One New Thing Every Day

From the day I turned 29, I tried to do one new thing a day... it took a few extra months, but I did it! Now I'll post new things randomly as I try them.

Friday, October 31, 2008

#342 - Trick-or-Treating for Real

Tonight, we took the little guy on his first neighborhood trick-or-treating adventure (which was also our first time going as parents). Since we practiced TLG's "lines" the other night (including "Trick-or-treat!" and "Thank you,") he took to them pretty quickly. We only went to houses that had lights on, but I was disappointed that even at some of those houses, nobody answered the door. We walked around our street, down an adjacent street to the corner, crossed it and looped up a court, and then headed back to our house. We are grateful to Grandma, who answered the door at our house for 45 minutes while we were out on the prowl. And we're also thankful for our great neighbors who ooohed and aaaahed appropriately over TLG's cute dragon costume and gave him a huge stash of treats!
After we finished our "rounds" of the neighborhood, we stayed up late (for TLG) and ate candy, answered the door for other kids coming by, and sat around being silly and giggling together. After a quick bath, we read some Halloween books that I've had since I was a child, and then it was time to turn off the lights. It's nights like these that make me feel so lucky to have such a great kid.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

#341 - "I Want to be Little!"

Our little guy is growing bigger every day, there's no denying it. Two nights ago, he said matter-of-factly, "Mommy, I don't use a pacifier for naps at daycare anymore." Which was a perfect opening for us to discuss how he shouldn't use them at home, either! But we decided to give him until tonight to get used to the idea. So tonight, for the first time, we insisted that TLG go to bed without his pacifier. It was just me home tonight at bedtime, so when he started looking for the pacifier after his first bedtime story, I reminded him that he's a big boy and that he doesn't need it... and that's when he started crying and said: "I want to be little!" (So cute, and yet so silly!) Fortunately, my wonderful hubby came home about 20 minutes after bedtime, and so for the past hour or so, we've been taking turns answering TLG's requests (he wanted music on, he needed to go potty, he needed a stuffed animal from downstairs... you get the idea). My hubby finally had to threaten to close his bedroom door if he didn't stay in bed, and we think he's finally asleep. Whew!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

#340 - Strip Mall Trick-or-Treating

Growing up, when we went trick-or-treating, I remember it always being at homes in our neighborhood or at the elementary school carnival. So tonight we put TLG in his dragon costume and attended the "Safe Trick-or-Treating" at the Raley's shopping center near our house. All the stores in the strip mall had people outside their doors handing out candy, and the place was pretty busy with families and kids in costumes everywhere! We fit right in, and we did practice saying "trick-or-treat" in the car on the way over there. TLG came home with plenty of candy to enjoy over the next few days until it's Halloween again and we can do the old-fashioned trick-or-treating at least at a few houses on our little street. He seemed a little overwhelmed at the stores, I don't know if that was from all the people, the costumes, the new-ness of trick-or-treating (since he has always been too little to go, this was his first real experience with that). He loved the candy though. We let him eat a mini Twix bar on the way home from the store, then after dinner he chose a Tootsie Roll Pop which took forever for him to finish (how many licks DOES it take to get to the center of the Tootsie Roll Pop?!?) All in all, this was a neat neighborhood activity.

Here's a photo of us standing in line near a neat decoration outside one of the stores:

#339 - Carving Pumpkins

I have only carved a couple of pumpkins as an adult, and it was quite a few years ago that we did one at our house. So tonight, TLG helped us carve a pumpkin. He has been learning about jack-o-lanterns at daycare for a week or two now, so he knew all about it. I was surprised that he didn't want to use his hands to get all the gooey mess out of the pumpkin (in my mind, that was a natural boy thing to do!) so we ended up using pasta forks to scrape everything out. (He called it a "rake.") My wonderful hubby did all the carving, to TLG's specifications, and we think the jack-o-lantern turned out great. The one mishap we had was we burned all the seeds we were trying to cook so we could eat them... guess we'll have to carve another pumpkin and try again.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

#338 - Pumpkin Patch!

Today, my dad joined our little family at the Pumpkin Patch in Sacramento, where we had lots of first for The Little Guy (including his first hayride, haunted house, corn maze, and pumpkin patch in general!) I didn't remember that this particular pumpkin patch had so many great things to do --- TLG also got to go on a pony ride, play on the hay bales, climb through a long tunnel, and of course pick some pumpkins to bring home. We easily spent two hours exploring all the great things to do, and could have stayed longer if TLG hadn't gotten tuckered out and in need of a nap. Thanks, Poppy, for spending the morning with us. TLG and both his parents had a great time and really enjoyed exploring all these new things!

