Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sunday fun

Thank you for all the encouraging comments on my last post. It's so nice to 'hear' from people who read this blog. And it was great to read all of your words after spilling my feelings on here. I have some beautiful pictures of Sawyer that I plan on posting next and I'll share a little more then too.

We had such a nice day together on Sunday. We visited a new church and really enjoyed it even though we knew right away it wasn't the place for us. Then we spent the afternoon watching football and I made this lovely recipe from Karli that I had to share as well. ( Hope you don't mind Karli!)

Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche

6 servings

Prepare and fit into a 9-inch pie dish a basic pie or pastry dough shell**

Brush dough with beaten egg yolk and refrigerate

Set a rack on lowest position in the oven and preheat to 400F

Seed, core, and quarter 1 lb tomatoes

Crumble and blend in a large bowl:
4 to 6 oz soft fresh goat cheese
3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/2 cup milk

Add and whisk until smooth:
3 eggs
1 TBLS chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3 TBLS chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Arrange most of the tomato quarters in the prepared pastry shell like the spokes of a wheel. Fill in the center with the remaining tomato quarters. Pour the cheese mixture over the tomatoes. Bake until the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes (or longer) to set before slicing.

**Awhile ago I found this pastry shell recipe that is so quick, easy, and delicious that I use it for nearly all my pies and quiches now.


Pate Brisee
makes 1 9"-10" tart/quiche shell

1- 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 TBLS ice water

Put the flour and salt into a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, slowly add the ice water and process until dough starts coming together (forms a ball). Remove, pat into disk, and wrap in plastic wrap to chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.


I took Karli's suggestion and served it with a nice green salad. So yummy!

After dinner we carved our little pumpkins

Enjoying the slimy innards way too much

Dad trying out the "scary" smile

Ian's turn

Sawyer enjoying the view from the safety of his highchair

Concentrating on drawing and cutting out the faces

Making the final touches

And here they are...'scary' and what was supposed to be 'surprised' but turned out to look like a crazed rabbit.
After the pumpkin carving, Jeremy gave Ian a bath and Sawyer sat in the kitchen watching as I made an apple crisp for dessert. It was such a great day!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Our first boy

He was only 5 lbs 11oz when we left the hospital. I called my sister the day we got home and asked how she ever let her children go outside to play because I knew I would never let Ian out of my arms, let alone my sight. He was so fragile and so tiny and had already had a dramatic start to life. It took us 3 very long years and thousands of dollars to even get pregnant with him. I had 2 partial placental abruptions during his pregnancy and at 25 weeks, after a 2 hour ambulance ride to the nearest NICU, we were asked if we wanted the doctors to try and save him if he were born then, all 1 lb 10oz of him. Of course, we said, without hesitation.

Thankfully he decided to stay put until 37 weeks when he was born by emergency c-section on Valentine's Day. Because of the emergency, Jeremy wasn't allowed into the OR. All he could do was watch as they frantically wheeled me upstairs praying we would be alright. There wasn't time for an epidural so I had to be put out completely. In the chaos of the OR, the last thing I remember was someone touching my belly saying that the baby's heartbeat was back up to 150. Relief flooded me just before I went unconscious. We both missed his entrance into this world, his first cry. Jeremy's introduction to fatherhood was spent alone in a maternity room talking to Ian, just father and son, waiting for me. I woke up an hour later to a clean baby wrapped in a red and pink heart blanket and a knitted cap. He was beautiful.

He's now 2 years and 8 months old. He jumps off nearly anything he can climb, he laughs easily and often, he's surprisingly sarcastic and wickedly funny. He loves dinosaurs, trucks, and animals. He sings all the time and does the best version of the ABC's. He says 'please' and 'thank you', and 'you're welcome' so much that he often corrects me when I forget to say it. He is incredibly gentle to younger kids, especially babies. He loves to stand when he eats despite our constantly telling him to sit. He loves to cuddle and will wrap his arm around whatever leg or arm is available when we are curled up on the couch.

I just bought him these dinosaur boots at Fred Meyer the other day and he hasn't taken them off yet. And whenever we pass by each other in the hall he stops me and without hesitation points to each one naming them...Pterodactyl, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Triceretops.

The truth is, I'm having a harder time with him turning 3 in February than with my own 30th birthday next month. I absolutely love the boy he is becoming and I'm looking forward to many wonderful and fun years with him but I'm also sad because it means he's closer to growing up. I find it incredibly unfair that I have to even think about preschools already. So I don't. I don't think about them because they aren't an option right now. He's home with me and we love it that way. He's so creative and smart and I love watching his brain work things out. It may be selfish but I want to experience those things with him, not a teacher.

Maybe it was the struggle to get pregnant or his dramatic first 9 months of life that makes me feel so protective of him and our time together. Whatever it is...I realize I only have 16 years left with him until he is free to leave and make his own life. 16 years to see him discover new things and make his own decisions. 16 years to teach him and show him how to become a man full of integrity and passion, a man who loves God and has compassion for people. 16 years to enjoy every day with him.

