Friday, October 31, 2008

The girls and their Halloween Costumes

Pumpkin carving

We finally got around to carving the pumpkins the night before Halloween. I think that Cameron and the girls had a fun time and I mostly watched from the couch and took a few pictures. I was a little tired from the day and needed to put my feet up.

How to cure a colicy baby?

This is what we should have done to Ali when she was a baby.

I love Fall

Yesterday fall came. I drove up the hill from a long day of errands to the nice cloudy sky with leaves blowing lightly in the wind. It seemed like suddenly the trees decided to lose their leaves in preparation for Halloween. When we pulled in the driveway after a cold soccer practice the girls ran inside for extra jackets and went out to play in the leaves. They made a pile and about that time the rain started to fall. We really love rain in the fall in our mountains. It seems to never happen and so we were very excited for the little rain we had. The girls rode their bikes in the rain and enjoyed the leaves falling all around them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today I stayed home all day. I didn't go anywhere nor do I have intentions of leaving the house. (I had a friend who picked up Ali and brought her home because I was tending her two year old.) I stayed in my pj's and didn't get Ashling dressed or do her hair. Instead I worked on cleaning. I vacuumed the floors and cleaned all the dishes that were left over from yesterday. Then I mopped the kitchen floor by hand and cleaned the faces of all the lower cupboards in my kitchen. I believe strongly in mopping the floor by hand because you can get it much cleaner that way as opposed to mopping with a mop. After all the hard work I ate lunch and took a nap/read while the girls took their nap. Later I fixed Ashling's Ariel costume that was too long. I loved staying home today and will try to plan more days where we do nothing. Now I am going to make meatloaf with oatmeal in it. It is supposed to make it much healthier with all the added fiber. We'll see how it goes.

In other news: my baby is fine. I went to the doctor yesterday and it seems like everything is going well. She is not nearly as big as Ashling which I am very grateful for. We are pretty sure we are going to name her Annika and give her a nickname of Anni. I am grateful this pregnancy seems to be going as well as the other pregnancies. Maybe someday I will post a pregnancy picture but first I have to look good and have Cameron home to take a picture so we will see if that ever happens.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It has been a long weekend. Ali had dance practice both Friday and Saturday morning, plus pictures and a costume fitting. Cameron also convinced me to get a pedicure which was very nice and did not contribute to the long weekend. (Cameron and Ashling went on a hike with Grandpa in the morning while we were busy.) Then she had a soccer game in the afternoon. We also had to put together costumes for a party we went to on Saturday night. Then we had the party which was fun and relaxing. Cameron was surprised because I know more people on the mountain now than he does. (That is what happens when I see them at school, girl scouts, soccer practice and whatever else we end up doing up here. The good news about all my running around is that I do meet a lot of different people up here.) My house has suffered from the lack of time spent on cleaning it and looked completely destroyed by Sunday morning.

I was very tired on Sunday and in a little bit of a bad mood. Which might have been what led to my embarrassing moment at church. My new calling is primary singing time music leader. I do not really enjoy this calling and it isn't the easiest thing for me. In fact I have no ability to keep an internal beat. So after failing to keep the kids with the beat of the music (played on a cd because we don't have a piano player) for the 5th time I was a little frustrated. I was also tired and hungry which are never good combinations for pregnant women. In addition a lady at church asked me when I was due and when I said January she said,"Oh well you still have a very long time to go." This comment along with others this week made me very upset. Don't ever tell a pregnant lady she still has a long time to go even if it is true. I already feel like I have been pregnant for an eternity and she is sentencing me to another eternity.

One of my friends at church asked me a question and the next thing I know I am crying in the lobby after church. As everybody leaves they see me and want to know what is wrong which just makes me cry more. Pregnancy hormones are so not fun! I went home and had another good cry feeling like I would never learn to lead music the right way and that I would certainly never be done being pregnant.

My sweet husband helped clean the messy house up, cooked dinner, did some laundry and even made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. So today I feel much better and hopefully can finish cleaning the house. But I am still pregnant and will likely be forever plus I still have to figure out how to keep the kids and myself singing with the music and against it. Do you think we can sing without the piano for the program?

Friday, October 24, 2008


My car is in the shop. Yesterday I borrowed Cameron's mom's car that is not a stick and she took Cameron's that is a stick. Cameron carpooled with someone to work. (Either we are environmentally friendly and do care about global warming.... or we just like to spend our money on something other than gas- you decide.) I do not drive a stick and refuse to learn. I think that you are supposed to learn that when you are a teenager and are driving a beater but our beater was an automatic. I had a million errands to run down the hill and needed a car that was easy to drive and she obliged me with her automatic.

