Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1 year ago right now

We were flying high on adrenaline and excitement. In just a few moments your first visitor, Auntie Kira, would come to see you. We were making phone calls to our family and friends to share the big news. The baby is here!! It's a boy!!

The details of that day will forever be etched in my mind:

A 12:30 am wake up call when my water broke...

Telling Daddy at 2 am that I didn't care what we have packed, we have to get in the car RIGHT NOW..

Yelling at Maia on my way out the door (surprisingly, this would be the only yelling I'd do during your birth)...

Gripping the door handle every 3 minutes for the entire 50 minute ride chanting "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God"...

Walking into Labor and Delivery and hunching over as I walked up to the desk, just in time for another contraction....

The nurse telling me to go ahead and try to poop, it might make me feel better....

Walking out of the bathroom with tears in my eyes and looking at the head nurse to tell her, I don't think this is poop....

Hopping up on the table for her to examine me and her first words "Guess what? You're having this baby, and you're having it SOON"...

The look of terror on the resident's face as he stood in the back of the room, not yet scrubbed in, this must have been his first birth....

Laughing with the nurses between each contraction, hoping the doc would please just show up so we could do this thing....

Being told that you had hair....

The moment Doc walked in the door and said "You guys don't mess around, looks like you're getting that tax deduction after all!"....

The cheers from the nurses and your Daddy when it was time to push....

Our head nurse announcing: "You have a.....KEATON!!"


It is surreal to me that you are one whole year old today. Having you in our lives has made this past year simply amazing. You have taught us so much about ourselves and we have been in awe watching you grow and learn new things. You are an awesome little boy and we love you so much.


Happy 1st Birthday, Keaton Bruske!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Keaton: 11 Months

Dear Keaton,

Two weeks ago you turned 11 months old. Do you know what that means Buddy? In less than a month you are going to be one. One year old. I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around that. I mean you are definitely more a toddler these days than a baby, but still, one whole year old?



This month has been your month of diaper change protest. I might have told you in the past that you liked to put a fight during diaper changes, but nothing could have prepared us for the challenge it would be in November. The screaming, the kicking, the turning, the insisting that you had to sit up in the middle of each and every change; it made the task a two-man job. Daddy usually got the role of entertainer while I got the dirty job. There was more than once when I was battling you alone that I gave up and let you crawl around nakie for awhile. As you cruised around your room going from toy to toy, I sat down and laid my head against the changer, trying to regain my energy before going for round two. Thankfully, like most things, this seems to have been a stage. Though I wouldn’t say all of your diaper changes these days are smooth sailing, on a whole they are going much better then last month.

I told you about your music time with Busha last month. The two of you continue to have this time every afternoon. You sit together in the kitchen, you on Busha’s lap, and once the music starts you both “play the piano;” strumming your fingertips on the counter. A couple of weeks ago we were at church and it was towards the end of the service and you were starting to get squirmy but suddenly the organ started playing and you instantly sat up straight and still, raised your arms and started “playing the piano.” Daddy and I looked at each other and our hearts melted right then and there. About a week after that I was feeding you breakfast and we were listening to Christmas music when a song with heavy piano accompaniment came on the radio and again you raised your arms to start playing. I, however, mistook it for your wild arm flailing that is always combined with an ahh, ahh, ahh. I started ahhing at you and you furrowed your brow and gave me a stern look and if you could talk I know you would have said: Quiet please, I’m playing the piano over here.


My favorite memory from this month happened after I had to go down to Milwaukee for work. I got home so late that night and you and Daddy had to leave so early the next morning that we basically went 24 hours without seeing each other. When I came home the next day from work you and Daddy were playing in the living room. As soon as I shut the door I could hear the little pitter patter of your hands and knees hitting the tile in the entryway. You finally rounded the corner, heading for the kitchen, and as you did you looked up and saw it was me. You let out a squeal of delight and you couldn’t get your body moving fast enough to get to me. I hope you are always that excited to see me. I know I will always be that excited to see you.



Well Stink, it’s be a fun month and we’re looking forward to celebrating your first birthday in just a few short weeks.

