Monday, November 28, 2011

The Felling of the Tree

Way back in October, my parents and brother came to visit. My dad was obviously very excited to see his "favorite daughter, favorite son-in-law, and favorite grandkids" (his words, not mine), but he also came to California with a mission:

To cut this tree down. The pine tree, not the palm tree.

The fact that I wanted this tree gone might come as a surprise to some of you. Around these parts, I'm considered somewhat of a nature-lover-tree-hugger, if you may. There aren't many true hippies here in Southern California, so the fact that I'm from Oregon and that I recycle automatically qualifies me as a hippie. Go figure.

Anyway, this tree was a real menace to society. The tree was growing crooked, dangerously close to our home, and threatening the safety of every child innocently passing by on their way to school. Not to mention the fact that the tree was blocking out sunlight, rendering it impossible to grow anything green underneath its bows, as well as littering our lawn and sidewalk with needles and treeish-whatnot. Clearly, this tree was all sorts of bad news and needed to go.

Before picture- side view

This tree-cutting business really turned into a family affair, as do most of our home renovation projects. Steve's Dad (Doug) brought over his chain saw and joined in the fun. And here's a picture of Jimmy doing what Jimmy does best; supervising:

My mom, Steve's mom (Marsha), and I were tasked with the job of entertaining the children, sewing Halloween costumes, and keeping Steve abreast with the progress. Even though he was dressed up in his fancy work clothes, Steve just had to jump in during his lunch break:

The menfolk, surveying their work

Now, my Dad isn't a professional logger, but he's a very capable guy. Nonetheless, I did make him swear that no injury would befall house or human, and he was true to his word. However, there was one small misstep:

I love that the instant this happened, Jimmy had out his IPhone. And yes, it was posted on Facebook within minutes.

However, that was just a small setback, and no serious damage occurred. Again, the whole family got in on bringing this baby down:

Then came the really fun part for my dad:

And then even more fun for the whole family:

And finally, TIMBER!

Jimmy gave up counting the rings at about 5 rings in...

Great work, Lumberjack Dad. We love you!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

9 Months

Jude, our baby, turned nine months old two weeks ago. And if you're mathematically inclined, that also means that Jude will be 10 months old in two weeks' time. This growing-up-quickly-and-not-so-much-a-baby thing must stop. Did you hear me, Jude?

Our nine month pictures aren't great because they were taking inside and the dude just doesn't like to hold still. Much like his sister, he's a crazy monkey. Except this time around, we have a crazy BOY monkey on our hands. Which means that, when excited, he is prone to flailing, squealing, hitting, head-butting and the like. But really, he's such a sweet guy.

A friend, my sweet Candace, recently asked what his personality is like. So here goes:
  • Jude is joyful. He smiles a lot, and has a very high-pitched squeal to match his excitement. It can be a bit embarrassing at times, seeing how his squeal is pretty feminine, but I'm sure that will all change in due time.
  • Jude is adaptable. Sure, he does best when he's on his routine, but he rolls with the punches so much better than our first child. Or better yet, his mom and dad have learned how to roll with the punches with the passage of time.
  • Jude loves to explore. He is interested in everything around him, and his one-legged crab-walk crawl is a hoot to watch. He takes his surroundings in, loves to put things in his mouth, which keeps us on our toes.
  • Jude is generally pretty content. He's not necessarily calm or chill, but he isn't phased by much.
  • Jude is currently a mama's boy. I find this to be endearing and taxing at the same time. We'll see how this plays out as he grows and matures.
Weight: 20 lbs.
Height: ? Good luck getting this kid to hold still to measure him.

This picture really reminds me that Jude is losing his baby-ness.

Obviously, we are so in love with our little guy. And why wouldn't be? He's pretty great, minus the still-not-sleeping-through-the-night factor. That has to change soon, right? Jude now has three teeth; two on the bottom and one on the top. He eats everything (dog hair included) in his sight and is just four pounds away from outweighing his big sis.

