1st Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

October 26th, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in baby | Family | holiday - (4 Comments)

Our little dude was born shortly after Halloween last year so this year will be his first time celebrating the spooktacular day.  We already have the costume ready and the trick-or-treat plans have been made (and will include Grandma from Idaho!).  So, of course, we took Gavin to the pumpkin patch for the 1st Annual Carr Family Pumpkin Picking Parade (yeah, I just made that up, so what?!).

After some Internet research we decided to head to Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert, AZ.

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When we first arrived we picked mommy and daddy pumpkins.

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Gavin had a lot of fun playing in the pumpkin patch and really loved the hay!  So much that he started to eat it.

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At the farm Gavin got to pick a little pumpkin and decorate it.  We turned into competitive parents and tried to find all of the best stickers for our little pumpkin head.

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After elbowing all of the other parents out of the way we strolled around to look at the animals and took a little hayride.

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We had loads of fun at the pumpking patch and are looking forward to carving them up and roasting some pumpkin seeds.  YUUUMMM…..

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Here’s the slideshow with many more pics of the little guy.

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We loved visiting the OC and LA county fairs when we lived in California, but had never been to an Arizona fair until this past Sunday.  The AZ State Fair is currently in it’s 125th year and is one of the top 5 state fairs in the country (thanks Wikipedia)!

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Our favorite part of the fair experience is definitely the food.  This year some of the new offerings were (direct from the web site):

  • Chocolate-covered bacon
  • Deep fried battered bacon on a stick with gravy
  • Reindeer hot dogs
  • Deep fried scorpion plain or dipped in chocolate
  • Deep fried grasshoppers on a stick (All bugs that are FDA approved for human consumption)
  • Sauteed meal worms served on a bun w/BBQ sauce
  • Smoked lizard on a stick

I’m happy to say that we avoided all of those and stuck with the five basic fair food groups:

  • Bread: Giant Corn Dog breading
  • Meat: Giant Corn Dog
  • Dairy: Fried Cheese Curds
  • Fruits and Veggies: Brick of curly fries, fresh squeezed lemonade, “cherry” flavored Icee
  • Sugar: Cotton Candy

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Gavin had fun checking out all of the colors/sounds and various carny folk (by the way you’ll find some interesting pictures if you do a Google Image search for “carnies”).  Chanin and I took out a loan so we could afford enough tickets to ride the big slide, ferris wheel, and a really high swing.  Thanks to Chanin’s parents for watching the baby while we rode!

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Gavin’s favorite part of the fair was when he got to see and pet the animals.  We saw a lot of bunnies, cows, goats, and piggies.

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We’re already looking forward to the fair next year and hoping Gavin will be tall enough to enjoy some of the rides then.  And next time I’m going to find the elusive “Mexican Funnel Cake” stand!

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All of the pictures are below.  Enjoy!

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We recently celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with a short trip to San Diego for some fun in the sun (like we don’t get enough sun in AZ).  We lined up as much as possible in our few days to make the best use of a couple of days off of work.  That included a trip to Sea World, a Go Car Tour (a surprise for Chanin), a fancy dinner, and brunch with Nana and Papa (Chanin’s parents) to celebrate Nana’s birthday.

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We spent Thursday driving out to California along Interstate 8.  Normally, we take the 10 to OC but the 8 offered a nice scenic drive and was less crowded.  After getting settled at the hotel we cruised over to Seaport Village to take in the views and some food.  We found ourselves an anniversary present  (some cool glass fish) and ate some Greek food.

Friday, we took Gavin to Sea World to see the fishies.  He’s still a little guy but he enjoyed seeing all of the exhibits.  His favorites were Shamu, the bat rays, the manatees, and the freshwater aquariums.  At least we think those were his favorites since he wasn’t napping at those times.  Our brave little guy even touched a bat ray!!

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After Sea World we went to the restaurant, and self proclaimed inventor of the taquito, El Indio for dinner.  I had taquitos and Chanin had a taco/enchilada combo.  We found the food to be excellent, despite some of the negative reviews found online.  (Sorry, no pictures of the food)

On Saturday I surprised Chanin with a Go Car Tour which is basically a scooter with 3 wheels.  The controls on the little car are similar to a motorcycle but there is no shifting involved, and the top speed is only 30 MPH.  The Go Car has a built in GPS that guides you around a preset course all while telling you interesting stories and facts about the sites.  It was a blast and we would highly recommend it!  The tour we took followed this path:
View Downtown San Diego Loop in a larger map
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After the tour we took the ferry to Coronado and ate at Il Fornaio.  Between the two of us we had bruschetta, cesar salad, ravioli with spinach and prosciutto, capellini al pomodoro, and two yummy drinks (one with limoncello and one with pomegranate liqueur).  A big Thanks to Chanin’s parents for watching the little guy while we were out for the day!!!

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Sunday came pretty quickly so we packed up and started heading out.  But first, we planned to take Chanin’s mom out for brunch and a little stroll in Old Town.  We found a place called Rancho La Lena, which everyone agreed sounded good.  We were early enough so we found close parking and headed on in.  Most of the seating is outdoors, which was perfect since the weather was really nice.  We went for the buffett which included homemade tortillas, made to order omelets (with fresh chorizo!), nopalito salad, chile verde, chicken mole, rice, beans, salsas, etc.  The food was really tasty and we’ll definitely return!

