Thursday, October 29, 2009


Last week, our chickens finally started to lay eggs. So far, only 3 of them are laying, but we are averaging 2 eggs a day.

They are so lazy about it, though. I always thought that hens lay their eggs early in the morning. Perhaps in time for breakfast. But no. One lays around 10 am. Another sometime around 3pm. I haven't figured out the third's egg laying schedule yet.

And none of them lay in their nesting boxes, which we've been religiously lining with soft wood shavings...


Instead they lay their eggs in the rabbit's house.

autumnal walk

October has been a cold and wet month here in Arkansas. So when we had sushine and 60 degrees yesterday, I took Liam on a wagon ride to collect Fall leaves.

He helped me collect all kinds of leaves, twigs, and acorns, and I was envisioning decorations for the house. But then Liam systematically dropped each and every leaf, twig, and acorn out the side of the wagon on the way home.

But it was still a beautiful afternoon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cake and Flowers

Friday night, my mom and I were up into the wee hours of the morning creating a wedding cake and flowers for the sister of my mom's coworker. We got the job offer Friday afternoon. And the wedding was Saturday.

Short notice + Wal-Mart flowers + true talent = a lovely wedding
The cake.
The couple's monogram

A centerpiece bouquet

The bride's bouquet
Not pictured: 3 sunflowers be-ribboned for the bridesmaids and a boutonniere for the groom.

I've been busy. Really.

This was a much longer than anticipated break. Sorry. But the good news is that the morning sickness is finally gone. Oh, the magic of the 2nd trimester...
I have been accomplishing things around here, even if this blog hasn't shown much of it:

Recently Completed projects
  • 3 handknit Christmas Stockings
  • a refinished rocking chair
  • a new purse for me
Works in progress
  • 3 more stockings
  • slippers for Liam
  • a birthday present for my niece Grace
  • reupholstering our couch
I'm also getting back into the groove of bread baking and tapering off the "easy" dinners, now that I am feeling better.
Here's the rocking chair, before and after.
This was a Craigslist freebie. It was missing a back slat and had an ugly faux oak finish. And those wings on the side.
But it was nothing a lot of sanding couldn't fix... The wings are gone, and the back slat is replaced. The new finish is Olympic's English Walnut.
I'm hoping to be in this space more often ... I guess that remains to be seen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

San Diego-part 4

Tuesday morning, we went to a park in Mission Bay for Liam to get a chance to run around and play.
He did.
That afternoon, we made a second beach trip. Since there were only five of us going, we decided to pile into Grandma Cindy's car.
Gabe got the lucky seat.
It was breezy and a bit chilly, but they didn't seem to care. I stayed huddled under a beach towel...
That evening, we had pizza at my grandparents for one more visit before we hit the road the next morning.
And then Wednesday morning, we were on our way back to Arkansas. Forest had decided to stay in San Diego. It was bittersweet to have the extra room in the car for the drive back.
But Liam was a great traveler. Taking breaks at fast food places with playgrounds for Liam to run around in seemed to make a huge difference. We stopped in Albuquerque for the night, then it was back to the road on Thursday.
And now, here we are, back in Arkansas. Back to the present. Unfortunately, our camera broke the last night of our trip, so we have no new pictures to share. It is being repaired and I should get it back in the next week or so.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

San Diego - part 3

Monday was wedding day.

I got up early and went with my mom to San Diego Wholesale to buy all of the flowers for the bouquets and the cake. We didn't plan ahead for the time we'd spend in the gigantic refrigerator to select the flowers. Our teeth were chattering, but we came out with armloads of gerbera daisies, statice, coffee berries, amaranth, and more and more flowers a greenery.

I spent the next few hours arrranging 5 bridesmaid bouquets, the bride's bouquet, and the cake toppers, while my mom and Sue Seydel decorated 60+ cupcakes with mums and greenery.

They all turned out beautiful despite the ticking clock. As soon as the flowers were complete, I loaded them up in the car and picked up Gabriel, Liam, Cindy, and Forest. After a drive through In-n-Out for burgers, we spent the next 2 hours on the road to Riverside.

The wedding was in a circus tent in the middle of a field. Everything was circus: a ticket booth, animal cages with plush lions and tigers, a life-sized elephant, antique cars and trucks, carousel ponies. It couldn't have been more perfect for Molly and Andres.

The wedding ceremony itself was simple: traditional with some circus flair. The bridal party walked in to Bach, Liam leading the way as the "popcorn boy" (rather than flowers...), but he ate the popcon down the aisle instead of throwing it.

The officiant was a circus ringmaster, and he conducted the ceremony in a seamless blend of spanish and english.

Molly and Andres' kiss was blush-worthy.

When the ceremony was over we all danced out to the Black Eyed Peas "I've got this feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night..."

The reception was filled with tasty food from El Pollo Loco, a circus performance, dancing, cake, champagne (don't worry, I had sparkling cider...)

