Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A ramblin' update

I hate that I don't blog anymore :o\ I just never know what to talk about. My life is really quite dull. So I'll just ramble, and call it an update.

The garden and such:

I'm harvesting about two pounds of tomatoes per day now. Black Krim is the best tomato I've ever tasted and the ugliest tomato I've ever seen. I want four or six plants next year.

I made homemade pizza sauce with the first batch of Polish Linguisa romas. Tomorrow I'll can 5 or 6 pints of tomato sauce with some more, and chop up some slicers into salsa, and probably eat another Black Krim with some salt for lunch.

Cukes died while we were gone on vacation. Peppers (sweet bell) are doing so-so, about 5 per week. Beets are my new favorite vegetable and I need to plant tons more next year. We've eaten four or five meals with beets so far, with more coming up. Carrots didn't sprout great, but those that did are up and coming nicely. Beans have yet to flower - I'm growing concerned. There are other things, but those are what I can think of now.

I'm sucked into heirloom gardening now thanks to these Krims and the Linguisas. Guess i better set up some grow lights!

I've been reading a lot lately. I read "Ask Mother Nature", a book that tries to convince it's reader that it's really possible to converse with the spirits of nature within the garden - bugs, soil, plants, etc. Seriously. I'm not a spiritual person though. I won't be sitting down to politely ask the squash bugs to stop eating my pumpkins. I'll just squish 'em, thanks.

"Bad Mother" by Ayelet Waldman - just downright fabulous. I don't actually agree with a darn thing this woman believes (a democratic feminist working mother that despises the pseudo-50's stay at home housewife, attachment parenting type) but her book is nonetheless wonderful. It's written beautifully, it addresses points relevant to any type of mother, and makes you think twice about judging anyone for anything. Most of all, it proves that while we all doubt our convictions at times, while we lack confidence in certain areas of parenting, we are NOT 'Bad Mothers', and there are far more important things in the world than whether we breast or bottle feed, spank our kids, work outside the home, etc. I think every mom oughtta read this book.

"The Memory String", a children's picture book that brought me to tears. I hate that, when you have to finish reading the story aloud but your voice catches in your throat and the words are blurred because of tears. But a really beautiful book. I'm gonna start a memory string now.

I haven't made a darn thing lately. I'm really too busy, and I've just not been in the mood. I did knit a hat for Cora, and a diaper cover, while we were in the car for a total of 40 hours or something, but that's it for knitting. I missed fair since we were in Montana. Ah well, always next year.

I picked up the Martha Steward Book of Crafts at the library today. It makes me want to make things. Or at least think I want to make things, till I realize I lack time, energy, and properly behaved children. Mothers of toddlers are not intended to be artists, unless that art consists of finger paints, glitter and popsicle sticks.

The girls:
Chloe's fabulous. She's such a good kid. I mean, she has her moments, but she can usually be trusted not to create too much trouble. Which is a good thing because she makes up for


Miss Cora will be turning two in just a couple of weeks, and she'll let you know it with her toddler-tantrums, devilish grins, downright refusal to do anything logical or right, and her innate ability to use the word "NO!"

I love my children. I despise this age. I would happily hand off my kids to someone else to raise them from the age of 18 months until four. Any takers? :o)

Not really. There are plenty of fantastic, really, really cute moments that make up for the God-awful moments that make me consider psycho-therapeutic drugs. But would it really hurt her to throw in just a few more of those adorable times, kind of even things out a bit?

I feel like a Bad Mother because when I hear my Darling Daughter waking up in the morning, I don't run to greet her. I cringe, and suck down one last cup of coffee before all hell breaks loose.

It's not really that bad. I swear, it's really not. Just today she was belly laughing like there was no tomorrow at nothing more than my squealing "Boop!" and poking her in the tummy. And she put together a puzzle without any help today, thrilling me and Chloe alike.

And then there's that helpful streak. You know, the one that's responsible for a child suddenly appearing next to me at the kitchen sink, standing on a chair and frantically squealing "Dish-dish? Dish-dish?" The one that splatters water all over the kitchen in the amount of time it takes me to rinse three bowls. Yep, she's so helpful. I'd be lost without her. ;o)


Alright. I'm done ranting and raving about my two year old. She's gorgeous, she's smart, she's silly and girly and obsessed with shoes. Could I really ask for more?

Cute Cora-ism:

We were talking about body parts and I taught her "arm pit". "Pit!" she repeated, pointing to her own. "Pit!" she said again, pointing to mine. Then she was quiet for a moment, lost in deep thought about arm pits, and she said quite certainly, "Pit. Dada. Hair." "Yes, honey, Daddy does have hairy arm pits." :oP~

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things I learned from our road trip

*Provided with enough M&M's, fruit snacks, and Cheetohs, any child can be convinced to sit confined and strapped into a moving vehicle for twelve hours at a time without too much complaint. "Oh, are you getting tired, honey? Here, have more fruit snacks."

*Disposable diapers don't hold up very well during long car trips, resulting in a need to pack three times as many baby outfits as there are days in the trip.

*Even the happiest and most optimistic of campers can turn cranky instantaneously when mosquitoes are involved.

*Montana is not cooler since it's so far north, as I had been expecting. Montana produces 100-degree days just like Colorado does.

*Days are 18 hours long in Montana. The sun is relentless and adamantly refuses to let you sleep in. It rises at 4:30 am and tries to trick you into thinking it's actually morning.

*Setting up a tent in hurricane-force wind is futile. Just give it up.