Love you so much,
Mama

P.S. Yes, that is the best picture we got of you during your monthly photo shoot. Sitting still is something of the past.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Soul in the Season: Winter 09/10

I have the day off of work today; a vacation day that was meant to be spent in Chicago. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, my trip was canceled and instead we will be heading to the Appleton area in a couple of hours to attend the funeral (or, actually, the celebration of life) of the mother of a friend.

Instead of a day full of rest, relaxation, and regrouping, I've spent the day digging bark out of the baby's mouth, cleaning up the 3rd spilled bowl of dog water this week, and cleaning thrown yogurt, milk, and apple juice off the floor. Don't get me wrong, I love my son with all my heart, but it has been over 11 months since I've had more than a couple of hours to myself. This is was supposed to be my day. Now, the day hasn't been all bad, there has also been lots of dancing to Christmas music, watching the first snowfall through the patio doors, and plenty of Eskimo kisses. But still. My day.

I was planning on posting some pictures this afternoon while the baby napped, but instead I thought my soul might need a little reminder of all the good things to come in the next few months. The things I'd like to do this winter.....
  • Go snowshoeing.
  • Take Keaton to see Santa.
  • Pull Keaton around in a sled, in the snow.
  • Spend an afternoon (or at least a few hours) reading a book in front of the fire.
  • Make chicken or turkey noodle soup from scratch.
  • Bake Christmas cookies.
  • Start/continue some traditions for St. Nicks Day, St. Lucia Day, and Valentine's Day.
  • Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows on top.

What is on your Soul in the Season list for this winter?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In the Kitchen

As we enter the month of December my mind is quickly switching gears. The leaves are gone, the pumpkins are rotting (and need to be thrown away!), and the burnt orange and brown decorations are slowing being converted to reds and greens to make way for Christmas. I love autumn, I'll miss autumn, but I'm also looking forward to this new season: to a blanket of white, warm hot chocolate, evenings by the fire.

I started this Soul in the Season list at a time that I felt myself loosing sight of the little things that make life so meaningful. After publishing it here I printed it out and hung it on the fridge. I had no idea at that time just how important it would become. This little list has been my lifeline the past three months. Each time I felt myself getting overwhelmed with work or keeping the house clean I'd come back to it and it would remind me that laundry can be done another day, we have an apple orchard to visit or pumpkin chocolate chip muffins to bake.

I'm happy to report that we did all but one item on the list. We did not make it out on our running trail to take pictures during fall colors. The weather this October was a bit uncooperative and when we were home it was too darn wet and cold, and when the weather was nice, we were out of town. So, next year. Next year.

A number of items on my list for this season involved baking or cooking and rather than posting these individually I thought I'd do one big "in the kitchen" post. Here are the things I've been making this season.


Apple Crisp

I actually lost track as to how many apple crisps we made this year. I believe it was 5 or 6. One day while Collin was home with Keaton he made two or three himself and put them in our freezer so we'll be able to enjoy it this winter, when fresh apples are a thing of the past.

When I make apple crisp I use this recipe. I started using this in the fall of 2002, when I made my first crisp in my apartment in Waukesha. I still love this recipe.

When Collin makes apple crisp he uses the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook: Bridal Edition.

Both recipes are delish.

Why yes, that is a piece that has already been eaten, just minutes after being removed from the oven :)


Apple Sauce

I've never made homemade apple sauce before but after making it this summer for Keaton I had to ask myself why not?? Homemade apple sauce tastes SO MUCH better than store bought. SO MUCH better.

I looked up some recipes online, some called for sugar, some called for cinnamon, some called for boiling the apples, some for steaming. In the end I steamed the apples, peeled off the skin and then put them in the blender, just like I did over the summer for Keaton's puree. I used a Bakers Mix selection from Lapacek's Orchard and because these apples were so fresh and so tasty, we decided not to add any cinnamon or sugar.

We pulled our last container out of the freezer last week and I think we're all going to be a little sad when it is gone. Note to self, buy more apples next year!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I got this recipe from Swistle (it's the 2nd recipe in the post and for pumpkin chocolate chip you use 1 cup canned pumpkin, I have never tried the banana variation). When I made my first batch this year my mom was up visiting and when I told her what I was making she scrunched her nose up at me, ewwww, pumpkin? But, after I made her try them on Saturday morning, she was requesting a copy of the recipe before she went home.

I think I made three or four batches of these this fall; one of which, I brought to work. Am I the only person who worries about bringing things into work and having no one try/like it? Thankfully, the worry was for naught, those suckers were gone within the first couple of hours.

Keaton loved these muffins so much that if he saw you eating one he would instantly drop his nuk and insist on an "uppie" to get a bite.


Fall Soup: Salsa Pumpkin Soup

My list simply said a "fall soup". I've always wanted to try something with pumpkin or squash but every recipe I ran past Collin was instantly vetoed. Most suggestions when something like this:

Me: How does xyz soup sound?
Collin: Disgusting

I ran my dilemma past Kim while we were at the apple orchard and she instantly had a solution. Salsa Pumpkin Soup. After looking through the ingredients Collin agreed to try it. And guest what? It was mighty tasty and he approved. I look forward to making this soup again next fall.



Fresh Bread from the Bread Machine: Whole Wheat

To complete my list, this past weekend I dusted off the bread machine and took 'er for a spin. When I got done I had the exact thought I figured I'd have, why don't I do this more often?

I switched up my old trusty stand-by recipe because it called for honey, and Keaton isn't supposed to have honey, and tried the recipe on the back of Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour because it used molasses instead.

The result is a nice dense textured, intense flavored, wheat bread. Keaton has been gobbling this stuff right up, so I think it's safe to say we'll be making many more batches.

So, that concludes my Soul in the Season list for this fall. I've already started working on my winter list and hope to share it with you here soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankful Tree

One of the items on my list for this season was to Start a “Thankful” book to be updated annually by our Thanksgiving dinner guests. But then I ran across a tutorial from Better Homes and Gardens for a Thankful Tree and I loved that idea even more. The tree in BH&G called for spray painting it orange and putting glitter on it, which I had planned on doing, but after Collin and I headed out to the back acreage and cut this little guy down, I kinda fell in love with it just as it was. So I decided to leave it au natural. I had Collin cement it into a two liter soda bottle and once it was dried I trimmed the bottle down, wrapped it in brown tissue paper and tied it with twine. On Thanksgiving morning, while Collin was busy hunting and Keaton was napping, I made little cards out of card stock and twine for all of our guests to write on and then hang on the tree. At the end of the evening my brother read all the cards and there were lots of cheers and awws as all of our blessing were listed off one by one.

We had a wonderful long weekend spent with family and friends. I love holidays so much and Thanksgiving is no exception. Although I was a bit frantic on Wednesday trying to get the house clean and the table set and everything prepared for Thursday afternoon, this is the first year that I can say I actually took the time to sit back and reflect on all of our blessings, and wow, did that feel so good.
Not only are we surrounded on a daily basis by amazing and supportive family and friends, we have jobs that are flexible and accommodating to our family and a son who fills our hearts with joy and love. We have so much to look forward to in the coming year. I feel so blessed and so thankful.


Keaton woke up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning as Collin and I were prepping the turkey and getting it in the oven. Once we were done Collin went hunting and the Stink and I spent some time watching the parade.
Guests were scheduled to arrive at noon and because it always takes a little time to get things prepped once everyone gets there, we didn't end up eating until about 2 pm. We tried hard to keep Keaton awake but by 1:45 or so he just couldn't take it any longer and he zonked out. So, our little boy missed his first Thanksgiving dinner. But, when he woke he got to try turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and more, and he loved it.


The rest of the afternoon the boys played while the adults mingled, napped, and munched on dessert.




We also spent a considerable amount of time trying to get the perfect Christmas card picture. Keaton wasn't really having it but I picked one out of the bunch anyway. Here were a couple that were contenders.


