Friday, October 29, 2010

3 Grandpas, 2 Grandmas and 1 lovely little day trip

My dad hadn't yet met Rosanna.  He has seen her photo, heard her babbling on the phone but not been able to hold her sweet chub himself.  That's why, this week, he made a road trip.  He got into town late in the evening and Ro was sleeping but when she heard an unfamiliar voice, she woke up.
Hmmm, what to think about this guy....lemme get a closer look.
Okay, you passed the test.  Wanna play?

For the next two days we did what bonding we could.  Ro showed off all her skills: crawling, climbing, screaming, eating, sleeping, etc.  And I think her grandpa loved every minute of it! 

Yesterday we took our yearly trip to Apple Hill, a day trip I look forward to and cherish.  This year we all went, we joked that we were Rosanna's entourage.  She was never left wanting in the grandparent department, the whole trip she was passed between their adoring arms.  Three grandpas and two grandmas!  What a nice way to travel!  My arms and back got a sweet little rest for a few hours yesterday.  I did notice, however, that I started to miss her.  She was never out of eyesight.  And I missed her heavy weight in my arms and slobbery mouth on my chin (another story).  I am very attached....

Here are some of the adventures we had with grandpas and grandmas:

Ahh, pumpkins everywhere!

Fun with grandmas

Grandpas :)

There was just too much love on the hill of apples!  It was such a lovely little day trip.  We even hit up Jack Russell brewery and had their pumpkin spice beer- I had mine paired with their apple cider and it was so yummy!  Before the day was over we brought home some apples (duh), pears and a blueberry apple pie.  Rosanna posed under this cool sign we found at our last stop, where we also checked out some noisy geese!

I also saw this- have you ever seen such enormous butternut squash?!  I was floored!

On our way back home we all stopped off at Old Town Pizza and had some chow!  It was, of course, delicious!  Even the little one was revved up about the experience.
 It was an amazing day!  Even the weather cooperated, it was clear and perfect!  Can't wait for next year...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I have a new love.  I found it at the farmer's market this morning.  There, with it's odd shaped, multicolored family members.  There were at least 5 of them and they were perfect.  I wanted to take them all home, so round and so peachy!  Here is the one that made it in my bag:
I'm going to make my own pumpkin puree with it, and it'll be tough.  I don't want to slice up it's lovely creamy orange skin, it makes me happy.  I also commandeered some of his buddies, a few varieties that I've never tried before and will be cooking up this week.

The longer one is supposed to be the only kind of gourd that you can eat the skin of.  The yellow one is a sweeter kind of acorn squash and the green one is supposed to have dense, sweet meat.  That's what the lady said, and I despise that she called it "meat".  I know it's the correct thing to say, but it kinda oogs me out.  I also got a hold of some Holiday grapes.  They are, by far, the best grape ever.  If you haven't had one, go ahead and spend the few extra bucks- they're totally worth it.

Fun With Cake

I've been wanting to make a tie-dyed cake for awhile now, and I finally have a reason!  It's really pretty easy.  Whip up some white cake and divide it into a few bowls.
I forgot a step, make sure your wee-one has an acorn squash to play with...
Then I added different colors to each bowl.  Turns out you need A LOT for each.  Like, 10+ drops.

Now- you just add it to the pan (or, in my case, bowl), alternating colors.  Some people swirl.  I didn't this time.

Uh-oh, the acorn squash has lost it's appeal.  Peek-a-boo!
Next, into the oven!  Mine took about an hour.  It was the longest hour, I think I was just too excited to see what would happen!
When it was done, it was beautiful!  I cut the top so that it would sit flat (and didn't take a pic) and the insides were so vibrant!  This is definitely a keeper.  Too much fun :)
I also whipped up some baby food.  New food adventures include: beets and kiwi.  Shortly after this picture was taken, all of these lovely little bits took a turn in the food processor.
Lastly- I discovered a new way to de-seed a cantaloupe!   I used my 1/3 cup scoop to quickly and efficiently get 'er done!!  Look how lovely perfect...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rain & Figs

Oh, the rain!  Buckets of persistent, driving rain.  And if you were looking for a small break, perhaps a bit lighter rain for a few moments- forget about it.  Maybe just while we load up the car from cabin-ing?  No way.  WE GET IT- you remember how to rain, no need to show off.  Geez. 

So yes, we trekked back up to the cabin.  This time with out E and with my mom and Reese.  My mom and I enjoy exploring local grocery stores.  Sometimes there are neat finds, like an obscure kind of candy bar or some lovely bakery item.   This time we were pointed toward the Briar Patch (I think?) in Nevada City, it's their local Co-op.  It's also a hub of peace, love and well-maintained dreadlocks.  Oh, boy- Rosanna's first hippie!  Thankfully these particular locals didn't have that signature odor and instead were a shining display of why I (mostly) love them.  They wear great colors, earthy jewelry and have a clear sense of what is good for their bodies- and my favorite: they are in love.  They love the earth, the trees, the flowers, the animals, their fellow shoppers.  Granted, I was not doing any of the things that would wildly upset them, i.e. buying name brands, wearing a mink jacket, using twelve non-recyclable plastic bags, so in this moment we were harmonious.  We did find a few cool things.  I had a Mango Lassi (something I had tried in an Indian restaurant in Rome *ah, Rome*) and: figs. 
Figs are a strange, kind of scary little fruit.  I have to thank the Alehouse for putting them on their house salad so that I could discover their yumminess.  The best part about them is their insides.  I can't eat them whole (although you could), I have to cut them open because they are just too pretty inside! 

