Thursday, October 30, 2008

From tree to table...

One of the things I absolutely love about living in a semi-rural area is that my kids get to see where food comes from. We've visited friends with chickens, and then eaten THOSE eggs, from THOSE chickens. We've picked blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and then eaten them on our toast or in pies all winter long. We watched the grapes come in and be sorted and crushed for wine. We've seen working farms, and even visited some cows, who were appropriately named T-bone and Rib-eye. Guess what kids? Those cows are now steak. I think it's important for them to understand that food doesn't come from grocery stores - it comes from somewhere else before that.

So, owing to some more glorious fall weather this week, we headed over to my mom's house to raid her apple trees again, this time for applesauce. We've made some cakes, some muffins, and a few pies here and there, but with Chloe not too far off from being ready for food, I thought it'd be fun to store up some applesauce for the upcoming year. Here are a few photos of the journey, from tree to table!

(Of course, it was late by the time I actually got the sauce into the jars and out of the canner. So, no finished photos. Oh well. You all know what applesauce looks like!:)

Chloe, four weeks post-op

Here she is, four weeks out. You'd never know, would you? (This is before the big "bonk", and all the swelling. See previous post!)


So, you know how some people believe in that kharma thing? Well, you never know. I've sort of been a smartass my whole life. I know, try to contain your shock, but it's true. It's like something deep inside me can't resist....

So, when we were discharged from the hospital with Chloe, I found it rather amusing that one of the main instructions was to "avoid head injury." As though we normally went around SEEKING OUT head injuries for our children. (well, tempting sometimes but...) Needless to say, there were more than a few comments made about avoiding head injury. Well, guess what turns around to bite you in your smart-you-know-what? Kharma.

On Saturday, after Chloe woke up from her nap I was carrying her down the stairs. Someone (who shall remain nameless aidan) left a block on the stairs. Of course, I hit the block, my knees buckled, and all I remember is trying to hold on to Chloe for dear life. Shawn was right there - he grabbed her while I mopped blood off my leg from hitting the corner of one of the banisters. Chloe was screaming, but we couldn't find anywhere where she looked like she hit - we thought she was just scared. VERY scary moment.

So cut to scary moment number two. We wake up Sunday morning and her left eye (the one with all the reconstruction, of course) is totally swollen almost shut and when I touched her forehead she SCREAMED. Of course reacted calmly and rationally. Or not. I called Shawn freaking out, called the doctor's office freaking out, and got a call back from our (sleepy) neurosurgeon a few minutes later. That's right, folks, I woke the neurosurgeon out of bed, on a sunday. Like the lady isn't busy enough. Anyhow, she told us NOT to freak out (which totally did not stop me from freaking out) and to come in on monday. Thankfully, Dr. Wehby did not seem to see any cause for alarm - definitely swollen, but it looks so far like all the reconstruction is intact and there was just a lot of swelling because the area is still vulnerable and stretchy. To use the technical terms.

So. The moral of the story is this. Don't be a smartass. And try to avoid head injury.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Crush...

Living in wine country provides opportunities that you might not get in, say, Timbuktu. For instance, some of your friends might happen to be winemakers. And they might invite you to come out to their pretty little vineyard for a harvest lunch, which is intended to "bribe" you to help them with the crushing of 3 or 4 tons of grapes. As though you might need to be "bribed" to come and make wine. One might even think that you should be making lunch for them. Luckily, our awesome friends over at Sejourne and Zenas Wines didn't see it that way. They thought we were doing THEM a favor.

I'll just set the scene for you momentarily. Imagine a beautiful October day, unseasonably warm. It's the kind of day that's made for being outside. You know cold days are coming, but NOT. YET. A table, set with linens and glassware, sits on a lawn in front of rows and rows of lavender plants. A picnic blanket sits nearby, waiting for the happy children who have been playing nearby with their lovely babysitter. (yes, there was even babysitting. Does the good news ever STOP coming?) Good friends, great food, amazing wine, sunshine, babies, lavender, turning leaves - it was a truly beautiful, memorable day. I even put Chloe in the Babyhawk on my back and climbed up on the scaffolding to sort pinot noir grapes. So. Much. Fun. Seriously. Robyn, Kevin - Salud!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Patch v.2.0

So, the day after Heiser Farms, we decided "hey, let's all go again" - this time with Jackson's class. So we loaded Aidan, Chloe, plus Amy and 2 of her boys into the car and set out. Chloe screamed. For a long, long way. About 25 minutes, straight through. It was a lot of screaming. The moment I pulled her out of the carseat, she stopped. Hmmm. I think she has my number.

