02 October 2015

No Tax

Steve got paid for some work in chickens today.


14 September 2015

TV Addict

Steve to The Bairn:  Do you want to spend some time chatting with me?

The Bairn: I would love to, but there's an emergency.  We lost the remote control!

He then spent about an hour explaining to me how we needed to get to the robot station (by train, plane, and taxi) to locate a 'finding robot.'

The next morning, when the remote was still not found, The Bairn told me that he had two 'big ideas':
1.  Use the telephone as a remote control.
2.  Take Grammie and Papa's remote control and use it on our DVD player.

We still haven't found the remote, but The Bairn's fresh out of ideas for finding or replacing it.

29 August 2015

Garden Woes

The deer have been very busy destroying our garden this year (and sending Steve into spasms), but we've still managed to harvest some produce.

This is what we've done with it so far.

bottled zucchini pineapple
Cook's Illustrated pasta with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts
Amy's aunt's oven sandwich with meat, cheese, and sauteed vegetable filling
garden harvest cake

froze florets
broccoli canneloni
steamed broccoli
pasta with broccoli and pesto

froze strips
kale pie (several times)
kale salad
kale pesto

bottled mustard pickles (had to supplement with additional cucumbers from the store)

I'm about to harvest cauliflower, which will probably be made into cauliflower cheese (lots of pepper is the key) and cauliflower pasta (we use penne instead of linguine).

26 August 2015

It's Good to Keep a Sweetie Boy Around for Your Self-Esteem

Bairn: (Snuggling in bed with me)  What do you like best?

Me:  I like being with my family the best.  What do you like best?

Bairn:  I love you, Mom, best.

17 August 2015

Weaning + Small Town Life

We're weaning Ellen. When we tried it in the spring, it didn't take.  This time we took a different approach and sent both kids to their grandparents' house for the weekend.  As Steve was talking to his mom on the phone to arrange pick up, The Bairn insisted on packing his bag. He was sitting out on the porch waiting for his ride before Steve even got off the phone. 

Steve and I hadn't been alone overnight since The Bairn was born, so we hardly knew what to do with ourselves on a Friday night without children.  I had big plans for finishing projects and mopping floors, but instead we made cookies and drove to the next village over to a convenience store that sells a surprisingly wide range of hair brushes and still rents DVDs.  They have an assortment of movies from the mid-2000s and when I sent Steve up to the counter with a comedy, the man at the till didn't ask for any ID or even a phone number.  "When's it due back?"  Steve asked.  The man shrugged his shoulders.  "A week?"  I feel like we could keep it forever and no one would mind.

05 August 2015

Water Babies

We have a free 2-week trial pass for the local rec center, so the kids and I have been swimming five times in the last week.  The children adore the swimming pool.  Every day Ellen asks me, "Rec center?  Rec center?  Swimming suit?" and she screams with delighted recognition when she sees the actual building. 

The Bairn's favorite activity at the pool is walking through the water with aquafit dumbbells out in front of him in the manner of a geriatric power walker.  Ellen loves every single thing about being in the water.  She loves to play motorboat and kick her feet and on first seeing a pool noodle and having no name for it, yelled out, "Need a . . . uh, PIPE!"  She's also very impressed with her cherry bathing suit.

Getting ready for the pool this morning.

Because I know that our pool visits will run out with the pass (the regular price is prohibitively expensive for us), I sent Steve to the store in search of a little backyard pool.  Lots of them are on sale since it's late in the summer and I told him not to spend more than $10.  He came back triumphant with an inflatable $3 pool.  One day I pulled it out of it's packaging, explaining to the children that we didn't even need to go to the rec center that day.  We had our very own pool!  I'd blow it up and they could sit in it and it would be great!

It was not exactly as I had envisioned.

It's quite a bit smaller than anticipated.

More like a birdbath.

Enjoying a bargain pool.

03 August 2015

Eight Year Old Girls Are Perfection

On Friday we went camping with the same family we camped with last year and two other families.  There were twelve children in our group, including two 8-year-old girls.  I really love girls that age.  They're sweet and sincere and extra nice to my babies.  They walk to the lake with me barefoot and roast potato chips over the camp fire for Ellen (I don't know why) and explore the forest (again and again and again) with The Bairn.  They're the best.

The Bairn munching on a snack in the forest.
Stopping for a rest on the way to the beach in the evening.

They broke out the nail polish at one point and invited Ellen to their painting party. She had never seen nail polish before in her life, but she really took to it.  She loves her neon-colored nails.

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