30 October 2012

Don't Tell Me I Have to Give Up My Coffee Shops

We had to drive to Aurora last week to pick up our freshly butchered cow.

(Doesn't that sound delightful?)

The day was beautiful.  Fall to perfection.  Sunny with a crisp feel; leaves falling.   Really, a perfect day for a drive.

A perfect day for a visit to our favorite coffee shop in West Linn.  A perfect day to walk the streets of Aurora and check out some antique malls.

Or, a day to keep kids happy on the drive and pick up muffin crumbs off the coffee shop floor and drive right on through Aurora because there was no way the two little ones would survive such an adventure.

I love my kids.  I adore them and think they are the most amazing little creatures I have ever known.

But sometimes they really cramp my coffee-shop-loving style.

(Don't be mad at me for saying that.)

Christian is at a very bad age for anything that requires staying in one spot and being quiet.  I don't think he realizes that fall is the most perfect time for relaxing in a coffee shop.  Does he understand the draw of a Pumpkin Spice Latte?  It's more than a drink, kid, it's an experience

And Daphne is 3, which is not really an age for antiquing. The 'bull in a china shop' cliche comes to mind. 
escaping baby

I guess someone gets to relax

So we changed up our trip a little.  We visited our coffee shop, but we were quickly in and out.  We took the Canby Ferry because Daphne loves ferry boats.  We talked about how someday we'll get in a shopping trip to Aurora, maybe when we have something in particular to shop for.  

Kids change things.  I can be upset about it when it means the things I want to do aren't possible.  Or be thankful for it, because the experience of parenting is too much of a gift to waste on my petty, selfish thoughts. 

I miss my coffee shops, but I'll choose my kids any day.  

27 October 2012


Man, it has been silent on the old blog lately, hasn't it?

Our calendar has been full to the max the past couple of weeks.  I like to walk by it with my eyes closed so that I can pretend I don't see all the things we need to be doing.  But I figure that will change, oh, never, so we may as well get used to it.

Yesterday we did keep the day free to celebrate a big birthday in our house.

Daphne and I started the day by making this apple fritter recipe for David's birthday breakfast.  It made us the heroes of the day.

Then Christian became the hero by taking the longest nap he has taken in months, which enabled us to make it through the rest of the day with a happy boy.

Our plan to go to Fort Vancouver died when we saw the rain, so instead we went to the Town Center and let the kids play and had a PSL from Panera.  It was Christian's first time getting to play there and he LOVED it.
such a big boy, running around with the big kids

We've decided in the past couple of months that going out to eat/going out to coffee is pretty much a very bad idea at this stage in our lives.  Daphne is great at it, but Christian is a bit of a mess.  But since it was David's birthday we hoped for a miracle and went to Claim Jumper.

Let's see...Christian gagged on some cilantro and vomited up the entire avocado he had just eaten, and Daph spent some time trying to howl like a wolf, so I would say eating out is still not in our best interests.
howling while holding a fork on her face

apparently the music in the background was just too much

When the server came by to take our plates, Daphne stood up on her seat and yelled, "I'M READY FOR DESSERT!!!"  Has anyone taken the time to teach her some manners?

I'm sure you can imagine that sound that comes with this face.  It's loud.


We got home to perfect weather for a little football game in the front.  After a while the neighbors came out and joined us, and Christian just loved watching the big boys throw that ball around.  You could see in his eyes that he was trying to figure out how he could make the ball go that far, too.

I think we have a house full of football fans here.
these games get intense

someone was HAPPY to get the ball

yep, happy

his happiness gave him a weird eye

Shopping, coffee, lunch out, some football....David does a good job choosing birthday activities that we all enjoy. 

19 October 2012

Third Patch of 2012

If you're going to a pumpkin patch, you may as well make it the most famous one in Oregon!

