Sunday, January 31, 2010

He's My #1

My husband and I are quickly approaching seven years of marriage. Seven long, hard, wonderful, rewarding years.

It's funny how years and children change a marriage. Gone are the days when I was upset about shoes being left in the middle of the floor. Now I expect them to be there and laugh when I move them because I know Mathew will spend days looking for his missing shoes.

I recently came across a journal Mathew kept for me while he was studying abroad in Ireland. It makes me smile to read what he had written and amazes me that we had such deep feelings for one another after only a few short months. I still love him as much as I did when he wrote me those love letters, but the difference is that now I say "I love you too" by leaving him a clean shirt in the laundry room.

I am a very lucky girl.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


It dawned on me recently that I have a hard time making and keeping friends. I think quite a bit of it stems from changing schools so often as a child. I attended four different elementary schools, a public junior high school and then attended a private school. All in the same city! I've always had many surface level friends, but never that best girlfriend. Or I'll be close to a person for awhile and then something happens and we lose touch. I suppose that's part of life, but I find myself wondering if it's just me.

Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with many people from my past and to stay in touch friends I've made since becoming a mom. It's nice, but it's so easy to just read status updates and make comments instead of actually having a conversation with one of them. I miss having real conversations and need to put myself out there more and make a better effort getting together. I'm working on it.

Kids add another challenge to making friends. First, you have to find a mom who shares your interests and parenting philosophies, then you have to set up a playdate and finally you have to hope that the kids don't try to kill each other. Or that if they do, the other mama understands that two strong willed two year old boys are a dangerous combination and that trouble will ensue in spite of the best intentions. I know several great moms and hope that better weather and no longer having a newborn will allow me the ability to connect with them more.

I had a more eloquent post in my head, but my thoughts are a bit jumbled and this is how they came out. And the picture? My adorable Finn at six months. It's completely unrelated to anything, but I haven't posted a picture for a long time so I thought I'd include one of my favorites. I plan to take pictures of Oren soon in those same pajamas. I am certain he will be equally as adorable.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Hermits Leave Home

It felt like summer here today so the kids and I decided to finally leave the house. It takes forever to get three kids ready to go. There's always one who refuses to put all of his/her clothes on and I have to be sure to pack an extra pair of pants for Finn, snacks, water, a diaper, wipes and my baby carrier. Then I have to make sure that I remember to grab my keys, my wallet, put shoes on instead of slippers and put all of the animals where they belong. Today we were ready in 45 minutes and no one was crying by the time we got to the garage. Not bad.

We got to our destination, I unloaded the stroller, paid the meter, unbuckled all three kids, coaxed Finn into the stroller, bribed Maeve to stay by the stroller and put Oren in the mei tai. We took the elevator up to the third floor and noticed that the fire alarm was going off. Yes, the fire alarm. We took about three steps and a very nice man approached us and said we shouldn't go any farther because there was smoke and he thought it smelled like an electrical fire. He was kind enough to carry the stroller down three flights of steps.

So after an hour and a half of prep time, we spent about two seconds at our destination.

It actually wasn't a huge deal because the weather was so fantastic that we walked a block to the library and the kids did some puzzles and spent a very long time in the bathroom playing with the foam soap, automatic faucet and hand dryer. We picked up ice cream on the way home and all-in-all it was a successful outing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

You Can't Teach an Old House New Tricks

My house that was built in 1854 has an attitude problem.

It started with the toilet on the main, and only, floor at the time. We had numerous people put a snake down the toilet, but had to eventually replace the sewer line. You would think that with a fancy new sewer line the toilet would always flush. It doesn't.

Two years ago we added a two story addition. We have two bathrooms upstairs. One is mine and one belongs to the kids. If you know Mathew, you understand why we don't share a bathroom. I have broken my toilet not once, but twice. The first time an actual chunk of ceramic broke off of the base. The second time it just started running and my fix-it guys couldn't fix it so we bought a new toilet.

Tonight we got hit twice by our grumpy old house.

The toilet on the main floor doesn't flush because part of the handle inside the tank corroded and can no longer hold the chain. In any other house this would not be a big deal because there would be two other toilets available. My house decided to take it one step further and stake claim to the one and only toilet that had given us the least amount of problems. The one in the kids' bathroom. Finn flushed the toilet and water came out of the bowl and onto the bathroom floor. Again, in most houses this would not be a huge deal. You'd mop the water, plunge the toilet and be able to sit down with a magazine in less than an hour.

But not at my house.

Mathew had to shut off the water to the toilet because it wouldn't stop pouring out of the bowl. He mopped up the water with all of the clean just-put-in-the-bathroom towels and then went downstairs. That's when he saw the water dripping from the ceiling. Isn't that lovely? Possibly new pipes AND drywall.

If you happen to drive past my house and see yellow snow, you'll know that the house has won.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tasty Rabbits

I want to clarify the bit I wrote about raising meat rabbits. No, we will not eat Rainbow or Heart. Nor will we breed them. They are our pets and live inside. 

The rabbits we will use for meat will just be another source of food. I will take care of them so that they can take care of my family. In a perfect world, we would be able to raise chickens, but we can't. Actually, in a perfect world I'd live on 10 acres, have lots of fruit trees, chickens, ducks, an enormous garden, rabbits and two dogs. Alas...

