Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

A couple of weeks ago I cut out an advertisement for a local pick-your-own-strawberries farm.  It has been hanging on our refrigerator ever since - a reminder during daily thundershowers and overcast days that summer must be on the way because somewhere in Iowa, strawberries are growing.

Last week I finally had an opportunity to I take my little people (and their dad) to pick some berries.  It was the first nice day we'd had in awhile, and I was determined to make the most of it.  Picking strawberries in the warm afternoon sun seemed like a pretty good idea.

Having really no experience at a pick your own place, we weren't really sure what we were getting ourselves into.  I wasn't sure how the cost was going to compare to the grocery store - although I assumed correctly that it would be a lot less - or what the quality of the fruit was going to be, but I was willing to give it a try. 

When we got out there, a note on the door said that the owner had just stepped out to the garden, so we walked around the little shed and waved him down.  There were a couple of other families already picking amid the rows and rows of strawberries and an older couple had come in just before us, so they were getting their equipment and assigned a row.  As soon as he had a chance, Dave, the owner of Tannenbaum Trees & Berries in Milford, got us a sturdy box and a white metal carrying basket for it, a little white flag to stick in our row when we were done and then he showed us to a long row of strawberries to to pick as much or as little as we chose.  It smelled amazing - a combination of sunscreen and dirt and strawberry plants baking in the sun.  Abby and I got started right away while Uriah entertained Finn in the grass.  Abby was quite the budding farmer, pointing out where I'd missed something, checking over each berry to make sure it was good and justifying why she left some of the smaller ones (when we come back they'll be bigger).  The berries themselves were obviously a lot smaller than the berries at the grocery store, but I felt much better about their quality.

Abby and I only picked about half of a row which yeilded us about 4 pounds of strawberries.  I'm certain that we could have kept going and we would have harvested some serious strawberry delight, but Finn was getting a little fussy and I wanted to see what we could do with the amount that we had already picked.  So we stuck in our white flag, and headed back to the little shed to pay for our loot - $5.25 well spent. 

And, since I've already used up all of the strawberries that we picked last week and I haven't even made jam yet, we will be back over the weekend to pick some more. 

Check back to see what it is that I've done with these strawberries...posts, pictures and recipes to come!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weddings make me cry.

It really doesn't matter so much who's wedding it is: my own, a Hallmark commercial, my sister's wedding last summer.  A year later, I still get teary - and I'm not even a billion months pregnant, it's not the hottest day in June, and I'm not wearing a black dress at an outdoor reception.

Happy Anniversary to two of my most favorite people in the whole wide world!  I hope that this first year of wedded bliss was everything you dreamed it would be.  My wish for you today is another year just as full of love and joy and happiness.

And Happy Anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Post - the original happy couple of June 26th. I hope that you are as happy today as you were 35 years ago. Thank you for being such good role models.

Friday, June 24, 2011

You Capture: Bathrooms

{Bathtime this evening lasted the sum total of 5 minutes.}

{It was more fun to play with the bath toys outside of the tub.}

{With 4 teeth, we brush twice a day, although usually Mama does it.}

Next week's challenge: Water

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Iowa is the new Pacific Northwest

We have had rain and thunderstorms for the past week.  And clouds and cool winds and no beach time and no sunshine and no damn summer.

On Monday morning, I laid in bed, in the half light of early morning, unable to sleep, listening to the wind blow the rain hard against our windows.  Finn slept through the storm, but decided that 6:30 would be a good time to cock-a-doodle-doo.  You know...right after the thunder stopped and the rain was but  a gentle tinkle on the windows.  Right about the time that we thought we'd go back to sleep for at least another half an hour.  We were just drifting off when the alarm sounded over the baby monitor:  "Dadadadadadada!"  Totally not my page, so I turned over and let the "Dada" take care of it.  Monday night I had two bags by the basement door in case we needed to make a run for cover.  On Tuesday, Finn and I got our walk in really quickly in the morning before it started to rain again, but it was a humid walk, the remnants of the rain simmering on the sidewalk and both of us had some curly hair when we got home.  It rained again all the afternoon long, but cleared up enough in the evening for Abby to go to work for a couple of hours.

Yesterday it rained again, almost all day, and it was chilly.  I dressed Finn in courdory pants and a long sleeved shirt; today he's in longsleeves and pants again.  Abby lost her library priviledges this week, so she is all up in my business with her, "I'm bored" and "What should I do?"  It's hard to bite my tongue and tell her that she brought this on herself, but I really do feel like I'm the one being punished right now.  Uriah felt the need to turn on the heat this morning (for the love of everything holy, just put on a damn sweatshirt and quit complaining!).  Needless to say, I have since turned it off.  I am determined to bundle up the baby this afternoon after his nap and explore a new walking trail with my camera.  I have to get out of this house or I may go slowly insane.
Anyway, that's what I've been up to.  I thought you might enjoy a little bit of our Father's Day celebration from Sunday after Uriah got home from work (and before he made his own Father's Day dinner).   He was the Dad of the Year, in this house at least!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The anxiety is mounting.

