Five Course Dinner

Little F’s dinner was served sporadically tonight.  Or as I like to think of it, in courses.  First came the soup course, or in this case the cereal course: a snack pack of organic Golden Graham knock-offs served in the car on the way home from daycare.  Next came chips and salsa as the appetizer, which he munched while dinner was cooking.  (“It’s ‘picy!  I love it!”)  The third course was the fruit (not-quite-salad), of course.  Little F ate a couple of slices of grapefruit and then two little locally grown yellow plums.  (“I want that,” he said pointing at the plums.)  After the fruit came the main course: pasta with homemade pesto mixed with a little Alfredo sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese to temper it for a toddler’s taste buds.  (“Yummy pasta!”)  Finally, for dessert he had onions.  Little F picked out all of the onions from my wilted beet greens and ate them off my plate.  With my fork.  (“I want tomatoes.”  “Those are onions, not tomatoes.” “I want onions.  Onions are good.”)  Who doesn’t appreciate a five course meal on a Thursday night?

Happy Solstice!

It’s summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  Of course as the sun is setting the clouds are moving in here, which sort of minimizes the effect.  Still, there’s no denying the calendar.

The only people I know who really acknowledge the solstices or the equinoxes are Alaskans and Pagans.

Regardless of which camp you fall under, I hope you’re enjoying the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere.  Happy summer!

What Does This Say About Me?

My recent Google search history includes, but is not limited to, searches for the following:

Diva Cup– I’ve been interested in getting one of these since I got my first post-partum period. I’m still interested but haven’t bought one.  I never remember that I want one until it’s too late for the month.  Then I forget about it as soon as my period’s gone, until the next month.
Cole Slaw– I bought a cabbage at the Farmer’s Market last week and still haven’t done anything with it. But I’m really not a fan of cole slaw so I’m not sure why I was searching for recipes for it.  I’m sure there are other things I’d rather do with a cabbage, I just don’t know what they are yet.  Google to the rescue!
Chocolate Sable cookies, Miette– I got a little package of these cookies in exchange for checking in on my BFF’s cats while she and her husband were out-of-town.  I would do just about anything to get some more of those cookies.  They.were.so.freakin’.awesome!
Bloated, gassy, sensitive to smells– Not just signs of being pregnant, can be signs of PMS too! (See Diva Cup search above)
Exposed to chickenpox, how long for symptoms– Ten days for the worst of the spots to appear, give or take.  We were all at a birthday party earlier this month with a little boy who was contagious.  So far, so good, knock on wood.  I think we’re in the clear.
Chickenpox symptoms– cough, slight fever then the tell-tale spots
Ghost Riders in the Sky lyrics–  I was trying to entertain Little F.  He’s still young enough to enjoy my singing.  And my dad used to sing this song to me when I was little; at least the “yippie-ai-a/ yippie-ai-oh” lines.  Google would have come in handy for him back then.
Big Rock Candy Mountain lyrics– Same as above
Rye Whiskey lyrics– Same as above except I used to sing this song when I was little.  The “kidnappers” sang it to the little girl, Savannah, in the movie Savannah Smiles.  Sigh.  I used to loove that movie.
Positive strep throat no symptoms– Fun medical facts with Google!  You can be a carrier of strep and test positive for the disease but never show any symptoms! 
Yeast infection toddler– I don’t suggest doing a Google image search of this.  Trust me.
Cloth diaper, yeast infection–  I still haven’t figured this one out.  Not that there weren’t sites devoted to the topic, I just haven’t figure out how to get rid of the yeast in the cloth diapers.
Brown roof and gutters, what paint color– Any color you want as long as your husband likes it too.
Bumblebee eating deck– Not a bumblebee, carpenter bees! They are capable of destroying your house!  They will chew perfectly round holes in any untreated wood!  You must get rid of them before your house collapses on itself!  Act now, it can’t wait!  (Hysteria mine)

What does this say about me?  I’m a PMS-y, hypochondriac, whose house is falling apart, and likes to sing old cowboy songs?  Sounds about right.

It’s Called Gratitude

In honor of Father’s Day, let me just say that this week I’m grateful for my dad.

Here are some fun facts and memories about him related to parenthood:

He has had a hand in raising five children, none of us related to him biologically.

He used to pick me up from pre-school every afternoon and take me to the Creek Store, which was a little convenience store which was located next to a creek on our way home.  Yes, I was quite creative back then; I’ve been blessed with my quick wit from an early age.  I was allowed to get one item from the store each day.  Each day!  I learned I hated Butterfingers and Cracker Jacks thanks to those stops.

I’ve been the only kid that he’s seen grow from an infant to an adult.

I don’t remember a dance recital, softball game, piano recital, or a band concert I was a part of that he didn’t attend.  And there were a lot of them, let me tell you…  I had a very structured childhood. (Can you say Tiger Mom?)

The first newborn he cared for was Little F.

I have been very lucky to have had him as my father for the past thirty-six years.  Here’s hoping for thirty-six more.