My mom and I decided they would be really great in yogurt.  I find them exotic and I feel like a well-rounded person for eating them....*snort*

We had a few shenanigans, playing in the kids' room with the baseball game on, braving wind and rain to get there.  Trying on grandpa's hat while grandma had a go at piggy-backing
Trying on grandma's cozy shoes:
She even got to wear her hoodie for the first time, what a cutie!

Despite the rain's best efforts, we enjoyed ourselves- it's what we do!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weensy Little Vacation

Do you ever get the feeling that days off aren't really "off'"?  I noticed some time back that to really be "off" I have to leave.  Any parent can tell you that there are no more days off, but there are days "away".  So that is just what we did.  We left.  We didn't go far, and truthfully it wouldn't have mattered if we had just stayed in the backyard, the key is to get out of the house.  
Yesterday we set off for Nevada City to a camping resort called Harmony Ridge.  It is so pretty up there!  The weather was mild, breezy perfection.  ~Insert large exhale here~  Not only that, it smelled like hiking. 
I used to hike with my dad.  He'd load up a big pack for himself and a smaller pack for me and we'd set off from his front porch.  As soon as our hiking boots hit the highway, up went our thumbs.  Soon enough someone would pick us up.  Once it was a lady driving a mini van with three kids in the back.  Another time it was a mountain resort worker driving his VW van with the full bed and kitchen in the back.  Oregon is a different kind of place than California.  Anyhow, we'd hike in 4-5 miles and set up camp near a lake.  It was quiet.  So lovely quiet.  Just the wind in the trees and the mellow lapping of water on the lake shore.   I vividly remember balancing on a tree trunk that had fallen over the water, watching the spastic water bugs and tiny camouflage frogs while using the water purifier hand pump to get water to refill our bottles. 
The smell out there took me back to hiking with my pops.  It's a sweet kind of smell, piney, earthy and a bit sticky. 
Our cabin was perfect, with a little kitchen and it's own toilet (score!).  Although this is hardly the camping of my younger days, it sure works out well with a baby in tow.

We wandered a bit, lounged a bit and even took a drive into Nevada City where we looked into closed shop windows.  Quiet foothill towns don't have much reason to stay open past 4 or 5 on a Tuesday afternoon, so we were spared any unnecessary spending.  We cooked dinner on the stove top and in the oven and Rosanna entertained herself with the new environment and the trash we created.  Everyone is aware that non-toy items make much better baby toys than anything that is labeled as a "toy", right??

We had a few 'firsts'.  One was riding on my shoulders.  She thought it was the coolest thing, she had me in her grips!  No really, she did.  All my hair, right at her finger tips.  By the time the walk was over, my hair follicles were screaming for mercy.  At least it made for cute pictures:

Another first, hanging out with bears!!!

 First time on the swings!!
We were only gone overnight, and it was perfect.  Ethan and I got a kick out of how truly dark it was when the lights went out, gives new meaning to the phrase "pitch black".  It reminds me of the time I was spelunking with my dad......

Monday, October 18, 2010


You're gonna think I'm crazy.  In the past 48 hours I dragged my family (mostly my kid) to 3 photo sessions.  
Yesterday my friend and I went to Sears, we had coupons!  So her little girl and my little girl had their pictures taken.  It was a long process, and then we had to choose which ones we wanted.  Are you kidding?  I want them all.  Every single one.  The coupon was a great idea on the part of Sears, they made a little money on us.  Just a little though because I brought gift cards!  Winner!

In the pursuit of a portrait studio that would take us on a moment's notice, we printed up the same coupon for Target and JCPenny.  So today we decided to do family pictures.  They are so awesome!  I can't figure out how to share an example here, so here's the link: (you're gonna have to copy/paste)

After our family photo session at JCPenny, I still had one pesky coupon left- and these things expire!  What a waste it would be to let it become worth nothing, sad indeed.  So off we went!  Target captured Rosanna in all her Ladybug glory.  Her first Halloween costume is nothing to take lightly.  If you wanna take a peek, they are here:

I do feel a bit crazy.  So many photos, all so very cute.  Our walls better watch out, they are about to be covered with a new super star. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Auburn's Community Festival

This lovely little event happens every year, and somehow I've never been.  It's so cute!  Tres fall.  There's a scarecrow contest, cooking contest and the highly anticipated largest pumpkin contest.  Throw in some hay bales and lots of little ones (who are thrilled to be allowed to wear their costumes BEFORE Halloween) and you have the Community Festival! 
Old Town Pizza sells pizza by the slice at this event every year, so when we arrived we headed straight to the homeland- and a very excited grandpa.
I am really only creating this post to have an excuse to post brag pictures.  The opportunities for cuteness were endless:




and other manner of supreme CUTENESS!

Love, love, love!!!