Sunday, November 1, 2009


We can't believe that it is November already....goodness, where does the time go? October was a quick one! The chickens are laying tons of eggs, Cory celebrated his 32nd in good 'ol Essen Haus style (we had an Oktoberfest party, complete with live accordion player) and the girls got all dressed up for trick-or-treating. Lilly even drew her first pumpkin face which Cory carved very carefully, making sure to stay true to the artist's intended vision.

Monday, October 5, 2009

it's fall already?

Summer's not yet over here, despite the calendar date. Sigh.

We have been busy around here! Over Labor Day weekend, we packed up our stuff and flew out to Portland, OR for a little mini-vacation, see some family and to see our good friend get married. Unfortunately, two niblets in tow prevented extended visits to the regions wineries...but that just gives us reason to return!

Helen's been getting teeth at a rapid clip--we're cutting #6 right now. She is getting so big, so fast. Hard to believe! Her newest trick is to wave bye-bye with her fat little fingers. She is loving being able to eat cheerios, and getting better about getting them in her mouth rather than the snack trap of the high chair. Perhaps the biggest news is that Helen is up and standing, cruising along furniture...walking is not far off.

Lilly is thriving in her new classroom at school. She comes home each day brimming with excitement about what she learned and did that day. Right now we're working on cutting with scissors and writing letters. She is also being nice to her sister...most of the time. We are on the receiving end of non-stop inquiry (begging) regarding ballet lessons. Our train and truck-loving kiddo has been sporting her tutu just about every chance she gets.

Our other girls (Bruiser, Maybelle and Oprah) are doing great as well. Just this past week or so, all three of them have started to lay eggs!!! We are so excited--so far, an egg a day from each! Come on over for an omelette.

running on the beach in OR

mmm, fingers.

sporting some fancy Black Dog wear from MV....thanks PaPa!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

cluck, cluck!

SHHHH! We've got chickens! In our backyard!

We had been talking about getting a few hens for the girls for a while, but figured that we'd wait until we could fix up the yard post-construction and take our time building a coop for them. Well, a coworker was moving overseas and had three young hens that needed a home. So started the flurry of coop building and the arrival of the girls. Woo-hoo!

Two New Hampshire Reds and a Leghorn have taken nicely to the wicked awesome coop-and seem to be quite happy! Lilly has already managed to let one of them out, which gave us a bit of excitement chasing it down.

So far, they are proving to be quite funny and entertaining to watch. We gave them some cantaloupe and spinach as a treat and they gobbled it right up!

The front of the coop. Note the dutched roofline and exposed rafter tails that match our house! Woo!

Not quite finished yet, but a good view into the nesting/roosting area above the storage area below. We'll be putting up a big door with a window so the girls can look outside. Eventually, the coop will be moved to the back corner of the yard once we get around to putting up a new fence.

The white chicken's name is Bruiser. She came pre-named and we couldn't come up with a good reason why we should change it. The other two girls are named Maybelle (after the San Francisco cable car) and Oprah (because I had a dream to use that name and it makes me laugh).

happy girls!

Monday, August 3, 2009

check me out!

#2 has started to explore the sippy cup. She is not yet that interested except when she chucks it to the floor.

Yes, that is #1 eating with chopsticks...and doing a relatively good job. The best part is that she was so intent on eating with them, that it allowed us to eat our meal in relative peace. The joy!

mugging for the camera....#2 has paid attention to the "how to's" from her sister.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

summer vacation

Yes, we're here....but it's summer. Pictures have been difficult to upload here lately, so here's a link (cut and paste it) to some goodies:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

getting bigger!

Helen is getting to be such a big girl these days--bouncing in the saucer, pushing up on her arms, eating cereal, smiling and grabbing at Lilly--such fun. She is currently loving on Sophie, her very cute, very overpriced rubber giraffe chew toy...from France of course! She's not put it down yet. It will be a tragedy if it goes missing. She's also moved into 6-9 month clothing, a few months sooner than Lilly did. We await her stats at the 6 month mark...

Lilly is being a super big sister too! She is really getting into helping out with Helen. She picks out her clothes, gets diapers and has started to help with feeding her cereal. Awesome. She is also bursting with creative thoughts and stories. Just today, Lilly announced that she and her best friends Shelby and Catherine went shopping for kiwis, peppers, bread and beer(!) in the yellow car...this all before going to the party to pick all the pumpkins. They took turns driving the car by the way, how polite.

snuggling in bed

carrying her doll in her 'sling' just like mommy

eldest child feeding the youngest child. bunny slippers at Lilly's request.

giving Sophie a chew...

pushing up!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day?

Ahh, Mothers' Day. Flowers? A laundry fairy? Nope...this was my gift: