Monday, December 14, 2009

should have stayed in bed.

We had some AMAZING weather yesterday. And by amazing, I mean shutting down every major highway. I was scheduled for a call-in at 12:30 (which means that I call the store an hour before and see if they need me or not). Given the wonderful weather conditions I started calling at 10 (to tell them I wouldn't be in until my solid shift at 4). No answer. I figured maybe we opened later since it was Sunday. Called again at 11. No answer. And again at 11:30 and 12. Uh-oh. Finally got a very flustered Rhonda on the phone at 12:30. Seems everyone had trouble getting there. What a bunch of awful. And when I did leave for work at 3:15, I got about 1/4 mile down the road and the noise we thought was being made by the brakes got really, really loud. So I turn the car back around, get home and discover I have no tire on my passenger side. Complete blowout. Ugh. Piled us all into Steve's car (which is any day away from blowing a head gasket. Stupid cars.) and got dropped off at work.  Two things did make my no-good-very-bad-day a little better though. Having pretty amazing co-workers (one of which is possibly procurring me some new tires for free) and watching Meet the Natives when I got home. Seriously, if you haven't watched it, and you enjoy seeing the way we live as Americans mocked, you need to see it.  Hilarious.
Back on the car though, the rim seems to be okay. And it looks like something had been rubbing on the inside wall of the tire, and that's what caused the blowout . Steve drove it (very carefully) to work today and is going to take a look at everything. No sense in putting new tires on first, if there's something that's going to cause another flat tire. Fingers crossed that it's not something uber expensive.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pretty, but cold.


As I type this, my hubby (Steve the great white hunter) is out braving the frigid temps in one last attempt to fill his deer tags for the season. As much as I love venison, I'd rather have my left arm sawed off than sit outside in the cold. Not for me. I'll stick to cuddling inside with Finn, eating hot toast and cocoa with marshmallows, thanks. Brrrrrrr.


This little monkey is growing and learning in leaps and bounds lately.  His vocabulary is exploding and he's getting better at putting said words together and making small sentences. Lately everything has been "BIG!". Big truck, big ball, big butt, big tree...you get the picture. And he's learned to kick so we hear a lot of "Hey! I kick it!" and "Mommy! Kick it!" Such a little boy these days.  The only time I see the baby side of him anymore is at bedtime, which had been pretty darn good for awhile. But lately, he's backslid a little, and always says "Mommy! Stay here! Stay here!" when I try to tuck him in and leave.  I don't know if he's getting afraid of the dark or having bad dreams or what.  He has a heck of a vocabulary, but still can't always tell us what's wrong (not that I'm expecting him to be able to or anything. That's just ridiculous).
He's finally un-afraid of Grammy Zarnick (my maternal grandma). I think the fact that she treated us to a wonderful day at the Science Center helped her cause a good bit. I don't know who was more in awe of the exhibits, Finn or Grammy. They were both pretty blown away by the underwater Omnimax film. I was just shocked that Finn sat through teh whole 45 minutes of it. Of course seeing a lot of the Nemo critters probably helped ("Mommy! Tu-ttle! Ssssark!") and the fact that he passed during the last 10 minutes didn't hurt either. Grammy couln't stop talking about teh trip for a week. And of course before leaving she loaded the boy up with every souvenier from the gift shop. Such a fun day. I think we'll go back for his birthday (which is rapidly approaching. Holy cow. 22 months already?) when the miniature train village is back up and running (we missed the re-opening by a week). He's got a love of trains and big trucks, this one does. He will not be disappointed on Christmas since there are at least 3 gigantic dumtrucks, a big backhoe and a plethora of tractors waiting to go under his tree from various sources. Santa has some very busy elves apparently.

I've been working pretty steadily, which is both great (we can definitely use the money) and stressful (shuffling Finn around is making me want to rip my hair out). Finn's been staying with Grammy Z. the past couple of weeks while I've worked and he's done really well with her. Unfortunatley I just got a call this morning that she's back in the hospital with her Crohn's acting up. Obviously I want her to be alright and get better, first and foremost. But now I'll have to find somewhere else for him to stay this week, which is going to be none too easy given my crazy schedule. I found one daycare with openings, and I'll have to give them a call bright and early on monday. Fingers crossed that they don't charge an arm and leg fo just a couple days a week. Sigh. I really wish I knew more people around here that were good with kids and had free time.

Oh! Two gunshots from the back property!!! Go Steve, GO!

Work and possible dead deer aside, Finn and I have been keeping busy around teh house as well. We've put up the Christams tree and hung all my grandma's old ornaments. Finn, unfortunately, think that they're huge candy globes and has tried to eat three of them so far, and pulled countless others off the branches. He's also been a big help in the winter baking. We've made bread, pasta, pretzels and numerous cookies in the past few weeks. He makes for a great sous chef/official taste tester.  I think we'll make some egg noodles today for dinner next week. And we have plans for Guinness cupcakes and Guinness cheese fondue for Christmas eve. This will be our first time hosting the Christmas eve get together, and I thought it'd be nice to throw in a few new things along with our traditional grub. We always have meatball and hot sausage subs, pasta salad, macaroni salad, some form of potato and a dessert of some sort. Kind of a picnic meal. We'll open our presents from mom and dad and eat til we're ready to pass out. Sounds like an excellent time.

More shots! What the heck? Either he missed the first two times, or this is an indestructable deer. The pressure is really on today, since this is the last day Steve will be able to go out and since my little brother got one yesterday...well, I think Steve's feeling a bit competetive. He has three tags to fill, and judging by the amount of handwarmers he purchased last night, I think he means to stay out until he has them all filled (one buck and two doe.) Three would be way more than we would eat in a year (two would be too much, really.), but we plan on donating any extra meat we end up with.  He hasn't texted me back yet...hopefully this means he's on the chase! I had a dream last night that I woke up at 9:30 (yeah I know...sleeping in to 9:30 would be a dream indeed) and Steve was in the living room playing with a fully dressed and breakfasted Finn (again, a dream). I was confounded as to why he was back so soon and he said "I got two by 8, so I decided to call it a day!". I woke up from the dream before I could badger him about why he couldn't feed Finn breakfast every morning.  Go figure. But I'm hoping this means good luck for his hunting today.

Okay, off to shower and make noodles. Think good deer thoughts for Steve today!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Quick tidbit

A conversation with Finn yesterday while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner:

*Finn walks by muttering something incoherent*

Me: What was that buddy?

Finn: Boobies! Big, BIG boobies! Big boobies!

Me: Big boobies?! Who taught you that?

Finn: Nana.

