Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Greetings again!

So as I mentioned briefly in my last post, Dash is away for a whole week.
You may be wondering: What is he doing away?
Well, he is following the band Further on their (possibly) last tour for a while. He will be seeing them in Seattle, Eugene, and then Berkley. He's taken the camper, picked up a rider, and is "reliving his teenage years", as he says. ;)

To make these daddy-free times less painful and more exciting, we call such special times "Mommycations" (mommy + vacation)

We got the idea from the sweet story "Daddycation" from the "At Home with Martin & Sylvia" subscription found at To make the absence of Mama easier, the Daddy in the story encourages the kids to write down everything they want to do while they are on their "Daddycation" to make it a fun and special time. So here is what Ella Rose has in store for us:

The whole week plan laid out as bunting
"Jewelry store with Clara" -- they are holding necklaces
"Sock Store with Mara" -- Ella Rose is the one with the triangular hair
"Shoe Store with J.J." -- he friend J.J. really does have that long of hair ;)

Evidently, that's a whole lot of shop-visiting going on.
I can't promise that part of it, but hopefully Ella Rose will get to play with her friends. :)
And me as well!
So far, we've hung out with Clara so that's one Mommycation goal down...six more to go! We'll see how the week turns out. So far so lovely and something tells me they will be crashing extra early tonight. BUYA.

Until next time, take care everybody and to those to whom it applies: Happy Mommycation!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Car Free Day!

Hey again!

There are two very special reasons to celebrate today.
Do you know what they are?'s the first day of autumn! Hurray for the autumnal equinox~~ :)
You can sure bet I smelled it in the air -- a combination of rain and something smoldering, like yams in a fire~? I love that autumn smell!'s International Car Free Day!!

Being the awesome town that Corvallis is, there was a proper Car Free Festival held by the Riverfront that I have been eagerly awaiting for almost a month now. :)

I took the kids with me for all four hours of the entertainment and education, and would like to share the adventure with you here.

We busted out "The Train" again~ With Ella's bike in back just in case!
Because the weather was much cooler and wetter than usual, we all made sure to dress up in layers. almost obnoxious amount so that we could be warm but still stylish -- not one of us was wearing a proper rain jacket, but we were wearing about five layers each.
Oh, and our family motif was the day was "rainbows".

All three of us had rainbow legs of one kind or another!

First, we biked on over to the nearest Neighborhood Group Bike Ride location where I met a couple of familiars and some new folks too. I think it was the weather, but it was not as big a turn-out as I'd expected... Oh well! Our day of bike-centered fun had begun!!

We all biked on downtown at a "leisurely" pace (I was definitely breaking a sweat hauling the two trailers + kids + Ella's bicycle), and this is what it looked like down by the riverfront:

A typical Corvallis autumn day~

Despite the majority of the day being gray and cloudy, there were some "sun breaks" that felt soooo good! And the fantastic line-up of music they had, kept the mood cheery and festive. :)

There were so many cool things to do too! Like...


You can't see it but she guessed it...a rainbow!!

Bike/helmet decorating!

With super reflector stickers on her helmet, she's super safe now!

Obstacle course!

And parade!!

There's Ella finally riding her bike ;)

By the end of the festival, we were wet and chilly and hungry, so we biked on home to some hot cocoa on our warm cozy house. Mm-MM!

And when we rode out again for dinner, it was all blue skies and beautiful setting sun! Go figure!!
Since Dash will be gone this coming week (more on that later), we went out to Indian for a special treat. But I underestimated how sleepy and ready for bed the kids would be at 6:30 so it was a somewhat difficult outing and one that resulted in William snoozing in the trailer on the way home. Ha! But all things considered, he was pretty good and even properly communicated his potty needs at the restaurant.
That reminds me: I'm happy to say that these past few days he has gone from the usual "1 or 2 accidents a day" to "Zero accidents a day!" Hurray!! Granted, it's just for mama and dada from what we can tell. But we are thrilled nonetheless. It's so nice not to need diapers anymore!! :)

Well, that's all for now.
How was your day?
Are you looking forward to the autumn season?
Did you participate in Car Free Day and not even know it? ;)

I hope you are all doing well and look forward to a great week.
Until next time, take care and Happy Car Free Day!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Back in the "flow" ;)

Hey, all!

Man, a week+ of blog absence!! >_<
So sorry about that, but boy it has been a flurry of work for the adults in the house.
That giant project Dash and I have been working on together is on its way out the door at last!
But then I took on this other huge project, that requires a turnaround time faster than I've ever done for a book of its length! But darn it is fun and enlightening and challenging, so it's a good project :)

In terms of kiddos, I'm glad to report that the early-to-bed schedule has become the norm! I believe the latest that William fell asleep this past week was a whopping 8:00 p.m. Buya!! Boy, it feels great~
Though I mostly dedicate that time to working, I look forward to spending it with Dash in a leisurely way -- playing video games, reading,etc -- or tackling many a project like around-the-house stuff and upcoming Christmas gift projects ;)

Back to the kid updates, the biking-to-school thing has been more of a 50/50 happening these days for Ella. Oh, well. At least I've been consistently dropping her off and picking her up so that's a good 10 miles a day of bicycling me! Yay!

