Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Apple pie from SCRATCH



Apples from the orchard just outside. Whole wheat pastry flour. Butter. Butter. Butter. Cranberries. Sugar. Mmm.



Gordon has this machine to peel and core apples all at once. Chris operated it, but it was a little like watching John Henry and the steam engine.





My mom made the crust with whole wheat flour. We thought it would be dry, but it turned out perfect.





Everyone in the house that day had a hand in making the pie. It was a fun family Christmas activity. We all enjoyed eating the pies for the next couple of days as well.
A wonderful memory of Noah's first Christmas was a spontaneous moment of singing Christmas carols all together. We knew all the words to very few of them, but the made-up lyrics and humming was just as good, if not better. Noah was mesmerized by the singing.

A Real Christmas Tree



We were going to be without a Christmas tree in favor of a Christmas branch this year (a favorite of my mom), but Gordon decided there was a little tree near his house that needed to be thinned anyway, so we got lucky. We all marched up the hill, saw in hand, and hauled it back. Obviously I was very proud of Noah for cutting it down all by himself :).









Our cute little tree turned out to be a little bigger than we thought once it was inside, but the top made a cute little extra tree out on the porch.

Christmas Catch-up



I'm still further behind on these posts that I had hoped, but here is a little one. My grandpa, almost 92, had a great time holding Noah on his lap. Noah just sat and played and sang and listened for about a half hour until we left for lunch.

This portrait of us is from a tree in the restaurant I mentioned the other day. Too bad I didn't have it in time to make it into a Christmas card!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sandy Toes





Noah's first ever trip to the beach! We ate lunch at a fancy restaurant overlooking the ocean up on the Santa Cruz cliffs. Afterwards we all walked down a little path to the beach. It was a chilly day, but Chris let Noah stick his little toes into the surf anyway. He loved it and laughed. After tw waves though, his toes thoroughly chilled, he cried for a warm fleece jacket and a nice uncle to carry him.





Once his toes were warmed up, we brushed the sand off his feet and snuggled him back into the ergo for the trip back up the hill. It was the only day we spent on the beach (although we did go down to the wharf another day - a later post...).



I'm way behind on blogging all the photos I took in Santa Cruz so I'll be catching up for the next couple of days. Also, I missed a 7 month post for Noah. He's rolling around the house now, but not crawling yet. He's also the sweetest, happiest baby I could imagine. My grandpa said he was the best behaved baby he'd ever seen (in his 92 years!).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Road Trip






We left on Sunday morning on our two day road trip to Santa Cruz, CA. Noah was set up with all his toys, and we were all set up for a long stressful journey with a baby who didn't want to be in the car. We were so wrong! Noah slept for about half of the first day (ten hours) and then for the other half he sat happily playing, eating, drinking out of his sippy cup, and singing. We had our book on tape (so we were really on an arctic adventure) and the trip went by fast. We stopped at a motel 6 in a little town (or cluster of gas stations) calls Lost Hills. It was clean and quiet and we slept in until 9:00 before heading up the rest of the way.

Just outside of L.A. Chris took this photo of a lake at sunset and the photo above of his reflection and Noah and I in the car.



We're all staying at my uncle Gordon's beautiful house in the redwoods. It's warm and cozy by the fire, and so nice to look out all the windows at the misty trees.







And Chris is FINALLY on vacation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holidays & Birthdays



Chris put up Christmas lights outside the other day. I guess we're really getting into the spirit this year.
The 'holiday season' is extra special for people like Chris who have a birthday in December. They get to share their birthday festivities with all the other things that are going on.



Chris helped Noah get a little practice in for all the gifts he'll have to unwrap next week.



We had a very nice birthday dinner over at Steve and Tasha's house. Tasha made homemade macaroni and cheese and some delicious peanut butter brownies. They also have a beautiful, big, real Christmas tree at their house. Noah really wanted to touch it.





Also,
Happy Birthday to Juliana and to Cheryl, who have their birthdays this week!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Success!



Not that making baby food is really all that difficult, but I finally did some nice sized batches of squash, carrots, and yams! It turned out really well so far. We'll see how it comes out of the freezer.