Me: Mooooooom, come here for a second......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Black Friday

Dear holiday shoppers,




As Black Friday approaches, I'm sure you're all gearing up for your massive shopping blitz, your eyes glazing over at the thought of all the life-changing bargains you're sure to find (personalized oversized cat sweaters 2 for 1?! OMG!) But before you start your buying rampage and completely destroy all of the store displays that took hours to put together, please take a moment and consider the guys and gals that will be taking care of you during your retail high: that's right, the store workers. Now, sure, we've been planning for this as much as you. Stocking the shelves with bright, shiny packages right at eye level, strategically hanging shopping bags so you'll be encourage to buy more than you came in for, practicing how we'll get you to add on even more unneeded crap at the register. But all the planning in the world will not prepare us for your self-entitled bullshit. Just because you spend money in our stores does not give you the right to treat us like garbage. Yes, I know you bought $29 dollars worth of product , but no, I will not let you slide on getting the $10 off a $30 purchase coupon. I don't care how much you've spent in my store before or are planning on spending in the future. If you don't meet the requirements to use a coupon, you're not getting it. And no, I will not individually wrap your pocket hand sanitizers. They're one-inch, by one-inch. They do not need to be wrapped. It's called a stocking stuffer for a reason. And no, I will not follow you around the store and be your personal shopper. I do not know what your Aunt Betty would like, I have no clue as to what fragrance your cousin just bought yesterday, and quite frankly I don't care. I do not get paid enough to put up with your high-needs, co-dependent shit. I will be polite and as helpful as I can with 200 people crammed into a space meant to only hold 50. But really, you should do the same. It is the holidays after all, a time for family, charity and kindness. A fact that gets grossly overlooked when there are anti-bacterial soaps on sale 3 for $10.



Happy shopping!



Sincerely,



a friendly retail slave

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween, homes and flying pigs

First off, Finn's second Halloween was pretty awesome.  He was a chicken this year (see picture in previous entry) and made a darn fine one at that.  I'm really glad I didn't find him a Shrek costume since he abandoned his Shrek obsession  a few day before Halloween in favor of Nemo.  On Thursday we took him to the mall where I work for their halloween parade (living in the sticks means no trick-or-treating, since to go house to house you'd have to trek along a main highway or walk through peoples pastures to get anywhere. Somehow I don't think the cows would be fond of costumed children disturbing their peace). I was worried that since it was so close to Finn's bedtime that we'd be in for a rough time.  But he was remarkably well-behaved.  He wasn't too keen on the idea of approaching people for candy, but he was pretty excited to actually get the candy. And he loved seeing all the other kids in costume. Downside was that everyone was giving out lollipops, which sent Finn into a frenzy and he ended up with one sticky sucker in each hand.  On Saturday (the actual holiday) Nana and I took him out to a few relatives' houses where he made out like a bandit.  Both Nana and great-Grammy know that we're not big on giving him lots of sugar, so they each gave him gift bags filled with goodies.  His favorite so far have been a set of matchbox cars (he now goes to sleep every night driving one of them over his pillow) and a pair of t-rex "schwippahs", both from great-Grammy.  He also received some super cute jammies and a few pairs of comfy lounge pants from Nana, along with healthy snacks from everyone.  He was pretty blown away by all his "pwesunts", so it'll be interesting to see what he thinks of Christmas this year.  I know we plan on keeping things low key at our house with just a few fun gifts (I'm sooo excited to get him some Sprig trucks!), but I know Nana goes nutso buying stuff for him.  I forsee a toy box clean out in our very near future to make way for all the new stuff.

Last week, we had an appraiser at our place. Our landlord paid for the appraisal, which was a huge load off of our backs.  We really want to buy our place because we love it so much, and also because we hate moving. We were really hoping it would appraise for what we think it's worth, but it came out about $20,000 more than we expected.  I'm not sure what they take into account during an appraisal, but it apparently doesn't cover anything I find important.  Like the fact that the kitchen is stuck in 1965 and needs a complete overhaul.  Or the desperate need to rip up the gross stained carpet and refinish the hardwood underneath.  Or the fact that when the "new" bathroom was put in all the fixtures were put in crooked and the plaster work was never finished or painted.  Or the fact that none of the rooms besides the kitchen, dining room and Finn's room have central lighting. Or the fact that basement leaks and needs to be sealed and finished.  I just don't get it.  I browsed listing for other houses in our area,and I kid you not, there's a place three times the size of ours (on a smaller lot), with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and an updated kitchen and it's on the market for $70,000. Which is what we thought our place would appraise for.  Instead our quote is $90, 300.  Ridiculous.  My parents old house which is, again, twice as big as our place, has more land, has recent remodeling on the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement is only listed for $59,000.  I don't get it.  I really, really don't get it.

Now the topic I've been putting off for awhile.  But two of my favorite mommy-bloggers has posted on the subject, so I figured I should as well. Please skip this paragraph if you're already sick of my crazy whackadoo ramblings and my weird approach to parenting. 
H1N1 and it's vaccine.
As Twwly put it so perfectly, let's give the pig farmers a break and stop refering to it as Swine Flu.  I like pigs. I like ham. I love pulled pork bbq.  I do not like a media hyped sickness or its vaccine.  It's just another flu.  Seriously.  More people die every year from the regular flu than have died from H1N1. You have a better chance of being killed in a car wreck on your way to the clinic to get your vaccine for H1N1.  No really, you do.  When we went through this same frenzy in the 70's, more folks died from the vaccine than they did from the flu itself.  And all those "completely healthy" folks that died seemingly out of the blue? Bogus.  No one is "completely healthy" these days. Why? Because no one has a decent immune system anymore.  We're a nation of fast-food guzzling sloths.  We don't exercise enough. We get immunizations for practically everything.  We pop pills for the slightest cough or sneeze.  Our bodies no longer know how to fight off anything.  Sad, but true.  We've had the H1N1 "scare" in our area, but am I shaking in my boots? No.  Am I rushing out to get us all stabbed? Absolutely not (I'll pass on having my kid injected with mercury, thanks).  What are we doing? Eating right, staying active, getting plenty of vitamin C, staying away from anyone sick. Which, by the way is all that you're recommended to do if you feel you have H1N1. Stay home and rest and get lots of fluids. Not rush to the ER where you're just wasting a doctor's time that could be spent treating someone with a REAL emergency.  Use common sense folks, and soon you'll be able to say proudly that you survived the flu scare of aught 9.

Edited to add:
So you don't think I'm just stating MY opinion, and that I'm making up the fact that America is very unhealthy as a nation:
American Diet and Eating Habits
Childhood Obesity
Eating habits and a healthy immune system

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Let's talk about...

Teenage girls.  They top my "most hated creatures" list.  And yesterday night, on my dinner break this fact was greatly enforced.