We arranged to meet some friends on this pumpkin patch trip.  Christian feel asleep on the way there, and while I was sitting in the car with him waiting for him to wake up, Amy Roloff herself parked her car in front of mine and walked right down to the patch!!  Imagine my excitement at yet another famous person sighting! In true creeper fashion, I jumped out of my car and took a picture of her walking.  Just in case it would be my only chance to see her.  I figured this could qualify as another famous person photo if necessary.
me being a creeper: not shown

Sadly, a few minutes later she walked back to her car and drove up to her house.  It was a good thing I had taken this picture while I had the chance.

A few favorites at this patch for Christian included the little train ride:

And bonding with all the farm animals, because apparently he is Dr. Dolittle the Second.

best photo ever

I know, you can only look at so many pictures of a kid with some goats (and llama type creatures and calves), but it was just so precious seeing how happy he was with the animals.  They kept flocking to him like he really was speaking a secret animal language.

Daphne's favorite thing was of course the time with her friends.  She kept telling David to leave her alone and not talk to her.  She seems so young for that to be starting. 

the big sisters

Mommy got to visit with her friends, too:
I'm the only one with no tiny-baby-in-Ergo

Sadly for us, we had to leave in time to get David home for work.  We were heading back to the car when what to our wondering eyes did appear??!!

Oh yes, that is me, in deep conversation with Amy Roloff.  Nothing creepy about me except for my unending lists of questions.  And the fact that Christian kept trying to play with her jingle-bell earrings.  That wasn't at all awkward. 

She was the sweetest thing ever.  She had a book signing to get to (hence the double family photo here, so that she didn't need to take the time to pose with each family separately), but she sat and chatted with me for quite some time.  I could have sat with her for hours, especially since once we got home the most perfect things to ask kept popping into my head.  How many times can I go to Roloff Farms before they lock me out?

And we got another lovely famous person photo for our memory books:

(Anyone else notice that we have a gift for meeting up with famous people?  Really, it's amazing.  I even have one that I haven't blogged about yet.)

Daphne said to me, and I quote, "Is she kinda little? Haha."

It was horrifying.

Amy said to Daphne, "I hope I get to see you again!"

(I think that means she's going to invite us to dinner! Because I know she's never said that to anyone else ever!)

A few more photos because it appears I have not shared enough:

"stay away from me, daddy!"

P.S. We also drove by the Helvetia Tavern that appears in Grimm, but we were in too much of a hurry to get home so we couldn't stop for a photo shoot.  Plus I imagine that would have been just a little too much famous-ness for one blog post. 

18 October 2012

Big Shoes

Today is the day we have waiting weeks for: Daphne's 'big shoes' are finally done.

To play a little catch up on dear Daph's feet, the doctor we've been seeing at Shriners is not sure what we should do or what even can be done right now to correct her feet.  Her club foot is not typical; she is missing her fibula bone in her lower leg (like Oscar Pistorius), which leads to some ankle issues.  Add to that some fusing of bones in her foot, and her possible missing heel bone, her feet are a mess.  So for now we're taking a wild route with these new prosthesis that use her foot in it's natural position of toes pointed down as her shin, and gives her a fake foot to walk on.

We got the trial ones made and Daphne did great practicing in them.  They were tall and clunky and hard to walk in, but she worked hard at wearing them around the house.  She loved using the walker and getting treats whenever she did a lap around the living room and through the hallway.  Bribes are good sometimes.  We also bought her first 'real' pair of shoes.  Sparkly blue ones in size 5 that fit her fake foot.

Her finished ones are much lighter and easier to maneuver in, but it was still pretty surprising to have her come home, try them on, and announce that we could put her walker away.  "I will walk all by me-self" she says. 

And so she does.

17 October 2012

Google Search

Blogger has a stats counter available for users to check traffic on a blog.  My favorite is the traffic sources.  I find great entertainment in reading what folks typed into Google that led them to my blog.  There are the typical ones (Rider Babies, Little Rider Babies, etc.,) but here are some of the more unusual (and entertaining) search words that led people to us in the past few weeks...

Tooth Fairy Conversation:  It's true, we are the ultimate source on giving advice on handling the tooth fairy experience in your household.  That's why when I tried to explain to Daphne when the next tooth fairy visit will be (when she is older and her teeth start to fall out), she gave me an extremely concerned look and now seems to be nervous on when this horrific day is going to happen.

