Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Practical Magic

I just finished making some fabulous Boston Baked Beans (with salt pork) from scratch.

The process took 24 hours. They're delicious . . . but they're going straight into the frig.

When I realized that dinner was not going to be done on time, I had ten minutes to throw together an alternative meal. Thanks to the wonders of modern kitchen appliances and convenience food products I managed to get thick slices of oven-warmed ham, mashed potatoes, a medley of vegetables, and cheddar garlic biscuits on the table in time for Paul and the girls to enjoy before dance class.

I do enjoy from-scratch cooking sometimes. But I'm really really glad I don't have to do it for every meal!


Oh, and that nap thing last Tuesday? It was totally a birthday present. Teddy still refuses to nap during the day. At all. Even though he really needs the sleep. But at least he's a good sleeper at night!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Shared" Hobbies

Me: You'll be interested to know that Meg won Design Star.

Paul: Oh, Good! Everything she sewed had such a nice, flowing -

Me: It's a home design show.

Paul: Right! I mean, all the wood she cut had such a nice, flowing -

Me: It's more of a decorating sort of show.

Paul: Of course, I mean her curtains -

Me: Now, that just sounds dirty.

I love this man. :-)

Also . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: Teddy is taking a morning nap *in his crib* for the first time in his life. Alleluia!

Monday, September 05, 2011


Glorious world, fall weather is here! Now I'm waiting for the return of the pumpkin spice latte and my joy will be complete. Especially because I just found the Starbucks gift card my in-laws gave me for Christmas. It was tucked inside the wrapper of some new SmartWool socks that I haven't needed for several months.

"Mommy, remember when we went to Wyoming? And Indiana? And to the cabin? And stayed at home?"

This is Ellie, recapping our summer vacations. I had a great time visiting my parents and Paul's, at a family reunion in Brown County, Indiana, in Chicago, and indeed all summer long. But this weekend might have been the best vacation of all, not least because I got to shower in my own shower and sleep in my own bed. It's a blast being a tourist in my own town.

Festivities started on Thursday evening when the girls got haircuts at The Hairy Elephant. This is a real treat. The waiting room is filled with cool toys and books. They get to select their own flavored shampoos from colorful pump bottles. Then they lie on a bench while the stylist washes their hair with a long, gray trunk attached to an elephant head on the wall. How cool is this? With clean, wet hair the girls select a video and a seat. This week Ada chose Lightening McQueen and Ellie a white golf cart. The stylists - experts with kids including children with special needs - make the cut fun and follow it up by allowing the girls to choose plastic clips for their hair, then stickers and suckers. We picked up cupcakes for dessert on the way home.

Friday morning Teddy and I went to our weekly play group while Paul and the girls went on their first horseback trail ride. Ellie got to ride all by herself! Ada decided that instead of gymnastics she'd rather take riding lessons this fall. (Nope, sorry.) We met for lunch afterward then had a quiet afternoon and evening at home (Friday night pizza and a movie).

Saturday morning, one of hottest days of the summer so far, we went to Six Flags. We rode the Ferris wheel as a warm up, then the girls begged to be allowed to go on what looks to me like the most terrifying ride in the park (Pandemonium) a roller coaster that spins in 360's as it moves along the tracks. It was, apparently, fun, though Ellie does not want to repeat the experience. It was so very hot. After lunch we discovered the water rides, and much fun was had by all.

Sunday was all about the bikes. The girls and Paul rode our tandem trail-a-bike to church - I'm told this is very hard work for the lead biker - and they loved doing that. After Teddy's nap we drove downtown to the Gateway Arch and did the most touristy activities imaginable: quadracycle and carriage rides. Then spaghetti, Ted Drewes, and home.

Today was a BBQ at home with family and then one last trip to the pool for the season. Perfect weekend.

Since he comes everywhere with me, I should mention my third child. Teddy was a great sport being carted hither and yon and stuck outside in ridiculously hot weather. But he exacted his revenge in the middle of the night by not sleeping much this weekend.

Bring on Tuesday!

Friday, September 02, 2011


Now that we've got temperatures over 100 degrees, again, I figure it's time to give a photo review of our July.

Cooling off in Lake Michigan, at my parents' house, and at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago:
(Teddy was only 3 months old!)

Nature drives (rather than walks, this summer):

Swimming lessons, slip 'n' slide, park:

And a baptism, but that deserves a post of its own.

I've had babies in the winter, before, and have felt a little trapped in my house by the weather. Having this baby in the spring would have been perfect except for the fact that this summer was hot and we spent a fair amount of time trapped inside the house by the weather! I'm not complaining too much, though. After all, it's September, glorious September, and crisp fall weather is right around the corner.