Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apple picking

Every fall my dad's siblings (at the least the ones living in Oregon) get together to make apple cider. This is a 2-weekend event. The first weekend, everyone who can meets up at an apple orchard to pick apples. The following weekend they get together to make the cider. This is the first time I've ever been around to join in and I'm pretty excited.

This morning I took the girls and we went apple picking with the extended family. The girls did well and really enjoyed themselves.

Layla and Sanaa heading down the apple row with aunt LaVerne.

Aunt LaVerne instructing Layla to put the apples in the bucket.

Sanaa helping my dad pick some apples.


Sanaa insisted on carrying her own bucket..... at least until it got to heavy which was when it contained about 10 apples.

Even Layla carried her own bucket.

Some apples were a little harder to pull off than others.

The girls really wanted to climb up high like grandpa.

After working for awhile it was time to enjoy an apple for snack.

Layla ate 2 apples.

A shot down the apple row. It was a foggy morning which is why you can't see the end of the row very well.

If you're wondering how many apples were picked, look at the post below with my uncle Norm's truck. Uncle Norm's trailer and truck were completely filled with apples! That is a lot of apples! Next Saturday is cider making day. And yes, I'll be taking pictures and let you know how many gallons of cider we make.

Moving to our new house

On Thursday I picked up the keys to our new house! Yay! Pictures will be coming in a week or so. I say a week because we hope to start spending the night at our new place tomorrow night but we won't have internet access at our house until Friday (Nov 4). Ick.

Thursday evening we took 4 car loads of stuff over to our house. Then on Friday my uncle Norm came with his awesome blue truck and trailer to help us move the rest of our stuff. We had uncle Norm's truck and trailer plus my dad's truck and a u-haul trailer. Our storage unit was cleared out and everything in our house by 4:30pm on Friday. Nothing was put together, but it all was in the house.

Isn't uncle Norm's truck great? 
Sanaa kept calling him uncle Norman (which is really his name, but we typically call him Norm, so I don't know why she started saying Norman).


Layla was not happy that we were keeping her out of the trailer as my dad and Norm tied our fridge down.
Our fridge was at my parents house because a couple weeks ago my parents fridge died. So we pulled ours out of storage for my parents to use until they bought a new one.


The girls kept themselves busy walking the balance beam as we loaded trucks and trailers at the storage unit.

Working on filling the u-haul trailer.

They were suppose to be working but I caught them chatting.

Today I painted the girls new bedroom. It was blue and I painted it a more neutral color. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get the beds together so we can sleep there.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Last Saturday the girls, my parents, uncle Ryan, aunt Karen, and I went to a pumpkin patch. Nate had to work which was a bummer. The girls had a blast. There was a wonderful play area with a hay maze, giant tires to climb on, slides, and a tunnel. The girls played for awhile before we got on the hay ride to head out to the pumpkin patch.

Running through the maze. I think next to picking out a pumpkin Sanaa enjoyed the hay maze most.


Layla had given uncle Ryan a hug, which is what I tried to capture, but she ran off too quick.

Layla checking out the goats with grandpa.

Sanaa was brave enough to scratch the goat's head.

On the hay ride (aunt Karen, uncle Ryan, grandma, grandpa, and Layla. Sanaa was sitting on my lap). Sanaa really enjoyed the hay ride.

The pumpkin patch. A large area where they placed hundreds of pumpkins that had already been picked for us. I got a kick out of the Christmas trees growing right next to the patch. Both girls had a great time running through the pumpkins and looking at them.

Sanaa was proud of herself carrying a pumpkin.

Layla heading into the tunnel.
Sanaa has requested that we take daddy to the pumpkin patch. So on one of his next days off we'll see if we can do that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Update: Sanaa's ears

Yesterday Sanaa had her appointment with the ENT. There was too much dried blood in her right ear for him to get a good look and see what exactly is going on. So, he prescribed some ear drops that we get to put in her ears 3 times a day for the next week. The drops will clean out her ear so that at next week's appointment he can get a better look.

