Friday, September 30, 2011

Santa Fe Renaissance Fair 2011

Here are the pictures from this years renaissance fair. Locals, I highly recommend you go. It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday.


Note the very authentic shoes.




Fighting the knights. This was definitely the kid favorite this year. Paul got way into it and started taking down everyone else’s knights as well.


Reminds me of Monty Python.


This had to be one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. Averi’s “sword” was as long as she is, and the hits she gave were the cutest teeny taps. The whole crowd was smitten by our fair lady.



Katie is her father’s daughter. Check out that tongue! (Aaron pointed out that this could be taken wrong. It is not meant to imply anything indecent. Aaron simply has a very funny habit of sticking his tongue out in the weirdest ways when he's concentrating. That's all.)


Stud muffin Paul.

The crowd was much bigger at the fair this year, which made it even more fun. I love having a chance to tap into my inner geek (not like I don’t just about every day, but this was even geekier than usual).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Bucket List

Here’s our fall “bucket list.”  We’ll see how many of these things we actually get done, but it will be fun to try!  Let’s set an end date of Nov 15 so we don’t overlap with the holidays.  And enjoy these blasts from the past while you’re at it.

1. Go to a pumpkin patch


(Ah, the fun we have as a family…)

2. Balloon Fiesta


3. State Fair (already did that, so it might be cheating, but it’s totally a fall activity)


(yes, it’s blurry, but that’s what you get with a self-portrait)

4. Renaissance Fair (again, cheating a bit)


5. Go on a hike


6. Sew Halloween costumes


7. Trick or treating!


8. Family game night


9. Make s’mores over a fire


10. Carve pumpkins


(or eat them, whatever)

11. Make a wreath

12. Make a scarf


13. Make chili

14. Go down to the bosque and take pictures in the leaves


15. Make art with leaves

16. Eat al fresco

17. Read on the patio while the kids play

18. Visit to the farmer’s market

19. Make our house smell delicious

If you know me at all, I’m NOT a fan of winter and coldness and darkness and the general blech that hits around January.  This means that I approach fall with some trepidation, since I know what’s coming next, and it’s not pretty.  But fall really is wonderful.  In Albuquerque, it’s nice and warm during the day, but there’s a nip in the air at night.  September is absolutely gorgeous, as is October.  And nothing beats that New Mexico blue sky in autumn.  There’s also something wonderful about breaking out the cardigans and sweaters and scarves and boots that haven’t seen the light of day since April.  So this year I’m going to embrace fall, and I’m bringing the rest of the family along for the ride.

Thoughts and Happenings

We have been so blessed to have a lot of family come after we had Bridget.  Aaron’s mom was there when she was born and stayed for a week, and then a week and a half later my mom and sister came out for two weeks.  My house was never so organized and clean, and Aaron and I got to go out several times together WITHOUT KIDS.  Well, except for Bridget.  But newborns are like footballs; you just tuck them under your arm and haul them around with you.  I was seriously tempted to “lose” my keys on the day my mom had to fly home.  When we were loading up the car, Paul said, “I think I’m going to cry when Grandma leaves.”  I responded, “Me too.”  “No, Mom, I’m not kidding.  I really am going to cry.”  I’m not kidding either, Paul. 

After my mom and Kiera left, Adam and Julie came out for the weekend.  Julie is a flight attendant, so when Adam got off work early on Friday, they were able to make an impromptu visit to us.  It was Averi’s birthday, so everyone (except for Aaron—boo to having to work!) went to the zoo.  Afterwards we met Aaron at Golden Corral for dinner.  High class, I know, but the kids thought they had died and gone to heaven.  We’ve been very careful about what we’ve been eating lately, so the kids were thrilled to be able to choose whatever they wanted.  Paul especially thought that this was supreme bliss.  I cannot tell you how much that kid ate, mostly because I can’t remember it all.  I do know that he ate two pieces of pizza, two servings of enchiladas, spaghetti with meatballs, tilapia, salad, multiple servings of watermelon, mashed potatoes, cotton candy, strawberries and marshmallows dipped in the chocolate fountain, a chocolate cupcake, and the rest of Julie’s cotton candy.  I know there’s more there that I’m forgetting, as hard as that may be to imagine.  After he finished, he turned and looked at me with those HUGE brown eyes and began to cry.  I asked him what was wrong, and he responded, “My tummy hurts!”  I think it was the first time he’s ever eaten himself sick.  Sad as it was, I did have a hard time not laughing.  How could he be anything BUT sick?