My car is still in the shop and although we have a rental it made more sense for Cameron to drive that to work so that if the car is done he can take the rental back and get my car on the way home. I looked a little silly and was embarrassed when people asked why I was driving Sue's car and so I decided to be brave and drive the stick today. Last night I drove it to the school parking lot and practiced going up the hill. It was a lot of stopping, screeching of tires and stalled engines but after about twelve tries up the hill I think I have the idea down basically. So today I am driving a stick where ever I need to go but I still do not like it....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Field Trip to Oak Glen

I went with Ali on her field trip to Oak Glen on Tuesday. Oak Glen is the place to go for apples around here. We drove down the mountain and then up into some foothills on the other side. I was glad I went with Ali because they didn't have things very organized and didn't give the kids enough water. But I gave Ali plenty of water. They learned how to make apple cider and how they sort the apples on a big conveyor belt. My favorite part was the cold room where they store the apples. I think that the kid's favorite part was running around the grassy field and playing!

Ina and Shiloh Visited

Ina and Shiloh came to California and came up to visit us on Sunday. It was fun to have them at our house. The girls (Lizzy, Ashling, Ali and ShiAnne) played outside and made a big game of babies. They then cleaned up, ate dessert and watched a movie before going downstairs to fall asleep. The adults enjoyed talking to each other and then they taught us how to play settlers of CAtaan. (Now I want that game for myself. ) It was fun to have friends over to visit. They stayed the night at our house and the next morning went to Disneyland.

I met them after lunch at California Adventure. I was a little worried because pregnant women really don't belong at amusement parks especially without their husbands, but I spent the first hour and a half sitting on a bench while the kids, Ina and Shiloh and Jill and Cameron(Jill's husband not mine,) all rode rides. Ali really liked Muholland Maddness which Jill and Cameron and Ina and Shiloh took her and ShiAnne on. Ashling wanted to be tall enough and tried standing on her toes but she is still not quite 42 inches tall. We all rode on California Soaring which is my favorite ride (especially when I am pregnant.) We also went to the It's a bug's life movie which I do not recommend to people with little girls. My girls screamed and sceamed and demanded that we leave. Ali and Ashling really enjoyed themselves and I was happy I took them, although a little tired after a long day with the kids.

Making Applesauce

Ashling and I made applesauce last Monday and Wednesday. She was a big help in each step of the process. I canned 24 quart size jars and one of them broke in the canner. Not bad for free apples and free jars! I still have apples to make apple pie filling but due to my busy schedule it will probably not be done until Friday!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Staying at Home with your kids

I just got home from picking Ali up at school. She smiled when I picked her up at the bus stop and seemed very content to get in the car. Instead of sitting right down she told me all about the day right away. A little boy threw wood chips at her, she got an excellent behavior note, and it was hot at PE. They played soccer and she got to be the goalie.

Earlier I cuddled with Ashling as we talked about her day at preschool. She sang a lot of songs including ABC's, slippery fish, a number song and some other ones. She enjoyed learning the letter G and she liked playing with the other kids. We read a story about Clifford and then I just held her enjoying that she is still small enough to cuddle on my lap as long as I don't call her my baby. I also had her help me with laundry and watched her succeed at putting a puzzle together.

The girls are now playing outside and I got on the internet to check my email. There was an email from some source about whether to stay at home or not. Then there is a list of Pros and Cons to staying at home with your children. All I can say is that all the cons to staying home are completely ridiculous when you consider the pros. My girls know that I am there when they need me no matter when that is. I get to be there for each success they have and for each failure that they endure. I get to be the one who cuddles them and loves them when they are sad and get to see the smiles on their faces when they are happy.

As my girls grow up and leave me home without them, I am grateful that I took the time to be home with them and to see them grow. Now Ali is gone more than she is home and I can't go back and change whether I was there or not. I will never get those moments back and I am glad I was home with the girls. I am also glad that I will be home with our new baby. Whatever the cost, whatever the lonely days full of crying babies and dirty diapers, it is worth it. That is the message I would like to pass along. Staying home with your babies is of more value than anything else you may try to do!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Wind has arrived

I love fall. It is beautiful with the clear skies, crisp temperatures and changing leaves. It has been cold all weekend and I am in love with it. Our heater has clicked on and we have had a couple fires in the wood stove. We gave Ali her coat I bought last spring for 25 dollars and she wore it to school and even home on the bus today. I love the apples that are ripe in the fall and the smell of wood that has just been chopped. I love getting out the fall decorations and lighting candles that have sat dormant all summer.

