Sunday, August 30, 2009

Heather Meadows

This past Thursday Conan and I joined Great Grandma Joy, my cousin Fergus and his fiance Svea, and my cousin Heather and her two girls Hazel and Hannah for a picnic and hike up at Heather Meadows. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and we had a great time. We had a delicious lunch, and then set off down the trail to Bagley lakes to explore.
The snowfield in the middle right of this picture is where we hiked to, we went around the upper Bagley lake, across the snowfield at the head, and came back up the meadows at the bottome of Table Mtns scree slope. The blueberries and huckleberries were ripe and abundant, we ate them by the handfuls as we walked. The lowbush berries were just thick, and sooo sweet.

Conan really enjoyed his first time in an alpine environment. What he didn't enjoy was getting slathered with sunscreen every couple of hours, but mama insisted. Got to keep that pale baby skin protected!

Hazel, Svea, Hannah and Fergus crossing the stone bridge at the lower end of the lake.
Grandma Joy, looking back from the head of upper Bagley lake.
The wildflowers were surprisingly abundant for as late in the season as it was. There were thick, beautiful stands of Grass-of-Parnassus, asters, and arnica along the lakeside trail. Up close to the snowfield where the ground had just recently been exposed we found monkey flowers, waterleaf and marsh marigolds.
Conan rode in the Ergo on my back most of the way, and seemed very comfortable. He fell asleep for about an hour in the middle of the hike. Other than it being a bit hot to hike with a warm sweaty baby pressed up against my back, it was really comfortable for me, too.
Hannah and Hazel eventually waded in to this small pond. It had newts!
Hannah really wanted to carry Conan, so for the last leg of the hike we let her pack him in the Ergo. They both thought it was really fun.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Walkin' Scooter Toy

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Tombi showed us that Conan's little scooter toy reconfigures into a walk-behind toy, and boy does he love pushing it around! He hasn't figured out turning around yet, but no matter - ramming it into things is fun too.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day at the Park

The Ericsons came up for a visit this weekend, so we went to Fairhaven park and met up with Brian & Chloe for a fun Saturday afternoon picnic. The park has a great playground and even boasts a water spray park. Moira didn't care too much for getting wet, but the other kids thought it was great. Conan enjoyed the water, but the highlight was definitly the swingset.
Cousin Chloe also tried the swing. She's a little small for it yet, but she enjoyed a little gentle swinging nonetheless.

What a cutie!

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! He's such a little daredevil.

We'll have to go back to the park again soon. And hopefully we'll be seeing Nick & Tombi & the girls more frequently too. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homemade Teething Biscuits

Conan loves teething biscuits, but the store-bought ones are expensive and full of sugar (even the organic ones) so I thought I'd try making some of my own. It was quick and easy and they turned out great! I had fun experimenting with a few different shapes. Here's the first batch, ready to go in the oven:

Conan really likes them. I think the donut shape is the best, he can get an excellent grip on it for optimal gnawing as well as banging on the high chair tray.


If you're interested, here's the recipe I used:
1 c. flour
1 c. baby rice cereal (dry)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. oil
1/2-3/4 c. apple juice

Mix the flour, cereal & cinnamon together, then gradually stir in the oil. Add the juice little by little, mixing as you go, until the dough comes together. I think I used about 2/3 c. For traditional "cracker" shapes, roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut as desired. For the donuts I rolled a "snake" out of a handful of dough and then looped them around and pinched the ends together.

The recipe says to bake at 425 for 15 minutes. I found that the thin cracker shapes were done in that amount of time, but the thicker donuts and fingers were still a bit rubbery. So I turned the heat down to 350 and baked them for another 40 minutes until they were good and hard.

I like that this recipe uses the rice cereal, which is iron & vitamin fortified. Conan doesn't really care for it when it's just mixed up into pasty cereal. So this is a good way for him to eat it and get that extra nutrition. The apple juice and the cinnamon add just a hint of sweet & spicy flavor. Yummy!


In the end, of course, they turn into a sticky gluey mess all over his face. But as long as there's also a big smile on his face I don't mind the mess at all. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

We will never be cool again.

Yes, we bought a minivan. Aiiiigggghhh!! Our uncoolness is now complete.


This is a 2000 Plymouth Grand Caravan SE, with just under 75000 miles on it. It seems like a great car, and the price was right. We are the third owners and it is in really good shape: the interior is clean, the body is straight, the tires have a couple years left in them, and it runs & drives just fine. Gas mileage will be a bit less than we are used to, it should average a decent 22 MPG. We've named it Gunther.

For the record, I wanted a truck. A small 4-door truck would have been perfect, but proved difficult to find in our price range. I have to admit that there was a lot more to choose from in the minivan category, and it does seem like you get more for your dollar with a minivan than the trucks we looked at. And, as has been endlessly pointed out to me, you can take out the rear seats and still haul stuff in a minivan! (Well, certain stuff. Like furniture. Not a couple yards of bark mulch. Oh well.)

It's a very comfortable car to drive, and I'm sure I'll grow to love it, once I get past my irrational bias against minivans. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Visiting Grandma & Grandpa

We went over the mountains and through the woods and visited Conan's Grandma Debbie & Grandpa Dennis in Plain this past weekend. It was really fun, we had nice weather and got to spend a nice amount of time relaxing, just sitting out on the lawn, eating watermelon and visiting.

Conan really had a nice time, hanging out with Grandma & Grandpa. Gracie the dog is super sweet, and really good around babies. She let him crawl on her and tug her ears; he loved it. Conan also got to go on a horse for the first time, but unfortunately I didn't have my camera out. If mom e-mails me a picture from her camera, I'll post it up here. It really was an exciting weekend!

On Sunday Jon, Nadege, and little Chloe came up and spent the afternoon as well. With them was Nadege's uncle and his family, who are here visiting from France. They are planning to rent an RV and drive down the coast to San Francisco. They are going to have such a fun time!
Mom and Dad had a great time having both of their grandchildren together. Look at that smile! It was neat to see the babies interact, they really are a lot more aware of each other and were able to actually play together, at least a little bit.
On our way home we stopped and visited with Conan's other cousin Chloe (Skywalker) and Grandpa Dave happened to come by at the same time. So we got another Two-Baby™ picture, this time with the other side of the family. :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Playing

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A paper bag, a large rock, a basket and a scrap of ribbon - who needs toys?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Olympia

We visited Oly this weekend, and met baby Morgan! She's so tiny she makes Conan look gigantic. She's absolutely beautiful.