Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finishing up with catch ups or March Happenings

This month has been crazy, fun, impossible and, well, just life with the Ewalts :)  

Orson had his check up at the end of Feburary and weighed in at 29 lbs and 3 ft 1/4 inches.  I am pretty sure both those measurements have changed by now.  This month his last set of molars popped through bring all the joys of teething.  He has become a toddler in every way.  He is stubborn, roles his eyes a lot, gives kisses and hugs away to his friends, asks me if I am ok and pats me on the back, loves to tickle (especially his daddy's feet), eats everything and nothing depending on his mode, thinks his puppet Ms Izzy is real, chases the dogs around the house, loves to watch Mickie Mouse (and is getting excited to go see him in April), uses new words everyday, tells me stories using his imagination, can entertain himself and his friends for hours without needing me, loves his dad, walking the dogs, has used his first band-aid on an owie (sp?), wants to dunk cookies in milk every night with his daddy and has taken to asking if he is our baby (lots of friends are having little sisters and brother arrive). 

 Cookies with Daddy on the couch!

 We humor the am I your baby questions by holding him like we use to...surprisingly, this hold still totally relaxes him!

Last, but not least, we took Orson in to get his hair cut for the first time....Dapper isn't he :)

 Getting it cut, they had an awesome truck to sit in, this is the only time he looked in the mirror, you could tell he was a little troubled by what he saw, but not enough that he didn't immediately go back to pushing the buttons on the truck.

Above is his hair before, below is after (he also loves wearing his scarf)

The weather here has been nuts, some days and a few weekends it has been glorious, other days, like today (and all week really) it has rained and stormed and the wind has been blowing so hard that snuggles can catch air if we take her walking.  My flowers are blooming but I can't enjoy them because I can barely see them through the rain, but Orson has loved all the puddles and sitting in the front window watching the wind blow.  Staying inside has been really hard on all of us, we miss the sun and warmer weather.  

Matt has been putting in for other jobs and has gotten call backs from places as far away as Australia, we don't know what the future is going to bring but would appreciate prayers.  He has a new boss that is not very nice and has been sticking it to him.  Making work a very stressful and unhappy place to be.  We also found out that our house isn't worth very much anymore (yeah economy) so we are trying to create an exit strategy if we need one. 

We have been continuing to host our Wednesday playgroups.  Let me tell you, 4-10 2 years olds (with a couple of little ones tossed in) in the same house on a rainy day is something to behold!  It is fun, exasperating and normally ends in a combo of tears and laughter but totally worth every minute.  Last week we had cupcakes for St Patrick's day, the green icing ended up smeared on everyone's pants, so we ended up having a cloth diaper party....super fun.

Orson's bed is the main attration most days

 And the diaper models are:
Gus, as a cow boy

 Penny in white

 And Orson dressed for a really crazy St. Patty's day parade

On the nice days, Matt and I have been making extra effort to get out and about (heck even on the horrible days we have been walking all the local malls...even Ikea will probably be in our future if the keeps up).  Orson wants to walk the dogs everyday, so Matt takes him even when the weather is iffy and we have all been going to the parks a lot.  

Well that is life for now.  Hope all of you are having a good March too.

Romanic Valentines Getaway (for 5)

I know, super duper late on the Valentines adventure post but here it goes...

So this year it just happened to work out that Matt could take the Friday before Valentines off and out of the blue he called to see if I wanted to drive up the coast to see the Redwoods.  I of course said yes, so he found some cheap hotels to stay in and we headed out Friday afternoon.  We took lots of stops along the way (after all Orson and the dogs came along for our romantic weekend getaway), ate at my favorite place in Nappa, saw the sunset on the beach and just enjoyed the drive out.  The first night we stayed in Fort Bragg, ate amazing seafood (I actually ate seafood all weekend long :) and surprisingly, enjoyed a goods night sleep 

 The sunset was fact the weather was amazing every day we were out, which made for great beach sunsets every night :)

We woke up the next morning to head up to Redwood National Forest.  The first beach we passed was so beautiful, we just had to stop.  Orson was scared right at first but then he realized that it was just an awesomely big puddle and jumped right in!  Matt had to be with him constantly and Chaquita tried to stay with him too but she kept getting swept away by the waves.

We veered off the main highway in order to take the Avenue of the Giants.  It was stunning.

 Orson was very tired at this point and decided that playing with his quesadilla was more fun then eating it...

Then we finally made it to the Redwoods.  We knew we really wanted to see Fern Canyon but there were some pretty large obstacles in the way, namely creeks!  We decided to just go for it and we sure were glad we did.

Of course just before we pulled into the parking lot, Orson finally fell asleep...oh well, we had come to far to not wake him up and go for it!

So we packed him on my back and hiked on in.  He did great until he realized he had his tennis shoes on and not his boots (still wet from the ocean jumping), thus making stream hopping not in his future.  Oh boy did he through a fit about that!

 Fit time!

It was such an amazing place, I loved it.

We also got up close and personal with a herd of elk

Orson's face when he saw the elk

Stopped at the beach to let the dogs and Orson run around

 And then got even closer to a couple of male elk hanging out on the side of the road!

 We finished the day out by driving up to an overlook, spotting some more elk and enjoying the views

 Oh, and one more sunset :)

The next day we met up with a couple of my AmeriCorps friends and went for a little hike with their dog.  It was so much fun to see them and catch up and the crab omelet I had for breakfast was awesome too!

 Last stop on the way home was for Dutch Brothers Hot Chocolate.  Orson had his very was love at first sip!

 For actual Valentines Day, we stayed at home and enjoyed homemade gluten free heart shaped ravioli, and I got some lovely flowers from my guys.

Heart Shaped Gluten Free Pasta Recipe

Pasta recipe from Annalise G. Roberts' Gluten Free Baking Classics (one of my go to books) cut into heart shapes and filled with a dolop of  1/2 Cream Cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan Ramona cheese, 1 tbs green onion, 1/2 cup spinach and 1tbs basil all mixed together.  I found putting a little water on the edges of the pasta when I put the top on the raviolis helped hold them together.  Then wrap them in a linen towel and put them to the side.  For the sauce I started by caramelizing some onions and browning Italian sausage, I then added in halved grape tomatoes, a handful of fresh basil, and some farmers market broccoli.  When the sauce was all together I put the raviolis into a pot of boiling and salted water and cooked them until they floated to the top.  Served it all up with some wine and a little more cheese and sat down to enjoy with my family.