Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Doughnuts are in season!

I've always loved fall, well scratch that. I think growing up spring was my favorite, because of my birthday. Which didn't make too much sense because I had a love/hate relationship with my birthday because I had to share it with my twin. But now I know fall is my favorite, mostly because I hate feeling hot in anything I'm wearing. I've been living in solid summer since May, and my fall last year was highlighted by me stopping by two deciduous trees that changed color practically screaming "LOOK! TREES!" And driving an hour and a half to sweat it out at a pumpkin patch. Then going back home to my cactus patch. Winter arrived soon after and along with crazy wind storms  and a chill that carried away suitcases full of money used to heat our house with propane. There was just no savoring fall. This year a rainstorm of winter-like proportions in September scared everyone, but then two full weeks of sun balls on my iPhone and warm weather saved the day. I forget this is what a normal pacific northwest fall is like--tacking on a few amazing weeks to apologize for summer's late start. Technically it's not a late start, as summer always starts in July here--but we always have a small glimmer of hope that this year will be different. There are still some sunny days around but a chill has definitely set in, and the rain won't be too far off. And I still have dining room chairs on the back porch needing refinishing so I'm feeling a little panic. We are kind of the worst d.i.y.-ers ever so a seasonal push (or shove) is probably good for us.

But on to the real reason for this post--pumpkin patches! There are so many to choose from here and they have become so much more fun as my kids get older. We found a favorite out in Woodburn, visited twice (once with our visiting cousins) for its amount of activities (truth be told, we did not pick any pumpkins) and proximity to some good Mexican restaurants and ice cream shops. The kind we never quite found in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Mexican ice cream, paletas, agua frescas, and mini paletas are home made in this family run shop. We are coming back here for sure!

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Don't touch spiders. They sting you."

Theo and I were sitting in his wagon on the patio today, just talking. He wanted me to play with cars but we ended up talking about everything we were seeing around us. I was pointing out a large spiderweb a foot away and the pattern it made.

Theo said, "It spins round and round and round. Like...the planets around the sun. In space."

He's constantly saying things lately I don't realize he knows, so I asked him, "do you know any names of planets?"

"Jukiter. And Neptcan. And we live on Earth."

I'm amazed at everything he remembers. And this week at the park he was playing with his ride on Thomas train with some other kids and told me afterwords how they had, "Persevered around the sidewalk. It was long but we persevered with Tommy!"

I've always talked to him after preschool, trying to glean any information about anything he does or learns. He usually says a few things but holds back a lot. When there are moments when I sit and listen to him talk and talk (which don't happen often enough, I realize), I hear the greatest things.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Summer's last light jacket

The beginning of September was full of last minute swims and wearing tights to church when it was seasonably inappropriate. All seemed well and good until my coconut oil abruptly changed states from a liquid to a solid. And a million inches of rain fell. I'm glad we took the last possible opportunity to go camping on the coast a week after labor day. The weather was perfect, which was good because after our last soggy camping trip I was skeptical (it was a while ago). Our family has outgrown our four man tent in the time since, but luckily we have the all wonderful minivan that Margot slept in right outside of our tent. Camping with two kids is quite the event--so much stuff to bring! But they somehow make camping magical again, getting the biggest kick out of all the hot dog roasting, marshmallows, camp chairs and sleeping bags. We stayed in Nehalem and the beach was at its best, which means for me sweatshirts and little wind. We of course slept terribly, the kids slept great (besides Theo's 5:00 wake up), but we had such a great time talking with friends next to the fire that it really didn't matter. Because the next night we would be home.

The next day the guys went crabbing in a bay nearby. Apparently the best crabbing season is October, and apparently crabbing is so easy and fun, which must be why they caught not a single crab that was big enough. We watched everyone else cook their nets full of crab while we bought one to eat. We had spent time, money, and napping hours devoted to what amounted to a lot of chum smelling. I ate my first crab heart (don't worry, it just tasted like crab) and Theo kept yelling "I'm gonna eat you!!!"  Then refused to take a bite. He took one tiny one, after a lot of coaxing.

On the way home we bought some huge chocolate chip cookies from a chocolate cafe in Cannon Beach, and what do you know? Both the kids were asleep so we had to eat them both.

*Side note: On the way there we went through Tillmook and decided to check out the other cheese factory next to the Tillamook cheese factory, because it was different and had animals. It was pretty lame, but there were those animals. Actually Margot kept touching their noses, which was a little scary and hilarious.