Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dear Asher: 4 Months

Dear Asher,

Happy four month birthday! This has been a fun month full of growth and change. It's amazing how you've transitioned from a newborn to a little guy. You're so much more alert and playful now. We're starting to get a glimpse at your personality, which so far is calm and easy-going. Pretty much the opposite of your sister!

This month you did a lot of experimenting with your voice. It reminds me of the bit from Austin Power where he says he is having trouble controling the volume of his voice. That's you. One second you're laughing then you are crying then back to laughing.

Two things you absolutely love: your sister and your daddy's beard. You are mesmerized by anything Zahara does and give her the biggest smiles any time she's around. She's the best sister too. She sings you songs and calms you if you're crying. It melts my heart.

Daddy has found your ticklish spot: he rubs his beard against your neck and you burst into giggles. It's adorable. You still haven't found your feet, but you're starting to grab for toys and our faces. You are getting really good at holding your head up too. You're such a strong boy!

Sadly, you ended the month with a pretty bad cold. We were in Florida for Thanksgiving and you were up all night coughing. You slept sitting up outside our balcony. We eventually took you to urgent care, but there was really nothing we could do for you. Thankfully you're feeling much better already and are back to your happy self.

We love watching you grow and play. Can't wait to see what this next month holds!

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Day at the Farm

The weekend after Halloween a farm nearby hosted a pumpkin festival, complete with hay rides, pick-your-own pumpkins, and giant slides. We got so lucky with a perfectly gorgeous fall day (and well-behaved kids!).

The hay ride was really fun and took us to a giant pumpkin patch. Z had fun running around trying to find the best pumpkin.

We staged pictures for Asher's first pumpkin patch, just like we did with Zahara. They look so much alike, don't you think? It's the chubby little cheeks.

Price of admission included as many pumpkins as you could carry, so we grabbed two giant ones. We took them home, carved them, roasted the seeds, and Dan even made a delicious soup out of them!

Zahara is really getting so big. She went on a ride through the woods in a Cinderella carriage--by herself ! The ride was less than ten minutes, but it felt like a tiny glimpse into the future, watching her leave for college. Ha!

Other fun activities were the pumpkin darts, the corn pit (corn kernels replaced sand in a giant box), and the slides. These slides were pretty intense. They were really steep and long, and Zahara could not get enough! We went on them probably around 15 times. Such a little dare devil!

We capped off our day with some delicious apple cider donuts. It was the perfect afternoon. Why can't every day be a pumpkin patch kind of day?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween was a lot of fun this year. We celebrated over three days: Sunday (Oct 30) we had a neighborhood costume parade and ghost lollipop hunt that I helped plan. Monday (Oct 31) we went trick-or-treating. And Wednesday (Nov 2) my mom's group had a costume party.

The neighborhood party went great. We had tons of lollipops (see tutorial here) and the kids loved finding them. We had a quick parade around the playground before the kids ran off to play. It was so hot outside though! I felt so bad for all the kids in their hot costumes.

Trick-or-treating this year was great. Zahara's friend Liana came over. I just love watching the two of them together. They have been best friends for the past two years and used to see each other every day at day care. They miss each other so much now that they're at different schools.

Rounding out our Halloween celebration was the baby costume party. Is there anything cuter? I loved the teeny tiny batman (only 3 weeks old!).

Now that we're in November, I'm ready for Thanksgiving! How about you?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Portland, Maine

Sadly, our time in Maine came to a close. We got so lucky with the weather the entire trip except for the last two days in Portland. It poured our entire drive down from Bar Harbor and was cool and windy on our last day.  Our lobster boat tour was canceled, which was a big bummer, but we found something fun to do instead.

Our first day in Portland we headed to the Children's Museum and Theater of Maine. It had all the fun things that you expect in a kid's museum like a pretend grocery story. But then it also had a lot of unexpected things. A giant fire truck and gear, a tree house, a theater where they did story time, face painting, and more. It was a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

That night we stayed in a Doubletree hotel by the airport. It's always hard sharing one room for all of us. Asher and I were downstairs watching the presidential debate and enjoying my warm cookie (best part of staying at the Doubletree!) while Dan tried to get Zahara to sleep. Here's our text exchange:

8:36 pm
Me:  How are things?
Dan: Wide awake and singing. Will let you know if anything changes.

8:59 pm
Me: Anything?
Dan: She's a rooster

9:23 pm
Dan: Pajamas are off. She's out of bed

She finally went to bed around 10. 

We started the next morning with blueberry pancakes at Becky's Diner. We couldn't resist the giant whoopie pies and grabbed one to go. We were supposed to go on the lobster boat, but it was too windy so the company canceled. We were scrambling to find something else to do when we found the Maine Wildlife Park. It's only a few minutes outside of Portland and is well-worth the trip.

We saw all sorts of animals like foxes, bears, mountain lions, and moose! We also saw a trout fishery. It was a bit chilly, but we had a good time. Thank goodness for the wagon rental! That was so helpful!

Our last meal in Portland was a good one. We went to Central Provisions near the Old Port. We got there right at 5:00 pm when they opened, and there was already a line. The food is tapas style and there were plenty of vegetarian things for us to eat. I loved everything, but the salad was a real surprise. It was delicious. Of course we forgot to take pictures after the first two dishes. You'll have to just trust me.


Egg, apple butter, hazelnuts, and fresh bread
And with that, our trip came to a close. Though we suffered through some pretty epic tantrums, the scenery, food, and people of Maine made the trip fantastic.

Read more about our trip to Maine:
Bar Harbor
Schoodic Peninsula

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Schoodic Peninsula, Maine

We spent two full days in Acadia National Park. The first day was on Mount Desert Island, and the second day was in Schoodic Peninsula. It was the right amount of time for us right now, but if the kids were older, or if we were by ourselves, we may have wanted to spend more time walking around the trails.

Our first stop was Schoodic Point. The scenery is really dramatic. We had so much fun climbing the giant rocks and watching the ocean crash against the cliffs.

There was a group of artists on a field trip scattered all around the peninsula that day. We met a guy named Timothy who was very kind and let Zahara watch him as he painted. Zahara became obsessed with Mr. Timothy. Eventually we had to drag her away, but not before she took her crayons and paper and drew a picture for Mr. Timothy to see. He was a good sport and told her he "liked the energy" in the piece and could tell she was an artist. It's a month later and Z still talks about him.

There wasn't really a good place to stop for a picnic lunch, so we just pulled over on the side of the road and sat in the grass. It turned out to be perfect.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Maine is incredible. It absolutely lived up to every expectation we had.

Read more about our trip to Maine:
Bar Harbor

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Thoughts by Z

Just a couple of highlights from this month:

Thought 1:
Z: When I'm a daddy, I'm going to watch grown-up shows (referencing the presidential debate).

Thought 2: 
Z: I want to sit on Zuzu [our cat] like a cowboy.

Thought 3: 
Z: When I grow really big, I want mayonnaise.

Thought 4: 
Reading Aladdin
Me: What would you wish for if you had a gennie?
Z: A dinosaur, a monkey, and a play menorah

See previous Thoughts by Z here