Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 11:51 PM | No comments

Best month of the year

October is my favorite month. I love the fall. The weather is perfect. It is the harvest season, and, of course, Halloween tops it off. Since it is my favorite month, I made sure we got out and did something every weekend, sometimes multiple things in one weekend. I will have multiple posts to accommodate the crazy amount of photos I took.

To start out the the month, we pulled out our Halloween decorations. Logan went right to work putting our ghosts up. He gave them clear instructions on where to stay. Of course he moved them often and at one point decided to see if they tasted good.

Next up, some Halloween games. I found this pumpkin matching game on Pinterest.

The first weekend was a three-day weekend for Kyle, so we packed in as much as possible.  First: the pumpkin patches.  We started out at the Grace Youth Ranch Pumpkin Patch. Logan had fallen asleep on the way there, so while Kyle stayed in the car with Logan, I did a quick walk through and decided that the wind and location (in a parking lot) made it less than ideal. They did have a lot of neat things for kids, but I was looking for more of a farm feel. So, I purchased a pumpkin to support the cause and we drove to Wagner Farms. We had been to Wager Farms last year and knew that we would be happy with the atmosphere.

We started out in the pumpkin patch. Logan ran around the pumpkins and watched the other kids.
Logan has taken a step towards me to make sure I could understand what he was saying.  He does this often.  He's a bit of a "close talker".

Next up was the small animal exhibit. However, Logan was drawn to something else before we got there.
Logan loves tractors and sat on this one for a long time.
I don't think he actually looked at the tractor. Just watched what was going on around him.

Finally getting tired of the tractor, we made it to the animals.
Taking a look at some of the biggest chickens Kyle has ever seen. They were pretty massive.

Next up was the slide. Logan went down it once with Dad. Not sure why he wouldn't go down it again, but he loved watching the other kids.

Hoping to capitalize on Logan's love for tractors, we went on a hay ride pulled by a tractor. Oddly,  Logan didn't seem all that interested. I was glad we had some snacks with us to keep him happy as we were pulled around the corn maze.

Next we tried the corn maze. It soon became apparent that Logan wasn't interested in that either, so we quickly navigated our way through the maze.

This is where Logan wanted to be. He was content just running around the pumpkins. Most of the kids were gone by now, but he still had a great time.
We selected a large white pumpkin and two tiny orange pumpkins to take home. On our way home, we stopped for lunch at the Corrales Bistro Brewery. We like the food, and it is a huge, casual space that Logan can run around in. It was the end to a wonderful afternoon.

That night, Kyle and I went out on our first date in almost 2 years. We went to the Kiva to see the Avett Brothers, whom we had seen a few years back at Austin City Limits. We knew they were a great live band, and they didn't disappoint. It didn't hurt that we had wonderful seats. We were lucky that my parents had volunteered to stay at our house that night to put Logan to bed while we were gone. Logan didn't feel lucky about it though. It was the first time someone other than Mom or Dad had put him to bed (Actually, for the last few months Logan hasn't wanted anyone but me to put him to bed).  I think our bedtime absence precipitated some separation anxiety because he punished me over the next few weeks by waking up every 45min-2hours each night.

It was also Balloon Fiesta weekend, so on the morning after our date, we all got up fairly early and went to see the balloons.  We were not ready to take Logan to the crazy crowds at the fiesta park. Instead, we went to a parking lot that overlooked the balloon field.

Logan was slightly interested in the balloons, but much more interested in seeing and touching a grasshopper for the first time.

After a long nap, we spent the rest of the day at the Brew Festival, which was held at the fair grounds. Our friend Nathaniel went with us, and we ran into other friends there as well. While everyone else enjoyed the many excellent local brews, I stood in line for an hour to get expensive, tiny-portioned food. After that disappointment, I took Logan outside the festival and found a nice grassy area to play in until the festival was over. It was just too crowded inside the festival to let Logan run around. Next time we go, I think I will just drop off the guys and take Logan to do something a little more toddler friendly.

That was our busy first weekend in October. We spent that Sunday resting at home, trying to follow Frik and Frak's example as best we could.


Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 1:28 PM | No comments

More September events

We took Logan to the State Fair for the first time. We started out in the Animal Barn, went to see the 4-H rabbits, rode a tractor in McDonald's farm, listened to a mariachi band while having fabulous Mexican food, and visited the miniature railroad display.
Logan is informing the person next to him that this is a cow.

Saying "Hello" to the sheep.