 

 

Still Life With Boy

Today Big E, Little F, and I went shopping.  We had some gift cards to the Plaza which had been sitting unused for so long we were losing $2.50 a month on our balance due to service charges.  We decided to go shopping to see if we could spend the balance down so we would quit paying some company to keep our money.

We blew most of our balance at Sur la Table but then went to Barnes and Noble to spend the rest of it.  We were wandering through the children’s books when Little F pointed to a book and said, “My dad, my hero!”  Big E and I looked around and saw a book on the display shelf that was titled, My Dad, My Hero.  We decided they must have read it in his daycare class this month for Father’s Day.  It was still kind of surprising that he recognized it and called it by its name.  Little F brought it over to us and Big E flipped through the pages with him.  In his own little way of storytelling, Little F told us what was happening on some of the pages.  Definitely not all of them, but more than we would have expected.  “How many times do you think they read this book to him?” I asked Big E.  “How many times did we read Little Blue Truck to him before he was reading along with us, four? Five?” he replied.

I learned to read when I was two, closer to three, but still in my second year.  I wish my mom were still around so I could ask her about this.  If Little F turns out to be anything like me when I was little… look out, world.  We’re in for a wild ride.

PS:  Little F and I started out our day by going to the farmer’s market.  I bought a lot of fresh fruit including some cherries.  We bought a cherry pitter at Sur la Table and pitted some cherries for Little F.  He held his little bowl of cherries and said, “Cherries.  I love them.”  Little F.  I love him.

Camping with Little F

As I mentioned earlier, we took Little F on his first camping trip this past weekend.  He had a great time and we’re already planning our next trip.

We decided to go to Perry Lake, which is a little less than ninety minutes away from our house.  Big E took that Friday off work so he could get the gear organized and the car packed; we were able to leave pretty much as soon as I got home from work that afternoon!

On our way we stopped in Lawrence and had dinner (and a couple of beers) at Free State Brewery.  I went to college in Lawrence and I don’t remember Free State being as family friendly as it was that night.  Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t there for the 6pm dinner rush in college.

Waiting for dinner at Free State Brewery

 

After dinner we drove out to Perry Lake.  We stayed at an Army Corps site instead of at the State Park.  It was less crowded at this rec area and the sites were shadier than what was available at the State Park.  After doing a drive-through we actually ended up camping in the RV campground instead of the tent only campground.  And yes, we were camping in a tent.

Our decision was based on the following: The tent campsites were all located near the lake.  As in you could zip open your tent and roll into the lake if you so desired.  I had no such desire for Little F to be that close to the water.  Especially at night.  *shudder*  Also, the tent sites had little in the way of trees to provide any sort of shade.  It was supposed to get into the low 90’s so we definitely needed shade.

We got the car unpacked, the tent set up, the fire started.  And Little F was too excited to sleep.  Mom, on the other hand, was tired from a full week of work, having a beer with dinner, and being on Little F duty.  I was sound asleep in the tent long before he was.

The next morning we woke with the sun, as you tend to do when you’re camping, so we ate breakfast, played around, and did some exploring.

My favorite picture from the weekend: Big E and Little F

 

Dumping sand on his tractor

It’s the little things in life…

 

Later that afternoon Little F and I went down to the lake and Big E and Lucy went fishing.  Neither Little F nor Lucy were too sure about the big body of water and neither wanted to get in right away.  So Little F and I played in the sand small rocks at the water’s edge and I waded around the shallow part of the lake until I was able to talk him into going into the water.  If I carried him out he was happy to splash around and kick his feet.  When I dipped him and bounced him up and down he was very excited.  When I did our “1-2-3 Toss” routine and pretended to throw him into the water he was ecstatic.  We played until his teeth started chattering and then went back to the tent to dry off and warm up.

 

The second night we were there Little F went to sleep at his regular bedtime and Big E and I were able to hang out together by the fire.  LucyDog was very relaxed and chill.  She actually laid down at our feet, something she never does when we have a fire in the fire ring at our house.  This was only the second time she’d been camping and I have to say she did a very good job.

We’re so excited this trip was a success.  Camping and being outside is very important to both Big E and myself.  I hope that we can introduce Little E to the outdoors in a positive way and give him a love for being out in nature too.  I know some people would argue that car camping isn’t really being out in nature, and I agree to a certain extent.  But with a little one and very few, if any, places to really get into the back country in this part of the world, we’ll take what we can get.  And we’ll keep planning the next trip.

Helping me pack up on our last day. It was Lilla the Gorilla’s first camping trip too.

Road Rage

Ugh.  Every street that I drive from work to daycare was under construction today.  Major highways down to one lane, major surface streets closed all together, side streets detoured, a traffic accident at a major intersection.  By the time I got to Little F’s daycare center I was frazzled.

All of that melted away when I walked up the stairs to the door and saw a little boy, around 4 or 5 years old, running around wearing a pair of glasses with the fake nose and eyebrows attached to it, holding a paper cone filled with flowers.  Little kids have an awesome way of bringing you back to what really matters.

(They also have an awesome way of raising your blood pressure to explosive levels and driving you cray-cray, but I wanted to end this post on a positive note.  Oops.  I almost made it.)