Adam and Julie were planning on staying through Sunday, but Julie’s sister went into labor on Saturday, so she flew out so she could be with her.  Aaron, Adam and I took the kids up to Santa Fe to the Renaissance Fair, which is one of our favorite things ever.  I get a kick out of dressing the kids up and only wish that I had a dress myself.  Maybe one year when I haven’t just had a baby I’ll make Aaron and me awesome matching costumes.  I’m a nerd like that.  The camera is downstairs right now, so pictures will have to follow in another post. 

We were out in the sun all day on Saturday, and I woke up Sunday morning to a discovery: I am either allergic to the sun (polymorphic light eruption) or to the combination of my sunscreen and the sun (photoallergic contact dermatitis).  Either way, I had the most itchy, horrible rash every where that was exposed to the sun: arms, chest, neck, face, even my ears.  It was awful.  I cannot describe how incredibly itchy it was.  A visit to the dermatologist on Monday gave the two possible diagnoses.  I’m inclined to think that it’s the sunscreen, since the only other time this has happened, I was wearing that sunscreen.  That time I thought it was a reaction to the laundry detergent I used, but now I know better.  This second time was MUCH more severe than the first and only cleared up after a combination of ultra-powerful steroid cream (which also happened to be ultra expensive and not even regularly stocked by pharmacies), anti-histamines, and anti-itch lotion.  I’m sure I stunk to high heaven, and I stayed indoors for several days so I didn’t have to show my hideous self to the world.  But now it’s gone, and I’m just hoping it NEVER happens again.

To complicate matters, I had developed pink eye two days before this all happened.  So not only was I looking horrible from the rash, but I had to wear my glasses, which don’t fit right and are the wrong prescription.  I was a wreck.  Fortunately, both the pink eye and the rash were gone by Thursday, so I was able to go to church this Sunday (and watch Project Runway on Thursday night) without looking like a freak.

Things are starting to calm down around here.  We’re getting back in the homeschool swing, and I’m feeling so confident that I signed Katie back up for ballet.  I essentially cancelled all activities for the months of August and September (except piano), knowing that I wouldn’t be capable of making it to anything on time or remember anything that wasn’t physically attached to me.  This was a very wise decision.  Life’s still chaotic, and it’s still hard knowing that I can’t accomplish much when I’m spending hours every day sitting and nursing.  But I have been able to sew two dresses for Katie and Averi, and I’m almost finished refinishing an bookshelf for Paul’s room.  So I’m feeling pretty good!  I’m also only 6 pounds away from my “standard” pre-baby weight, although I don’t look nearly as good, since I lost a ton of muscle.  As soon as I feel a little more in control I plan on starting my exercise routine again and fixing that.

On a different track: the cloth diapering is still going well and I have absolutely no regrets, except that I wish I would have known about modern cloth earlier.  My favorites are Best Bottoms.  Ask me about them; I could be a walking advertisement.  They ought to pay me.  Also, I’m going to put in a plug for Pinterest.  Best time killer EVER.  Those hours nursing are not spent doing nothing.  Instead, they’re spent looking at what everyone else has done and wishing I could do them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bridget at 3 weeks

Little Miss Bridget has been so much fun to have around.  She’s extremely snuggly and loves to be held close and swaddled.  She’s the first of our babies that actually seems interested in the pacifier, and she’s a great eater.  She’s already filled out quite a bit in just these few weeks, but she still has the classic newborn chicken legs.  Her brother and sisters dote on her and are constantly “checking on her” (which usually means that she’ll mysteriously wake up right as they check on her—poor baby).  She’s up every 2.5-4 hours during the night, so it’s bearable for now.  She’s a very noisy sleeper.  She’s always making the funniest grunting and squeaking sounds.  We absolutely adore her and would love to have a million of her.