Smile with Holes in Cheeks:  Yikes. I don't think we have that here. 

Baby Cowboy Girl:  I think it's easier to say "Baby Cowgirl."

Playground Invitation:  You don't have to be invited to the playground!  You can just go!

Daphne Berries:  She does love berries!  Or are you talking about Daphne plants that have berries?  Because if that's the case, this blog won't help you.  My Daphne plants do not have berries.  (Or do they?  Now I can't stop thinking about it and feel like I need to go check my plants.)

(Nope, no berries.)

Amazing Trees Photos:  Pretty sure there is no reason that phrase should lead you to this blog. Pretty sure I've never taken a picture of a tree.  Oh wait, I take pictures of our Christmas trees!  And those are amazing! 

No Spare Diaper:  I've been there.  My only advice is, always have a spare diaper.

P.S. Why do you need to search for that on Google?

Christian Birthday:  Christian's birthday?  Or a Christian birthday?  Because Christian's birthday was really fun.  A Christian birthday would maybe have Jesus cupcake toppers?  Whereas maybe a Hindu birthday would have cupcake toppers featuring one of their many gods/goddesses?  I'm not sure. 

Mommy Goes Grey Hair:  Such cruel, cruel words to describe me.

Fire Pit Ideas:  Yes!  So happy to share we have fire pit ideas! (Well, one idea.)

Enjoying Eating:  "And, of course, the funniest food of all: 'Kumquats'."    — George Carlin.

Stay tuned.  Maybe we'll do this again someday.

16 October 2012

Favorite Weekend

In January when we put up our new calendar, one of the first things we do is block out the second weekend of October for the MCC Sale and cider making day.  It's the best weekend ever.

I've been going to the MCC Sale for as long as I can remember, and now I drag David and our children to it.  (They totally love it.)

Daphne got to start going in 2009 when she was almost 10 months old.

And now Christian is on his second year.

We take annual pictures in front of this banner, so whoever is in charge of putting it up each year, I hope you're reading this and know that you CANNOT EVER forget the banner.  It would ruin a family tradition and we just can't have that.

It's hard to put a finger on why we love this sale so much.  Part of it is just that we've gone for so many years and I can't imagine a fall without of it.  Part of it is the festive air, the people you get to chat with, and the whoopie pies.  (Which I accidentally left my peanut butter one at my grandparent's house.  Sad for me.)

For Daph it's the straw maze, where she smartly figured out that if you hit a dead end, you just go over the straw wall.

For David, it's clearly the quilts.   I know the quilts are what draw any man to the MCC Sale.

I've told David that it's one of my life goals to have handmade blankets on every bed in our house and so we kept our eyes open for a good one to buy this weekend.  He was alarmed when we walked into the auction room and heard a quilt sell for $3000, but we ended up finding a much cheaper comforter on the comforter table.  We brought it home and I am happy.

If the sale isn't fun enough, afterward we head to my grandparent's house for cider and doughnut making.  (Same place as C's birthday party!)  Grandpa has an amazing apple crop this year, and while some of us were hard at work picking apples, others were playing apple baseball.

But if I'm honest, 'picking apples' consisted of picking apples off the ground after Grandpa had already shaken them off the tree.   It was quite easy.

Grandpa said the cider press belonged to his grandpa...which I'm not so good at math, but I feel like that means the press is very old.

future cider-maker in training

Our freezer is stocked with cider to last us through the winter. 

My sisters and I made the doughnuts this year.  We used this recipe for pumpkin doughnuts.   They were very, very, very, very good.  Also they were delicious.
happy doughnut eaters...and JEN MADE THE BLOG!!

The fruits of our labor were enjoyed immensely by these three:

They may not look happy, but I think it's just because they were so focused on devouring their goodies. 

I realize that was a photo overload, but when you have such a great weekend it's not hard to come home with over 200 pictures on your camera. 

We're already looking forward to next year.