On Saturday we spent some time with Collin's family celebrating his Grandma's birthday. It was so great seeing all of his aunts and uncles and a couple of his cousins. Then we headed over to see his cousin Jenny and our nephew Aiden. Today we went with Papa & Busha to get our Christmas tree. And guess who takes her son to get his first Christmas tree but forgets to bring her camera?? Me! Me! Luckily Busha had hers and hopefully I'll be able to get some copies.
Overall this was just a really amazing weekend. I feel renewed and refreshed as we look at starting a new week. Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Preparation

Camo pants and a blaze orange jacket are hanging from our patio furniture. They have been there for a week, in hopes that the crisp autumn breeze will remove any indoor, human smells.

There’s a buck knife, stocking cap, and a box of ammo sitting on our bathroom sink; the packing has begun.

A stick of venison summer sausage is thawing in our fridge and an apple crisp on the counter; snacks for the weekend.

Tree stands have been built/repaired weeks ago and in the woods now all you can hear are chipmunks and squirrels scurrying through the fallen leaves.

A license and tags have been purchased in hopes that all will be filled.

******************************************
Tomorrow is a big day here in Wisconsin, opening day of (gun) deer season. The anticipation of a certain someone in our house is comparable to a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I know there are some deer hunters/deer hunter widows out there that read here and I just wanted to send out a big Good Luck and Happy Hunting to all of you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

White Trash Pool Party

Some kids get to spend their summers swimming in big fancy pools.
Our kid don't get no pool.


Pictures taken in July 2009.
Or was it August?
Well, one of the two, it was awhile ago anyway.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SYTYCD: A late start

As I'm sure you have noticed, I haven't been watching Season 6 (it's six, right?) of SYTYCD. The 7-9 pm time frame is spent playing with Keaton and then getting him ready and into bed. To be honest with you, I'm not really watching any shows right now; not Grey's, not Private Practice, not Brothers and Sisters. I'll watch shows sporadically, but nothing routinely. And unfortunately SYTYCD has also fallen off my radar.

Tonight though, I got home from Tai Chi^ at 7 pm and because Collin had had a rough day at work he chose to get dinner put together while I watched Keaton because, honestly, preparing dinner is more relaxing than playing with an active baby/on his way to toddler. So, while we were playing I turned the station to Fox and guess what!!?? I caught an episode of SYTYCD. In good 'ol fashion SYTYCD style, I had to take notes, and of course, I HAVE to share them with you!

So, here were my thoughts from tonight. Remember, this is the first and only time I've seen a show this season (I didn't even catch Vegas week) so I'd love to hear what you are all thinking.

* C1: Ashleigh/Jakob - I love Napoleon/Tabitha routines, love them! And this one did not disappoint.
* C2: Karen/Kevin (Broadway routine) - All I could think the whole time I was watching this was, oh, my, what a train wreck!
* C3: Noelle/Russell (Fox Trot) - I was preparing my plate at the time and completely missed this routine. The crowd was cheering though, so it sounded like it was good?
* C4: Channing/Victor (Tyce Diorio routine) - Liked the dance; liked the couple.
* C5: Kathryn/Legacy (Paso doble) - The music was so powerful that at each hard beat I kept wanting to shout More! More! But I never really felt like I got more from them, so I was left rather disappointed. But the judges loved this, so apparently I know nothing about a paso doble.
* C6: Elenore/Ryan (Travis Wall routine) - I loved this dance and I loved this couple!
*C7: Mollee/Nathan - I missed what "type" of routine this was, hip hop?? Not positive but I liked it. Oddly though I found my eyes kept diverting to Nathan. This doesn't usually happen for me; I usually end up liking the girl better than the guy. But this time I kept watching him, and I really, really liked him. Also, Mollee is super cute!
* My favorite girl tonight was Elenore.
* My favorite guy was Nathan.
* My top three (if I had voted, I didn't because I don't know how to use my phone now that I have a full keyboard and OMG, what number is T???) were C4, C6, and C7.

So, am I totally off? Who have you guys liked/disliked. And is it just me or is this season already better than last season?

