Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Last week we went to the local pumpkin patch with Little S's preschool. The fieldtrip included a tractor ride and feeding the sheep in the petting zoo. We've taken her there each fall, though I don't know how many more years the patch and Christmas tree farm will survive (i.e. not sell out) as big development goes up all around it.

These wagons are a hit with all the kids - I've never seen anyone fill them with anything but small children! Little S with 2 friends from her class (this past spring I posted about waiting all night to get a spot in the preschool class. Well, you're looking at the 3 kids whose parents were numbers 1, 2, and 3 in line that night :)

Little S and I have been reading and loving this book from the library: The Pumpkin Fair by Eve Bunting.
We read it multiple times a day, but it was due so I returned it while she was at school. When she realized it was gone, we had to go back to the library to see if we could check it out again (no luck).

Birthday Week

D initiated birthday week when we were first married. When it's your birthday, you pick when the week starts (usually your birthday falls near the end of the 7 days) and you get to do whatever you want that week - choose what we eat, where we go, any fun stuff you want to do - it's your week! And you get small gifts during the week, too.

Last week was D's BW and we had a fun time as a fam celebrating the big 33! At the end of the week, this is what I found in the kitchen after noticing the house was a bit too quiet for too long:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Inspiration

Find it at my friend Becca's blog, ahabitatforhumanity

In an effort to find "the good" all around her (and keep a good attitude about her daily duties), Becca started writing brief posts about everything from the architecture around her New Haven, Conn. neighborhood to good recipes for the kids. I especially enjoyed her recent Oct 10 entry about the community of Chinese grandparents moving in with their Yale student children to help take care of their grandkids!

Becca is a great writer and friend and I miss living closer to her. We went to grad school together and have, in the 4 years since graduating, lamented together about leaving our stacks of art history books on the shelves for these few years while we dedicate our energy to the crazy but always cute little ones we're raising.

Here's to the good all around us!

This Weekend - Princesses and Pink

Little S's cousin Samantha had her third birthday party over the weekend- princess themed and the girls were to wear their princess dresses. Little S's grandma sewed princess dresses for all of her young granddaughters over the last few months - 8 dresses total! Little S got her dress from grandma the day before the party and was so excited when the box arrived. She put the dress on right away and wanted me to play music so she could dance around.
The birthday girl (left) with cousin Aislinn in another of Grandma's dresses.

The only full-length shot of the dress Grandma made for Little S.

All the princesses decorating cookies. Aislinn (left), Sam (center) and Little S (upper right).

After the party Little S and I headed to the Art Center library to look something up for Grandpa. Little S loved the grounds - she made up her own nature walk and collected huge leaves and sticks.

On Sunday, Auntie L and Matt participated in the local 5k walk for breast cancer. Little S and I went down early Sunday morning to take pics of our walkers! I was so proud of them and moved by the community support for the cause. Our maternal grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and hearing the survivors speak and rally before the race got me a bit teary eyed.

Auntie L and Matt in front of the race support vehicle - decorated with dozens of bras. Matt's dogs came along in support of breast cancer, too!

Over 2000 walkers participated - the race started downtown and wandered through the historic district, ending at our outdoor ampitheater.

Auntie L along the race route...

Saturday, October 4, 2008


11 days on the big island - it couldn't have been more perfect. Our friends Chris and Nicole invited us to join them at the beautiful (that's an understatement) vacation home of Nicole's grandparents north of Kona, Hawaii. The pic above was the sunset on our last night on the island. It was a well deserved vacation for D and Little S loved having both parents at her beck and call.

Our gracious hosts Chris and Nicole:

Little S worked on new skills on the surf board at the house pool. This was our view of the ocean every day from the house - on the 4th hole of the golf course.

When she wasn't swimming in the pool at the house, Little S thoroughly enjoyed the kiddie pool at the resort (the house is on the grounds of the Four Seasons). She had this pool nearly to herself all week. It was the nicest kiddie pool I've ever seen - sloped sand into the pool on one end and the entire pool has a sand bottom. It had a huge trunk of water toys for the kids to use and kiddie lounge chairs when they felt like working on their kiddie tans. The turtle got a sand facial from Little S each day.

Little S named this pool the Mommy pool. We spent most late mornings and early afternoons going between the kiddie and mommy pools. Little S was getting pretty comfortable with the resort life - pool attendents brought around little cups of ice cream bonbons, ice water, misters and other treats while we were lounging. You know it's time to get back to real life when the 2 year old is asking when the ice cream is coming.

When she wanted to get out and about, we rode the golf cart down to the beaches to look for sea turtles. This started the first morning we were in Hawaii when Little S woke up for the day at 3:30am (right on schedule if we were in Calif). D took her down to the beaches 4 times that day and it became our daily ritual.

The fellas went fishing on 4 of the mornings. Each day they got better - the spear fishing proved more difficult than anticipated - but the kayak we rented for 2 days really elevated their level of pole fishing success. The best catch was this guy: a yellow-finned surgeon fish (aka pualo). We even grilled it up for dinner!

Sight Seeing:
We drove around the island checking out the diverse landscape.
Akaka Falls:

Waipio Valley:

Place of Refuge: Little S explains to me which is the mommy and which is the daddy

The Food:
Chris and Nicole are our best foodie friends. They love a fine meal at a nice restaurant. They showed us a few of their fave places in the area.
My tomato salad at our last night dinner (this is the reason we went to the Grille):

D loves trying unique fruit - he bought all of this at the farmer's market and arranged a lovely still life :)

Virgin lava flows - the drink of choice on the trip:

Hawaiian shaved ice filled with coconut ice cream (Little S learned about freeze headaches while devouring this):

Brown's Restaurant:
We helped light tiki torches during our beachside dinner. Little S was asking about this guy's belly button as we walked away.

Another highlight of the dinner, besides the food, was the great live music. Little S and another little girl danced the night away to Hawaiian tunes. One of my favorite moments of the trip was when the singer finished with one song and those of us listening began to applause. Little S turned around with a huge, surprised smile of pride - I think she thought everyone was clapping for her dance and she loved that moment. I've never seen that look on her face.