Thursday, August 13, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday present from Charlie
Tomorrow night is fancy date night. The Little Girl is not invited, my dress is getting cleaned, Charlie is making reservations, and there will be live music with a promise of some dancing. If tonight's dinner guests assist, I might even convince Charlie to learn some grown up dancing. (Nothing wrong with 8th grade dance slow dancing, but I would love some swing, or latin dance moves too....) 
Buckets of sweet pickles and piles of fresh produce.

I have been spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen lately. It has resulted in a few things. First off, I am going to reread the book Once a Month Cooking and start putting it into practice. Second, we have three batches of sweet pickles sitting on the counter.
Popsicle in Door County

Third, I have really been enjoying the deliciousness that is homemade ice cream. Last week was raspberry (from our garden) chocolate chip, and today I am making chai flavored ice cream.

Earlier this week, Charlie installed a diaper sprayer for me. By random chance, all stinky diapers since then have happened when a certain little girl was wearing a sposie (left over from a weekend out of town at a wedding). However, I am very much looking forward to having it to use. I do not even care if you judge me. I am thrilled to have a little bit of shiny to use.

The Little Girl and I went up to Door County, WI for a couple of days last week. We had a lot of fun camping with Papa, picked up a lot of cherries, and went to a lot of antique stores.
What's in here Mama?
The amazing part? Despite the fact that someone was too excited to nap, she was not really fussy or crying at all. Too tired for her eyes to focus or her fingers to work well enough to pick up an ice cube? Yes. (She sucked them up off the table instead.) She even stayed up extra late, so she could sit on Papa's lap and enjoy the campfire for a while. Charlie, unfortunately, had classes to attend, but he did not complain, and Gretl probably appreciated that she got to stay home in the air conditioning.

After weeks of blockading all of the bookcases to prevent damage to books, I decided to remove all of the grown up books from the lower shelves and let the Little Girl play. Unfortunately, her playing resulted in the little clips holding the shelf getting wiggled enough that a shelf of books came crashing down. Luckily, she had moved on
to causing mischief elsewhere, but it was enough that I decided to make some changes. Almost all of the big people books were boxed up and taken downstairs. (If we want to read a book, I will get it from the library.) Also going downstairs were three of our four bookshelves. Furniture was rearranged, and the new set up makes the whole space much more open. There are a few more things for me to do in the dining room before we are totally finished with moving furniture, but it is pretty much finished in here. I love that it is much more open and less cluttered in the small space. Plus, there is totally room for us to practice some fun dance moves now. Next quest my dear Dread Pirate Roberts? Dance partner. Music to be queued up as soon as he gets home today....

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Too Tired for a Decent Title

So much for my nap on the floor...
Summer continues to fly by us, and it seems like I last posted yesterday though the calendar tells me otherwise. 

Gretl is now mostly trained. The only thing that we still need to correct is her recent decision to bark before dawn because she's bored and wants to go sniff the flower beds. We would be fine with it if it was an emergency,
Smell my stinky feet fuzzball!
but stumbling out of the bedroom and trying to not have the Little Girl wake is getting old. One of these days, someone is going to break a toe on the door frame or something..... We are open to suggestions on how to correct this. Please. Someone tell me that you know how to fix this.

King Kong!
The Little Girl is getting to be a lot less little. *sniff* She has learned how to sign milk, more, and please - although at this point she really just sticks with please most of the time since it's pretty effective for getting whatever it is that she wants. While we normally do not cave into the pint sized dictator's demands, she occasionally
No? But this is so fun!
gets a few extra delicious snacks like grapes, corn on the cob, and cheese - her favorites. She also can point to her ears, nose, mouth, eyes, and toes, but her favorite is nose. It's the only one that she tries to say herself.

About two weeks ago, she decided to show off for her Lita and Gigi (my mom and grandma) by taking her first solo steps without the aid of furniture. She continues to show an extreme preference to crawling and scooting though and has only even attempted steps a couple of times since then. 

Charlie aced his math final ensuring that he will get a high enough score in the class to take Math 2 next term and continue in the wood tech program. The Little Girl and I are both proud of
Reading with Gigi
his efforts though we have missed having him around since he spends most afternoons and evenings in his study cave. 

I have continued to work in the garden attempting to overcome my brown thumb. All of the varieties of tomatoes now have fruit on them, but my San Marzano plants are suffering from blossom end rot. The rest of the plants seem fine, and Google seems to think that more water will help with prevention of more fruit going bad. The pumpkins seem to be doing really well - although this is little comfort to me because they were practically volunteers (we just tossed pumpkins in the compost pile, and the seeds sprouted), and I have done nothing to encourage their growth. 

Last but not least, a couple of months ago I got an activity tracker from Aldi. (Basically a Fitbit but at a much lower price.) I figured that it would show how much walking I was doing to get all my chores done around the house since it feels like I'm constantly walking, and I totally expected that I was getting my 10,000 steps daily. However, after looking at the numbers, I discovered that I was often getting much less than half of that number. Facing this reality, I committed to making sure that I get a minimum of 10,000 steps every single day. It has not been easy for me, but I am very proud to say that I have finished 15 days straight. Sometimes not until 11:30pm. Sometimes it took doing 4 miles on the track next door after putting the Little Girl to bed. While it isn't second nature to me yet, at least my muscles are getting used to the extra work and complain less about it. Once I get to 50 days straight (hopefully just before Labor Day weekend), I'm going to get a membership to the Y, so I can change up the exercise routine a bit and take advantage of their free childcare while I work out.