Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin "Patch"

Jackson, Allie and I went out to Cox Farms this past week. Jackson and I are participating in a joy school-like cooperative pre-school we're calling Pee Wees. [My friend Kari has a nice summation of what we're doing on her blog]. I was in charge of teaching the past 2 weeks, so of course we used the book "Pumpkin Pumpkin," and took a field trip to the pumpkin patch to connect to real life. Cox farms is definitely the closest farm to get pumpkins at (40 min away), but I went in totally ignorant of pumpkin patching on the East Coast. It's nothing like the pumpkin patch of my youth. It's more of a fall festival out in the country and you get a token mini pumpkin on your way out. I missed the actual going out into the field to pick pumpkins, but there is definitely some merit to grabbing a pumpkin on the way out. Too bad the 9$ admission only bought the 1$ pumpkin '(such smart business people).

The place was packed, despite a rainy morning and a drizzly afternoon. Mud and gray skies were no deterrent for Jackson. He was in heaven, except the 8 times he turfed it in the mud, and when he was attacked by goats.

(Here is Jackson being rescued from the goats after he sat down thinking their play structure was a slide. Woops! It's not, and apparently the goats love to nibble and lick humans who are sitting down in their territory. Jackson recounts the experience by saying "Da Goats ate me!)

There were tons of hill slides everywhere. I can not believe how confident Jackson was on each one. I went down the first one with him,

 and he was ready!

This slide was my favorite. See the line in the back? Does Jackson understand lines? Of course not. He wanted to go down the slide, so he innocently made his way up to the front, and weaseled his way into a position to go down. His little toddler body meandering through the line was adorable and terribly embarrassing for Allie and I waiting at the bottom. He was quite anxious to go do that one again, but I dutifully redirected his attention, since I didn't want to wait in the 15 min. line either. 

 When it started raining, and most of the slides closed down. Jackson had no problem finding something to do: throw rocks in the puddles of course!

We came home muddied and tired but full of plenty of fun pumpkin memories or err... slide memories. And little miss Allie? Ya, she was awake for 80% of the day. Who would want to miss out on all that fun?!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feeling Blessed

Mark blessed Allie this weekend. It's hard to describe how it feels to hear my husband pronounce a blessing on our child. Pride is the wrong word. The feeling is closer to peaceful gratitude as I listened to beautiful words full of emotion, vision and spirit.

We were blessed to have a ton of family come to the ordinance. We have started to accumulate a number of cousins in the area, and they were all awesome and came to support Allie and us. My parents were also able to fly in for a short visit to be here for the day. Our next door neighbors even made it to the service! Jackson, was pretty convinced everyone was there to see him, since he had non-stop attention from the g'parents, friends, and my adorable younger cousins for the entire day. Thankfully, he slept in Sunday morning, so he was able to last the day without a nap.

With all his blessed attention, he really struggled to stay still long enough to take a family picture. Still working on that! But at least we're all smiling :)

Allie was a super trooper and didn't mind getting passed around to adoring hands. She even managed to keep her dress (the same dress I was blessed in!) clean the entire time. Woah!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Household Maturing

Today, I went to the dentist. The dental assistant made a comment that caused me to reflect on the maturing state of our household. After having met me, and then looking at my papers, she said "wow! you're so young!" I didn't really know how to react to that, because I had no idea what prompted her to say it. Did she look at my birthday and think I just looked a lot older than my 27 years? Did she think I was young to have just had a baby? Or was she surprised by how recently 1985 seemed? [I must admit it's weird I have a few good friends who were born in the 90's.] I did the only logical thing I could think of, and said "thank you," not really knowing what was the appropriate thing to say.

Age is so relative, it's hard to ever feel consistently "old" or "young" if you interact with a wide variety of people. When I was younger, I loved having older friends and being mistaken as their same age. I think I felt some pride in my ability to fool others. I realize this will likely change at some point, at least in the opposite direction. Luckily for the dental assistant, I haven't hit that point. Despite my gray hairs, I still enjoy feeling older than I am. It is likely still due to the fact I have a lot of good friends in their 30s and 40s, and there are times I feel like such a baby when we start talking about culture specifics from childhood.

Watching my kids mature, has been similar but different. I have a hard time relating to so many of my friends who lament their children getting older. So far, I just get excited to learn more about their hidden little personalities, and thrilled they're growing and developing and becoming less dependent on me and my arms. I'm guessing this will change, but boy I love watching these kiddos grow.

Allie definitely wins on the rate of maturing in our house. At a mere 7 weeks she looks like a 3 month old to me. I love that she's holding up her head more, smiling more and sleeping through the night more. I'm not thrilled that her daily weight gain keeps making it harder to bounce her to sleep when she's really over tired.

Jackson proved his maturity by surviving a weekend of LDS General Conference. Essentially, instead of church, we watch a broadcasted conference from Salt Lake, on Saturday and Sunday. In the past, we've been able to time watching it around his naps. This year he was awake for 7 1/2 hours of the 8 hours we watched. WHEW! Quite the trooper.We were stunned by how much he actually enjoyed it. At the end of the first 2 sessions he cried when we turned it off! During 80% of the speaking time, he played nicely by himself, and during the choir numbers he took this attentive pose:

Perhaps he has an unusual attraction to music, or perhaps he just is terribly screen deprived and will take it in any form it comes.

So what about Mark? Since we've been married, he's given up corn dogs, sugared cereal and oreos. I would say this is maturity, though arguments could be made for a "maturing" metabolism. Whatever the reason, it's nice to know our whole house will keep getting older, grayer, and hopefully wiser, all together.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


There is little that brings greater joy than seeing your 5 1/2 week old recognize you, and give 3 gigantic smiles while sitting on someone else's lap. Oh elation.

Allie started smiling consistently last week, and we're in heaven everytime she flashes one. 


Jackson's also [thankfully] started the pose-for-the-camera phase that most 2 year olds seem to go through. We're grateful because it means we can take pictures of him without trying to hide the camera--we just lose the candid smile.

At our house, we celebrate smiles any way they come.