Friday, October 24, 2008

#337 - Dark new eatery

OK, today's new restaurant is only new to me - practically everyone in town has been there before... I had lunch today at a place called Rapscallion's. The interior surprised me, since it was very dark for being the middle of the day. High-walled booths gave everyone lots of privacy (and also blocked out some of the sun). Upon arriving, I found I was walking very carefully because my eyes hadn't yet adjusted to the lack of light and I was afraid of falling down! Food-wise, everything was very tasty. I had a cup of clam chowder, a piece of bread, and a salad with angel hair pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, bacon, and basil. It was really very good, though I'll admit I was expecting the salad to come in a bed of lettuce or something (this meal was a little too carb-heavy for me). The prices seemed reasonable for a place that is so famous in town, though I could see how it would be pricey if you were ordering a full meal with drinks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

#336 - Raining Gifts

Today I threw a really fun baby shower for my sister, who as I reported in an earlier post, is expecting her first baby in a couple of months. As part of the excitement, I tried two new games, including a "Price is Right" type of game, and a cartoon-character recognition game... both of which seemed really good with the group of ladies who attended. My sister's friends are really nice and it was so nice to see them all together after a long time apart. Everyone brought such wonderful gifts for my niece-to-be (who I can't wait to meet!) and it was an all-around great afternoon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

#335 - Bistro Seven

Today I went to a new restaurant: Bistro Seven, which is on the south side of town. I'm sure I've driven by there plenty of times over the years, but I don't think I've ever noticed that entire strip mall before! B7 (as the sign said) had a dark and hip interior with a curtain of gold beads and neat lighting fixtures. One of the ladies at lunch had been there plenty of times before, so she had some good recommendations on the food - and she knew all the waitresses/hostesses by name. I ordered a tomato, mozzarella and watermelon salad and I was not disappointed - it was very tasty! This salad would have been even tastier in July or August when tomatoes and watermelon were fully in season, but with the drizzles of dressing and seasonings, I really enjoyed this meal. I did notice some yummy-looking "sliders" (tiny hamburgers) going to a nearby table, and there were plenty of other good-sounding temptations on the menu. If I ever get to go to B7 again, I will try a different meal even though my salad was good.

Monday, October 13, 2008

#334 - Wordle

I stumbled on today, and so of course I had to make a "wordle" from this blog! What is a wordle? Well, to quote the website, it's a word cloud that gives prominence to the words that appear more frequently in the text. I tried to make this image larger, but it just won't work, so you'll just have to visit wordle, type in my blog address (or any address you like) and see what happens for yourself! You can change the colors, font, directions of the words - it's like an art project with words! I think it's pretty neat!

#333 - Hawaiian Food #2 (Local)

Back in June, I tried Hawaiian food at a place in Salt Lake City (New Thing #228). So today I stopped in to try another new Hawaiian place: I had lunch at L&L Hawaiian BBQ. I asked the cashier what the best thing on the menu was, and she directed me to the teriyaki chicken mini-meal, which included two pieces of chicken, a scoop of white rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, and some cabbage (garnish?). I have to say... I didn't enjoy my meal at all. It came in a styrofoam box and was lukewarm to begin with. The chicken was oily and fatty, and I actually gagged on one bite (ewww, I know, right?). The macaroni salad was warmer than it should have been, and the rice was... rice. It's hard to mess up rice. This restaurant replaced an Alaskan fish place on the south side of town, and I remember having delicious clam chowder at the old place, so I am doubly sorry that the Alaskan eatery is gone. I will not be going back to L&L.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

#332 - Home Improvement Project

My wonderful hubby and his dad have been working on a big home improvement project, and today it was time to paint the walls. The little guy has never been allowed to paint on anything except a piece of paper, so when I suggested that TLG be allowed to help paint the walls, WOW! You'd have thought I suggested we go to Disneyland! So we found some old, mis-matched clothes for TLG and sent him in to learn how to use a real paintbrush and a roller brush. He did seem to really enjoy working with his daddy and Grandpa, being a part of this special project. This big project is coming along amazingly well and I can hardly believe what a great room this will be when it's all done (and it won't be long now!). Thank you, everybody, for all your hard work on this room.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

#331 - Water Baby

The little guy (TLG) loves water, and anything having to do with water, as I've mentioned in the past. Tonight, my bosses asked us to bring home some volunteer work to try: we have a ton of zipped-up canvas bags that need to be unzipped, soaked in a bunch of water in the sink, then dried in the clothes dryer on high heat. I am proud to share that I helped TLG do his first-ever volunteer work by helping me with this project. He quickly figured out how to unzip the bags, but even more exciting was pushing the bags down in the sink-full of water. And best of all was taking the bags out, one by one, and letting them drip all over the place in the kitchen. Of course, he didn't realized this was "work" because he just loves to help.