Saturday, March 29, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Birthday week!

I don't know how quickly I ever really do these. But since I'm trying to get back on the blogging wheel...

Little Miss Rosie had a pretty phenomenal birthday. Fresh baked lemon-blueberry scones (that she refused to eat until the next day), poofy dress, the movie Frozen...and snow. Yes, for the second year in a row, there was frozen precipitation, and that makes every March 25 literally since the day she was born to have some kind of precipitation.

That sounds all snarky, but it really was a wonderful day. The only meltdown was over the scones, she had a great nap, she and Freddy played nicely and read tons of books, and her godmother came over and had dinner and watched a movie with us all. Really, a lovely birthday.

Poofy dress courtesy of my mom. Frozen courtesy of Costco (and apparently cheaper at Target. Womp womp).
This might be false enthusiasm, but it's adorable.
You can't see it, but the sandbox she got for her birthday is covered in snow. She wanted to go out and play. Her godmother took her out briefly and built a snowman. Rosie ran in circles and asked to play in the sandbox.
Those scones I baked were from a cookbook called My Irish Table that my dad got me for my birthday. If I'm honest, the recipe actually called for orange zest and currants, but as I'm not a huge fan of currants and don't recall seeing them stateside, I switched it up with lemon zest and blueberries. Still tasty!

The author is the owner of several restaurants in the Alexandria area, including a speakeasy (secret location and everything!), so I'm kind of intrigued now. Sadly, I think the fish and chips place is going to be the only one we can afford. But hey - it's Lent, so that works.


So far, I've made the potato and leek soup (delicious), batch bread (would probably have been better if I owned the type of pan he specified using), and the scones (twice, though I've not gotten them to rise properly yet). Even if those recipes turned out to be mediocre, the little notes of life growing up in Ireland and the proper ingredients are worth reading. For instance: why does shepherd's pie in the states use beef? Shepherds have access to sheep, not cows.
Cows do taste better, though...

Dad was born in Philly to an Irish-born woman and an Irish-blooded American man. One of his prime grievances for St. Patrick's Day is the proliferation of corned beef. As he would say, "That's what they fed the Irish working on the railroads in the US. The Irish in Ireland couldn't afford beef." He and my siblings and I can claim Irish citizenship if we want, and frankly, I've been seriously thinking about it for a while. I don't get to travel overseas much, but there are some perks to having an EU passport that may be worth it. Plus, how am I going to compete in the Olympics otherwise?

I'm going to have to pick up a sport. I'm thinking archery.

Back to Rosie's birthday - there was one small issue that happened...

Rosie and Freddy share a room, and Rosie has been known to, um, share things. I've come in to see Freddy covered in every single article of clothing from the dresser tossed into his crib. On her birthday, Rosie decided to shove the bottle of leave-in hair conditioner through the slats to him. Oh, and she either unscrewed or loosened the top for him. Nate went up, saw the light on (Rosie also loves doing that), went in to turn it off, and saw Freddy covered in conditioner - including his mouth.

One phone call to poison control later (after, actually, one call to his nurse mom, who then said, "Uh, you should be talking to poison control, not me.") and we found out that it was probably going to act like a laxative and to keep an eye on him for 30 minutes. He ended up being totally unaffected, thankfully, so I can just shake my head.

Since we haven't seen him yet - hey, Fredders!
He was a sleepier version of this while we waited for that half hour.

PS - Poison control apparently makes follow-up phone calls. Who knew? However, sometimes their note-taking skills aren't the greatest....

Nate: Hello?
PC: Yes, this is poison control. We're just calling to check up on the child who got into the air conditioner?
Nate: ...HAIR conditioner. Like, shampoo.
PC: Oh! That makes a lot more sense.

PPS - My MIL said that she was on a first-name basis with poison control with one of my BILs. Crossing fingers for that not happening here.

I was hoping that this extended cold would have two effects: 
1. Limit the bug population. 
2. Severely damage the Bradbury pear trees, preferably so much so that they would die or have to be taken down.

I'd heard that the bugs were suffering, in particular the stinkbugs (which don't stink when you squish them, btw. They are stupid, easily catchable, and easily squishable - completely useless insects, frankly, since they aren't even serving as a food source for most critters around here). However, saw one, very much alive, today in the kids' room. Also, we've had ants for a few days now. So 1 is sadly proving untrue.

As for the Bradbury pears - well, the ones behind our house seem to be fine and budding, so smelly trees will soon be here. At least they're pretty?