Anyhow, the kids had a great time at a working farm/pumpkin patch we'd never been to before, called French Prairie Gardens. This place was rockin'! The kids loved it. First, they taught them a great lesson about how farms work and what is grown on their farm. They were trying to explain that some things we eat are the leaf, some are the flower, and some are the root. For example...carrots. Root. Everybody got that. Then, my favorite exchange:

Cute perky farm girl: Okay, what's this?
CPFG: (pointing at the leaf) What part of the broccoli is this?
Kids LEAF!
CPFG: (pointing at stem) What part of the broccoli is this?
Kids: STEM!
CPFG: (pointing at the broccoli crowns) What part is this?
Kids: Silent for a moment, until my kid pipes up.
Jackson: The BROCCOLI!
CPFG: ummmm...okay, anyways....

Some of the best parts of the day:
Babe, the ginormous Scottish Highland Bull, and of course, the pig races.

Pumpkin Patch v.1.0

As I am a mom of three, now follows the requisite photos of various trips to the pumpkin patch. Aidan's class visited one of our local faves, Heiser Farms, with his preschool. It was so great to see him on his own, hanging with his class. He's SO big all of a sudden! And totally the opposite of Jackson. When we first took Jack to the pumpkin patch, I think it took him about 47 minutes to pick a pumpkin. He had to find JUST THE RIGHT ONE. Aidan chose a pumpkin in about 3.2 seconds. "Yep. This one looks good. What now?"

Fall bike ride

We took a bike ride the other day, seeing as how it was GLORIOUS outside. Have I mentioned that I love fall? Aidan was a trooper - he pooped out about 10 minutes in, but hung in there (with a few pushes from mom) for a good 20 more minutes. Chloe took her first ride in the big girl stroller, and she was even happy for about 20 minutes! Of course, by the time we pulled back into the garage, Aidan was whining, Chloe was screaming, and I was ready for a cocktail. Did I mention it was only like 4:15?

When we got home, this is what we saw in our outside our sliding door.

Have I mentioned how much I love fall? :)
Coming soon - pumpkin patch, pinot noir crush, and Chloe at 4 weeks post-op.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Monday, October 13, 2008

Chloe, two weeks post-op

I thought I'd continue to post some updates on Chloe - at this point, she is pretty much functioning at "normal" baby speed. She's a little funky on her schedule, and she's got a runny nose, and oh yes...she NEVER SLEEPS. Seriously. But other than that, she's just like a normal, non-surgified (that is my new word, so hush) almost 5-month-old baby.

Here are some photos from today, exactly two weeks post surgery.

We had a post-op appointment on Friday in Portland, and everyone was happy with her progress. Her incision is healing really well, we were able to wash it the other day, so most of that dried gunk is coming off. We've even had to trim away some of the stitches as one end dissolves and the other is left poking out. (That was fun - but don't worry, the doc showed us how. We're practically experts.) She's a beauty. In fact, she's so pretty, I had a little mini melt-down the other night. Yes, I'm hormonal and have been a little tiny bit stressed, what with the head surgery and all, and did I mention my eyebrows falling out? Anyhow, I was holding her while she slept, and just found myself overwhelmed by how beautiful and symmetrical her brow is.

It was this really odd mix of emotions, though. On one hand, I'm thrilled that my baby girl won't have to go through life with a "wonky" forehead/eye. She's gorgeous, and symmetrical, and her eyes are beautiful. She looks like she was supposed to look. But. On the other hand, we had sort of gotten used to her little wonky eye. She had these really funny facial expressions because of it, and there was a little part of me that will miss that cute, funky, totally unique look. I know, it's weird and probably completely nuts, but hey - i yam what i yam. :)

blogger templates | Make Money Online