I'm in line waiting for my sandwich, when two very scantily dressed 12 year olds get in line behind me (I would later find out that they were 13, not that this makes the events any better).  I'm instantly appalled that their parents let them out dressed like that.  Then I hear one of them mention that a friend was recently found to be smoking by their parents and said parents then made child smoke an entire pack in front of them.  For a second I found this funny, since this was what my mom always said she would do if I tried smoking.  Then they turned to discussing what brands of cigarettes they liked the best, and who bought them cartons last.  Yeah.  I was agog.  I was aghast.  My sandwich being done, I took a seat and thought, "okay, i don't have to hear them any more." But, unfortunately, these mini-chainsmokers sat next to me.  And had a loud discussion of who hasn't turned 13 yet, and which sex acts they and their friends have tried already.  And where they've had sex.  Absolutely mind boggling.  I pointed out that the discussion was loud because on the other side of these lovely litle ladies were two tables of families with small kids.  I was so disgusted on so many levels.  It took every ounce of willpower for me to not start a scene and ream these girls out.  I was shaking by the time I went back to work.  How has parenting gone so ENORMOUSLY downhill since I was that age ? My mom would have rather fed me to rabid dogs than let me go to the mall by myself at 12-13 years old.  And while I had "the talk" by that point, I certainly didn't know all the details.  I didn't even have my first "real" kiss until I was 14.  And I was completely terrified of the idea of sex until almost 18.  The fact that these two girl were so flippantly talking about something so adult is so horrifying and awful.  These girls couldn't even take on the responsibilty of caring for a hamster, and yet they're out fucking.  Positively disgusting.  Yet another reason Finn will be homeschooled and another reason why we live out in the middel of nowhere, far, far away from horrendous people.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Filler for now

Until I get around to editing pictures of the past week....a lame meme.

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth? toothpaste

2.Where was your [Facebook] profile picture taken? my backyard

3.Can you play Guitar Hero?absolutely not

4.Name someone who made you laugh today?Finn

5.What time did you go to bed and why? 10:30 ish? We stayed up to watch Dancing with the Stars.

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you? Canada

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?probably. until the fireworks started raining down on us and we had to run for cover.

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you?Aaron and Cassie and that whole lot

9. Do you believe ex’s can be friends? sometimes

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?Tasty every now and then

11. When was the last time you cried really hard?last Wednesday when I realized how fucked we were financially

12. Who took your profile picture?me

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?A paint covered Finn

14. Was yesterday better than today?I don't know yet

15. Can you live a day without TV?yes, definitely

16. Are you upset about anything?being in the hole $600 and having to pay rent somehow in four days

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?yes

18. Are you a bad influence?Some would say yes, but I don't think so. Not these days anyhow

19. Night out or night in?Out

20. What items could you not go without during the day?Computer, fuzzy socks, camera

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?my grandpa right before he passed away

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?I have no idea

23. How do you feel about your life right now?Happy but stressed. Wishing that we could be financially stable for once

24. Do you hate anyone?not really

25. If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?play date invites

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?yes, they might find copious amounts of ice cream though

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?yes, and they were bat shit crazy for thinking that

28. What song is stuck in your head?Lipgloss-Li'l Mama

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be?Not a deranged stalker or a bear, that's for sure. and if someone was on our property at 2 a.m. I'm sure our neighbor would already have the person at gunpoint before they could knock on my window.

30.Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?That's not really up to me

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?make cookies

32. Do you think too much or too little?way too much

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cleveland rocks!

Well, this blog was going to include lots of hilarious pictures from our weekend in Cleveland, but since Steve uploaded them, heaven only knows where he filed them on the computer. Sigh

Anyways, we ventured to Cleveland on Friday afternoon to visit with Kent and Paula, arguably the cutest couple alive. Nana and Pap were even free to watch Finn overnight so we could go toddler free, which just about never happens. We kicked off our journey with a stop for lunch at our favorite Mexican place in Grove City before making the long drive west. The rest of the drive, pretty uneventful. We made it in one piece and waited with Paula for Kent to get home. After that we all headed to the House of Blues (aka the Biggest Ripoff Ever) since the guys were seeing the Mars Volta (aka worst band in history). We had a highly over priced and under tasty meal there before Paula and I split off on our own for the Cleveland Art Museum. I had never been there before (save wandering past it drunk and barefoot 6 or so years ago), so I had no idea what to expect. It was pretty mind blowing. Especially given that so far the only museum we've had Finn to is the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh. Which, don't get me wrong, is amazing, but it's not exactly old world masters. After a couple fantastic hours at the museum, Paula and I headed out for drinks and dessert while we waited for the guys to call us. Which they did, complaining about being cold and soggy. Our reunited group went to the Spitfire Saloon for a few drinks but the band there was too loud (but I loved them) so we journeyed elsewhere to have drinks and conversation. And did we ever! Steve somehow managed to get into a drunken debate with a random wino over Wings. I wasn't aware that Wings was worth debating. And this wino was apparently the biggest Wings fan ever, and the other three of us saw he night taking a possible bad turn. Luckily, crisis was avoided when they (thankfully) switched to discussing the re-release of the Beatles catalog. Phew. The evening ended with quite possibly the longest Taco Bell run ever (what the hell were the people in front of us doing?) and some long overdue sleep.
When we finally all got up and motoring on Saturday, we had lunch at BD's. And I ate myself into a food coma. With the exception of the lamb, everything was soooo yummy. Afterwards we went to teh used bookstore where I got a ridiculously cheap copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Steve and I headed home after that, even though Nana had called and told us that she was going to keep Finn for another night. So we returned to a toddler free house (which is pretty quiet and empty feeling) and I'm surprised that we didn't both pass out immediately. We're way too old and parent-y to keep up that pace. Luckily it doesn't occur that frequently. Otherwise we' be dead.

In summation, excellent, awesome weekend.

And now, the roofers are here. Much too early. I have no idea how Finn is going to nap today with them pounding and stomping around.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pictures galore!

Ah, fall in western Pennsylvania. Usually my favorite season of all. But this year it came out of left field. There was no slow fade from summer, not pretty autumnal blue skies. Just this gross, rainy, soggy weather, and heavy winds. So far our leaves are still clinging to the branches, so at least we have some gorgeous foliage to brighten our days. Oh, and a million acorns littering our property. We must have the fattest squirrels in the universe. This may explain how, when we first moved in, I mistook a squirrel for a grey fox. Seriously.