He is such a glorious boy and every day I find something new and older about him, his longer hair that curls in the bathtub, his 4 sparkly teeth that happily munch Goldfish crackers, his sweet smile and the way his eyes light up when he sees me, the way he bounces in his bed in the morning and talks to his stuffed animals before we come in to get him.  He tumbles around on the floor with wild abandon and I think he's almost comfortable standing on his own, he just doesn't know it yet, so he still holds onto something for reassurance.  He loves water...any kind of water: the pool, the bathtub, the lake.  He squeals and splashes and tries to put his face in the water all of the time and then comes up sputtering and blinking, laughing  a bit before he's doing it again.  He talks on our morning walk and leans over in the stroller to try to touch the wheels or the sidewalk or the sticks we pass.  He loves to swing, even though his little fingers grip the front of the swing so tightly while he laughs.  He's starting to say, "Uh-Oh!" and his little mouth forms the most perfect little "oh."

On the other hand, I find something new and older about him every single day.  Gone is the sweet smell of baby; gone is the fine, super soft and wispy baby hair.  I miss the way he fit across my body when I rocked him, head in one elbow, toes in the other.  The baby chub is melting, too.  With each bounce and each shuffle, each move toward independence, the baby in him slips a little bit further away from me.

I watched him sleep today while he took his morning nap. I neglected housework and letter writing and bill paying and dishes. I rocked him and I stared at him. I traced his hairline and touched the curve of his ear. I ran my thumb across his fat bottom lip and I sifted the hair at the back of his head through my fingers. I'm so afraid that I'll forget the heavy feel of him against my chest or they way his head gets sweaty on my arm and how his hair is so wet and curly when he finally turns it to the other side; how his cheek has the imprint of my sweater on it. I'm afraid to forget what it was like when he could fit on my lap, snuggled up with his warm breath puffing on my neck and our breathing perfectly in sync with each other.

For two hours today I held him. I'll do it until I can't do it anymore.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I wish I were more Audrey Hepburn and less Sylvia Plath.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Here lies summer...may she rest in peace.

It has been cold as flip here since last Thursday, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you our summer.

It lasted 2 days. 

Long enough for us to take in Arnold's Park (from a distance because they will take your last red cent in admission!) and Baker's Point Beach.  I can tell you that if the weather takes a turn for summer, we will be going back to Arnold's Park - actually inside the park, I mean.  It's summer and Abby's a kid and what the heck to we work for besides to blow it on cotton candy and overpriced carnival rides and mini-doughnuts at least once in a while (and by "we," I mean Uriah - I get paid in poopy diapers and sticky kisses and something tells me that's not going to cut it at the ticket counter.).  And if the weather takes a turn for the balmy, we have a couple more beaches to test out.

{Arnold's Park back when the days were sunny...}

{Baker's Point Beach back when the days were H.O.T!}

And even though it doesn't feel like summer outside, my husband still keeps summer hours.  I think I'll crawl into bed under my down comforter now...to wait for summer and my husband.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

You Capture: Flowers

This week's challenge was, in fact, a challenge...it's amazing what you cannot do when you can't bend over.
I planted my flowers in the sink earlier this week, if that gives you an idea, and Uriah took them out to the porch for me and Abby has been keeping them watered.

When I finally felt good enough to take some pictures, it was raining.  Seriously...I guess that's why it's called a challenge, right?

 The real reason that it was a challenge to get some decent flower shots:

Head on over to Beth's website if you want to see some really great flower shots.

Next week's challenge:  Bathrooms

Friday, June 10, 2011

I want popsicles and a healthy back, please.

I can now successfully get out of bed by myself in the morning and I can almost pick Finn up without cringing.  I'm getting better at getting in and out of the car without looking like a total fool (or a 100 year old lady).  I've been adjusted and therapied and x-rayed (all without insurance...I can't wait for that to kick in again!).  Finn and I walk the stiffness out of my back muscles and pelvis bones every morning (and we've been passed by old ladies, I might add, but we get to walk along the lake, so I try not to notice those spry 70-year-olds).  I still can't sit for long periods of time without everything getting stiff and I can't bend forward very far, but I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

This weekend I've got a bunch of stuff on my list of things to accomplish: at the tippy-top is laundry and Finn's birthday party invitations.  And, if the weather stays like it is (low 60s) I'm going to have to pull out our winter clothes.  But if it warms up tomorrow, like it's supposed to, I'm going to make another round of Strawberry Smoothie Popsicles.  I'm addicted.

