sorts or when a situation needs lightening up a bit.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kona's Adventure

What a sad, sad night I had. :( Kona got out our side fence yesterday. I noticed it just as I was leaving to lead the covenant group. I am the only one with a key, so I had to go. I called Ron right away. He was at work but said he would go straight home to look for her instead of coming to pick up Orion. Ron showed up near the end of the meeting - no luck. I was so, so sad. When we got back, I said we should leave the side gate open just in case, and I hoped I would hear her if she scratched at the door. Ron went walking to look for her one more time, but no poor doggie.

I had the worst night. It was really cold and I just kept wondering where she was - if she had wandered North into the hills or was in a tract of homes somewhere. Was she under a bush, was she hurt, was she in the pound? I couldn't sleep thinking about her. I hoped she had been picked up because at least she would be safe, but it was terrible timing as the shelters are mostly closed on Sunday.

This morning, I was looking up shelter info and thinking about making some signs when there was a knock at the door. Sure enough, it was one of our neighbors and they had her. Turns out she was well loved by some neighborhood children. She had eaten all sorts of food, including some cat food LOL. They had named her Daisy. The really sad thing was that she could barely walk. When I got a chance to look, there were several places where the skin was rubbed off her pads. Hopefully she will heal up OK. We will probably put some hydrogin peroxide and maybe antibiotic ointment on them and just try to keep her off her feet as much as possible. I am so happy she is home. You never know how much your pets mean to you until they are gone.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Called out by my 4 year old!

So there we were, driving down the street, and I was very carefully and slowly composing a text message. Yeah, I know... but that is the point of this post.... :) I usually only do that if I am stopped, but something urgent had come up.

Her comes this little voice from the back seat, "Um, mommy, shouldn't you be watching for where there other cars are?"

Yes, son. Yes indeed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Crazy Departure

Wow, was that a rough two days, first on Sarah and then on Orion.

Sarah's original train reservation was for Wednesday, but Amtrak totally screwed us up. When I called and said I had a voucher, they said they would reserve it and I just needed to bring the voucher in. They didn't say anything about when. When we got there on Wednesday, they said I was supposed to have brought the voucher in within 24 hours and they had canceled the reservation! And the train was sold out! Arrrggghhh! Sarah was SO upset. And the jerk who was supposed to pick her up couldn't do it the following day and got all mad about it. After a few phone calls, she found another ride, and we got her all booked up and paid for. The one nice part is that Don had come to see her off, so we all decided to go have lunch together.

Orion was already bummed about Sarah leaving, but he had been fine at the train station. Not so on Thursday.... I guess the sadness times 2 was way too much to handle. :( He started having some major big feelings as soon as we got in the station. He was doing alot of screaming and trying to run away. At one point, a man with a white beard came over and started telling him he was friends with Santa, so Orion should behave because he was going to report to him! What the hell? People like that shock me so much I don't even know how to reply! I just decided to wait until he left and then said to Orion that he was nutty and didn't really know Santa, because Santa loves everbody and gives presents to all. Later when I told Don, he wanted to go beat him LOL. That would have set a great example!

The screaming hit the peak when Sarah had to get in line to get on the train. I was holding his hand so he couldn't run away, and some lady came over to tell me she was a nanny and asked me if I wanted her help. I just looked at her and said, "No," with a smile. I'm sure she thought I was very rude! So I ended up taking him outside for awhile. I was bummed as we hadn't really said goodbye, but he was so out of control. :( He was sitting on a bench and just screaming and telling me to leave him alone. A couple of times I asked him if he wanted to go in and see Sarah one more time before he left or if he wanted to just go home. Finally he started yelling he didn't want her to leave. Ah, that felt good to hear him expressing what was really inside. Another sweet and well meaning mom came over and offered him a fruit leather. He looked at her like she was crazy, and I said it was OK, he was just expressing his sadness. Don showed up right about then, and funny enough, Orion was happy to take some pastries from him. :) They weren't offered as a bribe though. Orion just knew what was in the bag! That did end up breaking the tension, and he was able to go in and say goodbye quickly.

The amazing thing was, he just skipped all the way to the car afterward as happy as could be. This was such a lesson for me in just letting him get that stuff out of his system. He was so much happier having processed it with me just being present with it and acknowledging that he was really sad. Wow, is it ever hard sometimes though!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sauvie Trip

One of the other requests Sarah had was to go to the Sauvie Pumpkin Patch. Here we are on the way. Look at my big boy in a booster seat now!
Sarah was remembering how stunning the Autumn skies are in Portland. She snapped this one out the window on the way. I think it was more about the clouds than the bridge.
I walked around with Orion while Sarah did her thing with the camera. He always heads to the straw pyramid first thing.
The mini corn maze is always a hit as well.
There's the cow!
Child of the corn - bwahahahaha
Most of the rest are Sarah's. Looks like she learned a thing or two in class. :) I swear almost all of them were perfect. The lighting, composition, everything.

I love this one. It looks like it has little ears LOL.
I think this is my favorite. It looks so cool in the full size.
This one looks great bigger too - notice the bee in the center.

Aaaagh, attack of the Floro Sapiens!
For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about...
Well, they don't look very threatening in that picture, but it is the only one I could find. Trust me, they were the bad guys, at least for part of the storyline in Super Paper Mario.

My own little Floro Sapien.
Is it bad this picture makes me laugh? It is just such a perfect capture of his mad face. The weird thing is, Sarah said he wasn't upset when she took it. I think he just happened to be making an odd face that looks just like his mad face, and the fists totally make it.
More artsiness...
And more cutesiness

On to the barn....

Sarah really liked this goat.

Somebody needed a new diaper. At least it was a little warmer in the barn than out in the open.

I told you she was in the barn! She looks like she is thinking, "What the heck is that thing?!"

Awwww, she couldn't get super clear pictures behind the glass, but this little stretcher was too cute.
Still life with pumpkin
Uh oh, it's puddle time.

I was tempted to put him in there!

A few last shots before leaving.

Self portrait of zee photographer.