Our last sunny day outside we spent cleaning out the garden (except for my sunflowers, which are holding on despite the temperature drop), and mowing the grass. And this led to figuring out what Finn is allergic to: fresh cut grass. The boy who lives for mowing the lawn with daddy, who begs "twactor! twactor! twactor!" all day long is allergic to cut grass. Sigh. Hopefully he'll grow out of it. He mowed the lawn with Steve one last time this past weekend and with full pants and sleeves he managed to not have a reaction. Hopefully he'll grow out of it. On the other hand, he's pretty happy that he can have oat-y cereal again, since I took it all away after his breakout of hives.
Since it's been so yucky, we've been baking up yummy treats. I tried my hand at vegan chocolate cupcakes, and I must say, the results were marvelous. And Finn thought so too. Since they contained no raw eggs I didn't feel quite as bad about letting him lick the batter spoon. O course then he kept bringing the spoon back to get reloaded with ooey, gooey goodness. And i was left with a chocolate covered toddler as well as a trail of batter from the kitchen into the living room.

Later that night while I was making spaetzel for dinner, he turned into a monkey. A cupcake seeking monkey. I never heard the chair being pulled out from the table, or the thud of little feet climbing. Darn kitchenaid mixer is a blessing, but it sure is loud. As I turned it off I heard "Mummy! Cakey!", and sought out the tiny voice. Low and behold:




And Finn was gracious enough to take a break outside to model for me for his 19 month pictures. Unfortunately this was almost a month ago and now I need to concoct something for his 20 month shots.






Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wrong side of the bed.

I don't know what's up with today. Finn and I have been butting heads all day long. He didn't want to eat breakfast. I wanted him to finish his cereal. He wanted to watch shrek 2...again. I begged him to watch Martha Speaks or read some books. I wanted to go to dance class. He wanted to leave the second we got there. This is just not our day I guess. I'm hoping a dinner of grilled cheese sammiches and Nana's tomato soup will patch up our wounds. :crosses fingers:

Yesterday was quite fun for everyone. My friend Liz was in Erie visiting her in-laws, and made the drive down to spend the day with us. Sadly, her in-laws kept her gorgeous daughter Melia with them, so Finn had no buddy to play with (read: to terrorize adults with). She graciously did a little modeling for me since I don't get much practice these days with my trusty camera (other than with Finn and his hammy self). We had a super yummy dinner and played Scrabble until she had to leave (far too soon). Hopefully her next stay with us will be longer :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First day

Deep breath.

Okay, so apparently my stress level from going back to work and the idea of leaving Finn with someone I didn't know made me overlook the most obvious answer to my dilemma. Luckily, my friend Vicki mentioned to me that she'd be willing to help out, and I was reminded that "Oh, yeah, she works at home and is Finn's best bud's mommy. Duh." So Finn went over there today and had a fun-filled day of co-napping, yummy lunch and lots of cars and coloring. I seriously could not thank Vicki enough. Knowing that Finn was with someone I knew and knowing that he wouldn't have a complete meltdown made my day much, much better.

As for my first day, it went very well. Mostly paperwork and the obligatory training video. Some product sampling and register training. I'm so rusty after not working for two years. And my adult conversation skills....damn near nonexistent. Definitely glad that I'll be working just a few shifts a week to start. And bonus, most of the shifts I'm scheduled for so far are after hours stocking/floor setting shifts. So I can abandon the restrictive dress code and be comfy without worrying if I have a tattoo showing.

In weird and possibly creepy news, the lady I had spoken to about babysitting Finn (who got replaced by Vicki) is really, really persistent. She called me, I'm not joking, withing minutes of me leaving work. I had mentioned what time I was working when I spoke to her the previous day. And when I called her last night to say I wouldn't be needing her I mentioned that I might have an idea of what I'd be working after my first day. I ignored the first call. Then she called again a few hours later and I answered. The following transpired:

Me: Hello?
Creepy lady: Hey, is this the lady who talked to me about watching her kid?
Me: Yes it is.
Creepy Lady: Do you need me to watch your kid tomorrow?
Me: Well, no, I don't work tomorrow.
Creepy Lady: Well, when do you need me to babysit?
Me: I told you this job is just a couple days a week until the holidays.
Creepy Lady: Will you need me this week sometime?
Me: No, actually I have my schedule for the next two weeks and all the shifts I'm working are when my husband is home. So he'll watch the baby.
Creepy Lady: Oh. How old's the baby?
Me: He's actually a toddler. He's 19 months.
Creepy Lady: Oh. well, what about next week? Will you need me next week anytime?
Me: No, I just told you, I have my schedule for the next TWO weeks. My husband will be able to take care of him those days.
Creepy lady: Well, then maybe in two weeks you'd need me to work then?
Me: Umm, I have no idea. I don't have a schedule for those weeks then.
Creepy lady: Well, do you know anyone else that needs a babysitter?
Me: No, I think everyone I know has teenagers that take care of themselves.
Creepy lady: Oh, teenagers....Well, you'll call me when you get your schedule, right? Cause I need to work, you know.


Yeah...so needless to say, I will not be calling her. Ever. And I've blocked her number. The fact that she has my address kind of freaks me out (she was going to come by to meet Finn and figure out where we live. Apparently she felt she could easily get lost on the 1.5 mile straight-shot drive to our house).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Doozer,

First off, I love you very much. And that's what is going to make tomorrow all the worse. Secondly, I know you're not going to understand what's going on and it's okay if you're scared and cry. But try to be a good boy and have fun playing. Hopefully you'll be napping most of the time I'm gone and won't have much awake time to worry about where I'm at. Please don't be afraid to tell the babysitter what you want to eat or what you want to play with. I know you have all the words you need to help her out, but just don't be all shy about using them. I hope you have fun and don't cause too much of a scene when I go. I'm going to miss you very, very much, but I'll be home before you know it.

Love, love, love,
Mummy

Friday, September 18, 2009

Daycare woes

It's become apparent that I need to go back to work, at least part-time. Money is so tight around here these days that its making everything stressful. And while the prospect of having adult conversation again, and having time sans toddler parka is appealing, I'm kind of heartbroken as well. I tried finding work nearby that would allow me to work nights (read: after 4) so Finn could just hang out with our neighbors daughter for an hour or so until Steve got home. I know her, trust her and Finn adores her. He'd never have to leave our house, and I know she'd stick to our rules for him. But due to the uptight pricks that own the dive bar down the road, I couldn't get hired there because of my tattoos. A biker bar apparently is no place for tattooed ladies. Go figure. So, I've been looking into retail jobs since it's the only field that's hiring now. This means of course, a schedule that would involve placing Finn in daycare, something I've always appalled. I'm worried that the cost will completely negate whatever menial salary I manage to make, that the caretakers won't follow our rules/beliefs with him, that we won't be able to find one that will agree to use cloth diapers...etc. So stressed out right now. On top of that I've been thinking ahead to our next child and I'm saddened by the idea that I might not be able to take as much time at home with him or her as I have with Finn. I feel like I'd be short-changing them. Like "your brother was awesome enough to stay home with for almost two years, but I can't stay home with you for more than 6 weeks". Plus I know I definitely want to home-school our kids, and I can't even wrap my mind around how that would work with having a job outside of home. I know that's years down the road, and our financial situation will undoubtedly improve before than, but right now it's making me feel pretty stinking awful.

