Friday, October 24, 2014

Today's Arizona Adventure!

My dad plotted a motorcycle route that, upon further Google Earthing, was mostly unpaved. So we decided to take their F150 out and see how the 4-wheel drive did. It did pretty well. No slippage. Ada slept for a good part of the more exciting bits. She liked the bridge though. Overall, and excellent adventure!

This truss bridge was built in 1924 and had ridiculously wide pine board planks.  
"Ada, show me the bridge" resulted in jazz hands.

I don't think Marc saw her peeking over the edge like this. Heart attack!

An elegant country bridge.

This cottonwood was growing out of this rock.

Most of the trip was on wending dirt roads like this. We passed several really impressive ranching operations but didn't stop to take photos. Occasionally we passes a hunter campsite and once in a while we saw a cow tucked in the brush, but for the most part we didn't pass much in the way of oncoming traffic.

This might be why. This was the next section of the road. I guess they were serious when they said the road was primitive and not frequently maintained. This area, which Marc and Susan went out to explore to determine whether it was passable, was determined to not be. It was essentially the side of a mountainous hill that was slowly eroding. There was, around the corner, a large white rock face that was slowly being sheared off by people's attempts. If only we'd had a winch...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch ... Year 3

Today we went to the Freeman Farms Pumpkin Patch. We ran into one of Ada's best buddies, Sophie, and her family while we were there. The two girls had a blast with each other despite Ada being a little under the weather with a cold. We were supposed to be meeting up with some kids from her school, but they all were running a little late so we never really caught up to them. I'm a really patient person, so while we waited for our school friends to show up, we played on the tractors.
And made silly faces in the cutouts.
But we couldn't wait too long because THE CAROUSEL was the excitement of the day. Pumpkins? Pah.
Fiona, Sophie's little sister, took a spin around. That's what she looks like when she's happy.
A picture of me!
Jeffrey and Damon #TrueDetectivesSeasonTwo 

Marc and Susan were there, too! 
Ada had a rainbow butterfly painted on her face by a man in a shark hat.
In the petting zoo area, they had this sleepy pig. He didn't flutter a muscle. Just slept all day and was petted. Heaven for a pig!

Ada loved this deer in the petty zoo area. She was delighted with him and kept saying, "He's so cute! oh, mom! He's so cute!"

Seriously loved this deer.
Finally, we went into the pumpkin patch to find a pumpkin. Ada's selection was a petite little one. When we got up to the register to weigh it, the kid (who we've been assisted by for the last two years!) said, "Oh, that's yours. You can just have that." Free pumpkin!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I want to ride my biiiiicycle...

Ada has been tricycling around like a champ for a bit now. Lately I've been thinking it was time to graduate up to a big kid bicycle since she can steer pretty well.

None of the bike shops seemed to have great, high-quality bikes in the 12" size. Target wouldn't let us get one down off the shelf to try out for "safety reasons." Our craigslist turned up nothing for used kids bikes that looked like they were in good shape. So, where do you go when you sort of give up on quality and say "meh" to safety? Walmart of course!

Ada tried out a few, but her favorite was a Huffy Rock It. It is red with flames, you'll notice. She also decided she needed a new helmet, I thought it needed a bell, and while we were over there at accessories, she decided she just had to have some Barbie elbow, knee, and hand pads. We call them her Super Pads because she acts like she is invincible in them. Want to give your kid a boost of confidence? Let them run around in Super Pads! The only side effect is that we look like insane over protective parents... which we aren't. It hadn't occurred to me to get padding...

Here's a video my dad shot of her first pedal around the block at their house. She really did great! She has a little trouble with leverage but that will come in time and, you know, with bushes.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Wizard of Oz

Tonight we watched The Wizard of Oz. I thought Ada might be ready for it, but I had some concerns that she wouldn't understand parts, would be scared, etc. I've been telling her about it -- the whole story about Dorothy and the storm, the Munchkins, the yellow brick road, the characters she meets, and the Wicked Witch ... all in the hopes that she'd better understand it. She still had some concerns...

It's always fun for me to see how she reacts to these things. I snapped photos of her face while we watched it. The shots aren't the best because of the light, but man, you can really see how she's feeling. I hope you enjoy, "Ada and the Wizard."