Looking at the ducklings.
After the barn, we went to the petting area, and I bought a cup of food to feed the animals. Well, I held my cup out to a goat, and it immediately grabbed the whole cup away from me. It wasn't even interested in the food. Just wanted to play with the cup. Poor Logan was so upset. Tears instantly erupted from his sweet face. Kyle got us another cup, and we were more careful about feeding the rest of the animals. Logan even fed some of them. He wouldn't pet any of the big animals, but he did enjoy looking at them. Next up was the Ronald McDonald Farm.
You can guess that he wasn't too happy to leave the tractors.
Kyle had to hold Logan up the whole time to see the toy trains.
After lunch we finished up our fair trip with the trains. I have to mention that my food was fabulous. I had enchiladas with fantastic green chile. When I ordered it, the woman looked at me and said "It is really hot green chile." That happens to me often. My typical reply is "I know I look really white, but I like it hot." After I was done, I had to ask her where she got the chile. She replied that she picked it up at the Rosales produce stand. She also mentioned that she never gets Hatch, but purchased the Lumbre (extra hot). So, Kyle went to Rosales over his lunch hour on a Friday. Since we don't want to overdo it for Logan, he avoided the extra hot and instead picked up the 40lb bag of Sandia (hot) variety. This is what we had purchased last year and loved. Sadly we made a big mistake. The folks at the Rosales produce stand roasted the chile and put it into a large plastic bag.  Kyle put the bag into a large cooler, set the cooler in the trunk of the car, then went back to work.  The chile sat in the car for the afternoon, continuing to steam in the bag. So when we went to peel it, it was too mushy. After peeling 1/4 of the bag, we decided to get a new batch. Kyle headed over to Wagner Farm produce stand (not a good idea on Harvest weekend) and 3 hours later came home with a another bushel of Sandia. It wasn't mushy at all, and this batch was certainly hotter than the Rosales Sandia. In the end, we have our green chile for the year and learned a lesson through the process: don't overcook the chile.

In mid-September we were lucky to have a special visit from "Aunt" Jenny. Sadly, I didn't take enough pictures, but she sent me some.

We enjoyed some yard sale shopping, even dragging Logan along one morning. I don't think he was too impressed:

We spent an afternoon with Grandma and Aunt Jenny at the Botanical Gardens. Logan loves to look at the huge toy train set there. Here we are having lunch, and I have just explained to Logan that we can go look at Thomas and Percy, the trains, after I finish eating. He politely leans over and closes my food container to tell me that I am finished.

We finish up the Botanical Gardens with a walk through the children's garden. Aunt Jenny and Logan take a ride on a local ant.

One last meal before we have to take Aunt Jenny to the airport. It was a short, but very sweet visit.

One night, Logan and I went up to Santa Fe to have dinner with two of my dear friends, Tina and Reyna. It had been a long time since we had all been together. We ate at the Cowgirl, which has a wonderful play area in the back for kids. It has slides, climbing walls, chalk boards. It was a  wonderful place for Logan to run around while we got to catch up. I can't wait for Reyna's little one to join the world in November.

Finally here are some photos of everyday life.
Logan's introduction to Rock Band.

He didn't want to give up my heavy guitar. I eventually sat him on the couch with it so it wouldn't hurt his neck.

An afternoon stroll in our local arroyo.

One of my favorite things to see on our walks (assuming you can see them).
Love the colors of our desert plants.
Logan often stops at various homes to smell the flowers.

Here is Logan for the first time in underwear. We are not done with diapers by any means, but we are starting to introduce underwear.

Continuing our evening book readings.

Fun new things in September:

On 9/3 Logan really participated in his Bounce-n-Boogie class. He didn't just run around as he had done in the past. He followed along with the songs, played with the instruments and really listened to the instructor.

He started closing doors and then opening them so that he could say "Well, hello." He got that from Curious George.

He also used "too" properly when talking.

Here are a couple of "classic Logan" moments that Kyle had to be sure to document:

#1: We were all upstairs in Logan's room getting Logan ready for bed.  Logan and I were on the rocking chair while Logan nursed.  Kyle was playing with Frak (our cat) on Logan's bed, using the claw technique: tensing his hand in the shape of a claw and slowly reaching toward Frak until she pounced. Logan noticed that Frak was getting frisky, so he stopped nursing and came to play, but Frak dashed out of the room and seemed to head downstairs.  "Frakkle go downstairs.  Go downstairs to find Frakkle", Logan said.  Since we wanted him to stay upstairs and go to bed, Kyle tried to stall.  But Logan was persistent.  "Frakkle go downstairs!!".  Kyle replied "Huh??" in his redneck voice, pretending not to understand.  Then Logan replied, very slowly and deliberately and loudly: "Fraaaa - kle!", as if Kyle were either stupid or deaf and needed clarification.  "Fraaaa - kle!".  Logan said "Frakkle" in the same way that a stereotypical American tourist in a foreign country would repeat an English word to a non-English speaking local, as if speaking it more slowly and loudly would make it clearer.  It was hilarious.

#2:  After the "Fraaa-kle" incident, Logan was riled up again due to our fit of laughter.  We wanted him to nurse so that he'd be ready for bed.  Instead, Logan wanted to wrestle with Daddy on his bed.  Daddy told Logan, "You better go get some milk."  Nope.  Logan wanted to wrestle.  So, Daddy walked over to Julie sitting on the rocking chair and loudly kissed Julie's neck in an exaggerated fashion, pretending he was getting milk instead.  That was the trick.  Logan rushed over to the rocking chair, and as he was heading in for his milk, he smacked his lips "smack, smack, smack", then started to nurse.