I thought the acorn squash was the best tasting. I'll have to make some peas soon though, because they seem to be Noah's current favorite. They get the most enthusiastic yummy sounds anyway.
I'm getting a little bit better at getting my work done, getting the everyday chores done, keeping Noah fed, entertained, and happy, and having time to do a few other things like this baby food project, which feels really good. Plus, I think this was a few dollars worth of few that I could have paid twenty dollars for in pre-packaged jars. (For the record, I do appreciate the jars though. Sometimes easy is the most important thing).
Starting in January I'll be back at work for about twenty hours a week. The job is a great opportunity. I'll be a project manager. And my benefits will include coverage of Chris' tuition. I certainly can't turn my nose up at that. It's going to be a little bit of an adjustment for us though. I haven't really been away from Noah for more than a couple of hours. He loves being around people though, so I think he'll get used to the change. The good thing about it will be transitioning to getting my work done in my office (I will have an office on the first floor with a window, moving out of the basement!), and when I get home I'll be home, not trying to work.

As I write this our whole house is feeling a little bit like there are tiny earthquakes because they're tearing down the little old house next door. It looks like a major construction site out there!



Monday, December 14, 2009

Little gifts, a Special Giraffe, and Baby food



There are some little presents under our tree! The first one that arrived was from Noah's step-great-grandma Lillian (gold ribbon) and the other one is for Chris from one of his middle school students. A few more have arrived since I took this picture from my grandma (Gram, or G.G. 'Great Gram'). The gifts for Chris and I are now under the tree, but I couldn't wait to open the gift for Noah. It was something I asked for, a rubber squeaky chew toy called Sophie the Giraffe.



Noah LOVES her. He can hold on easily to her neck and legs, and there are lots of things to chew on. He can make the squeaky noise himself also, which is exciting. If you're looking for a gift for a baby on your list, Sophie is a great choice. She's made out of natural rubber too! Thanks Gram!!





We've been spending some time in the kitchen today, finally getting around to a big batch of baby food for the freezer. I am feeding him some of the jars of baby food too, but that's going to get expensive really quick.





Today we're making some carrots, sweet potatoes, and acorn squash. Each one should fill an ice cube tray. The trays have lids especially for freezing baby food. I'll try to get some photos and an update on how it worked.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yum yum



Bananas mixed with rice cereal. Mmm. Noah has decided that he loves all food. It took a little while to get used to the new flavors and textures, but he's sold. Now, every time I give him a bite he chomps down on the spoo with his arms out at the sides and says, "mmm mmmm mmm."



Hopefully this means he'll be a non-picky eater like his mama was (and still is) and not a bread and cheese-a-terian like his daddy (who now eats most things, luckily!).

We were all set to head up to Flagstaff this weekend and see the three feet of snow that fell this week, but alas, there's more snow coming and my mom has a cold. All signs point to a weekend in Tucson. Noah's first experience of snow will have to be postponed for a little while. I guess it will be more sunny walks to the playground for us...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rainy day fun



We have about a million baby toys around the house right now. Noah enjoys playing with a lot of them, but I'm often surprised by what he chooses to play with and what really holds his interest. a rubber ducky, for example, doesn't look very exciting to me. It's held Noah's attention (it's head in his mouth, I mean) for practically two days. I guess the rubber feels good on his little teething gums.



Also, I now understand why all plastic bags are labeled "not intended for babies" (or whatever they say). They are the MOST interesting thing by far. The crinkling sound gets Noah's attention no matter what else he's doing. Paper is another good one, and I'm not used to his reach and his ability to get to things that he couldn't just a few days ago.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blog List

The blog list that updates itself is back by popular demand. Check out who is blogging over to there to the right.
It's a rainy day here in Tucson today, which we love. They've been way too rare this year.
I went to upload photos for a blog post this morning and my camera said "no image". I guess I need to look harder for inspiration today.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The real Santa?


Yesterday Noah met Santa... twice! His first time ever to see Santa Claus, and there were two in one day. Hmm, how could there be two that don't look quite the same? The first one was at Bookmans.

Noah sat on his lap, pulled his beard and cried with a very pouty lip, "This isn't the real Santa!"



Later in the evening we met our friends Cheryl and Tyson to see Luminaria nights at the Tucson Botanical Garden. We wandered around through the garden pathways looking at the Christmas lights and luminarias.



Noah stayed awake and didn't fuss at all. Another Santa sat beside a Christmas tree somewhere in the middle of the garden. I sat Noah on his lap, waiting for the same reaction.



Noah looked at his eyes, his white beard, his suit made of red velvet, and his black boots. "This must be the real Santa." he decided. I agreed.