Cindy was an amazing help with Liam. She entertained him while I was busy with pre-wedding preparations, and she kept him busy during the reception so Gabriel and I could eat and visit with my long-distance family. But best of all, Liam had lots of one-on-one time with Grandma, and he seemed to really warm up to her. It was special.

We called it a night at 9, even though the dancing was just getting started. Liam had fallen asleep in Gabe's arms, and we still had a 2 hour drive back down to San Diego.

I'll post more pictures as soon as Molly sends me a picture cd.

Monday, October 12, 2009

San Diego- Part 2

I didn't intend for it to take me so long to get these posts up... this past week has been busy with after-trip clean up and recovery. We finally had the window on our Element replaced last Monday, and I've been struggling with morning sickness and a very busy toddler. So, picking up where I left off:

Sunday morning we went to the San Diego Zoo just the three of us. Liam had a fun time looking at all of the animals, all the while with his "serious observer" face.

He still loves the flamingos.
Just for fun, you can see his reaction to the flamingos at 5 months (scroll down to zoo trip round 2)
He really liked the chimps

But I think this monkey will always be Liam's favorite.
It was great to see the new elephant exhibit: it emphasized archeology and fossils, since elephants are a kind of living history... Liam particularly liked all of the extinct creature sculptures.
Here he is with a mammoth.
Like I said, serious observer.

It was fun to see the lions up close in their new exhibit.
We were warned.
Liam wasn't sure what to think about these big cats.
His favorite part of the day was when we let him run around the children's zoo. These hanging banners were a lot of fun.
Watching ducks with Daddy.
This rock was especially enticing.
Just the right height for our little climber to go up.
And then slide back down.
Looking for otters.
There's one!
Later that afternoon, we went with Gabriel's family to Coronado beach. This was Liam's first time to really get out there and play. He had a blast.
Learning what to do with sand. Notice how his beach ensemble dwindles. Above is his original outfit: swim trunks and sun hat.

The hat didn't last long.
But that sand! He loved it. A lot.
Discovering sea weed. After touching it, he dusted off his hands and said "eew."
Lots of digging.
More digging with Hannah.
Digging with Daddy. And now he's lost his swim trunks, too.
The beach is the best in just a diaper...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

San Diego - part1

We left Arkansas for California Thursday evening after Gabriel got home from work. Our car was full: the three of us plus my mom and brother, all of our luggage, a car-top carrier on the roof, and a bike and umbrella stroller on a rack off the back.

We drove straight through the night, swapping drivers as we became too tired. Liam slept mostly through the night, but when he was awake, he was still content with his Grammie and Uncle Forest on either side of him. He liked being able to reach over and stroke my mom's hair or rub Forest's arm. And they fed him snacks when he woke up in the midle of the night. It was definitely his kind of road trip.

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast in Gallup, New Mexico. It was good to be out of the car for a while, and Forest finally conquered the tabletop game. You know, the one where the goal is to be left with only one pin.

And then it was back on the road. When we finally crossed the Californa border, we stopped in Needles to fill up the gas tank, where they charged $3.69 a gallon. My mom and Gabriel insisted we only put in a few gallons, enough to get us to Barstow without breaking the bank. Three gallons later we were climbing the desert mountainous pass, and burning more gas than we had thought. When the gas light came on, it was clear that we would not make it to Barstow, and we might not even make it to the only other hope between here and there: Ludlow. So we turned off the A/C, drove 55 mph, and praqyd our way to the gas station. We made it, barely. We filled the gas tank all the way to the top, even though it was outrageously expensive, and we had ice cream all around to celebrate not being stranded in the desert.

Liam definitely approved.

We finally made it to Pomona Friday evening, where Molly and Andres were performing at the LA County Fair. We stopped by the hotel where my grandprents were staying for the weekend and were treated to a nasty blowout diaper from Liam. All down his legs. All over the carseat. We were using disposables for the trip, and they just don't work as well as cloth. So, he took a bath, ad we each took turns in the shower, and it was great to be off the road.

We all spent the night in Molly and Andres' trailer, which slept all 7 of us comfortably. Liam slet with me and Gabriel, and I discovered that he moves around in his sleep. Alot.

The next morning we went to Molly and Andres' co-ed bridal shower at IHOP. Here's the entire group:

We all spent the afternoon at the Fair, where it was very very hot. More ice cream was definitely needed.

The happy couple

It was so good to see Rachael.

One of the attractions at the fair was the african safari made entirely out of plants and flowers.

Here's Gabriel's GQ pose in front of the giraffes (also made out of plants...)

Liam loves his Uncle Fofo.

Like I said, it was hot.

Andres is in a family of wire walkers, and they have a piratey theme. Molly is now one of the family.
That's Andres on the far right, his Uncle Walter with the sword, his Aunt Vicky in th egold top, and Molly in the red boots.
Walter and Andres' cousin Hernan were frightening to watch on this.
Especially when Hernan did this at the very top.
Here's Molly in a split on Andres and Walter's shoulders. They're pretty amazing.
After the show, we finally made the rest of the trip down to San Diego, where Liam was hapy to end his day in the bath with his cousin Hannah.