My best friend's due date is fast approaching. She's planning a homebirth with the same midwife that delivered her husband (!) and I get to be there as a gopher/extra encouragement. I'm pretty stoked, though I've only been on the actively laboring and birthing end of things. Even more fun - she isn't so sure she's going to be past her due date anymore because things seem to be starting to happen already. Yes!

Maybe I'll win the baby pool!

Gotta start and end with the birthday girl. Here's proof that my daughter is a bit of a freak:

For those unable to understand toddler or who are unfamiliar with children's literature, that would be Rosie reciting the end of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, which, frankly, is hard for me to keep track of sometimes. The very last page is the response to, "Children, children, what do you see?" and is a recitation of everything in the book: "We see a brown bear, a red bird, a yellow duck, a blue horse, a green frog, a purple cat, a white dog, a black sheep, a goldfish, and a teacher looking at us."

That's what we see!

For more Quick Takes, go see Jen and others at Conversion Diary!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rosie's Birth Story

My little girl is turning 2 tomorrow! I'm absolutely gobsmacked that I have a 2 year old. I just had her!

Part of the reason I got this blog was so I could actually record stuff like this, so here we go!

WARNING: THIS WILL HAVE ICKY OOZY STUFF. But no pictures of said icky ooze. Just adorableness.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

God thinks I'm hilarious

I am alive. I promise. But man, life is eating me alive!

You'd think with all the snow we've been having, I'd be blogging up a storm because there's nothing else to do. In reality, I'm still recovering from the holidays in terms of getting the house back in some semblance of order. Seriously. It's pathetic, I know, especially since we have less than 1000 sq ft in our little home, but it just feels like there's something that's been happening all the time, or at least not in the way we planned.

Take my best friend's baby shower last week. We'd decided back in December to shoot for President's Day Weekend Sunday (that totally made more sense in my head) because the long weekend would allow for recovery for everyone, plus Nonna-to-be would be able to come up and not take vacation days. One of the SIL/aunts found a carpool to hitch a ride back from college in Ohio, the two other planners/executors/friends D and K had their tasks lined up, and BFF's limited mobility grandmother was going to let us use her house to host so she could actually attend.

You know what they say about best-laid plans, right?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Five Favorites: Our Area

It's no secret that we live in a tiny house. It's a townhouse with under 1000 square feet. It makes storage and cleaning a challenge, to be sure, and having more than two kids someday will be difficult with that little space and no yard. I have a habit of looking on Zillow every so often to try and keep an idea of prices in the area and...well, it's a little discouraging. Home values have increased, and while that means we have more value on our house, so does everyone else.

That said, there are some things about our area that will make us make do with our space for as long as possible, because we really, really love it. Here they are:

1. Geography

Some of this has to do with being so close to so many outdoors options - lakes, rivers, mountains, beaches - with such a short drive. If I really wanted to, I could drive to some huge caves at Luray Caverns and still be home in time for dinner. But this has more to do with family location.

As I've said before, Nate and I were both military brats, so being able to see our grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins was a rare treat. Now, we live within about a half hour drive of both of them. That is heaven. It certainly came in handy last week when I was sick and able to call in some reinforcements to make it through the day. But we're at the point where both Rosie and Freddy recognize and willingly go to their grandparents and aunts and uncles because they see them on such a regular basis (Rosie would not let her uncle put her down tonight); if we were far away, I can imagine that there would be a lot more clinginess whenever we would visit. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Post-Hiatus Post

It's only been a month since I last wrote. NBD, right? Yeah. Um...

To be fair, it was so insane that I haven't actually had a chance to even read the blogs I follow, much less write my own. In between December 15th and January 5, I'm pretty sure I was at home for a grand total of 4 days, and that's using the term lightly. I flew to Chicago to my very first Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (and stayed away from the kids for the first extended time - and Freddy the first time ever) to work the National Band Association booth. By the time we got home (Nate was able to come with me and probably had more fun, since he actually got to go to the clinics instead of stay in the exhibition hall), Nate's grandmother was in from Florida and his uncle and his family from New York as well, plus my older brother from Ohio and my aunt and uncle from New York, so we were spending every day somewhere else, including a day trip to Pennsylvania to visit my extended family. Then this week, there was Epiphany and Eastern Christmas, AND I came down with a nasty cold, which I may have caught from Rosie or vice-versa, and now Freddy has it as well, though neither have it as badly as I did. I'm still not over it - I sound like a career smoker - but everything is substantially calmer.

I know. Excuses.