Phew.

Okay, bad stuff aside, I had an interview the other day that went amazingly well. Mostly because it was a group interview, which I've never done before. Can I just say "thank you" to who ever thought of group interviews? Because normally in a normal one-on-one situation I'm all kinds of fidgety and nervous and have no idea what to say (even though I've rehearsed it a million times in my head). But, man, that group interview made me look like a damn rock star. I was the only one that looked even remotely professional, and the only one with any real retail experience. And the only one over age 18. So, hopefully I'm just waiting for the job offer call. This job would be nice, since it starts out just one or two days a week and then will build up as the holidays get closer. It might be an easy fade in situation for Finn and I both. Fingers crossed.


And all job stuff aside, here's a delightful Finn story for the day.

Usually Finn is awake by 7, 7:30 at the latest. And I'm ready for him, because I can hear him scrambling around via our monitor. But I swear someone slipped me a sedative last night (Finn perhaps?), because I never heard him this morning. I know he wasn't awake when Steve got up at 7 because I half woke up then. And Steve says that Dooz was still passed out when he left at 7:30. But at 8:45, I got a little tap on my head and heard a proud little voice saying "Marker! Marker!" I looked at the clock and thought "Wow! Sleeping in is GREAT!". And then, my mind computed what Finn had just said. I jumped out of bed and followed his little march into the guest room. Where he triumphantly showed me his masterpiece of black sharpie. All. Over. Everything. "Marker! Marker! Marker!" he cried happily. He was so proud, and so stinkin' adorable that I couldn't even get mad. He stood by and watched as I erased as much of his artwork as I could with nail polish remover.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Toddlers, kayaks and everything in between

This might be lengthy, so bear with me. Lots of pictures ahead though, so it should be worth it.

Firstly, our party went very very well. Not as many people showed up for the actual picnic as we were expecting, but we had quite a nice turnout anyways. Finn had a blast playing with his friend Ethan's firetruck and with the bucket of ice that was keeping all the soda cold. Apparently ice is a great entertainment to all toddlers, as Ethan got in on the frosty action as well.


We had sooo much food. Actually we just finished up the last of our leftovers two days ago. I even pawned off several containers of goodies to my dance teacher to make a little room in my fridge, and still had enough to feed a small army. Finn as usual was more than ready to dive into stuffing himself silly with baked beans. His most excellent eating habits even convinced his buddy Ethan, who is usually reserved about trying new foods, to gobble up some beans.
I tried to surprise Steve with the fact that our friend Rob's parents, Ken and Kathie, were coming. But as usual, my mom ruined the surprise. But it was fantastic to see them nonetheless. and it saved me postage or a trip to Erie to deliver the photo book I had made of the photos of Ken and Rob's party a few weeks before. and it meant I got to see Kathie's reaction to it (she cried, just like I knew she would). After the "adults" cleared out we "kids" settled in around the bonfire for some s'mores and delicious sangria (courtesy of Kent and the ever adorable Paula). Lots of ranting and raving about music, health care, zombie movies and old friends was had and enjoyed by all. Definitely a spectacular evening.


Finn and I spent Friday morning picking the last of the veggies in our pajamas. Thankfully we're out of viewing from our neighbours. Lots of "pepples" and "to-toes". Finn particularly loves the cherry tomatoes and pops them right in his mouth straight from the vines. And as I discovered, straight from the table edge when you're not looking.


This picture is Steve's doing. I may be able to deal with toddler puke, clean up poopy diapers and even disembowel animals, but I can not, can NOT handle bugs. Steve came rushing into me on Sunday morning screaming "There's a praying mantis on the woodpile! Come see!" (he's very much the little boy when it comes to gross things). After vehemently declining, he opted for taking a picture of it. You know, to forever have something to gross me out with. The fact that the thing is leering into the lens like he's going to chomp off my head is enough to make me puke. :shudder:


Steve, the great white hunter, ventures down into the woods near the Cabins (more on those in a later journal) every chance he gets to scope out our deer population. Hunting season is rapidly approaching here and he's intent on knowing their habits. If you look closely you can see his main foe "the big buck" a.k.a "dinner" grazing right in the middle of the path.



After two failed attempts (one because my oven broke right after the second rise, and another where my dough didn't rise at all), I finally succeeded in making the Swedish cinnamon rolls featured in Eat Well and Prosper, the foodie blog I sometimes contribute to. You know, when I don't have a sick toddler, or a million loads of laundry to catch up on, or a busted stove. Anyways, they are simply amazing. I un-veganed them, so they might be a bit richer and definitely more fattening.

Sunday we went for a family stroll on the Allegheny River trail, the Foxburg to Parker leg of Rails-to-Trails. It's so pretty own there. Steve and I are hoping to go kayaking with our friend Jeb soon. I hope I'm up to it. The guys want to do the Kennerdale to Parker excursion which is, I believe, 25 miles of river fun.














Friday, September 4, 2009

Hives are gone! Yay!
So far we haven't found a food trigger. We're really thinking it was something outside. The only other possible culprits are the cereal (which I still haven't been tempted to give him, despite begging and pleading) and the body wash (now stashed in the hall closet and replaced with non scented stuff). One of those toddler mysteries we'll never have a answer to, I suppose.

