Nov 30, 2011

November Update

Whoa am I behind on blog posts! Let’s see what I can do about catching you up…

On Sunday, Nov. 6 Lynde and I participated in the Apple Hill Harvest Run, which was an 8.5 mile course up in the foothills past Placerville. Cold weather had just hit and there had been a possibility that it might snow up there the night before the run. Luckily, it just rained that night, which was over by the time we got up there for the run the next morning. But golly it was cold. I’d brought along my gloves to wear during the run and then decided to leave them in the car thinking that I didn’t want to lose them when I knew I’d eventually take them off as I warmed up during the run. Whoops!

We got there an hour early, which is recommended, but also required us to stand around in the cold waiting for the race to start. It took a good mile into the course for Lynde and I to be able to feel our feet and fingers again - and that was just the tingly you feel when they start to warm up. By the end, we were both freezing again. Somewhere in the middle I did get warm enough that I actually rolled my sleeves up a smidge, but the last stretch of the course was under a tree canopy that trapped the cold in.

Overall, it was a gorgeous run. The course wound along the scenic Apple Hill region, which meant there were tons of Apple and other fruit orchards all over, along with wineries and Christmas Tree farms. I’ve never seen so many Choose-and-cut tree lots so close together. At one point two farms were right next to each other, sharing a parking lot and another was across the road! I’m not sure we’ll go up there this year for a tree, but maybe next.

The course was also full of hills. Lynde and I both are used to a flat course, so this was a challenge. Eventually, I’d end up going on ahead of Lynde when I was in my stride and the hills had done her in. Still, She only finished 5 minutes behind me. That's her in the blue in the photo above about to cross the finish line.

So what next…

Later that same week, Cameron took me to my first California Waterfowl Association (CWA) Dinner. Lynde said she would watch London, so it was sort of a date night for us, if you count in Cameron's co-worker Ken, his wife, their kids and friends, and Cameron's frat brother Soper, his son and Dad.

The dinner included an auction, silent auction and raffle besides the Prime Rib dinner. Cameron purchased many tickets for the raffle and ended up winning one of the last drawings, which was for a rifle – he ended up passing on the rifle and getting the cash instead for a new goose call. And we didn’t walk away from the auction empty handed either. There was this beautiful drawing of a couple of wood ducks that we both liked – it would go great in our loft whenever we get around to decorating it. We went for it and out bid all the others. We got it at a great price since it was toward the end of the auction, most people had spent their limits.

All in all it was a fun night out.

The Saturday after the CWA dinner, the one before we went to Disneyland (that post is next!), Cameron got an invite to go crabbing with his co-worker Ken, who had attended the CWA dinner. Ken had to be back by 1 PM that day, so he and Cameron met up in the wee hours of the morning (I think it was 3 AM) and headed for Bodega Bay. Cameron ended up coming home with his allotted 10 crabs and said the whole group caught their maximum for the day that morning - they even got home early.

Of course, now that we had 10 crab, we needed something to cook them in, so on our way to the Tarrs that evening to celebrate Jeremy’s birthday, we stopped by Home Depot. Originally, Cameron was going to get a bunch of cinderblocks and a metal basin to build a fire under to boil the crab – until he saw the Turkey Fryer. Perfect.

We had a great evening that night catching up with all our friends and getting to know baby Braydon a little more.

Sunday, Cameron boiled the crab so we could feast on not only the crab but also pulled Antelope Monday night. Yes, I even had some of the crab – I’ve had a bad reaction to calamari and was instructed to stay away from all shellfish because of it. But I remember eating crab when I was little and loving it. It was just too tempting. Since we were home I popped a Claritin and gave it a try. I didn’t go overboard, not even eating a full crab, but it tasted as good as I remembers and no reaction in sight! Now I’m dying to try shrimp again. If I can check these two off the list on what I can eat again, I’d be one happy lady. Calamari I will never touch again.

Nov 4, 2011

Our Growing Girl

The girl just won’t stop growing – seriously. London won’t even slow down, not even a smidgen. Just when you think we’re set for a while, she goes and grows some more and passes two more milestones in her race to grow up and be taller than me!

The first milestone was a bit delayed on Cameron and my parts. The poor girl, while still within the weight limit of her infant car seat, had definitely outgrown it in height. The little girl’s feet were taking firm walks up the back of the actual car seat. This was until her last doctor’s visit, when she was officially too heavy for the infant car seat as well. With our trip up to Reno, we knew we needed to get London into something more comfortable. Its not like we didn’t have the new car seat – we’d bought it last November during the Black Friday/Weekend sales. We were just lazy in taking it out of the box in the garage and learning how to use it.

