Monday, October 27, 2008

Not My Best Morning Ever

The phone rang at 7:30 this morning. It was Wonderful Husband informing me the wind took a tombstone or 3 overnight. He found 2 of them.

So at 7-freaking-thesun'snotallthewayupyet-30 this morning, I was bundled in a winter coat, trudging through 31 degrees and 30mph winds trying to find the tombstone I spent countless hours crafting from scratch.

The wind usually blows straight between the houses across the street, right for the retention pond. I know this because before we got the big recycling bins, half the neighborhood used to have to fish the little ones out of the water whenever it was windy.

I found a foam skull halfway down to the pond and knew I was onto something. Sure enough, I saw a tombstone floating in the water a few feet from shore.

I found a stick (another miracle - it's all "Prairie Grass Do Not Mow") and somehow managed to balance on a muddy, half-collapsing bank and a semi-submurged rock a bit out from shore to fish it out.

It wasn't my tombstone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Almost Perfect Weekend (Photo Essay)

Last weekend was almost perfect. The Bear and I finally got over that darn cold, so Saturday we packed up the van with the babies and a couple of great friends and headed for a local farm's fall festival. (Which is all of 10 minutes from here. I love where I live.)

Of course we had to check out the 'how tall' pumpkin. Bear was much more interested in trying to see what might be behind it.

Then there's the obligatory picture cut-out situation.

This is Bear and our 7 month old godson DJ, sitting in front of a VW Beetle painted to look like a (take a wild guess)... giant pumpkin. We have at least a dozen shots with them looking every which way but at the camera. We finally gave up.

Bear was too little for most of the activities (petting zoo, pony ride, barrel train ride, combine ride) but I was determined to give the bouncy house a try. It was shaped like a (wait for it...) giant pumpkin. I guess 11 months isn't quite old enough yet - he cried. It was really cool though, because the other little kids were being super nice to him.

So we gave the Bear to his Daddy and Rain joined me inside to use up the rest of our time. We laughed our butts off and had a blast. And bonus - turns out it's a great cardio and core workout!

Then we watched the 40' pumpkin cannon shoot for a while. VERY cool!

Then we stopped for a quick snack. Wonderful Husband and I shared a warm, fresh funnel cake drowning in powdered sugar...

...and since they made homemade apple cider donuts there, Bear got to taste his first donut! The look on his face was priceless. Half an hour later I found he was still clenching the last shreds of donut in his little fist.

Then we climbed the hay bale mountain. I figured it was a start on burning off some of that funnel cake.

Then we headed over to get in line for the hay ride. The stroller parking lot made it easy to spot. (We ended up leaving before the next ride came along; the babies were reaching their limit.)

We stopped on the way out to get pumpkins to carve, and had to restrain Bear from climbing the "Please Keep Off" giant pumpkins on display.

Case in point of the differences between the boys - DJ has a more mellow approach to things.

After getting home we grilled burgers and started to carve our pumpkins.

Earlier that day our friends told us about this site, so we did our Barack O'Lanterns together.

(Here's how mine turned out after I finished it another day.)

I had a Martha Moment and tried to make homemade marshmallows to go with our homemade hot chocolate. I don't think they're supposed to come out a giant sticky mess. At least they were still tasty.

Our friends who trekked out from the city spent the night (they call it staying at Chez Geek B&B), so the next morning we had coffee in our jammies and I threw together a quiche.

Then I made a vat of spaghetti sauce to stock up the freezer. YUM.

After breakfast, I recapitated my friend's 30 year old teddy bear who recently sustained critical injuries...

Since I was sewing anyway, I also fixed the holes in Bear's current favorite sleepy time toy. (I find it endlessly amusing he sleeps with a vampire.)

Then our friends went home and Wonderful Husband went to his mom's to help them take the pier out of the lake. At which point he wrenched his back. At which point the weekend became "almost" perfect... because later that evening he ended up in an ambulance going to the ER in excruciating pain. Good times. Luckily a couple of the right injections (helloooo muscle relaxers) did the job. He was able to come home that night (at 2 am. ugh.) and was back on his feet after a few days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baby Ironman

He grew into the adorable Ironman t-shirt we picked up in Wisconsin.

(FYI if you plan to get one sometime, they run very small. His regular 12 month clothes are big on him, and this IM shirt is labeled size 18 mos.)

The Nuun tube is still his favorite toy, too : )

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Numbers

We're really broke these days, so for that and many other reasons I haven't been to yoga in over a month. I knew it was going to be hard once it was no longer free at the gym; with the way things have changed for us financially it's tougher than I thought to find the 60 bucks to every other month. (And it's even harder to justify when the Bear's schedule makes me miss half the classes.)

In the meantime, I started DVRing the yoga show on FitTV. Not that I've had time to DO any of them yet. But when I do find a way to fit it in, at least I've got 3 hours of yoga shows to choose from.