This week has a been a veritable beehive of activity for us. we're having a nice little party tomorrow afternoon (to be followed by a bonfire later in the night), and we've been rushing to get everything done. For such a little place, we have an ENORMOUS amount of cleaning and organizing to do. Especially the poor guest room. Since it was the only place safe for the computer to reside it's been overtaken by our notebooks, cd's, photos, and other various junk. Now to find new homes for all this stuff....it's pretty maddening. I'm glad we have people bringing food too. I can't imagine making all the food for this party. I've made an Amish-style coleslaw and a veggie tray so far, and I'll prep the burgers tonight after Finn is asleep. We're so looking forward to seeing everyone though!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh, be-hives

So, on Tuesday night Finn mowed the grass with daddy. We noticed a couple of bumps on him and assume that they're bug bites, since it's been muggy and mosquitoes have been frolicking in our yard lately. Cut to Wednesday night. He has blotchy bumps on his legs and feet. I call Nana to see if he had been in the woods by their house at all over the weekend. This of course sends Nana into a panic, which leads to her calling me back every five minute with a new possible diagnosis from her coworkers. All I wanted to know is if he had contacted any poison ivy. Geesh. So, after eliminating poison ivy (by looking at copious photos online, which lead to a verrrry long bath afterwards. Just looking at those made me itch like crazy), we slathered him in calamine to help de-puff the bumps and tucked him in for the night, planning on calling the doctor in the morning. Thursday morning, he wakes up bump free. Happy as a clam. He goes to dance rehearsal with me and has a blast. After some grocery shopping, we come home and I put him down for a nap. He wakes up an hour later screaming. He's completely inconsolable. And he's got huge clusters of bumps on his thigh and on the tops of his feet. Ugh. So I slather them in calamine (do you have any idea how hard it is to get a toddler to leave calamine alone so it can dry?) and strip his bed, clean the mattress top and remake it with fresh linens. Obviously it must be something in his bed, right? So, he finally calms down, Daddy gets home and we have dinner. Finn's a little cranky and tired, but otherwise fine. We think we have the bump-causing culprit safely under wraps in the hamper. Then just as I'm getting ready to leave for the dance studio, I look at him and he has a huge cluster of grossness on his little tummy. When I get home later he's in bed and has the worst night of sleep he's had in a while. He's so uncomfortable and does not want to be left alone. I end up camping on the floor. This morning he woke me up and we went into snuggle with Daddy in the big bed. We see several spots on his legs. I plan on calling the doctor as soon as they open. Finn and Steve go and play in the living room while I enjoy my bed for a half hour. By the time I go out and join them, his legs are plastered with spots and welts. He looks like a leper. By the time we get to the doctor's office he has them on his little hands and arms, and a couple on his face. Sigh. Poor little man. Apparently he's allergic to something, but I'll be damned if we know what it is. The only new things we've given him are a new brand of cereal (same kind of cereal that he's been eating, just a new brand name), and we switched toddler wash last week. I've cut those out now, and hopefully one of them is the culprit. He's had his first doses of benedryl and some kind of steroid, but his spots actually seem to have gotten worse. We give it til Monday and if there's no improvement he's going to an allergist.
I guess we should be thankful that, besides at bedtime, they don't seem to be bothering him. But man, they sure do look yucky.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ripe

Tomatoes are finally red. Red and tasty. My sweet peppers which I was so excited about, however, are refusing to get ripe. They're rotting on the vine. Ugh. I know I could pick them green and use them, but 1) I really dislike green peppers and 2) I didn't plant such a huge array of crazy colored peppers to eat them unripened. Sigh. Better luck next year I guess.

Some pictures from the farm show. Finn was super in love with the goats. Seeing him with them made me even more determined to get a few next year. But, then I got this months issue of Hobby Farm, with a special section on raising dairy goats. And now....I think we'll be waiting a few years. I know goats (and any kind of livestock), involve lots and lots of care. But I never factored in planning day trips and long weekends away around when the goats dry out for the year, or who in heavens name would come over twice a day and milk them if we weren't home. And then I thought, well, we could raise meat goats. But I think if we raise any four-footed animal for meat we'd look into raising low line Herefords instead of goats. Sigh. Goat dreams on hold for now then.





Saturday, August 15, 2009

Check check

Finn had his 18 month check up today. I hate taking him to the doctor. Especially this doctor. He freaks out within 2 seconds of getting into the exam room. The doctor has zero bedside manner (or manners in general). They give us flack for giving Finn raw milk. We get the evil eye when we mention opting out of the chicken pox vax. Add to that the fact that they ask if I'm his mom at every appointment and when I answer yes, I then get the look that clearly says that they think I'm a horrible parent and/or that I'm an unwed teenage hussy. Grrr.

Aside from that, his physical went very well. He's on track with height and weight (and his head is still ginormous, still over the 90th percentile). And the PA was super impressed with how clearly he speaks. When he wasn't crying he gave everyone "Pows", which is always a hit with the ladies (he taps his little fist against yours and yells "Powwww!").

Later, he and I ventured to the Scottish Festival in Foxburg. What a HUGE disappointment that ended up being. Total lack of actual festivities. Unless you had gobs of cash to throw around at the concessions (which I did not), or your clan was represented there and you actually knew folks there (which I did not) there wasn't much to do except walk around. Which we could have done for free on the Allegheny River trail. I did research my grandma's last name when we came home and found out what clan we belong to, which was interesting, but even if I had know it before going, our clan (MacDuff) was surprisingly not represented there.

Last night we went to the farm show, and it was a much greater success than the Scottish Fest. I have pictures of Finn loving on some goats to post later that are extremely cute. And after seeing the entries in the farm products category, I think next year I'll enter some of my jam. My Triple Berry Chambord could have swept the competition this year. Seriously. Steve and I ogled chickens and goats, while Finn ogled balloons and plotted to get into the cow stalls. Nana and Pap met us there and gave our arms some much needed relief by carrying Finn for awhile. we ran into my cousin Mike and his wife Kelli and their two kiddos. Finn wasn't too interested in socializing though as he was busy stuffing his face with BBQ (that's my boy). On the way home, Finn jabbered about the goats non-stop. I have a feeling Steve is going to cave and we'll have some Boers joining our chickens next year. All in all, a very nice night :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jam session


Relaxing while the crushed plums thaw out so I can make even more jam. I came to the sudden realization today that I have all this jam (and will soon have even more) and I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with it. You know, besides eat jam for every meal, every day, for a year or two. Good grief. The picture above is just part of the strawberry jam I made with my mom last week. 36 of those little jars in the pyramid. Plus a half dozen half -pint jars. Plus 9 other half-pints from my first batch earlier that week. This afternoon Finn assisted in the making of (read: clung to my leg, waving a spoon around) Triple Berry Chambord jam. Our kitchen smells heavenly. I came pretty close to just eating the smashed up berries straight from the pot. Once the plums thaw (which they should be by now) I'll have a batch of Peach Plum jam. Yum yummy. I like that when I use Chambersburg peaches, I can use half of what the recipe calls for because they're the size of my head. And Finn likes it when I use them too, because he gets to eat all the leftovers.
Okay, break time over. Time to jam it up!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dance dance dance

Three years ago (before the whole hubby and baby addition) I was in training to be a dance instructor. Due to the relationship I was in at the time going south (very, very south) I quit very suddenly and always regretted not at least giving my instructor notice of any sort. A few months ago I started going back in to the studio for their weekly social lesson and party, and have been having great time with that. I didn't want to bring up the subject of re-starting my training, because quite frankly, we can not afford it. Luckily two weeks ago my lovely instructor/awesome friend Herb brought up the idea himself. We bartered out some terms (in exchange for lessons I supply him with copious baked goods and help him with landscaping next year) and I began training again this past Wednesday. Finn even came with me and was on fairly good behaviour. Besides picking up with training, we're also working on a quickstep for the fall showcase. Which was an enormously bad choice on my part. I love how it looks and I adore the song we've chosen (Istanbul, Not Constantinople), but man....it's the most difficult dance I've ever taken on. We did a quick run around the floor just to get an idea of how fast we needed to go, and by the end of the song I was panting and racing for a big glass of water. Apparently lifting a 25 pound toddler all day is not sufficient preparation for competition level ballroom dancing. Who knew. But even with getting my ass handed to me, I'm soooo thankful for the chance to get back into what I love to do. I have another session on Tuesday (hopefully sans Finn, so I can get in more than two hours) and I am so looking forward to it.