The doctor is fairly sure the blood from her ear is somehow connected to her tubes but is not sure whether the ear drum was ruptured. There are two possibilities, the first being that the tube came out and did create a hole in her ear drum and the second is the tube is still in her ear but a granuloma (a highly vascular mass of fibrous tissue and blood vessels which the body forms in response to a chronic infection - I copied that definition) is around the tube.

If the ear drum does have a hole, the doctor wouldn't do anything about it and would let it heal on it's own. He said that they wouldn't even consider surgery on someone so young since their ears are still developing.

The tube in her left ear is slowly working it's way out. We're right at the point where both tubes should be working their way out. Hopefully there are no major issues with her left ear as the tube comes out. The doctor said it's rare for children to have complications when the tubes come out so it appears Sanaa is one of those lucky few. At least she's not complaining about anything hurting but she does hate the ear drops and that is a wrestling match trying to get the drops in her ears. But only 6 more days of ear drops.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Perforated Eardrum

A couple of days ago as I put Sanaa's hair in a pony tail I noticed a small amount of dried blood on her ear lobe. There was more dried blood in her ear but nothing was bleeding. I wasn't sure what had happened but she wasn't acting like she was in pain so even though I asked my mom about it I wasn't too concerned.

I forgot about Sanaa's ear until today. We were outside and I was pushing Layla on the swing. Sanaa asked me to hold her so I did. Then she started rubbing her ear saying that something was tickling her. I moved her hand away from her ear and there was blood.

I took Layla out of the swing, headed inside and found my mom. She offered to watch Layla while I drove Sanaa to the Urgent Care in town. The doctor took one look inside Sanaa's ear and said she had a perforated eardrum. Ugh. Not what I wanted to hear.

Monday morning I'll be contacting the ENT (ear, nose, throat specialist) here in town and making an appointment. It's possible that Sanaa's ear tube came out a couple days ago and caused it. I'm not sure but it seems like the most likely culprit.

Thankfully Sanaa is not in any pain (at least she's not complaining about any) but she does not like to go to the doctor and is not a good patient. She did surprisingly well today but that was after throwing a massive tantrum when she found out I was taking her to the doctor and my mom almost had to help me carry her to van. So pray that Monday goes smoothly and that we're able to get into the ENT.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flutes and sheep

What do flutes and sheep have in common?

Technically nothing unless you're leaving for flute practice but can't get out of the driveway because the neighbor has his sheep penned up in the middle of the driveway so that he can catch two of the lambs.

Has this happened to anyone else besides me? I did call the director of the flute ensemble and left her a message letting her know I was going to be late because of the sheep in the driveway. I'm sure that was an interesting voicemail to hear! If only I had been more creative when I was younger. This would have been an awesome excuse to use when late somewhere!

You're probably wondering what the rest of the story is. Last week I was headed to flute practice but couldn't get out of the driveway. My parents share part of their driveway with their neighbor. When you first turn in you're on the shared portion. If you turn right you head to the neighbors house and turning left leads you to my parents house. 

I pulled up to the closed gate and saw a bunch of sheep, one llama, and the neighbor. The neighbor (who is also the veterinarian in my parents town) walked up and asked if I needed to leave right then or if I could wait. I told him I had flute practice in another town (which is a good 45 minutes away) and he said, "Oh. Umm.. I need to catch two lambs for a guy that is coming soon. My family should be here soon to help." 

I asked if my dad could possibly help him and he said yes, so I walked back up to my parents house and got my dad. 

(In the picture below, I'm standing at my parents house looking down at the driveway. The red lines are where the sheep were penned in.)
My dad came out to help and the neighbor caught one lamb and tied him to the fence. The neighbor attempted to catch a second but sheep and lambs can be quick. They are dumb (several tried jumping into the gate to escape) but quick. The neighbor barely missed catching the second lamb and turned around to discover that the first lamb had somehow wiggled out of the knot and was now running freely again. That didn't make the neighbor happy.

