Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm

One benefit of community living comes from the fact that Em is always very motivated to do family activities and get out of the house.  It’s much easier to tag along on these things when we all start from the same place and can check in all morning on what kid is napping when in order to figure out when we will actually leave.  For Columbus Day we went out to Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch, land of pumpkins-o-plenty, camels and ponies to ride, kettle corn, roasted corn, and apple cider donuts, hay bales, tractor rides and more.  Mostly it’s a land full of photo-ops for parents of young kids and our crew was no different!  But it’s always nice to get out in 80 degree weather in October and do something different for a day.

(Note: Time to put the 3-6 month clothes away because these are some SHORT shorts now.)

Look Dad – Canaan doesn’t always look so serious and worried!)

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Edie & Canaan

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A smile in between attempts to chew on the pumpkin stem

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Ava, Eleanor, Canaan, Edie, Liam


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It started with Nate, Canaan, and I driving to the L to go downtown to get visas

Nate: The hood of our car looks really red.

Kelley:  Yeah, it does.  Maybe the dust on the hood is reflecting the taillights in front of us.

Nate:  I don’t think so.

Ten minutes later …

Nate:  It looks like spray paint or something

Kelley: (Scooches up in her seat to get a better view.)  Oh my gosh it is spray paint and there are letters.  Someone wrote on our  car!

Yes, our car was tagged.  It now has three choice letters on the hood and the headlights have been covered in red.  Super.


We get to the visa office and I expect to keep our 9am appointment.  In fact, I’m curious to meet the man I made this appointment with because he is the man with whom I had this conversation (in Spanish) in reference to our appointment.

Him: And your last name?

Me: T****

Him: T as in …

Me: T as in …. oh wow I can’t think of any Spanish words with T, hmmm.

Him: T as in, as in tit?  Oh I’m so, so sorry that just popped out.  I apologize.

Me:  Yes, T.

We had a good laugh and moved on to set the appointment.  Of course, when we got there people mostly told us to “wait over there” while they talked to people in an unidentifiable order.  While I waited (4 hours total) an Ecuadorian woman asked me what type of milk I feed our 6 month old.  It turns out she was asking because it’s her opinion that many babies are much too fat, that they are unhealthy and she doesn’t like the way they look.  Apparently, according to her, my baby looks nicely healthy and slim and so she wants to know what type of milk makes a baby this way.

Four hours later, one stressful 15-minute shoulder nap for the baby and we almost home.  But, to our downfall, we risked the urine-ridden elevator at the green line pulaski stop so that Nate wouldn’t have to carry the baby in the stroller down the stairs.  On the tiny, stench-filled elevator was my family and an African American man wearing headphones.  Canaan proceeded to openly stare at this man, as he does with all strangers.  Maybe if he had a friendly stare things would have gone differently, but that stare is dead-on, unblinking, without a hint of a smile until he knows you.  The man pulled half an earphone off and proceeded to address Canaan.

Man (at a volume to be heard over his music):  Oh baby, you’ve got a lot to learn in life, so many new things to learn.

Nate & I: Hehe (awkward half laughs, unsure of ourselves)

Man:  You’re staring at me because I’m a black man.  I look different and that’s why you stare.  You’re are going to learn that they are black people in this world.

Nate & I:  He tends to stare at most new people …

Man:  And it’s okay that you don’t know better than to stare.  You are surrounded by white and all you see is white but you’ll learn.  I was young and I never saw a white person til I was older but I learned.

Elevator doors open, we exit and Nate & I do another half shrug, awkward laugh …

That was my day, which involved many hours of waiting, no visas to make it worth our time, one tired baby, one tagged, embarrassing-to-be-seen-in-car, and a variety of cultural experiences.  Oh and Canaan’s first L ride, may some of them be less eventful in the future.

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Labor Day 2010

Labor Day weekend marked a change from the non-stop summer weather. Not that I’m complaining about the sunshine, but it was kind of nice to pull out a pair of jeans instead of the rotation of three shorts I wear as a full-time mom. Each weekend day Nate and I would remark that this was a “Quito” day because of the perfect temperatures with a slight breeze.


Labor Day 2010 was celebrated like many past, in the Keystone backyard with Eric & Em, Katie & Bill, and Beth & Charlie this year. Because we all have kids now, these events have moved earlier in the day so that we were all home long before 7pm bedtimes. Canaan loved getting his grinchy little fingers in the grass and spending time with his friend Edie. Both Canaan and I experienced Edie’s ability to stare. Eric need not worry about boyfriends-to-come, she’ll be able to intimidate them all on her own! Edie and Canaan also endured a photo shoot in which their parents tried to convince them they were friends. Meanwhile, they were more interested in eating or looking anywhere but the camera. We’ll see if Em got any good shots out of it. Canaan successfully took a 45-minute nap in the basement, giving us hope that might be able to be trotted around a little more often in the future.

We sat around a table in the backyard, huddled under two sun umbrellas while Charlie checked his i-phone rain radar every time we felt a drop. I will note, his information did not fail and it was worth sticking out the few rain clouds that came through. We talked TV shows, tried to catch flying plates caught by the wind, and parents took turns monitoring the older kids. I was told I have ADHD for my lack of ability to stay in only one conversation and I realized I’m exactly like my mother when I tried to coach everyone in the proper way to say “Manchego” (as in cheese). Oh and we all sat out in the sun – finally! – at the end and ate some cupcakes … a new, cinnamon-filled cupcake recipe I’ll have to leave you hanging for until I get it photographed properly.

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First 3 Months

I haven’t taken much time to write about how much life has changed since adding Canaan to our family. I’ve mentioned many times how my ability to get stuff done, namely cooking, has taken a nose-dive. But since I’m doing well at this point to keep up with the cooking aspect of this blog, along with Canaan’s blog, I haven’t taken much time to document this transition for myself.