Can you see those teeth?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

October, Part 2

We had the privilege of hosting Grammie, Grandpa, and Uncle Jimmy in our home a few weeks ago. We had a lot of fun doing harvest-y and Halloween-y things together, and my dad chopped down a tree in our front yard. But that's another post for another time. Here are some pictures of our adventures:

Grandpa and Grammie thought that Jude needed to man-up and sink his chompers into some meat. So we blended up some chicken (did that make you throw up a little bit?) and Grandpa had the pleasure of dispensing it. Jude loved it.

We went to Irvine Regional Park, which was just wonderful. They have a great little zoo, a train, pony rides, and they also host a "pumpkin patch." In regards to the patch, to quote my mom, "At least the pumpkins were placed on dirt and not on concrete." Yes, we're pumpkin patch snobs.

Floating Delaney and Jude heads

Scarecrow girl

Uncle Jimmy and Delaney on the train

Apparently we like the color orange.

Delaney had the time of her life on the pony with Uncle Red Neck.

See what I mean about orange? Baby Beaver Believers in training.

Nana and Grammie had fun bringing Delaney's Halloween costume, Super Kitty, to life.

And here's Super Kitty herself. I could have died with pride.

In other Halloween-y news, Grandpa got to carve pumpkins with Delaney and Steve. We talked him into creating his specialty from my childhood, a cat. I love how focused my dad is, and how silly Delaney and Steve are.

The jack-o-lanters, nestled next to the very special Delaney and Jude pumpkins shipped directly from Rasmussen Farms.

My parents and brother also got to experience their very first Trunk-n-Treat at our church. It.Was.Crazy. THOUSANDS of people kind of crazy. But it was also so fun and I think that my folks had a fun time watching Super Kitty and the Cowboy in action.

Grammie and the over-tired Cowboy

Grandpa and the kids in their bibs

I think she likes this guy

Thanks so much for visiting, Grammie, Grandpa, & Uncle Jimmy! The countdown to Christmas in Oregon is on!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The month of October came and went, without even consulting me once. So here I am, in a new month, blogging about the previous month...

We planned a mini vacation to Disneyland this month. Steve's work schedule is different now that he's not a classroom teacher, so he was able to take a week off in October. Our plan was to spend a few days at Disneyland and then come home and finish up some house projects. Instead, we all got sick, and spent most of the time trying to get healthy. However, we had booked a hotel room in Anaheim, which required a 72 hour notice of cancellation. Seriously, 3 days? Who knows 3 days ahead of time that they're going to need to cancel? Seeing how we weren't going to get our money back, we decided to throw caution to the wind and go to Disneyland regardless of our health. And you know what? It all turned out just fine and we actually had a lovely time. Our dear friends Matt, Shannon, Ben, & Emma Miller came out and joined us one night. Ben and Delaney love each other, and I'm hoping for a double hook up with Emma and Jude as well.

Dancing, dancing, this kid is always dancing...

With the kids in line for Delaney's favorite ride--the train!

Possibly her 2nd favorite ride, the carousel...

Look, it's Jude! And he's drinking coffee! Aak!

Obligatory Sword in the Stone shot...

Matt and I on the teacups with Delaney and Ben. This is parental love at it's best, folk. I do not like to spin.

We also visited Hurst Ranch this October for their annual harvest festival, just like we did last year. This time around, Papa and Steve joined us. It was a beautiful, albeit hot, day. You think I would be used to 90 degree weather in October after living in Southern California for the past 8 years. Somehow, the hot autumn weather always throws me for a loop and makes me a bit cranky. I think it's time that I come to accept that fall in Riverside doesn't arrive until November...maybe. Anyway, the flower fairy garden was, once again, a big hit with Delaney.

Flower Fairy Delaney

Happy Fairy

Jude wore his overalls to the farm, because that's what boys do.