A couple more attempts to catch the silly lambs happened and finally the neighbor cornered several sheep and lambs and was able to grab ahold of two at the same time. Amazing! He tied one to the fence while my dad got the rope off the fence from the first escapee. The neighbor tied both lambs to the fence and then discovered that both were females. He was trying to catch a male and female. Oops.

So at this point the neighbor says, "Well, let's try and get you through and we'll open one gate at a time."

He opened the first gate. I drove slowly through.

Have I mentioned that sheep are dumb? Instead of moving away from the van they walked right up to sniff the front. Really?

The first gate was closed and the second gate was opened. I drove through that one and stopped. There was a llama in my way.

The neighbor says, "Don't worry about hitting the llama. He'll move."

Ummm..... the llama's fur is touching the front of my van. He's not moving!!!!

Finally the llama moves and I inch forward. The second gate is closed and the third gate is opened. I'm finally free! (The third gate was closed because the field was wide open and this kept the other llama and sheep from roaming away down the driveway.)

Each time the gates were opened, none of the sheep attempted to escape through the opening. Those critters are dumb. But I did make it to flute practice and I was only 10 minutes late.

In case you're wondering, I have started playing with the Rose City Flute Choir. I've only had three practices with them but am loving it! At the last practice I counted 25 of us playing. So cool. And I saw my first contra-flute in person. That flute was taller than some of the gals playing it! If you want to come out to Oregon the first Saturday in December you'd have the opportunity to hear us play!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Playing, helping, exploring

Slugs are still fun to play with around here. I thought the novelty would have worn off by now but it hasn't. In fact, both girls have graduated to picking up the slugs with their hands. Yuck. Sanaa will even show me the big slugs that she finds.

Moss on trees is another fun thing we explore. Every tree around has moss on it and it's not something we're use to seeing.

Helping grandpa. A ladder or step stool gets put up and the girls automatically climb it.


Making bird food. Sanaa really likes to help in the kitchen and she got to help grandpa make some bird food.

It's a tea party! Sanaa treated her animals to a fun party with tea, ice cream, and felt cup cakes. On Pinterest I found some fun suggestions on using felt shapes. One was to cut out cupcake shapes (the icing, the cupcake, the liner, and sprinkles) so that the child could create and decorate their own cupcakes.

(On a side note, if you haven't discovered Pinterest it's pretty cool. It's a huge time waster, but I find a lot of ideas there! :-) It's basically a place to pin ideas you find around the web so that you have all your cooking, crafts, holiday ideas, travel dreams, etc. in one place. You're not stuck thinking, "Oh man. I remember seeing ______, but I don't know what website that was on.")

Head bands! How many head bands can you wear? Layla believes you should wear ALL the headbands at the same time. I'm sure she's on the cutting edge of a new fashion trend.

"Cheese!" When you catch Layla in a place that she knows she shouldn't be she gives you a huge smile as if to say, "Surprise! You found me!"

Day trips to the coast

One of the big perks of living here in Oregon are the day trips to the coast we've been able to take with the girls. The past two Thursdays Nate has had off so we've packed up and driven out to the coast (which is only 1 1/2 hours away). One Thursday we had beautiful weather. It was sunny and in the low 60's. We had a picnic lunch and then the girls played. 



Layla loved the water and kept running to waves. The waves were a little strong for her so I held onto her each time a wave came in. We both had to change our pants when it was time to leave since we were so wet.


Sanaa preferred to build sand castles. The waves actually frightened her. But she did let me hold her and walk closer to the waves.


This past Thursday wasn't as nice at the coast. It was cloudy and cool (in the mid 50's) but we still had a good time. We kept Layla out of the water this time since it was cooler and instead chased birds and searched for seashells.






Sanaa is already asking to go back and while we don't have plans to go to the coast soon (since we'll be closing on our house and moving) we can promise her that we'll go soon!