If I’d had an ounce of energy, spare time, or sanity during the first months, I think I’d have some great posts to be able to laugh at later. The transition was far, far from smooth. I wish I would have captured more of those “in the moment” feelings because I sure appreciated reading Anne Lamott’s daily feelings about her transition to motherhood while I was going through it.  Now with Canaan at 4 months of age I’m starting to feel a lot more sane again.

In a nutshell, what I experienced the first three months:

Crying every night (from me, crying from Canaan was far more regular!) while we ate dinner at the coffee table so that I could sit on the comfy couch to eat.
A desperate wish that the weekend really could be a weekend, that we could just give Canaan “back” so that we could have a break then
Never have I ever worried so much about what time I was going to bed at and how I could maximize my sleep time.  We left home group early, I wished people would leave  my house at 9pm so we could sleep
Making myself insane by trying to “guess” if C might take a “long” nap (ie: 40 minutes or more) so that I could take a nap too.  Then getting in bed and reading for 5 minutes to transition, closing the book, sinking down into the covers and closing my eyes only to hear the first squawk from the monitor.  Then keeping my eyes closes, hoping the squawking would magically stop
Possibly many of the most stupid prayers I’ve ever made.  Like, “Please God, just tonight let this baby sleep for 3 whole hours, please.”  Then waking up 40 minutes later, feeding him, rocking him and praying the exact same thing over again – only this time “negotiating” for only two hours.
Some of my favorite times were out with friends.  All of a sudden holding Canaan on my lap or feeding him wasn’t as big of a deal if I had someone adult to talk to
Coming out to my car at Emily’s house to discover a parking ticket.  I couldn’t figure out what the ticket was for because I had placed a one-day permit in my window.  The neighbor having to explain to me that it was May 15, not April 15th and that’s why I got the ticket.  Yes, I missed a month of life
Taking every chance I could do lay down in order to do an activity because even sitting hurt.  Having wishes and fantasies where Canaan was the type of baby who would fall asleep on my chest and stay asleep, but giving up after 10 minutes of him squirming and crying
Allowing my arm to fall dead asleep and not moving it for two hours when Canaan would take a nap.  Lying beside him unable to sleep because he would re-wake himself and move his head every 10 minutes, but staying there two hours anyway.
Highs when Canaan would take a 3-hour nap or sleep for 4 hours at night … and then real lows when this wouldn’t happen again for weeks and he would go back to his 40 minute naps.
Pulling the car off the freeway halfway through a trip or pulling into the  Kohl’s/Best Buy parking lot to get out and feed Canaan because Nate couldn’t take the sound of his cries.
Being frustrated and mad when cars moved to slow and we hit a red light or when cars didn’t accelerate fast enough and we would start to hear stirrings of life from the backseat.
A sincere, desperate desire for my child to sleep all the time just because that meant he wouldn’t be eating.
How this kid could never sleep for more than 40 minutes at home but whenever we would be at an event he would sleep through the whole thing.
Going to the children’s museum with Emily.  On the way home Edie started crying, then Eleanor, and then Canaan all together.  Except we could barely hear Canaan because his cries were quieter and further back in the car.  Just laughing helplessly til we got home.
Getting “stuck” places 40 minutes longer than intended when I didn’t leave before C got hungry and so I had to set everything back down and take 40 minutes to feed him
Being ecstatic when Canaan started being able to be awake for 15 minutes after eating without getting hungry all over again
Conversations with Nate about how he was rocking him to sleep or what method I was using to transfer him from arms to crib.  I think we both thought the other must be the expert because we sure weren’t.
Daily appreciation for great friends who called regularly, told me stories about themselves and their kids that made me feel normal, and who were just as happy to get out of the house as I was
A quote from Emily about a week after Canaan was born that I thought about and used on myself often.  I had asked her about how stressful it was to come to my house with both her kids and she said something like, “Oh, I’m stressed.  I’m totally stressed.  But I figure I can be depressed sitting at home or be stressed and depressed and going out.”  That resonated regularly with me.

It hasn’t all been bad.  Not at all.  I just wrote a post on Canaan’s blog about some of my favorite things so this in balance, I promise.  These are just the crazy-making moments that I remember, living with a little boy who didn’t know how to sleep.

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Part of the cooking frenzy from a few weeks ago was due to the fact that my very first sister-in-law, Laura, is getting married!  I was happy to help her celebrate bachelorette style by making some appetizers for everyone to enjoy.  Laura has been a great sister and I wouldn’t miss being able to support her in this way.  And now in just about a week we’ll have a new marriage and a new addition to the family in Garenne.



Some of the fun! Gorgonzola, pear, and apricot tarts, brie and raspberry cups with chives, salami and gorgonzola biscuits with raspberry preserves, thai chicken lettuce wraps, and a blue cheese and strawberry salad. Later Loretta brought out dozens of mini cupcakes from Sugar Bliss in flavors like fuzzy navel and red velvet.

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Hanging Out. Literally.

Canaan was just hanging out on his blanket the other day …

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Idaho in Pictures

Swinging in the hammock with Grandpa Weenie, where Canaan liked to spit up all over him

Sleeping at the God & Country concert

Meeting Great Grandma Ruthie

Visiting the Farmer’s Market in downtown Boise.  Delicious fresh made mini-donuts!  Evidence of Canaan’s coming cousin off to the right.

Bad eating habits incurred by Nona

Hanging out up high

Playing with Aunti Kim and Uncle P (I promise our child is not always naked.  Just semi-frequently when we are lazy or he is hot.)

Checking out the ducks along the Green Belt

Nona finally encouraging some good eating habits (mostly posted b/c I love this picture!)

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