Wednesday, April 27, 2011

splish splash

Day Four: April 21, 2011

All morning Zeke was asking to go outside. Like, over and over and overand
overandover…I managed to talk him into helping me with the dishes first, though, which mostly involved him thrashing around with a wooden spoon as well as filling cups with water and dumping them back out again.

Sometimes into the sink, sometimes not.

We did eventually go outside; I’m a little embarrassed to admit being just plain too tired to go out when he first asked, but I defend myself by saying But he hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet! And I’m PREGNANT!

We hauled the boxwood branches from the other days’ pruning adventure to the brush pile, then went up to get Wednesday’s mail and Thursday’s New York Times. By this point it was after eleven, so we came in for a snack and Zeke subsequently went down for a nap, during which time I took the most glorious shower on the face of the planet.

After waking up it was off to Barbara’s for playgroup! Now, this was especially exciting because we NEVER get to do it; most of the other families feature stay-at-home moms, so they do playgroup during the day. Obviously, I do not stay home full-time, so we usually can’t come, but every once in awhile the stars align and it coincides with a day off. Thursday was one of those days.

There weren’t very many people there: just four moms with their kids plus a few other youngsters who had spent the night at Barbara’s on Wednesday. Barbara and Rebecca hid about 200 eggs in the woods behind the house and, after some brief instructions, they turned the kids loose to find them.

Zeke did not understand this game at all. He was much more interested in the branches, leaves, and rocks than in the eggs, until Sam’s daughter Chloe handed him an egg with jellybeans in it. After that, he still didn’t really understand the concept of looking for eggs, but he was smart enough to keep the candy from eggs the other kids gave him.

That’s my boy.

Barbara has a great backyard with lots of cool stuff: slides, a huge sandbox, a zipline, a trampoline, and a few other things. Zeke was too small to deal with most of them by himself, but he dug the sandbox (groan).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

get it done

Day Two: April 20, 2011

Wednesday was way different, because we spent almost no time at home (and I also took no pictures whatsoever).

I had a dentist appointment in the morning, so after taking care of basic chore-like things we went over to Miss Robin’s house (Zeke’s daycare) so she could keep him while I got my teeth cleaned and ran a few errands around town.  I told her about Screen-Free Week and she said not to worry, that they’d be going on a hike that day, anyway.

Translation: walking on the Meadowbranch neighborhood trail.  Apparently there were some exhibits there from Shenandoah, including a taxidermied beaver.  Who knew?

Is it weird that I don’t get nervous about going to the dentist?  Like, at all?  Some people seriously freak out, and most people are at least a little bit apprehensive, but the smells/sounds/instruments have absolutely no impact on my psyche whatsoever.  This is not to say that I love the experience (scraping metal against the backs of my teeth = no fun), but it really isn’t a big deal at all.

Of course, I’ve also never ever had a cavity, thus no drilling or novocaine.  This probably helps.

Anyway, after the whole dentist thing there were a couple more things to do, then back to pick up Zeke and go over to my in-laws’.  Grandma kept Zeke while I got my hair cut, and I don’t think there was any lack of things to do.  He visited with his daddy, Pappy, and Uncle Sam in the shop, then played in the backyard with Grandma and Uncle Patrick.  When I got back, they were setting up Patrick’s new basketball hoop and Adam was holding Zeke over his head so he could dunk the ball.  Wish I had a picture of that one.

Then, finally home for bratwurst with red peppers and onions for dinner; I also stovetop-grilled some pumpernickel and topped it with chopped tomatoes (from Linda’s Mercantile), basil, and garlic.  There’s something about fresh tomatoes that just makes me happy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

pruning (or, why i don't like boxwoods)

Day Two: April 19, 2011

Tuesday was a little harder, mostly due to the weather.  It was threatening rain all morning and poured for real during part of the afternoon; this is the part when the TV starts to look really tempting.

But I resisted, and I’m so glad! **polishes halo**

There was a lot of coloring, reading, and singing again, of course, and it had cleared up enough to go back outside when Mom came over around 6.  And it’s a good thing, too, because apparently we’ve produced a child who does not want to come inside.  Ever.

Mom decided this was the time to trim the boxwoods which were literally eating our porch.  She was being very deliberate, using hand clippers and taking off small pieces at a time in an attempt to create a decent shape (according to Adam, the shrub in question looks like, and I quote, “three-quarters of a butt”…sheesh).  Once she’d been going for awhile I started to realize how much larger the porch is than I thought; there’s almost enough room for a rocking chair.  Almost.

When Adam got home he jumped in to help with the pruning, and they eventually got to a point where the branches were too thick for the clippers.

