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


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'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.