*There really are decent people in the world still, the kind and generous ones who simply want the best for all humanity. And at least a few of those people can be found in Glasgow, MT, where Noelle and Joel had car trouble and a perfect stranger offered them a place to stay until their vehicle was repaired, and a group of others did all they could to get them on the road again.

*The truck stop in Sinclair, WY is a pretty creepy place at 10:00 at night. Did you know that there is a place called Sinclair, WY, where the Sinclair oil refinery is? I learned that just because they live in a refinery town, people are not necessarily more refined.

*Babies get amazingly stinky when baths are not available for days on end.

*Little girls WILL find dirt, water or mud (or any combination of the three) if they can be found within walking distance.

*The Beartooth Scenic Byway really is one of the prettiest drives I've ever seen.

*Trying to see Yellowstone in one day is horribly difficult. It can be equated with severe teasing. I love it there too much to not stay for a week.

*Eastern Montana is dry, hot, flat, windy and rather unpleasant. Fort Peck Lake is all of that, except that there's water. I have no desire to go back.

*If my husband really wants to, he can sit behind the wheel of a mini-van for seventeen hours without so much as a teeny complaint. He's amazing.

*Built-in DVD players have their place. Chloe rarely spoke the entire time we were in the car thanks to the constantly-playing videos.

*My husband is not afraid to camp in grizzly bear country, but he will NOT chase a skunk out of the garbage.

*The speed limit in Montana is 70 mph on pretty much every highway. This includes the Beartooth, with it's steep climbs and twists and turns. The speed limit sign says 70 mph. We were discussing how crazy that was when we saw the next sign: "White roadside markers (in the shape of a cross) represent fatalities."

*We killed 5 birds, one rabbit, one pika and one snake on our trip. Birds in Montana fly slowly (or they are suicidal.) Andrew even had to dig one bird out of the radiator with pliers.

*Road trips are good. :o) Pictures are posted on my Facebook with more trip details for those interested!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Off we go...

The bags are packed. The van is sparkling clean and ready to be packed up. Food is in plastic tubs and coloring books are stashed behind the driver's seat. We're just about ready to head out. :o)

We leave early tomorrow morning for our camping excursion culminating in Fort Peck, Montana. We'll drive to the entrance of Grand Teton National Park tomorrow and camp overnight. Thursday will be spent driving through Yellowstone and up over the Beartooth Scenic Byway. We'll find a place to camp up there somewhere. Friday we'll head up to Fort Peck lake for some relaxing, some fishing, and lots of visiting with our newly-Canadian sister. On our way back we're going to high-tail it straight south through Wyoming and back into Colorado, taking only two days instead of three, and hopefully arriving with enough time to unpack before my husband has to get in bed and head back to work after his 13 days of vacation.

I'll be sure to post lots of pictures when we return. :o)

Friday, July 10, 2009

It doesn't take much.

We went to Target for a few things today. While we were there, walking through the shoe section, Chloe asked, "Mom? Do you think maybe we could get one of those silky nightgowns? I don't have a nightgown, and those silky ones look really lovely." I thought about it for a bit. I could tell she really wanted one, and she was right - she doesn't have a real nightgown, just jammies. So she picked out a silky nightgown, white with bright red cherries all over it. She insisted on carrying it through the store, it couldn't just go into the basket with the other things.

When it was time for bed tonight, she put it on, and suddenly she was a new little girl. She didn't just walk - she floated. She didn't just go around picking up toys, she pranced and traipsed and fluttered. She looked at me with an enormous grin, clasped her hands and pressed them against her cheek, and sighed. "Oh Mom! I feel like a real princess! Don't I look like a princess?" as she spun around.

And she did. :o)

I love how it just doesn't take much to make a little girl really, truly happy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Camping, camping, camping

We're really on the go this summer... at least, it feels like it!

We had a lovely Fourth of July camping near Ouray, CO in the San Juan mountains. Pictures are on my Facebook (I'm too lazy to upload them here too right now, and most of you are on my Facebook anyway.) We took some friends along, with their two boys ages 10 and 6, and they played really well with our girls. The fireworks in Ouray were beautiful, especially with lightening illuminating the sky behind the mountains and thunder rumbling along with the firework booms. It didn't rain much until we were packing up - all of our gear got soaked and that created extra work when we got home, drying everything out. But it was so worth it. It was beautiful. I'd love to do the same thing next year and take along more friends!


We've got the Montana trip all planned out. We'll be stopping to camp right outside Grand Teton National Park, then driving through Yellowstone and over the Beartooth Scenic Byway, stopping again in Red Lodge, MT for a night. After that we'll head to Fort Peck, MT for three days with my beloved sister-in-law and her new hubby. The way back we're just heading straight down and home, a two day trip instead of three. It's gonna be a busy week, but tons of fun.

So I'm sitting here vegging out and trying to get sleepy enough to head to bed, and reading about bears. You know, since we're gonna be camping in bear country, I thought I should be prepared. Black bears don't scare me so much, but grizzlies do, and there are plenty of them in the areas we're camping. I'm doing a splendid job of scaring myself silly. We're not camping in campgrounds, just somewhere along the road in National Forests. We'll be on our own. Isn't that kinda creepy? Of course, my husband has a gun and knows how to use it. And I might invest in some bear spray. And I might stay up all night listening to every noise outside and wondering what it is, likely waking my husband half a million times to make him peek outside the tent and tell me it's the wind. :o)

I should probably stop reading about bears. Afterall, I'm more likely to die of a fatal car crash or be murdered or something. Right? Yeah... remind me of that when it's dark and we're alone in a tent in the woods in bear country. ;o)