Long story long, instead of yoga today I went ahead with the usual Bear At Grandma's for Yoga time and went to the gym for a swim instead (we're cutting expenses like crazy but things will have to be a lot worse before I cut that $33 a month).

You might remember me whining ranting mentioning that the pool at this gym is even smaller than the sad little pool at my gym that closed. So small that they don't even bother with lap distance signs because they don't think anyone would/could really try to work out in it.

I was chatting with some of the lovely retirees who frequent the pool at the odd daytime hours I am lucky enough to be there, and I mentioned my interest in finding out how big the pool was. One gentleman knew and saved me the trouble of bringing in a tape measure.

Y'all, my pool is.... *drumroll please*.... 43 feet, 9 inches.

Oh. Joy.

Good thing I like math, because tracking my workouts just got that much more complicated.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

But on the bright side

The Bear and I are still sick. It's been a week now of runny noses and pounding heads. Ugh.

But on the bright side, I got stung by a bee.

Um, I mean, the bright side being the weather was so gorgeous Sunday I decided not to waste it no matter how sick I felt and did some work outside. And got stung by a bee.

And learned I'm still not allergic to bee venom. So bonus, right?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Comfort Food at Its Finest

I'm still sick. So is the Bear. And now Wonderful Husband makes it a hat trick.

After we got the Bear down for a nap this morning I decided we needed to feel better. Since I can't take any cold medicine, that left comfort food. So I dragged my stuffy-headed ass out of bed and into the kitchen, where I ventured into culinary territory that might even put Steve to shame.

First, I threw together some Bisquick pancakes. Because even this Martha devotee has her limits. Then I fried up a pound of bacon.

Yes, a pound. Yes, there's only two of us. But I've got lettuce and tomato and a three pound jar of mayo, so I say if you're gonna have bacon for breakfast ya might as well have it for lunch too.

Then I did something most of us have only heard about from Oprah shows featuring Dr. Oz and an interesting array of colon samples.

I fried me up some eggs in the bacon grease.

I've never done it before. Last time I saw it done I was about 14, standing at the elbow of my hard core farmer's wife Grandma Helen. And while she dropped egg after egg into the bacon drippings, she reminded me to be sure to put the special margarine on Grandpa's toast, because the doctor put him on a low-cholesterol diet.

I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.

And really, what the hell do I know? Grandma Helen has long since passed, but 22 years later Grandpa is 89 and still single-handedly running the farm. Literally single-handedly, by the way - he blew one of them off in a stupid teenage shotgun accident. And he's still, I betcha, eating his eggs fried in bacon grease, though he lets the local diner do most of his cooking these days.

So, here's to Grandma Helen and comfort food when nothing else will do. And here's hoping we're all still eating bacon fried eggs at 89.

mmmmmm... bacon.

Vegetarians are Soylent Green for chickens.

Irony at its finest...

Next time I'll go for less zombie, more smiley face.

I feel better already.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Restoring Balance

I guess I enjoyed the anniversary, the diamond earrings and that 40 minutes of Me Time on Monday a little too much, because the universe sent me a clear message to knock it the hell off.

Baby Bear woke up sick Tuesday morning (fever/cough/runny nose & diapers). I woke up sick today (head cold). With my first period in 20 months. With cramps.

And I can't take cold medicine, because it wipes out my milk supply.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Yesterday the stars aligned and the universe sent me a gift... I got my client work done during Bear's nap and he still had Grandma time scheduled for the afternoon.

After I rushed through the rest of my To Do list, I headed straight for the treadmill.

It was practically a crime to run indoors on such a perfect day, but I had to be realistic. Haven't run in months, plantar fasciitis still painful and my knees are still questionable. But it was a small sacrifice to make for the joy of a getting in a workout.

The icing on the cake was discovering that Wonderful Husband put the Moulin Rouge soundtrack on my iPod, which is now officially my new favorite workout music.

On any given day I'm all about operatic, melodramatic showtunes. But there was something magical about mixing the soaring harmonies of 'Heroes' with a runner's high. What bliss.

For 40 glorious minutes, the world fell away. Even though I was really just plodding through quarter mile run/walk intervals at a 13:40 pace, I felt like I was flying. I can't ask for more than that.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hard to Top


Apparently it wasn't enough that he took me out to Ruth's Chris for our anniversary dinner, or that we're throwing (financial) common sense out the window and going here for a 3 day anniversary weekend right after Thanksgiving.

(OK, that one's not totally nuts, my friend owns the house and we're getting a crazy deal.)

That's pretty much all a girl like me can ask for an anniversary. Even a big one like the 10th. More than I expected, actually, and more than enough to make me extremely happy.

But... guess what?

(I still can't believe it myself!)

Friday night... during dinner.... he surprised me with diamond earrings.

Did I mention how much I love this man?

(And nope, sorry, he doesn't have a brother.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Happy 10th Anniversary to the greatest husband I ever could have wished for.