Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Here is a lovely new fall-ish recipe I tried tonight: Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It froze overnight, so it's felt cold all day. Nothing tastes better on days like this than warm soup and fresh baked bread.

LOTS of broccoli and carrotts 
LOTS of cheese
Lots of other dairy (butter, milk....)
Even the little one enjoyed. She did not enjoy being so messy from eating it. OCD? Hmmmmm.....

Also satisfying? The woman who knocked me over in the cyclocross race two weekends ago picked me out of this past week's race lineup, tapped me on the shoulder and said: "can I give you a hug?". She felt bad all week and asked her friend what jersey I was wearing. She found me (the huge white bandage on my left arm probably helped her figure it out) and apologized. I told her "oh, it's okay. don't worry about it. I'm fine.....", all the while guiltily remembering the burning anger I had felt. What a difference a simple "I'm sorry" makes. It's all good in the Hood! I should mention we were neck and neck the whole race, passing each other after each lap. She ended up beating me by 10 seconds. I guess she didn't feel bad enough to let me win.... :)

Off to Bend this weekend for the double races (including a costume race). If you don't wear a costume, you will be heckled ruthlessly. We did what had to be done and decided on what to be: Bert and Ernie. Excuse me while I go help my husband paint vertical stripes on to his v-neck shirt.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble......

Spooooooky pumpkin carving took place this past friday:

Mom's not making it look very enjoyable here....
Going for it. 
These pumpkin guts really need stirring...
Really going for it this time....
Couldn't be any more true (notice the drawing on the pumpkin)
It's a good thing these two did all the work.
Noella even drew on her own picture!
Finished product
Isn't Halloween fun? I have to admit I took absolutely no part in the drawing or carving. I came up with the picture ideas and then quickly realized I didn't have the skill to follow through to the finished product. Thank you Adam. You are extremely talented :) I did make the mason jar jack-o-lanterns. I found the project on a different blog. A little tissue paper, a little mod podge and "voile"! That's the only kind of jack-o-lantern I can successfully create.

Happy Halloween!


"Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be" - Abraham Lincoln.

We went apple picking and farm hopping this past saturday. It's so refreshing to see Noella so happy about the simplest things in life. All it takes is a little fresh air, green space and rainbows. Apples, alpacas, wagon rides and slides help too. 

The good life. 

Earning her apples.

Notice the sunlight filtering through her epic "flock of seagulls" 'do.
Sharing smiles and apples.
Her favorite.

The gorgeous Mt. Hood Valley. 


It took Noella a while to stop calling these alpacas sheep.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Reflection: Toileting Troubles

My reflection for the day (month) is to not move too fast with toddlers. I have a tendency to try and push things too hard, and that is reflected in the emotional, crabby, screaming child that has taken over Noella off and on in the past week.

I'm talking about Potty Training. I thought I'd bypass all the drama and emotionality that goes along with potty training a two year old and start early. Clearly, I'd have an easy-going, superstar pottier. I mean, Noella is advanced (j/k). Why wouldn't she get this down quickly and without heartache? I know all you moms and dads of kids with potty trained children are smirking at me right now.

We were off to a great start. For a whole week, N was getting it. Staying dry, going when we sat her down - even accurately stating she had to go at a hotel several times on one overnight trip. "Great!" I thought to myself. "We did it, just like I had planned". Well, no one told me about regression. No one told me it wouldn't end there. Week two was a disaster: "NO POTTYING!!!" were the words of the day every day. But, damn it, she knew how to do it. She knows how to do it. She's gonna keep doing it. Right?! Wrong. I pushed and I pushed some more and then it was extremely clear I had gone too far and she was winning this situation.

We are backing off. I don't even want to talk or think about it anymore (for at least a WHILE).

So, my reflection is on trying to stay unemotional about all of these milestones that must be learned. It is way harder for her to go through than me, and I just was not thinking about it that way. I even have an early childhood background and couldn't remember that through this whole process.

I'm sorry Noella, mommy is a control freak sometimes. I'm working on it. I won't say that I'm pretty sure you inherited some of that trait from me, we'll just all go ahead assume it :) I love you dearly and I don't care if you don't pee on the potty. At least not right now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I've decided to re-organize the blog (or maybe I should just say "organize", as it's never really had any kind of organization to it whatsoever). Wednesday is the day to reflect on what we've tried that we've liked (recipes, activities.... you know, new stuff).