I made these very delicious (and healthy - don't forget healthy!) Popsicles for my little people P.B.S. (Pre-Back Shit) and when the weather somewhat resembled summer.  They were a huge hit and I've wanted to share them with you for over a week now, but I haven't been able to sit at the computer long enough to type my name, much less a blog post.

So...here's to warmer weekends and healthy backs and lists that get accomplished!

Strawberry Smoothie Popsicles
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup splenda
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon strawberry kool-aid powder

Blend all ingredients in blender or food-processor until smooth.  Pour into Popsicle molds and freeze.  Makes 13 Popsicles.

**I got my Popsicle molds at the Wals-mart, they are very cheap-o there.  And also, I have nowhere else to shop here except specialty/touristy shops.
**I also only made half the recipe, yielding 6 Popsicles.  I should have made the whole recipe.  I will not make that mistake again. 
**These are relatively healthy (read: very carb-friendly)  if you use the splenda, but I'm sure you could substitute regular sugar if you have a splenda aversion (my husband does, but he ate these anyway and said they were good).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Count your blessings

While she was at the library last week, Abby decided to sign herself up for their summer reading program, which, in addition to reading different types of books each week, also includes raising money for dresses for poor orphan children in Africa.

The library calls it a Count Your Blessings jar and each day you add a penny to the jar for each thing on the list, which is provided by the library, that you have. Yesterday, for example, you'd add a penny to your jar if you have a bike. Abby added one penny; Finn, since he doesn't have a bike, did not add a penny. Today, they each get to add a penny for every book that they read over the weekend (Finn will get lots of pennies because we read lots of books...it's the one thing I could do!).  Today I'm adding 50 pennies to each of their jars because I'm feeling 100% blessed that my back is feeling better (after 1 week, 3 visits to the chiropractor, 1 set of x-rays and the most glorious adjustment this afternoon.)!  The program through the library goes for a month and a half and at the end of the program, the kids can bring their jars in and add their pennies to all the other kids pennies and feel good about making a difference in someone else's life.

I plan to have our jars continue after the library's program is over and use the money we save up - loose change mostly - to purchase books for underprivileged kids this Christmas or at least to donate to a worthy cause.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Keeping it real

I would much rather give birth to a baby beluga whale without any anesthetic than to have muscles spasm in my back.

Truly.  I would.

And I think that Uriah would agree thanks to a particularly untimely spasm episode while I was in the loo.  He took that whole "in sickness" part of our vows seriously, thank God. 

Finneaus has spent some quality time in his high chair.  It's easier to lift him out of it than to bend over and pick him up from the floor, which usually involved some muffled (some not so muffled) colorful language.  Also, he's made climbing the stairs his summertime challenge.  If it's quite, it's probably because he's contemplating the summit.  Side note:  He can crawl faster than I can shuffle.

P.B.S. (Pre-Back Shit, not the television channel), I purchased some flowers with every intent of putting them in the ground and in some pots on my front porch.  Yesterday, I had to put them in the sink and water them because they were wilting outside.  They've moved from the sink to the counter.   

When he's not contemplating the stairs, Finn leaves a trail of toys in his wake.  He has the attention span of a gnat, tossing toys left and right when he's through with them.  Uriah came home after working all day (seriously, all freaking day) and cleaned up Finn's remnants, gave him a bath, helped Abby move something in her room and did the dishes.  Then he made himself some dinner.  And then, as if his day wasn't full enough, he gave me a back rub.  Does that qualify him to be committed to sainthood or just committed?

I, on the other hand, have been self-medicating with ice packs, icy-hot back strips, and leftover pain meds from when Finn was born.  Yesterday Abby helped with Finn by entertaining him and moving him around and carrying him up and down the stairs for me.  And probably because she wanted to get out of the house for awhile, she agreed to walk Finn on a field trip to the library to procure my standard summer reading list - the Little House on the Prairie series.  (They are my guilty summer-time pleasure.  I have read those books every year since...well, probably since I could read.)  Yesterday I let her keep all of the money she earned (instead of putting half of it in the bank).  You'd have thought she won the lottery.

I have not yet won the lottery.  But when I do, I'm going to hire myself a full-time masseuse to keep my muscles loosey-goosey, a full-time trainer to tone those bitches up so this doesn't happen again, and a driver, because I just don't really like to drive.  And I'll give some of it to the Beluga Whale Foundation, because those mama belugas deserve something!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The wind this past weekend was phenomenal.  It blew Abby's hair straight back and churned up some pretty big waves on the lake.  Needless to say, this is as close as we got to the beach Memorial Day weekend. 

Well, except Finn, who could have cared less about swimming and water and the tradition of kicking off the summer season at the lake.  He chose to take a snooze instead.