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We had a great time in San Diego celebrating our Anniversay, hangin’ with Chanin’s parents, and celebrating Chanin’s 13th lung transplant anniversary.  Her transplant was done in S.D. and she’s spent a lot of time there in the past so I know she enjoyed hanging out there again.


Thanks for reading!!  If you’re interested, all of the pictures are below.


Sea World Pictures

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San Diego Pictures

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Gavin’s 1st Camping Trip

September 13th, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in Family | holiday - (4 Comments)

I recently had a week off of work so we decided that it would be a great time to take our little guy camping for the first time.  Many of Chanin’s family members have memberships to the Silent Valley campground so we made the necessary arrangements and headed up into the mountains.  Luckily, Chanin’s parents have a travel trailer that we were able to use.  It made things much easier to deal with and little Gavin was comfortable.  There’s nothing like having beds, a table, stove/oven, microwave, private bathroom, etc to make things nice!

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Once we were up in the mountains I turned off my cell phone (well, actually sent a couple emails but after that I left it off) and never booted a computer for 6 full days!  Taking a ride in the wagon was Gavin’s favorite activity, and the only place we could get him to take a nap.  Chanin and I enjoyed eating (of course!), playing mini golf, hanging out in the pool, and taking our little dude for walks.  Gavin also loved the pool so we spent a couple days there. For a change of scenery we took a little trip up to Idyllwild where we bought some yummy beef jerky.

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Later in the week Gavin’s Nana and Papa, and Aunt Lori/Uncle Eric came to visit.  The Aunt Martha’s were also camping with their brand spankin’ new trailer.  We all celebrated Labor Day with a BBQ and margaritas.  MMMmmmm…

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Check out the following video for many more photos!  For best results click >>>RIGHT HERE<<<.  A new window will open with the video.  Then be sure to click HD to make sure it is the High Definition version is turned on.  It looks great full screen which you can turn on by clicking the little arrows in the bottom right corner of the video.

Gavin’s First Camping Trip from j c on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading!!

Gavin 9 Month Update

September 12th, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in baby - (2 Comments)

Wow, we can’t believe how big our little dude is getting!!  He’s developing so quickly but still has his snuggly moments, which we love!  Gavin is pulling himself up and standing all on his own but he’s not quite walking yet.  He wants to get his hands into everything he sees and he loves to crawl around.  Gavin loves to eat and has eaten everything we’ve tried to feed him.  Today he tried cilantro and lime for the first time.  The look on his face after sucking on the lime was priceless!!  We’re having a blast with him but with his new found mobility we’re doing a lot of chasing.

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So, the little guy recently had his 9 month doctor appointment and here are his updated stats:

  • Weight:  21.5 lbs (65th percentile)
  • Height: 31 inches (97+ percentile)

He’s very tall and already 1/2 the height of Mommy!

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Food, Food, Food…

June 11th, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in food - (2 Comments)

A bunch of pictures of food that we never got around to posting!


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In no particular order those are pictures of:

  • Food from Arriba’s Mexican Grill
  • Homemade Birthday Cake – Chocolate with Caramel Frosting (made by Chanin)
  • Homemade Humongous Snickerdoodle (made by James for Chanin’s Birthday)
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage
  • Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
  • Grilled Ribs
  • Grilled Pork Chops
  • Strawberry Shortbread
  • Tostada
  • Wedge Salad
  • Homemade White Bread

Grilled Pizza

June 7th, 2009 | Posted by james - the dad in food - (1 Comments)

I’ve been wanting to grill pizza for a while now and finally got around to it last weekend.  I decided it would be a nice treat for Chanin’s birthday since she loves pizza.  So, I had her pick her favorite toppings and this is what we ended up with.


  • Feta Cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Spicy Sausage
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Kalmata Olives
  • Fresh Mozarella
  • Fresh Basil


I made the basic pizza dough from Chow.com which can be found here: http://www.chow.com/recipes/24529.

And made the basic pizza sauce from Chow.com which can be found here: http://www.chow.com/recipes/24531.


Then I grilled them all up and we enjoyed them!


Be sure to put your mouse over the picture below and click the arrow on the right to scroll through the images, or click the arrow on the bottom to play the slide show.


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The pizzas turned out soooooooo good!  We’ll definitly be making these again.

Why does it seem like I always start my posts with “It’s been way too long…”? I guess we just get busy! Anywho, Gavin’s 6 month checkup was today and he’s doing great! Here are some details:


Height/Length: 28.25 inches  (95 percentile)
Weight:19.95 lbs (85th percentile)
Cuteness: Infinity!


Our little guys is sitting up on his own now and eating real food. Chanin is making homemade baby food and so far Gavin has eaten peas and sweet potatoes, along with the standard rice cereal and oatmeal. Next up she’ll be preparing bananas, pears, and avocado. Yummmm.


Along with his relatively new eating adventures Gavin is also very alert and always looking around at everything. He is so interested in everything and tries to pick up and eat anything he can get his hands on. It’s amazing to see how fast he’s growing and developing.


Sometimes we wish our little baby would stop growing because we want him to be our little guy forever! But, we’re also so excited to see him grow and develop and become a big boy.


Without further ado, here are the pictures from Gavin’s last photo shoot.

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