Like today, I'm satisfied with the fact that I'm finally giving our blog some kind of coherent template. We'll see how it goes.

Noella is satisfied with all her "buddies" sitting with her
As for other satisfying things in the land of the oregonholts, we tried a fantastically delicious meal the other night. I don't know about all of you, but we have squash coming out of our ears here. I love squash, but if you don't have creative ways in which to utilize it, it can get boring very quick. This Pan Fried Butternut Squash Pasta is very delicious, very exciting and --- very satisfying. Adam declared it has entered his Top 10 favorite meals.

Here you go (click on the link below):

Another tid bit of information, I discovered this pasta from a friend's Pinterest Board. If you haven't explored Pinterest, check it out! It's a way to share ideas with others. (Warning: can be very addicting!). 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What To Be For Halloween???

A nude bike racer
A pumpkin 
A cowgirl
A cowgirl holding a pumpkin

Or Billy Idol? (Or Tina Turner. Someone cleverly pointed out that Noella's hair also resembles Tina Turner's. I don't think we could find fish net stockings in her size though...)
Stay tuned for which Halloween costume will be chosen!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Portland International Raceway: 2011 Cross Crusade Race # 3

Ouch. That one hurt. While Adam and I always love going to these things (aka "cyclo-cross races), sometimes I wonder if I forget that I am a mom and have to care for a small child throughout the week. Because today, not only did I almost have a heart attack, but I was also pushed off the course on a sketchy hair-pin steep downhill turn by some random lady behind me ("you're too inside!" was what I heard behind me before she rammed me and I skidded on the left side of my body down the hill. That and then I heard a muffled "sorry!"). I did not feel pain, only seething anger at that point. Not until I had crossed the finish line did I feel the searing, raw pain on my elbow. I looked at it: YUCK. I don't think I'll post pictures. I forgot to mention in there that after I crossed the finish line I had exactly 38 seconds to get my about-to-vomit-redlining-heart-attacking self over to Adam where he was ready for the stroller hand-off so he could make his race start time. Doesn't this sound fun?

After I trucked Noella and myself to the first aid tent and answered her 1 million questions about "mommy's owie" and answering yes to "mommy needs a bandaid?" about 785,432 times, I did purchase myself a beer. I got a a beer and parked us in the sun and watched the rest of Adam's race. That made it all worth while. That and the awesomeness of the Cross Crusade Sundays.

And yes, we do look forward to this every weekend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Who's ever heard of an 18 month old losing their hair? I hadn't either. In the past 6 months or so, Noella has lost her lovely auburn-y blondish curly thick hair. It has grown in as some kind of white baby chick fuzz. Let me take you on a photo journey of the changes that Noella's hair has undergone throughout her short life:

March. I loved her hair.

Very smooth with a touch of wave at the ends.

Even started to get unruly, which prompted a trim in the back. 

April. Post trim. Still thick and shiny. 
June. It began to thin a little. 

June again. Some lighter blond hairs are streaking through.

July. It's totally thinning and looking coarser. 

Getting even thinner and blonder.  She's a little distraught over what's going on with her hair. 
End of July. 

August. Thinner and blonder yet. 


October. Who is this "towheaded" child?

Oh, that's right, she's mine. This is exactly what my hair looked like. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just Beachy

Adam had a work thing saturday morning, so N and I decided to truck along with him up to the Washington coast. It had been nearly a year since Noella had seen the ocean (and I'm sure she didn't remember it anyway). She and Zeb frolicked in the sand and had a grand old time:

Toe Towhead* with bucket in tow.

Zeb investigates the contents of the bucket

Zeb can dig too!

The shore line was a bit mucky...

Driving home 

Sleeping with muddy
*It had really bothered me for years that I never understood the meaning of this term. Hence, misspelling it the first post. So, here is the origination of the term "towhead": Apparently, it comes from colonial times when families grew flax to make clothing. After the fibers were prepared for spinning, the shorter, lesser quality fibers were called "tow". This led to the term "towheads" to describe people, children in particular, whose hair resembled these fibers.