But I do not like the Santa Anna Winds that love to rush suddenly on to the scene and take away the peace of our fall. It is very windy tonight and we are on edge. It is not that the wind itself will do anything to us other than maybe knock over a few trees. But it is what comes with the winds that is of deep concern to us mountain dwellers. We are very concerned about fires tonight. In fact about every two minutes Cameron has asked me to check the alerts on Rim of the to see if there are any fires. (He is trying to study for the PE so he is not actually at the computer right now.) The last two times I have checked there have been reports of smells of smoke. I don't know that there are any actual fires in the mountains but everyone is on edge. I don't think there will be much sleep in the Brown household tonight.

But my evacuation list is on my desk, my clothes are drying the dryer and I have enough gas to drive down the hill if it becomes necessary. I guess I am as prepared as it is possible to be without actually loading the car. (And that would just be a little paranoid wouldn't it?)

Pray for the wind to stop!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apples, Apples and more apples

Today was a busy day. First we got up to get Ali to the soccer field by 8:00 am for pictures. It was 29 degrees but sunny. All the kids were dressed in the soccer uniform with tons of layers on top of it. When it was time they stripped the layers off and then went to get pictures taken. I know it was cold because after getting in the warm car it took ten minutes for my hands to stop hurting.

Then we took Ali to Lake Arrowhead for her nutcracker practice. We watched her as she practiced because it was the first time and it was only a half hour. After dance practice we went to the Running Springs fire department where we walked around the booths they had about fire safety. (We don't even want to think about it but it is fire season again so pray for no big fires this year.) The girls saw sparky and smoky the bear so they were happy. They also filled their bags with goodies from the booths and their tummies with cookies and punch.

After that we decided to pick apples to make applesauce with. There is a tree just outside of town that doesn't belong to anyone. It is on the side of a steep hill and for ever apple Cameron shook down there was one that rolled down the hill. After he climbed way up in the tree and took a bag with him we filled a paper bag and half full of apples. We were pretty happy about that but knew it wouldn't make that much applesauce.

Later we decided to go pick some more apples. Cameron's sister had already been to one tree where there are a lot of apples and she took most of the apples but we decided to see what else we could glean from the tree. Once again Cameron climbed way up in the tree and shook the apples down on our heads. Cameron would say cover your heads and look down and Ashling would curl into the cutest little ball. We took every last apple from the tree. Cameron enjoyed himself after he climbed down from the tree by throwing rotten apples at trees and watching them break into a million little pieces.

We then had a garbage bag filled with apples and went to Cam's parents house to get the applesauce maker. But on our way we saw an apple tree loaded with more apples. I couldn't resist and I asked the owner if we could pick the apples. We loaded another large garbage bag full of apples. The girls liked this apple tree because they could pick the apples.

Later Cameron's mom called and said she had two bags of apples delivered to her doorstep and if we wanted we could have them too. The only problem is I am only a third of the way through the applesauce process so next week I will be cooking, mashing and canning all the applesauce. But at least my food storage should be much improved and the best part is that it was all free!

We came home and I finished cooking homemade cinnamon rolls and of course ate them. It was very cold today and the girls were freezing from playing outside in the cold for so long. The girls took a shower to warm up. When they take a shower Ali turns on the shower and gives herself a shower. Ashling usually waits until Ali is done and then she gets in. This time when I went downstairs to give Ashling her shower I found her curled up in front of the floor heater where she said it was very warm. She was so cute there I just had to share it.

Hurray for Apples and fun family Saturdays!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


It's who I am...

I am... Melissa
I not be pregnant
I Have.... two beautiful little girls and one more on the way!
I Wish..... for cold weather, a fire in the wood stove and snow.
I Hate... doing laundry
I Fear... not having enough food storage and then really needing it.
I Hear.... Cameron cutting up fire wood and the girls playing outside.
I Search... for my children's shoes. How hard can it really be to put them where they go?
I Always... read.... and want to know what else is good to read.
I Usually... make a dinner from scratch every night.
I Am Not... organized enough.
I miss... my mom and sister. They never visit! (Maybe I could guilt them into a visit?)
I love... Cameron
I Never.... get enough vacations
I Rarely... get all the laundry done.
I Cry... when I am upset. Even when I really don't want to cry.
I am Not Always... patient with my girls.
I Lose... whatever paper I really need at that time.
I'm Confused... by Cameron's engineering problems that he reads to me while studying for the P.E.
I Need... more time in a day and to not be so tired.
I Should... make lunch
I Dream... about going to Hawaii and swimming all day (snorkeling, boogie boarding, getting up on a surf board, swimming in a pond near a waterfall, kayaking, maybe parasailing....)

I tag Stacey, Ina, Nicole, and Sharlene.