The Munchkins


Concerns about the Cowardly Lion, the Poppies, and "Where is she going?!"

The monkeys take off to capture Dorothy ... maybe we should have fast forwarded this part.

Oh yeah, should have fast forwarded. She was absolutely bawling about the Witch's Castle scenes.

Back to normal, though a bit annoyed that Dorothy isn't getting anything from the Wizard.

Explaining to me that it was just a dream with some guys. 

Jeffrey tweeted the experience. Here's a screenshot of his feed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kitchen cabinet updates

Our house we bought last May has honey oak cabinets throughout. They were real wood, not veneer, so overall they were in good shape but just sort of ... oakey. Mostly, I would sit at my desk for hours every day staring at the base of the breakfast bar and loathing the oak paneling they put there. It had sort of a plywood quality and I loathed it. LOATHED.

I decided to repaint. My dad refinished his kitchen cabinets last year and he has really been able to walk around like a human since then, so I went for paint. No sanding. Primer, two coats of paint, done. That sounds so simple! It took weeks. Mostly because I have other stuff to do, of course.

Here is photographic evidence!

Ada helped me get started on the breakfast bar front. That's the actual color she's painting with there. The little man she made is a snowman.

OK. Before and afters!

Truly the before. I think I started painting just a few days after this. This is the view from my desk that I would sit and consider my depth of designer loathing every day.

When we first moved in.

This evening, shot with my phone the second we got the last door screwed on.
The day we got the keys.
Done! (There is a cake under that green bowl. I don't own a cake plate.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Draw A Person

Ada chalked this picture of Jeffrey on Valentine's Day and I wanted to post it before I forgot.

I believe it is her first drawing of a person.

While she drew it, she told us all the parts she was making. Not bad for 2 1/2. I mean, that IS what Jeffrey looks like: legs.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Phoenix Festival

Yesterday Jeffrey and I took Ada down to Phoenix to the Chinese New Year festival. We've been reading about CNY in a pop up book for the last month and we hoped we'd get to see a dragon and a lion dancer. We did not. She had been very interested in chopsticks and we were at least able to try those out.

The Sages met us there with Ada's buddy, Sophie.

As we walked in, giant inflatable hamster balls caught Ada's eye. Particularly, of course, the giant pink one. As we ate our lunch on the grass, the girls kept an eye on them over in the big field. Ada was game. Sophie tried the line but seemed to demure at the last minute and decided to pass. Ada remained committed.

Keeping in the theme of continued appreciation of Asian culture, the girls decided they HAD to ride the Ferris wheel. Ada was off and running the second we said, "Yeah, OK." Sophie was a little delayed. Hence the photos of it looking like Ada was going up alone. We thought she was, too. The guy even offered to send his daughter up with her, but Ada said she was fine. She just wanted to ride! Sophie showed up at the last second and the two friends were able to ride together.

I hauled them over, afterwards, to the main stage where watched a few kid Chinese dance performances, a tai chi explanation that was super boring, and some teen marshal arts demos to house music -- much more exciting. Our girls acted bored, but later while waiting in line, they were trying out all their moves, so I guess they were paying attention.

After the festival we went to Ikea. Ada fell asleep on the way so Jeffrey sat in the car with her while she snoozed and I shopped. I think he was quite happy about that.

Once we started loading the car at Ikea, we quickly realized that the second shelf box wasn't going to fit. Fortunately, because I'm weirdly chatty, I'd been talking to the couple in the pickup truck next to us while Jeffrey shoved. They happened to be from Prescott, too. So, of course, being the nice people they were and me the kindly pushy girl, they happily loaded up the extra Expedit into their truck and drove it up the mountain. I'll grab it from them on Monday morning. Ikea is a wondrous place!

After that business was completed, we headed onto the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Because we like trains? No! Because Ada loves carousels and they have a good one. Our friends Tammy and Chris met us out there so that their daughter, Lila, and Ada could play on the playgrounds and ride the merry-go-round.

Tammy snapped this of the girls. We told them to smile so they'd look at the camera. They are both so cute! You'd never know it from their grins, though. They look mental.