Anyway, rabbit meat, for those who aren't completely disgusted by the idea, is supposed to be very lean and delicious.  I also find it interesting that just one female and one male rabbit can supply enough meat to feed a family of four twice a week. 

Mathew called from work yesterday and asked whether Maeve wanted a white rabbit or a black rabbit. Excuse me? He came home with a white rabbit. Butterfly, as it's now called, wasn't part of the plan so I have to decide what we're going to do with it. It looks like a Californian/Hotot cross, which could be a good thing. I'm still planning to get one more rabbit at the end of the month so this ought to get interesting. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One of Life's Great Questions

I recently noticed that our dishwasher has a delay button. Why? I can delay my dishwasher by two, four or six hours. Six hours. I have no idea why I'd go through the trouble of loading all of the dishes only to have them clean six hours later. In six hours I have two more loads of dishes ready to be washed. 

I do see the point of delaying the wash for those who might be bothered by the noise of the dishwasher or for those who are worried about the added energy costs of running the dishwasher during the hottest part of the day. I, however, have an incredibly noisy household and while I am most definitely environmentally conscientious, I am also very aware of the fact that my four month old loves to slobber on spoons and then drop them on the floor.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Garden Plans

I am starting to think about the garden this year. Here's what I'm going to plant so far:

-Tomatoes. We'll expand the bed this year and plant double what we did last year. This means 30 plants. We love tomatoes and have already gone through everything we processed from last summer.
-Peas. The kids eat them right from the vine. We need to get fences up for them this year so they'll grow better.
-Carrots. We love carrots and I'd like to plant double what we did last year.
-Lettuce. Again, I'd like to double what we did last year. Fresh lettuce is wonderful and we ate it with every meal. The rabbits can eat whatever we don't.
-Squash. I love squash and add it to just about everything. We planted winter squash last year and it tastes like a cross between pumpkin and butternut. Yum.

Those are our staples. I would also like to plant strawberries and maybe onions. We tried potatoes last year and they were good, but took up too much space so I don't want to plant them again. I'd like to plant a couple more new things, but am not sure what to plant. Beans? Maybe try kale again? Suggestions?

Also, unrelated to the garden, but related to food....rabbits. I am considering breeding them for meat. Yes, I said it. Meat. If we're going to do this, I have the perfect spot in mind for hutches, but we'll have to built the hutches. We have two female rabbits that could potentially be used for breeding, but I still need to find a good male. A California or New Zealand. We can't have ducks or chickens so we're limited with what we can raise for food. I'd like to have a meat source here so rabbits seem like a good fit. I'd also like another indoor rabbit, but it's purpose would be to make me happy and not fill my belly. I want a Flemish giant and might even be able to get one this month. We'll see.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blog Changes

I'm tired of the same layout. Sorry to keep changing things. I should find something somewhat pleasing sometime soon.

New Year, New Goals

Here are my goals for 2010.

1. Can. I want to can stuff, but have been terrified of botulism. I need to get over it. Mathew canned salsa last summer and we are still enjoying it.

2. Lose 30 lbs. When spring hits, I will have no trouble. Until then, I've been exercising more and would like to continue to do so as time allows.

3. Plan daily learning activities for the kiddos. I am great at flying by the seat of my pants, but it would be easier if I was just a bit more prepared.

4. Plant fruit trees. Or replant. The dog ate my two apple trees and the cherry tree died. Bah.

5. Clear out more garden space.

6. Put more money in savings.

7. Expand the pantry and stock up on more bulk supplies.

That's it! Easy enough, right?


Things are changing like crazy in this household.

First, Maeve moved to her own bed in her own room. That has resulted in a self induced later bedtime since Maeve follows me downstairs after Finn has been tucked in for the night. She and I watch the Iron Chef together or some other cooking show. I try to bore her to sleep and she eventually goes upstairs to her room.

Finn has potty trained! I have been trying to get him to pee on the toilet for five years now and he finally decided he was ready. It happened in a snap and all I had to do was explain to him that he needed to pee more than once on the toilet. He is very proud of himself and was so disappointed last night when he woke up and had peed. Thankfully, I still have him wear a diaper overnight.

Mr. Oren is eating everything. His hands, my fingers, his blanket. No, we haven't started solids. If he's interested and watching us eat, I'll have him try something like squash around six months. I might just have him wait until summer when he can eat things right from our garden. When Oren is upset he says "ahma" to get my attention. Maybe he'll be an early talker like his sister (who said Target when she was eight months old, I'm not kidding).

Another big change is the lovely new fridge sitting my kitchen. I didn't get the bottom mount freezer like I had wanted, but the fridge looks like it will be easy to clean (ha! who am I kidding) and the door stores a great number of condiments and milk jugs. The refrigerator also matches my dishwasher, microwave and mixer. Not like it matters, but it does look nice. As an aside, I kind of wish I would have gotten my mixer in pistachio. Although, I always lust after brightly colored things and end up buying something "safe". Like strollers. I don't know how many times I've wanted lime green or orange and then buy black. I guess I'm boring or maybe just incredibly practical since black hides dirt. In any event, my fridge is great.