^In unrelated news, except that I mentioned it above, I took a Tai Chi class tonight and OMG you guys, I LOVED it!! I feel so awesome right now; like happiness is oozing from my pores. I'm hoping to make this a regular thing. A regular thing that I'm going to totally look forward to each week!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dear Keaton: 10 Months

Dear Keaton,

Over Halloween weekend you turned 10 months old. I don’t have your 10 month stats but when we took you to the doctor at 9 ½ months you weighed in at 18 lbs and were 27 ¼ inches long. These measurements put you in the 10 percentile for your age, which is a drop from all your previous visits when you were in the 25%. Your noggin however, measured 46 cm, which is in the 50% (it too, used to be in the 25%). So apparently, you’re all head. I was a little concerned when the nurse handed me the sheet of paper after she wrote these numbers down but Dr. T wasn’t at all. In fact, he told your Daddy and me that the calories you consume go first to your brain, so it is good to see your head jump up in size. We’re hoping at your next visit we’ll see your height and then weight do the same thing.

With the amount you are eating these days, I’m very hopeful that this might be the case. Your typical 3-4 oz bottles have recently jumped to 5-6 oz and this month you started eating lots and lots of finger food. Anything we put on your plate you throw right into your mouth. Well, mostly into your mouth, also into your lap and onto the floor. There is one member of this family who is quite pleased with this change of events. During mealtime Maia camps out right under your highchair. You’ve also taken an interest in feeding yourself with a spoon, which is a lot of fun, but very messy. We still have to help you out a bit, but each time you successfully get a bite into your mouth your Daddy and I cheer, Yay!!! This thrills you to no end; you get a huge grin on your face and then start beating your tray with your spoon yelling, Ya, Ya, Ya! The other day Daddy was helping you eat apple sauce and I accidentally gave you a premature Yay! You didn’t miss a beat, you instantly started chanting Ya, Ya, Ya, and banging your spoon while apple sauce flew across the room, hitting the wall, table, you name it

In preparation for Halloween, at the beginning of the month I bought you the book Corduroy’s Halloween and we started reading it every night before bed. It took you a few readings, but soon you warmed up to this book and when I pull you into my lap at the end of the day and take the book out you start banging on the cover, which is your way of saying “two thumbs up”. While Grammy was up visiting us one weekend she was reading you the book and happened to peek into your closet where she found a stuffed bear we got as a shower gift that looked remarkably like Corduroy. She pulled it out and held the two of you in her lap and while she read to you, you made the connection, looking at the pages then looking at the bear, back and forth, back and forth you’d look between the book and the stuffed animal. Now, as soon as I pull out the Corduroy book you crane your neck looking for the bear. When Halloween was over I could not bear to see this nightly routine end, so I bought you Corduroy’s Thanksgiving. And I have every intention to buy you each and every holiday Corduroy book for the rest of the year.

One of the goofiest things you did this month was start a new sound. Just when we thought you’d come up with every sound possible you pull out the big guns: a rolling R trill. I can’t roll my R’s so I think this sound is absolutely awesome and when you make it I find myself acting like a little kid, clapping my hands and exclaiming; Do it again! Do it again! The sound has become commonplace in our home, but I’m reminded just how unique it is each and every time a new person hears it. The reaction is always the same, their eyes get huge and they draw back a little questioning, what is that? Your Daddy and I always answer the same, oh that? That’s his new sound. I’m so glad I finally got a video clip of it before you stop doing it all together. The only way I can explain it in words is that you kinda sound like a helicopter taking flight.

At 10 months you now have 5 teeth, wave hi and bye, give high fives, are ticklish on your belly, neck, upper thighs, and feet, and love to dig, splash, and bang. When you are upset or tired music calms you. Busha has music time with you each afternoon before your nap and you love it so much you’ve learned how to turn the cd player on by yourself. When we are in the car and you are inconsolable a good ‘ol rendition of Old McDonald usually settles you. You are growing and changing so much each day and this month has been so much fun.

Love you so much,
Mama

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

She. He. They.