Finn tidbits:

Yesterday, we went "byes" to do laundry at Nana's. I assist Finn onto the back porch and turn to lock the door. By the time I turn back around to grab his hand to walk him down the steps, he's already toddling down them himself. And he did not fall and scrape his face off. Woah. Then on the car ride there, we drive past a dairy farm and he starts freaking out. I ask him "What's wrong?" He points out the window and yells "Cowwwwws! Cows, mommy! Cows!!" So funny. And when asked what the cows say he replied "MOO!" He never drags out the "oo". It's always an exclamation.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Baking today. More zucchini bread. I'm fairly certain I could bake a loaf for every family in Butler County and still have more zucchini than I could possibly eat in a life time. We absolutely will not need to plant any next year. After this loaf is done I need to come up with something to take with me to the dance tonight to share. I considered a veggie tray, but then realized it would consist of nothing but cucumbers, zucchini and carrots. Steve eats all the cherry tomatoes before I even see them and our bell peppers aren't ripe yet. So I guess I'll be scouring through my cookbooks in search of something uncomplicated but tasty.

Finn has been amazing us all lately. He's been doing this astounding thing called "sleeping through the night", which I've heard about but never experienced before. And he's been going to bed without a fuss again, like he was before he came down with roseola and threw us all into a sleep-deprived loop. It's been heaven to say the least.

And a funny Finn incident that I forgot to post earlier. He and I were at Target a few weeks ago and I was perusing the lingerie department for some new undies. Finn spots the bras and yells at the top of his little lungs "BOOBIES!!!!! BOOBIES!!! MOMMY! BOOBIES! BOOOOO-BEEEEEES!" Just when I think my face can't get any redder, he then makes a near successful attempt at pulling my dress down to grab my boobs. For a boy that likes boobs so much, you'd think he would have nursed longer. Sigh.


Okay, loaf is done. Time to invent something for tonight!


Edit:
I tweaked a recipe for apricot spice bars using fresh Chambersburgh peaches from our local co-op. Oh. My. God. I do NOT want to share them. A second batch is going to have to be made because I'm sure I could wolf down this entire tray right now.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Deery me

So we knew we were having a deer visitor to our garden. Tops of pepper plants nipped off, trampled lettuce and a lovely pile of poo in our backyard. However we assumed it was the doe and fawn that keeps getting sighted across the street. Imagine my shock when I got up at 4 to tend to Finn and, looking out the bathroom window, saw the BIGGEST buck I've ever seen in my life. I whisper shouted a few obscenities, which I swear the stupid thing heard all the way across the lawn, because he turned towards me with this "Oh, are these your peppers? So sorry." look on his face and sauntered off into the woods. I then, stupidly, prodded Steve awake to tell him . He sprang out of bed and proceeded to make every loud noise possible (as he usually does). Thus waking Finn back up. Sigh. Last night though, we got our first night of uninterrupted sleep in quite awhile. I think I'd forgotten what it was like to sleep for a solid 8 hours. Crazy. I'm not going to get my hopes up that we'll have a repeat performance tonight, but you never know. He might surprise us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bits and pieces

So, after 4 months we finally have a computer. And then after a few more weeks of waiting, the cable company actually ran lines in our neck of the woods. Our little town is moving up in the world for sure.

This is our lovely little abode when we first moved in. I assure you it's much prettier and greener these days.

A month or so ago we took Finn to his first post-natal concert (he danced gleefully in my tummy when we saw Jimmy Eat World when I was 5 months preggo). The Boiler Maker Jazz Band is amazing. And they're all very sweet. Especially since they put up with our toddler running amok during the entire set. Finn wasn't content to just shake his booty in one spot. He had to run from one end of the auditorium to the other, showing his moves to the entire crowd. Oy vay.
We've had a few visitors since we moved in. First our friend Liz came with her gorgeous girl Melia. She and I took the kidlings to the Children's Museum for some fun. Below they're playing in a huge bird nest exhibit. Which was adorable until they both started chucking the eggs at other kids.


And then over Memorial Day weekend our friends Jess and Daryl came to stay with the adorable Jonah in tow. Finn didn't quite know what to make of a kid younger than him. First he was wary, then a little jealous and finally settled on quiet plotting. In between though we managed to take a group trip to the zoo. The was that the boys would nap on the way there and be refreshed and bright-eyed for the animals. And of course they did not. Hence we dealt with a bit of crankiness during the trip, but then they passed out simultaneously on the ride home. And really, who could hold a grudge against ones that look so damn cute when they sleep? Having them here was awesome. It's not often we get to hang out with families that have the same parenting views that we do, so it was super refreshing. In a dream world they would live right next door to us.



And then the following weekend Papa Bill (Steve's dad) cam to visit for the day and took us to the zoo. Again. And again there was no napping on the way there. Sigh. But I did manage to get a shot of all three generations together, so I guess it wasn't a horrible trip.



Lastly, Finn with the positively crazy lilies that sprouted along the garage. The don't even look real. And this is the first picture where you can see Finn's teeth. He finally has some. Holy cow! Of course said teeth have lead to a crazy sleep regression (he still has more coming in) and general crankiness on just about every one's part.








Saturday, May 9, 2009

Peppers, at last.

