I better hurry up and talk about our Fall before winter comes. I have to say, after all the people kept telling me that the cool summer and the beautiful Fall make up for the snow, I'm a bit dissapointed. It was a pretty hot summer here, although I'd take it over Texas any day, and the leaves just weren't that spectacular. Also, the snow is kind of fun, so there's really not that much to make up for.
Here's a quick snapshot I took of the treeline in front of the elementary school, about 2 blocks from our place:
We took a walk through a forest preserve a couple weekends ago. This was by far the prettiest foliage I saw, but it was a forest preserve, it'd be lame if it wasn't. Eden was pretty giddy about playing in the leaves:
Chronologically, the apple picking happened before the last few pictures, but it's too hard to move them around in blogger. There are a LOT of apple orchards around here. I went three times :). We now have a ton of canned apple sauce, canned apple filling, and a frozen apple pie. Eden was mostly interested in picking an apple, taking two bites, and then trying another one. The trees were so ripe that the branches bent down to her height:
Our family tradition is to bake an apple pie the first day of fall.It was extra special getting to pick our own apples. I still need to work on my crust skills. Seriously? Something is wrong with me because there is NEVER enough dough to hang over the edges and I'm always piecing it together. Cute little leaves hide the fact that this looks like a Frankenstein pie. I really wish I could take private pie lessons from Billie Kinnaird:
Our little village of Highwood is trying to get on the map with a record breaking Pumpkin Festival. For four days they blocked off part of our downtown at night, had live music, local food, a gourmet farmers market, a "hayride", and pumpkin carving stations. For $2-$3 you bought a pumpkin, carved it, got a light, and placed it on one of dozens of scafoldings that went up and the streets. We are only 3 blocks from downtown, so we walked down 3 out of 4 nights.
This is Eden on the first night, when there was actually some open space on the "dance floor" in front of the main pumpkin display. In between sets, a dj blasted monster mash, i want candy, thriller, and other such halloweeny songs. She LOVED it. She twirled (her idea of dancing) for a good 20 minutes until people around us started asking if she was ok (she was stumbling a bit from all the twirling).
This picture really needs some photoshopping help. I think I may be asking for some action sets for Christmas:
On the last night all the pumpkins were lit. They did not break the record, but got impressively close! They needed 32,000 and got 26,200. Last year (the first festival) they only had 500. It was a really spectacular display that my iPhone doesn't do justice:
Here's our pumpkin:
Eden loved climbing on the giant "daddy" pumpkins:
I suppose I should update everyone on our normal, day-to-day lives. Eden has been fighting cold after cold, as we knew she would, but thanks to a recent doctor's visit, we finally feel on top of things. She was switched from her inhaler to a nebulizer. While this warrants WAY too much television, it is extremely effective. And after just a few days on the treatments, we can already start scaling them back. Hopefully in 2 weeks we'll only be administering one treatment a day, before bedtime. She is doing a lot of independent play these days: tea parties, castle building, book reading. We still have a "quiet" time, but she doesn't usually take naps. This has been traded off for sleeping past 8:30 most mornings (bedtime is 7:30). I'm pretty sure this is the sweet spot of sleep behavior. She is also well behaved for the most part, she is a poky little toddler and needs to be asked a few times to do most things and is often distracted by shiny things. Her language skills have really taken off and she can carry on conversations, though she is shy to do so with anyone but her parents. She really enjoys our Music Together class and playgroups.
I have started working out at a gym- so not me, but it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I have a trainer for a few sessions to learn how to use the strength training equipment and they have a nursery for Eden. Zina (the kids korner employee) really puts me at ease about leaving Eden there three times a week- she is this super sweet Spanish grandma. Thomas got me an early Christmas present- a new laptop- so I can run my birthday present- adobe creative suite. Hopefully soon I will be dedicating a couple hours a week to learning Illustrator through online tutorials while Eden hangs with some of her buds. I'm currently working on re-doing Eden's room, new quilt and curtains, making a few Christmas presents, and still toying with something to sell on Etsy (don't hold your breath!).
Thomas is swamped, poor guy. He is really enjoying his material this semester, but is struggling with feeling balanced in his life. Too much work, not enough play! He did get a break recently to fly to Washington DC to see his good friend Matt Haynie marry a lovely girl. We are both really looking forward to a more extended break with family at Christmas time.
More posts about our house and some creations coming soon!