Thankfully I have time. And right now I'm grateful I get to wake up tomorrow morning and give his little blonde head a kiss, make his breakfast, and watch him climb up in his chair with his dinosaur boots on the wrong feet showing me exactly how a dinosaur would ask for his breakfast. Roar.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ian and Dad at the Park

Hey everyone, this is Jeremy posting for a change... Andrea has the night off. :) Last week Ian and I went to the Rose City Park just down the street from us to enjoy the dry fall days while we still have them. Here is Ian at the start of our adventure, geared up to brave the cool air, the leaves, and any squirrels who are foolish enough to cross our path.

Here is the park with all it's merriment waiting for us. I am not sure why, but we basically had the place to ourselves the whole time so we could really do as we pleased.
As soon as we got to the park, a squirrel ran right by us (there were tons of them in the park) and Ian immediately gave chase.
We followed him over to this tree where we got creepily close to him. He was watching Ian intently as we stood there, actually making me nervous that we were about to see that squirrel's nut up close and leaping at us. He stayed put, so we left him alone.
Next, we hit the swings where Ian enjoyed the magic of the "underdog" technique that dad's have handed down from generation to generation.
Ian and I running around on the tennis courts...
Next we collected a bunch of pine cones and climbed up this little hill next to the courts. We proceeded to throw said cones at anything that we could hit... including some bewildered squirrels. Here Ian is impressed with my throw that hit the light pole and let out a deep "dong" sound.
Ian showing his amazing technique - I guess he is a "righty".
Ian running back toward me on the soccer pitch after chasing some birds... if you either hum the "Chariots of Fire" theme or do the Million Dollar Man bionic sound it makes this picture come alive.
On the teeter-totter... the lamest play device ever invented.
Ian striking a pose.
So, for our next endeavor we collected a bunch of acorns and climbed to the top of the slide. You can simply slide down anytime, but with no one around we were able to throw acorns down without regard for any innocent passersby.
Now that the acorns were all on the ground, we of course had to throw them back up the slide to watch them slide back down.
It started to rain, so eventually our playtime came to an end. Here is Ian taking off his shoes at the front door.
A satisfied kid after a great day at the park.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Last year we went to the biggest pumpkin patch in Portland. It's on the lovely Sauvie Island which on any normal day is a nice place to visit. Unfortunately with only one way on the island and one way off and with 20,000 visitors during the fall season, it gets a little...congested. The farm itself was fine although way too crowded for me. Traffic was so bad it took us 3 hours to get off the island. In the middle of which we had to beg a nearby farmer for gas because we were on empty and then get back in line to sit and wait. And oh yeah...I was 2 months pregnant and very sick. Needless to say, we vowed never to go pumpkin hunting there again.

So this year, we took the hour or so drive out of the city to Hood River. A beautiful little town and a peaceful drive along the Columbia Gorge. The farm itself was absolutely perfect...family sized but not crowded at all. They had a corn maze and pumpkin bowling and 2 farm dogs that followed everyone around looking for a good rub. Their barn store was full of crisp apples and sweet pears and other goods and the first thing you notice about their pumpkin patch is that Mt. Hood is nestled in the backdrop looking down on you. We will definitely be going there again next year.

The barn store. We bought bags of apples and pears and delicious apple cider.

Heading to the pumpkin patch

Driving a tractor

Mt. Hood peaking out from behind the trees.

Hanging out and enjoying the view

Walking through the corn maze reading the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Pulling the snake's tongue

Finding corn

Silly family picture

Back to the pumpkin patch to find our pumpkins!

Ian and a friend kicking a rotten pumpkin

Dad and Ian carrying our pumpkins to the scale.

Note to self: Wheelbarrels can tip over when they are only carrying a wiggly toddler.

Which never stops a little boy from doing it again!

Pumpkin bowling

See you next year!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

5 months baby

Sawyer turned 5 months old yesterday! He has the sweetest personality and it doesn't take much to make him laugh (a really good kiss to the crook of his neck will do). He loves to snuggle and nurse...especially during the night. He watches everything going on around him to make sure he doesn't miss out on a thing. And if he could take off running with Ian he would in a heartbeat. His arms and legs move wildly with excitement when Ian's around. He has an incredible grip and if anything is within his reach he will grab it. We've had a few close calls with the dinner plates and glasses! He has the bluest eyes, just like Ian, and his hair is getting more blond everyday. We are so blessed by him.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Goodbye slide...

We said goodbye to our slide and play set yesterday. It was bittersweet because my dad built this wooden structure 20 years ago. It's seen many happy days and held armfuls of laughing kids. But it was old. So old it was leaning to the right and each of the wooden dowels used in the ladder had broken. The only sturdy and useable thing on it anymore was the slide. And Ian loves to slide. But she had to go...along with the dying tree in the back corner.

Ian watched in horror as the 2 young men took machetes to the structure. Their saw had broken so they used the machete or the chopped tree trunk to disassemble it. Ian had woken up by this time and I struggled with letting him watch the tear down or letting him walk out back one day and seeing it gone. I let him watch. And he did, with a mixture of complete horror and total awe.

After crying for his slide he finally gave in to the inevitable.

Now new plans can be made. We will have new trees and a brand new wooden play structure this spring. One that he can climb into without a broken ladder and one that doesn't lean to the right. And by then, there will be two little boys to play on the new slide and make new memories.