Hooray!!!
The hot peppers were apparently just taking their sweet time sprouting. Now the only thing now growing in our spare bedroom/greenhouse is the mix of sweet peppers. I've given up on them though. I'll just buy the seedlings from the nursery in a few weeks. However, Steve is FINALLY getting to till today. Which means onions will be going in post-haste. We planted a few strawberries by the patio the other day and already they seem bigger. I'll be transplanting the sunflowers soon too. They, along with the overabundance of zucchini, are taking over the table in the bedroom. We've actually started giving away the zucchini seedlings because they are so plentiful and MASSIVE. Apparently they will grow anywhere. Geesh. Steve has a few barrels of topsoil dug for me to make the zucchini hills (far away from the main garden.) So if you plan on visiting this summer, plan on leaving with an armful of squash. Our tomatoes are doing quite well despite being told by numerous people "Uggggh. I never have any luck with tomatoes! Just buy them at the farmer's market." But our 50 roma and 50 big boy plants are doing just fine so far. I can't wait to have a crack at my great-grandma's spaghetti sauce recipe, as well as my mom's tomato soup (which is the most amazing soup in the world. )

Finn has started organizing things, putting stuff back where it came from (except for Steve's cds, which he rips off the shelf with wild abandon and then just plain abandons them for someone else to pick up). The other day he was playing in the spare room while I was transplanting some of the squash into larger pots. I turned my back for a split second and BAM! He had overturned a pot filled with soil. While I scooped the soil back into the container, he grabbed another empty pot and picked little fingerful of soil off the carpet and placed them inside. So helpful. He also helped out Steve with our new fire pit. While Dad was hard at work, digging dirt out of the ground, Finn stood by and fistful by fistful, put the dirt back in the hole. Hahaha. He's too funny.

Oh! And we just found out that our friends Daryl and Jess and their handsome little guy Jonah will be staying with us over Memorial Day weekend. We've never met Jonah and they've never met Finn, so it should be fun. If anyone else on this planet has a dancing baby like Finn, it would be Daryl and Jess. Maybe it'll be a baby dance party. Steve and I have finally tossed aside our dancing differences (he does Lindy and I, gasp, do a "boring" triple-step). After Finn fell alseep, and after the Pens kicked some Washington ass, we threw on some music and faked something halfway between the two styles. I think he might even finally be willing to teach me Lindy. It's only taken three years for him to get over his annoyance with my ballroom training, but he's gotten there. Haha.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Time sure flies.

We've been in our new place for a month now. Finn is growing and learning like crazy. He has 45, that's right, 45 words. We keep a running list on our fridge. My personal favorites are "pickle", "baby" and "belly button". Just now he came in and informed me that he saw a bug. He's such a smart little guy. And he dances. Oh, how he dances. He grooves to any music, even random noises set him off into a fit of bum shaking. This past week we had our friend Liz and her 18 month old daughter Melia visiting us. They had such fun. On Friday we took them to the Children's Museum. And even though they were both beyond tired, they had a blast playing with each other and the other wee ones. Worst point of their visit (and it wasn't terrible) was Melia getting into the bath last night and we discovered a tick stuck to her thigh. It was easily removed, but we definitely need to get our backyard treated now. Finn went for a walk with us a few weeks ago and came back with a tick on his neck, but we assumed that it had come from the deep, dark woods. Not from our sunny, warm, wide open back yard. Yuck.

The garden has yet to get tilled up. We've been waiting,and waiting, and waiting for our landlady's tiller to come back from getting fixed since she had said we could borrow it. She finally called us today and reported that it would be back any day now, though this is what she said two weeks ago. I suppose we shouldn't panic though since our seeds just started sprouting last week. They've moved from our cellar shelves to a nice sunny table in the spar room. All our sprouts are doing nicely except for our peppers. Both our sweet and hot peppers will NOT sprout. Very mysterious. I may give them another try, but we'll most likely end up buying seedlings from a nursery. If anyone has any tips for starting these little buggers from seeds, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Off the grid

Our move to our little country house was successful. And went quicker and smoother than expected. There's still a few boxes of random junk to go though in the basement and I haven't yet set up my sewing studio, but mostly we're settled. Let the guests come!

We've dug up a nice little herb/flower garden so far, with hopes of getting the main garden tilled up in the next week. I have a tray of various herbs started in our hall closet and they've sprouted nicely. I think this set is bound for a nice big terra cotta pot for the porch so it can be brought in for the winter. The basil I have growing supposedly sprouts lovely blue flowers in the winter, so I'd like to see them. The next batch will be bound for the garden along with a darling pot of tiny mums that my mom got me for my birthday.

Oh yeah. I turned 26 on Monday. Goodness. Where did the time go? Mom scooped up Finn for the night so Steve and I could go out to dinner and relax. As much as I love the little man, oh was it ever nice to sleep straight through the night. Funny how last year when Mom and Dad took Finn over my birthday weekend I cried and cried and cried. I sobbed uncontrollably for hours and couldn't even watch him go with them. This year though, we had him in his shoes and coat a good 30 minutes before she pulled up. Of course this could have been in part to me making the crucial mistake of telling him he was going "byes with Nana" early in the afternoon. From then on he marked every 10 minutes by running to the door yelling ad waving "buh-bye! buh-byes! Nana! Buh-byes!". By then time Nana did show up he was fairly perturbed. And he gave her quite a night too I hear. At 3 AM he woke up and just HAD to dance. He saw the radio in the room and woke Nana up insisting "Nana! Dant! Dant! NANA! Dant! DANT!!!" So she had to turn the radio on and he danced and spun himself around for a half hour before finally passing out again. What. A. Nut.

Finn's vocabulary is astounding. We did a tally after Easter dinner and came up with 25 words. At home we added a few more. So he has 30 words. And even more noises. When someone burps he whispers "Buhp!" He'll drag the hand mixer out of the cabinet and sit on the floor whirring it about like he's making a cake going "wwwwwwwrrrrrrrrrrrrr". And then in the next minute the mixer becomes a race car and he's dragging it along the floor going "rrrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmm". At night when he's ready to do his nighttime routine he'll find us and yell "BATH!!!" and run towards the bathroom and wait for us, tapping his little hand impatiently on the tub. He impresses and amazes us every day. Seeing him constantly growing and learning makes me anxious to make another baby. Will our next be so outgoing and adventurous? Or will they be quiet and studious? A mix of the both maybe. Sigh. Our attempts at number two are months away but I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune when I'm puking my guts out every morning and trying to manage a toddler. Haha.

What else...what else.....
Oh! The much coveted retro oven is turning out to be a big pain in the ass. It burns everything to a crisp. Even with reducing the temperature by 75 degrees it burnt my loaves in 10 minutes. Seriously. I made sourdough yesterday and turned the heat down 100 degrees. It still baked the first loaf in 20 minutes (and I had to wrap it in foil after 10 minutes to keep it from over browning on top). The second loaf got over browned on top after 8 minutes (too late for the foil to do much help). I need get a thermometer this week and check what temperature this oven is actually going to. And then call the shop we got it from and get their repair guy out to fix it. Thank god for one year warranties. Luckily my attempts at homemade pasta do not require the aid of an oven and hence turned out beautifully. Yummmm