When I got back from my 5K that morning though, Cameron had it out of the box and fitted to London. Only thing was, if we placed her backward, like the Academy of Pediatrics recommends until the child is 2 years old, London would have been eating her knees, still!

After checking the labels and seeing that London met the minimum forward-facing weight and height requirements of the car seat, Cameron and I both agreed it was time to turn that girl around. And boy, does she love it, being able to see so much more, minus when the sun gets her in the eyes.

The second milestone has to do with clothes. We made it through the summer on size 12 months – barely! By the end, we were struggling to get some shirts over London’s head and the few pants that we had looked more like capris. The poor girl had a wedgy if we tried to put a 12 month onesie on her.

And so it was off to Target one rainy night recently to get her some fall and early winter clothes – all pants, no shorts with a mix of long and short sleeved outfits.

It’s also sad to report that London has almost outgrown onesies altogether. They are rare for the 18 month size and even rarer for the 24 month size. By next summer there will be no onesies in her wardrobe for sure.

We tried not to go too overboard, given that both Cameron and I doubt we’ll make it through the winter before needing to buy some 24 month sized clothes. If she grows another inch, another shopping trip is in our future. Thank goodness Target sees enough clothes go through the stores that in season items can be found on the clearance racks.

This growing also makes it terribly hard to predict where she will be a year from now, so we don’t shop with the future in mind – we can only get what we need right now or we’ll jinx ourselves and she’ll either stop growing or double her growing. Her closet is filled to the brim with tubs of clothes the girl has outgrown and we’re quickly filling the shed with more!

Nov 3, 2011


While last year was London’s true first Halloween, this year felt more like it since this was her first year to go Trick-or-Treating. And at one point I wasn’t sure if we were even going to get out the door. But in the end, all three of us had a blast and stayed up way past our bedtimes.

London’s Halloween started at daycare. They were having a harvest festival in the afternoon and invited the kids to bring in their costumes to dress in for the party. Cameron was taking her in on Halloween so I had him dress her in her Halloween PJs (might as well be festive and comfy the first part of the day) and take bag with her costume along and a tray full of crackers for later. The report from Cameron upon picking her up that afternoon was that her costume fit perfectly (I’d had to make some adjustments between our Halloween party and Halloween but never actually tried it on her) and that she’d enjoyed a chocolate cupcake at the party, which had also made its way all over her costume!

I was minutes behind Cameron and he still needed to put in an order for work, so I hit the ground running when I walked through the door. Between changing from my work clothes to my Halloween shirt, stripping London and throwing her costume in the wash and searching for the pumpkin carving tools, I was sweating by the time I finally stopped moving. And that was only for a second. And yes, you heard that right – I was searching for pumpkin carving tools. Yes, we failed to carve our pumpkin over the weekend, although ever since I had a pumpkin melt over night after spending hours carving it, I do tend to wait until the last minute on this.

Here's how the pumpkin turned out

At this point Cameron was finished with work and came down to hollow out the pumpkin and get the carving done. The plan had been to scrape the skin off in the shape of Mickey’s head. But our pumpkin was victim to the early October rains and had developed some unsightly lesions, too deep to not spend hours scraping, so we scrapped that and Cameron cut out the whole shape!

During this time, London was starving and throwing a tantrum to be fed, as the cheez-its were not satisfying her. She was also doing everything she could to get our attention, which meant doing everything she is not supposed to do, landing her in time out once. Between the tantrums and her rubbing her eyes already, I really wasn’t sure we should even go Trick-or-Treating.

Just in time, London’s costume was ready for the dryer. I threw it in on high for 20 minutes and ran back downstairs to deal with my starving girl by making us all a quick dinner of pot stickers. Just as we finished, London’s costume was ready. And to my discovery, a little smaller than it had been an hour earlier! But not so small we couldn’t get it on her.

So out the door we went to take pictures with a glow stick wand all cracked up and lit and her new pumpkin to hold in her candy haul – the same kind I had as a kid. We handed all this to her just out side the door. With her tummy full, the tears and tantrums were gone, and being outside, the eye rubbing vanished too. She squealed with delight with her wand and pumpkin in hand! We only had the chance to take one picture before she was off and running! First stop was Woodrow and Lauren’s, who we haven’t seen in a while. Woodrow had a nice set up of animatronic witches and zombies combined with noise effects. London wasn’t too sure what to think of all of it. She ended up just staring at the scene, but thankfully never screamed. Does make me question how she’ll handle the Haunted Mansion in two weeks!