She wore bright nail polish on her toes each and every summer and her legs were always sun kissed from sitting on the dock

She made the best Mississippi Mud brownies and she timed it perfectly every time, pulling them out of the oven just as we drove up the lane.

She didn’t put up a Christmas tree because it would have blocked the television and she couldn’t bear to miss Sunday football.

He is quiet and reserved yet big and strong. He likes to tinker around in the tool shed.

He sits with her on the dock, sipping coffee, throwing out a fishing line.

He introduces himself to my friends as “Great Grandpa”; he adores his great grandchildren.

They love to hit the golf course or bowling alley and are always up for a game of cards or Yahtzee. They teach us kids most all of the games we know.

They listen to big band music every afternoon; she takes a nap, he relaxes in the reclining chair.

They love each other from the depths of their souls, and it is so, so obvious.

******************************

Today I am thinking of and remembering my Grandparents. It was 12 years ago today that my Grandma lost her battle with cancer. I think I can speak for everyone in my family when I say we miss her. We miss her terribly.

Today is also Veteran’s Day and this day can not pass without me thinking of my Grandpa. He was on the USS Wisconsin during World War II. I think I can speak for everyone in my family when I say we are proud of him. We are incredibly proud of him.

As I rocked Keaton to sleep this afternoon I looked into his eyes, whispered ‘I love you’ and then silently thanked my Grandparents. I am here today, with my son, because of them. Grandma and Grandpa, I love you. I miss you. I am proud of you. I thank you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Swing Rides are more fun than Cleaning



Fall finally decided to bless us with her presence this weekend. Well, at least that's what people tell me, I spent yesterday holed up in the house working on....ummm....let's see...I DON'T KNOW! I have no idea what I did yesterday other than wash a set of bottles and talk to Ember. Now granted, when Em and I talk, we taaaaalk, but still, it wasn't the whole day. So what exactly was I doing?? Your guess is as good as mine.


I do know what I WASN'T doing. I wasn't cleaning Keaton's room, which was on the to-do list for this weekend. Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away and in past year's that would be plenty of time to get this house ready for guests, but now? With a kid? Not so much. So I've made myself a cleaning timeline. This week, Keaton's room; next week, the den. These two rooms each get their own week because, well, they are in pretty bad shape. The weekend before Thanksgiving I need to do the back bathrooms, our bedroom, and the spare bedroom. And on Wednesday, the day before, the mudroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room. Now. If I can only stick to this schedule. I spent a good chunk of energy today complaining about how I have noooo! tiiime! to clean, instead of just getting my ass in there and doing it. I'm a champion procrastinator. Funny, when I did finally get started it 1) was actually enjoyable to see the mess disappear and 2) didn't take as much time as I expected. Of course, I'm not yet done, but at least it is started.


Thankfully I didn't miss out on all of the good weather this weekend. This morning our friends, Tanya & Jason's, little boy, Cooper, was baptised so we did get out of the house for awhile to enjoy the sun. It was a beautiful afteroon and a great party. I tweeted this picture earlier today, but I had to post it on here too. It was so nice out that the kids were all running around playing outside; riding bikes, going down the slide, and swinging on the swing set. Keaton was thrilled with his swing ride. As soon as I put him in it his eyes lit up and his face was all smiles. As I pushed him back and forth he giggled uncontrollably. Every time I look at this picture I can't help but think, man, I love that kid.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween Fun - Part 3: Trick-or-Treating

The finale to our Halloween celebrations was Keaton's 1st Trick-or-Treat on Saturday night. As the hours ticked by on Saturday I felt like a little kid waiting for Christmas. Keaton had no clue what was about to happen, but Mama was so, so excited. When the clock struck 4 o'clock we got the Stink bundled up into his costume and began taking pictures.
Does anyone else feel the need to take 800 pictures of their child's first [fill in the blank], or is it just me?

Although not related to Halloween, making an appearance in this picture is:
My New Hair!
Come on Down!
That was a Bob Barker joke, did you get it? Here, reread it:
My New Hair!
Come on Down!
No? Oh nevermind.