And while on the subject consistent rhythms and body is back on the cycle and I am so happy for it! :)
With William being 17 months old, that's almost about as long as it took for the cycle to return with Ella. I feel refreshed and lighter and like I'm back in the "female community" again in a way :P
It feels like a mini New Years going on here for me, in terms of new resolutions and goals. I have kicked the sugar infatuation I was on, and have been eating a lot of fresh salads straight out of the garden, and even started jogging again! I will not lie, the jogging thing will probably fall to the wayside, but hey! Maybe it won't!

Anyway, it's interesting that I should feel so good and put-together despite the fact that we've been working like banchees and, oh yes, both kids have head colds. I hope you are all feeling this same nice energy. Maybe it's the fact that the first day of autumn is coming right up!! (tomorrow!!)

Actually, I must credit this good energy in the house to the support of all my friends that I have been relying on these past few weeks. From watching the kids, to hosting knitting night, to just checking in to see how I am doing...I have a great network of wonderful people in my life. And for them I am grateful. m(_ _)m

Well, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you are looking forward to a lovely autumn/week/etc!

Til next time, take care and Happy Back In the Flow!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Week Back To School

Hey all!

So this week was Ella Rose's return to preschool!
That's right, a second year at Peach Blossom preschool taught by Ms. Christine.
There's the same gang from last year, with the addition of five new children who all seem just lovely. :)
I think it's going to be a good year.

Ella Rose traced those letters and did the illustrations all herself! :)
This is her on the first day of school last year (her friend Molly's on the right).
My, how she's changed!!

And how can't it be a good year, when Ms. Christine makes sure to start it off so right?
Namely, in the form of a family potluck!
Mid-day Tuesday, the families came to the school to meet each other, see the cubby room, drop off supplies, and share a delicious meal.

No pics of the food or family, but this is what the garden looks like.
And the kids get to play in it!

Ella has her same little space in the cubby room as last year, and has the same fawn illustration to accompany her name. Ms. Christine apparently matches up the child to a thing in nature that she feels matches the child's personality and general aura. I think the fawn is a great match -- and some of you may even know that I had wanted to change Ella's name to Fawn in her first week of life. Ha!

A cozy little room and delightful way to start the school morning.

Another point of interest this year is that now that Ella Rose can ride her two-wheeler (16"-wheel variety), she can ride all the way to school and back with me.
It went smashingly well the first day and took us 45 minutes. And then today, even with me pulling William in the trailer, it actually took only 30 minutes! :)
I like to think it's because she had a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, rather than cold cereal, but we'll see ;)

And then, coupling all that exercise with an early morning, fun-filled first day at school, and early dinner...both she and William konked at out 7:30 for the evening!!!!!
I can't even remember the last time that ever happened, if it ever even did @_@
Dear God, please that pattern lasts!!!!

Well, that is all for now.
Until next time, take care and Happy First Week Back to School!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Good Days

Hey, everyone!

I feel like I haven't really checked in with any recent going-ons in our life.
So here comes a quick rundown!

Last Thursday is something I want to remember -- the first major downpour + thunderstorm I've experienced in Corvallis. It was awe-inspiring.
The day had been overall very dark and the air felt "heavy" in a way. Ella had a friend, Betty Plum, over, and they stayed mostly indoors, which was fine by me because the rain was immediate and intense. By the time her mom came to pick her up, it was pretty torrential out there. I braved it to give blood (and get rejected) and then to drop off a crib to a friend (gift economy!).
Nothing like listening to the steady beating of rain on the roof, eh? Makes you all comfy cozy and sleepy~~

Saturday was a big child-watching day, as we had two wee ones spend most of the day with us. It reminded me of my Clara-watching days, in how I naturally broke the day up into inside-outside, fine motor-gross motor, high energy-low energy activities, etc etc.
Which reminds me...

I'm also feeling a renewed sense of rhythmic scheduling taking hold of our household and I embrace it wholeheartedly. This summer was the least scheduled/predictable/regular summer since Ella Rose came along. No classes. No regular childcare/playdates. No patterns to our day.
And I loved it!!
But I must say, that I am looking forward to a number of regularly scheduled events coming into our lives. Such as:
- Ella Rose's preschool days
- tutoring two kids in Japanese once a week
- regular childcare swaps going on with two families
- waking up before 8am again~~

I even got back into planning our meals weekly (finally!) and have a goal to facilitate a smoother preschool morning by laying out Ella's outfits the night before, having the bike always weather-ready, and even keeping our breakfasts consistent and predictable.
I am hoping for less cold cereal and more oatmeal, or toast, or biscuits.
We'll see how that goes, but so far I am feeling good about it! :)

Back to the breakdown of our days:
Sunday was good and relaxing--actually, that's not totally true.
Dash and I are working together on a rather large project (I think I've mentioned it before) and today was the deadline! Phew!
Actually, yesterday was technically the deadline because it was due to Japan and our Sunday is their Monday! Duhoy! >_<
Oh well, it all worked out today.
And we got to have Betty Plum over again, and I got to give blood (not rejected!).
Gosh, I love giving blood~~
I am O+ if you are curious. Do you know your blood type?