At which point Adam said, “I have something for this!” and brought out the chainsaw.  This is one of the benefits hazards benefits of being married to a man who deals in outdoor power equipment for a living.  The boxwood now looks like this:

But I also no longer feel like my shrubberies are going to eat me when I’m standing at the front door, so I guess it all evens out in the end.

Dad came over with Chinese food for all of us, so Adam went to sleep a happy man.  The End.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

a very good place to start

Let's start at the very beginning...

Day One: April 18, 2011

So it was a good thing I made an email exception to Screen-Free Week, because on the very first day…….

I won this awesome ring sling from Mahreen at Veni Vidi Blogi!

It’s called Inara’s Rainbow (named after her adorable daughter) and is actually part of a wrap sent to her by Giselle at Granola Babies. Mahreen sent half of it to Jan at Sleeping Baby Productions and had a sling made, then gave it away via the 5-day-long Do Something Good Challenge.

And yours truly won it.


More than that, though, Mahreen got me to look at old, ‘useless’ stuff in a new way. It started as a chance to win something beautiful, useful, and one-of-a-kind, and it ended with using brand-new eyes to look at everything in my house as an opportunity rather than hopeless clutter. Though I do still have plenty of hopeless clutter. I’m working on that.


Day One of Screen-Free Week was a fabulous success, and not only because of Inara’s Rainbow. There was, of course, a lot of dish-washing, laundry, and the usual chore-type things, but I actually got to witness Zeke play. For hours. I don’t get to see this during the day most of the time, and it was so very gratifying to watch. I made a kid who loves to do stuff! How cool.

But I couldn’t help thinking, this child is literally learning every second of every day. I can’t believe I’d sometimes rather let him sit in front of the TV because I just don’t want to be bothered. My priorities suck.

Except they don’t suck: at least, not this week. We colored, we read books (including The Giant Nursery Book of Things That Go, which has about onehundredgazillion pages, and we read the whole thing), and we spent hours outside.

It turns out Zeke really likes hoses, watering cans, potted plants, and tilled dirt. He’s such a boy.

And I can finally see some flowers starting to open up in the apple orchard across the front yard (no pictures yet, thank you dead battery). Apple Blossom is SO SOON, and the place will be bursting with pink and white by then. It’ll be awesome.

Dinner was chicken on the grill with green beans and quinoa (my current favorite grain, mostly because I’m impatient and it only takes like 15 minutes to cook). After bath and bedtime, Adam came into the living room and turned on Top Gear, so I had to scram to the spare bedroom for an end-of-the-day email check and to read the New York Times. Print edition, people, print.

Also, see You Capture at I Should Be Folding Laundry for a looooooong list of blogs with beautiful spring photos. Mkay? Mkay.

It was a very good place to start.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Though it's technically been spring for weeks now, it's only just starting to be consistently spring-y. Last weekend was Daniel and Sam's wedding shower, and that was when I started to feel spring-y, myself. Friends came from far away, family gathered, and all was well.

Screen-Free Week starts tonight at midnight, and every time I tell someone about Zeke and I not watching TV or using the computer (except for what's absolutely necessary for work and communication), they give me an oh-you-poor-thing look and say, how will you ever make it through your entire spring break without tv? Won't you be bored out of your mind?

Um, no.

There are SO MANY things to do around here: so many stories to read, songs to sing, papers to color, plants to put out, boxes to organize. And it's Holy Week, so that means physical and spiritual preparations for Easter. I think we'll manage.

Jesus, Messiah
Name above all Names
Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel
A Rescue for sinners
A Ransom from heaven
Jesus, Messiah
Lord of all...

-Chris Tomlin

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the $300 Store table...

It started out like this, given to me by the nice Costco people to hold my fruit, cheese, and green beans:

Add a little bulletin board paper, glue, masking tape, and leftover die-cut letters and...


Lots of creative paper folding and fastening turned it into a neat little desk for Zeke's 21-month-old self. Not that I expect it to last longer than 2 minutes in its blemish-free state, but DARN IT it's cute right now!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sling giveaway! But wait...there's more!

I'll be posting a new series of photos and lots of info about the last couple of months this weekend, as soon as the (long-awaited) LAST case study for my LAST certification class is over and done. Which means I won't have to take another class until about 2017...huzzah!

Anyway, in the interim I'm entering a very cool giveaway/altruism thing at the suggestion/urging/strong recommendation of Mahreen at Veni, Vidi, Blogi.

The prize = this bee-yoo-tiful sling:

Photo Credit: Veni Vidi Blogi

The methods = many and varied, but the coolest one involves repurposing old stuff into new stuff (or, at least, useful stuff). I'm still working on a strategy for that part, but I'll get cracking tomorrow morning before school, because it has to be completed and documented by Friday at midnight. Yipe!

And here we go...
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