As we were taking pictures we could hear him coming through the trees...
Nana, nana, nana, nana,
Nana, nana, nana, nana,
JACKMAN!

Before we set out on the town we got a special visit from Kristi, Barry, and their sweet little zebra, Addie. Addie has the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen. She is such a doll. And look at this, is that not a bucket full of cute?

As we got the boys buckeled and bundled into the wagon I knew coming home for Keaton's 1st Halloween was a very good decision. There is nothing quite like trick-or-treating in a small town where you know your neighbors.
As we walked up and down the block I was transported back 20 years to when I was a little girl going door-to-door on that fun-filled night. Along with Justin and Kira, my mom and Kira's sister, Kelsey, joined us for the trek.

I am so proud of our little boys, they took in the sights and sounds without a bit of complaining. Although it was chilly, it was alot of fun.

After about an hour they started taking turns digging through the pumpkin and it became apparent that they were getting hungry, so we decided to head home.


When we got there we let them dig through their loot and they were oh so happy. They loved the candy bars, nevermind the fact we didn't unwrap them....



It was so good to go home. It was so good to see friends. It was so good to have the boys spend their first Halloween together. I can't wait for next year.

(More Halloween pictures on Flickr)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Fun - Part 2: Caramel Apples

Since we were in Illinois over the weekend we celebrated Halloween a couple of days early up here with Papa, Busha, and Auntie Bea. For Keaton's 1st Halloween Busha started a new family tradition.


Do you know what it was?

How 'bout now?

Oh wait, my title totally gave it away....

Oh well. That's right! Caramel apples!

I have never made caramel apples and not only was it super easy, it was alot of fun. Plus, I'm a total sucker for family traditions, especially for starting new ones, so I was totally pumped about this project. Great idea, Busha!
Although Keaton wasn't able to enjoy the caramel this year, he also gives this tradition a big two thumbs up!
I love apples! nom, nom, nom.

But apple eating is alot of work. I must rest for a sec to build up my energy.

Alright, I'm ready, let's eat!

He repeated this over, and over, and over: chomping on his apple, throwing his body back onto Auntie Bea's shoulder for a rest and then whipping himself back up for another bite.
After apples we all sat down for a delicious meal of roasted chicken, potatoes, and carrots followed by the tastiest brownies ever. Mmmmm....perfect fall evening.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Fun - Part 1: Pumpkins

You may recall that a couple of things on my list for this fall included taking Keaton to the pumpkin patch and carving a pumpkin.

The weather this fall did not play nice for us and the pumpkin patch trip that I had envisioned - a sunny autumn day with a breeze just cool enough to make us bundle up in fall coats for a hayride out to the field in search of that perfect pumpkin. Finding said pumpkin and heading back to the barn to celebrate and warm up with hot apple cider. - did not happen. No, our trip to the pumpkin patch went more like this:

Oh my word it's cold out here.
Sorry, Stink, I know you're sleeping, but this will be real quick.
Put on his hat and zip up his coat.
Okay, sit him in front of those pumpkins.
Keaton. Keaton! Look here Buddy. Can you smile for Mama?
Kate, that's not a smile, that's a shiver!
He's freezing!

Baby: Good God, people, what are you thinking bringing me out here? Fine. I'll take another picture, but then can we go back to the car?

Okay, grab a pumpkin.
Which one?
I don't care, just grab one. Or two. Get two.
And a squash.
Okay, let's get the hell out of here.


Ahh well, we tried. So next year; next year I hope to have that ideal pumpkin patch trip.

Thankfully, pumpkin carving went a little better than pumpkin patching. On the Monday before Halloween we spent the evening carving. Keaton loved sitting on the table with his pumpkins.

But he wasn't quite sure what to think when we started cleaning them out.

You want me to do what?

Okay Dad, if you say so....

Oh hey, this isn't half bad.

I wonder what it tastes like?
This is pretty cool.

But if it's okay with you, I'd rather just bang on it like a drum. K?
In the end, I think Keats was satisfied with his pumpkin.