Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fall '11: October

Oh dear rain, how I love thee! This expression of love goes to the first day of real rain, which we received (if I’m not mistaken) in October. As I strapped Kai into his car seat and the rain was pouring right down my neck, he exclaims: “I LIKE this water Mama!” Yeah, me too, as long as I don’t have it soak my back though. Having grown up experiencing the annual 4 seasons, the rain (or even overcast and temps in the low 60's) are a welcome change for me here in SoCal.  This first day of downpour made for a trip to Target to obtain a larger umbrella. Of course, I didn’t get to use it right away as the next day we hit 99 degrees again. Really!? In October? Com’on!

Being inspired by watching the story of a 7-year old boy who had a unique combination of blood disorders and who needed to find a bone marrow donor match, David and I registered ourselves as bone marrow donors this month. How incredible would it be if we could save someone’s life? A LIFE! Life is the most precious gift we are given, so, how out-of-this-world amazing would it be to help save that precious gift for someone? To give them another chance? And that, with minimal to no risks to yourself? I truly hope that I some time I will receive the phone call that I am “a match”.

On a different note: the Pumpkin Bread mix returned to Trader Joe’s shelves. The day of my discovery marked the day that I was officially named “the Pumpkin Lady” at the Trader Joe’s down the street from my work. I was that woman; the one who checks out with the contents of the entire shelf in her cart. Yep, that was me. That stuff is so good and the fact that it is a seasonal item is a crime, so Mommy shamelessly stocked up.

At the beginning of the month Ryder caught a cold and lost his voice. Though at times that loss was pretty darn convenient, I simultaneously felt for the little man. Poor kid. Needless to say, his voice returned after a few days. And it made up for the days of silence we had had… Did someone say “Terrible Two’s”? Add some molars coming through and his desperate need to be in control of everything and you have tantrums and very tumultuous days…oy…

When Kai was his age, he was obsessed with stacking cups. OBSESSED. This month Ryder really got into the stacking as well and though his obsession was definitely shorter lived than Kai’s, his excitement was not any less entertaining:

The rest of October was filled with day trips with the boys:

Travel Town,

we met Buddy at the Los Angeles Zoo,

a day at the Museum of Natural History where we met up with Kai’s friend Taylor. Lots of fun there: while Kai and Taylor rebuilt the T-Rex skeleton,

Ryder felt the need to explore the display cabinets and take a closer look at the creatures on display.

When the boys witnessed a T-Rex birth a human,

they asked their dinosaur questions, while Mommy wondered which part of evolution she lacked understanding of. The Mammoths were a point of interest to which Kai & Ryder returned several times.

The colder days were spent at home coloring,

while one of the warmer days this “little” fella made Mommy jump out of her skin.

One afternoon, much to Mommy’s delight, Kai decided he wanted to play tennis in the backyard. 7 hits of 10 was a pretty darn good score. The dog LOVED Kai’s enthusiasm for the sport and hopes for a continuation of the learning process.

To add a little bit of variety to the daily routine, David and I had a new driveway put in. After 7 years of crappy asphalt, we finally got the look that actually says “us”, not only in style, but also because now we can park both cars on the driveway!! How freakin’ cool?!?! Yes, I am excited about my driveway! Can’t you tell?

Of course I cooked, baked, experimented in the kitchen and came up with some awesome yummyness. The highlight of it all: the cupcake of all cupcakes. “Divine” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Chocolate cupcake filled with sea salt caramel, topped with chocolate frosting and chocolate chip and sea salt brittle.

To recap: chocolate, caramel and sea salt. Pure perfection and bliss.

October wouldn’t be October without a visit to the pumpkin patch.

The Harvest Festival at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark is our go-to place. Love it and this year was no different. Lots of laughter, giggles, and cuteness.

Once the perfect pumpkins were acquired, the carving took place at our friends Michael & Nina’s house. A fun-filled afternoon with lots of great designs, wine and a ton of fun.

As Halloween approached Kai joined me in the kitchen to partake in the baking projects. Halloween cookies were baked, decorated and quality control was under strict surveillance of Mr. Pastry Chef himself.

Both boys ate and ate and ate. Anything they could get their hands on. One of the phases: the water melon phase.

½ water melon per day – between the two of them.

Outside of Kai’s school is a grassy area that separates the entrance from the parking lot. It has become tradition to play chase after school. Either with classmates, friends from other classes, or Mommy. Or…all of the above. One afternoon, in the midst of his play, Kai came running up to me and said: “I need a hug and a kiss Mommy.” Hug and kiss take place. He looks at me and says “I missed you Mommy”. Kiss and off he goes to play again. Me: MELT.

The boys are starting to really get along better and better. We have truly moved on from the “who is this baby who steals my toys?” to “here’s someone I can play with (and he doubles as a ‘partner in crime’) – cool!” Their relationship is a roller coaster going from playing nicely, to fighting not-so-nicely, to moments that are just too quiet (too quiet is not a good thing when you have 2 boys), to the sounds I love the most:

The month ended on a high-note: Halloween was celebrated with a Halloween Parade at school. As expected, it was a day way too warm to dress your child in any costume, but weeks ago Kai had decided that “Kai is going to be a fireman, Ryder is going to be a fireman, Papa is going to be a fireman and Mama is going to be a fireman.”

So, to school we went. Kai & Ryder both dressed as firemen – my outfit awaited me for the evening:

The parade was filled with cuteness among the girls and cool-ness among the boys.

Trick-or-Treating at night was fun too.

Candy, candy, candy. Upon our return home, Mommy quickly and un-noticeably to any other members of her family, sifted through the candy and picked out the candy that she deemed not-suitable for the kids. These were added to the bowl of candy to hand out and inspired by all the neighbors who so generously gave him candy, Kai was delighted to return the favor and LOVED putting candy in everyone’s buckets as they stopped by his house. (All the while announcing that he was “A FIREMAN!!!”)


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