And off ran London

Straight into Woodrow's arms!

From there we stopped at a few more neighbors. London loved getting to grab handfuls of candy to put into her pumpkin. We don’t get too many Trick-or-Treaters in our neighborhood, so one Costco-sized bag is plenty for the night and you can still give each kid 3 to 5 pieces each! At one point London was just taking the candy out of the bowl and onto the chair that it was sitting on while we talked with our neighbor. Then I heard a wrapper crinkle. London was chewing on it – she’d discovered the Smartees inside tasted yummy. Cameron ended up biting a few into smaller pieces so London could have some.

We spent the next two hours Trick-or-Treating a little, but mostly visiting with our neighbors while London played with some of the little girls down the street. Our house wasn’t dark, not handing out candy either. We simply put the bowl out on the front porch and checked on it occasionally. We still have plenty left over too, not to mention the decent haul London brought in! We called it a night just before 9 PM and got London down as quickly as we could. Cameron and I would end up staying up past 11 PM, watching the DVD sent with our Disney tickets and getting excited about our upcoming visit to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Nov 2, 2011

Davis Ranch with the Daycare

London's Daycare group on the "Hay" ride

A week before Halloween London’s Daycare took a field trip to Davis Ranch, the same farm we visit each year to pick and cut down our Christmas tree.

Because toddlers are a handful, the only way London’s Froggy Group could go was if a parent for 3 of the 4 children agreed to go along. Here’s the kicker – if we didn’t, then we didn’t have daycare until after 1 PM that day. Another trip to a pumpkin patch with my pumpkin? No problem, I was on board. Plus, having gotten to know Evan’s parents, I’d have fun talking with Kristin, who was also going.

Kristin & Evan

After getting to sleep in for once, London and I arrived at daycare that morning around 8:45 AM – we weren’t leaving for the Ranch until 9:30. It was fun being able to spend some time with London and her classmates and Miss Alicia to see what her days are like. We played with puzzles and sang songs, not to mention read a few books and London showed me how she could slide down the back of the school bus.

Looking for just the right pumpkin

Then it was time to caravan over to Davis Ranch. As soon as we got there, one of the farmhands instructed us to get on the hayride. I think every adult looked around for the vehicle. It couldn’t be the tractor attached to a board on wheels, could it? But yes, that was the vehicle he was instructing us to load up on. Thank gosh parents of the Froggies were required to come – I was even nervous for the kids that were of listening and abiding age. Just a little misstep and they could end up flying off this thing. It definitely gave me an idea that Davis Ranch is not used to hosting school kids and definitely not pre-schools. But on we climbed and we were off, albeit quite slowly, past the watermelons and Christmas trees and over a hill to the pumpkin fields.

I wasn't kidding - look at the non-existent barrier!

Each type of pumpkin had its own row. Big, little, white, orange, green – every color and size pumpkin that you could imagine. Miss Alicia, Kristin and I steered the Froggies toward the little pumpkins which includes orange and white Jack Be Littles. First we each picked out a white pumpkin, about twice the size of a Little, that had green and orange stripes. Then we picked out one white and one orange of the Littles. Miss Alicia picked a few more for craft projects to do later that week.

Pumpkin Found


The whole daycare didn’t take long to pick out a pumpkin and soon we were back on the “hayride” (though there was no hay) and headed back to the Davis Ranch main area. They have several picnic tables set up out there so we commandeered two and the kids ate lunch.

Lunch Time

From there, we let the kids run through the “haybale” maze. London was getting tired at this point so there was no haybale maze for her. She had no interest following the big kids through – she wanted to go check out all the picked pumpkins for sale under a big tent. After a picture of the group in front of the Giant Mountain of Pumpkins, we caravanned back to the Daycare center. By the time we were back, London, along with most of the kids in the other cars were passed out.

One more picture before we go

I knew this had been a lot for her, and wanted to ensure a good nap, so I ended up taking her home to sleep in her own crib. London slept for 2 solid hours AFTER I transferred her from the car to crib. And then we had a fun day playing together the rest of the afternoon before Daddy got home and while AT&T installed new cable boxes, internet and phone services at our house.