Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009!

So what lies ahead for a young family's attempt at their first Halloween..?
(Cue creepy haunted spooky sounds here.)


Well Ill tell you all about it in todays post. But first, apologies for the long delay between posts, Ive been kinda busy with some stuff recently. But lets stop with the banter and get right to the good stuff!

So we had to prepare for the big day.. We had a wonderful halloween outfit that we had been saving for this special occasion, but a diaper explosion quickly changed those plans. So we decided to just go with as many stripes on Olive as possible, and off we went!

Our first pumpkin patch!

Now I know growing up in Idaho, there was no such thing, because we all basically had pumpkins in our gardens. But out here in LA, well thats a different story.

And although the parents were extremely excited, Olive wasnt sure what to think of all these giant-orange-globey-thingies..

But she saw that it was important to us, so she went along with it.

Olive, you're awesome.


This pumpkin patch was pretty picked over by the time we got there. But we horded the remaining Jack-o-lanterns and did what we could. Unfortunately, any illusion of us being out on a farm is lost by the 360 degrees of 'mall parking lot' that surrounded us.. I wonder if that makes us out to be hypocrites of some sort..

Olive that was kind of a rhetorical question.. Dont think to hard on it, ok?

I have to say it again..


Arent my ladies lovely?

And of course, the photographer had to get in on the action.

And after buying some pumpkins and last minute bags of candy, both of which will probably sit in our house for months, we ran home and got changed for Olive's first Halloween!

Any guesses? Bet a lot of you think
Im going as a martini glass or something..

Maybe Popeye..?

Well I bet none of you guessed this!:


Mrs. Queen Boo-Bee, Mr. Magic Mushroom, and introducing 'Olive the Garden Gnome'.

How many babies can grow a beard at 3 1/2 months?

Ours can!

The dynamic duo!

We loved the idea of a Garden Gnome and were trying to think of costumes that would go well with the idea. But bird baths and plastic pink flamingos proved kinda difficult to translate to costume form, so Bees and Toadstools it was.

Super Grandma Rachel was kind enough to come over and take these fantastic photos of us. She also helped tailor the gnome costume to fit Olive's miniscule proportions. Thank you Rachel, you are the best!

And off we went to the Grieve's Halloween party. I have more pix to post from that, but right now just wanted to be self centered and show just our family..

Hey what do you expect from a mushroom?

The proportions in this shot are pretty spot on..

And here is the lovely lady and our precious bearded baby.

Cant figure out what made her happiest, getting a well deserved milk break, or getting to take off that hot sweaty beard.

But then...

As the rest of the kids went off into the night, we attempted going to another party, but Olive started whimpering and moaning. Of course now we hit every red light in town, and by the time we pulled up in front of the party house, little Olive just erupted.

She was burning up in her costume, she was hungry, and tired, and probably had a full diaper as well. Rebecca and I were a little 'frayed', but to our credit we did not utter any four letter words.

We shouted them.

No, but seriously, we did not say any bad, angry things, at least not out loud, we just gritted our teeth, channeled some of that Lamaze breathing techniques we had learned, and got through it.

So we quickly pulled over, Mrs. Awesome mom queen boo-bee did her thing, and our little green incredible hulk-gnome turned back into a lovely Smurfette.

So we ran home, hit the couch and passed out.

(passed out some candy, and literally the three of us 'passed out').

The end.

Happy Halloween everyone, and more posts soon. Thanks for your patience..!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Albuquerque: Day 3

Alarm clock goes off at 3:30 am.. And I ask myself, do I really want to do this?

And within two hours, I have my answer..

So we arrive at the fairgrounds at 5 am. Fortunately, Robert knew where to go and we had no traffic to deal with. Just the yawns and a strong thirst for some coffee.

And so did everyone else. But one hot chocolate and 2 doughnuts later, I was ready for this festival of balloons.

It was still pretty cold out, the grass wet with morning dew, but there was an excitement in the air and everyone was so friendly and happy with anticipation it was electric.

All the balloonists had their trucks pulled in and were unloading while us spectators stood and shivered with our little cups of Joe. Off in the distance you could hear a lot of cheering and the first 'dawn patrol' balloon was on its way.. Everyone began to cheer as this was the equivalent to "Gentlemen, start your engines".

Soon you heard burners frantically trying to get their balloons up, up, and away!

Now did I just 'know' all this information..? No. Our new friend Shelly (in the black and grey) was telling us all about the festival, the process of flying balloons, and other folklore and tidbits about the event.

Once we saw this balloon we immediately thought of Aunt Terry and Uncle Alex, as I believe they are high rollers at this casino. (The cozey jackets we borrowed were from there!)

So we could not get Olive up out of her slumber, so I had Eddie Rouge stand in instead.

This was probably taken about 40 minutes after the first balloon went up.

As incredible as these photos are, you must remember that this was happening all around us..! Burners and cheering and car horns and giant, bright balloons flying right over our heads.

We took so many photos as everything kept changing right before our eyes. Each new balloon creating great, vibrant compositions against the blue sky.

One of the festival favorites are "the bees". And we happen to be standing right at there launch site! At one point the wind blew them to face each other and after thousands of people cheering, they came together and 'kissed'. The crowd went crazy!

Things were starting to warm up so we brought the little one out. But she decided to sleep this one off. Guess we'll have to come back next year.

Karate and Balloons. Kind of a bizarre weekend itinerary, but a great one indeed!

It was one of those mornings that you will never forget. So unique and alive and exciting. We are so glad we were able to be a participant in all of this.

Thanks Robert for going with us!

So as the last balloons were lifting off, probably around 8 am, we decided to head back for breakfast at Aunt Terry's.

But first, I wanted to pick up some souvenirs, as I really wanted some balloon pins.

Unfortunately, every pin I found was a 'collectors' item and started $10. And those were the ugly ones. All the pins I picked out were $35 - $50! So I came to the conclusion that I really do not need a pins after all.

And although I did not get any souvenirs, I did find this gem of a sign.. I guess Albuquerque has a different 'brewing' process than Im familiar with.

It seemed so long ago that we arrived here in the cold and stumbled our way down to the airfield. What a morning.. And we had yet to eat breakfast...

So we hustled our way back to the house and started helping out with the meal.


Robert had Olive duty,

and Olive told Kev all about her morning with all the giant colorful UFO's she saw..

We had some delicious waffels and recharged our batteries, and soon we were off to the local craft fair.

Uncle Alex volunteered to stay back at the house and make sure the recliner still worked. He also volunteered watching the football game as well.

Such a nice guy..

Across town we arrived at a massive art show full of New Mexico's finest crafts. And after hours of scrutinous shopping, Rebecca and I left with a little homemade christmas ornament, that was tailor made for us:

Soooo cute!

And speaking of cute, while we were taking a break, we sat next to what looked like Olive's big sister. They checked each other out and it was a fun little moment. This little girl is 8 months old, and it was amazing to think of all that will have happened by then.

We made it back and Uncle Kev and Auntie Catherine watched Olive, while Rebecca and I caught our breadth.

I brought back a little souvenir as well. This was O's first exposure to puppets. She was pretty intrigued for a bout 4 seconds, then went back to drooling..

Uncle Alex got some Olive time as well.

And with the afternoon dwindling, we all stepped outside for some family pics.

Not often you get four generations on the ranch, which means it was a great time for a group shot.

We couldnt let the girls have all the fun, so we showed em our 'gun' collection.

Such a gorgeous day and such beautiful scenery..

So thank you again for your patience! I know I havent been very timely with this post, but Ill try and get the others out sooner.