Things are also moving and grooving on the gift economy side, as we are planning the next big Clothing Swap for October, and I am finally finding new homes for some unwanted linens, bedding, and such. Love it!!

That is all for now.
And I am loving these days.
They are Good Days.
I hope you are having a lovely start to the school year too, and until next time take care and Happy Good Days!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

DIY Fruit Leather

Howdy howdy!

I finally got around to finishing that fruit leather endeavor I wrote about last time.
As you may recall, we'd harvested our grapes from the front yard.
So this is how I turned grapes into fruit leather:

1) blenderize the grapes

2) strain out all the seeds and skin

Pretty standard~
3) since the grapes were a little watery, I blended up some bananas with them too, so that the consistency was a little thicker.

4) spread out on plastic dehydrator sheets and pop into your dehydrator for the next 8 hours or so.

Here it is, coming off the plastic sheet!
 5) you know it's ready when it doesn't feel tacky when you touch it.

6) peel/rip it off and voila! Homemade fruit leather~~

Fugly but yummy!

I made these quite a bit last summer thanks to all the apples our friends gave us, and if you are going to use a fruit like an apple, you need to cook it down a bit (pretty much like making apple sauce).
Berries also make a good fruit leather. Mm-MM!

Well, that's all for now.
If you haven't before, give fruit leather a go and I promise you'll be hooked!

Until next time, take care and Happy DIY Fruit Leather!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Harvest! ...And Loss ;_;

Hola, hola~

Just wanted to pop in really quick with some gardening updates.
Firstly, our grapes!!
We have a grape vine in the front of our house that is who-knows-how-old and produces grapes every year and in a pretty good amount.
Today, Dash reminded me that it was time to go out and harvest us some grapes so here are the results:

Most are green, but we appear to have a purple variety too!

And tomorrow I will cook them down, and dehydrate them into fruit leather. Yum!! I will let you know how that goes later.

The stemming part of the process is a breeze~

Also, a wee bit of sad news.
Ella Rose was playing by herself outside for a while, and I thought for sure she was just in the general back yard. But when she came inside, she happily announced "Mama, I picked some lettuce for you and they were so easy to pull up!" @_@
Indeed, she had with her a bucket full of my lettuce plants -- roots and all. ;_;
She picked twelve of them!!

For those of you who don't know, lettuce plants can produce for a good long time by cutting the leaves off and letting them grow back...not pulling the whole plant up in one go. >_<
So yeah...
I didn't react as gracefully as I'd have liked to. I was just so shocked and saddened and disappointed, I let her know in no uncertain terms. Which, of course, made her sad... ;_; ;_;

But after a few deep breaths and alone time with my garden to reassure myself that there are at least a couple of plants left that we can eat from, I came back and apologized for being less-than-nice to her. I mean, she was only trying to help, you know? I wish I could be the kind of mom that laughs at antics like that, but I guess I feel too attached to my garden. Next time, I will try to take something like that more in stride, and remember that first and foremost her heart was in the right place.

Anyway, now we've got a whole big salad in store for dinner!


And Ella Rose also promised to help eat it along with us (she does not usually eat leafy greens), so we'll see how that goes!

Well, that is all for now.
I hope you are all enjoying the fruits of your spring/summertime gardening labor and are eating lots of good veggies these days.
Until next time, Happy Harvests -- and even Losses too!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I'm Back! And So Is The Rain~

Howdy, howdy!

Sorry for the long absence, but I've been away at a spectacular family reunion!
I will definitely have a big, long, decent post on that, but first I need some major R&R -- oof!
Lots of long flights, late arrivals, and poor sleep...yawn central~

So in the meanwhile, I'll share with you some shots I took of the kids just before we left Oregon.
Indeed, it seems the rain is right on schedule, and we are most happy to have it back! Even though it did catch us off-guard on our walk back from the thrift store...

He actually cooperated to keep that blanket over his head like a hoodie

We turned a skirt and pair of shorts into an impromptu hat and scarf

But falling asleep in the camper to the pitter-patter of rain on the roof... I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!! :)

And I was thrilled to come back to a happily fed garden. Thank goodness!

Until next time (very soon!), take care everyone and I'm Happy To Be Back!!