Friday, August 29, 2008

Go Bucks

We are going up north this weekend for a little family trip so I won't be around for the first day of college football. This is a big deal to me, I have been looking forward to this day since January.It should be noted that along with a few favorite hymns and lullabies, Carmen Ohio is one of the first songs my girls learn. My 2 year old has been known to break out a "Drive, Drive on down the field..."

Now Saturday we play Youngstown State so I will be content listening to the game, unless I can convince my dad and dh to take me to a sports bar. Under normal circumstances I think I could convince my dad, but Saturday we are visiting a museum that has an exhibit of classic cars. We are going to see the Vatican Art, but my dad... well let's just say he has a thing for classic cars. Dh will also take convincing as he knows that all of us in a sports bar on a college football gameday means he is basically alone on kid duty. There is only so long 3 young girls can be entertained in such an environment. So for this Saturday, I will make the small sacrifice of only listening. This will of course have to be repaid on Sept 13 when we take on USC. I am off-duty that day!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mini Me?

Bophie has recently decided she likes pretending to be Mom. Whenever she wants to play this game she goes and finds my big hairclip and says to me, "I the mom, I the mom." This means she wants the hairclip in her hair and then she goes off to do Mom things. Here she is today. I wonder where she gets it...

The only real difference is that I usually wear pants when I vaccuum :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dad's Famous Apple Pie

After Sunday's apple picking outing, you can be sure this family will be getting a good dose of apples. First up is Dad's apple pie. As I mentioned before the recipe calls for EIGHT sticks of butter. I have kids who will bite butter off the stick so you know it is going to be a hit here.

Not only does it call for all that butter, there are ridiculous amounts of sugar, 20 apples, and it is labor intensive. This is not an undertaking that dh makes often. However, last night we were expecting company. Not just any company-- some of our favorite company (I have to butter him up, no pun intended, because he has threatened to leave snarky comments on my blog). Such company calls for only the best so Dad's apple pie it was.

While Dad put it together, I had to put it in the oven to bake since he was at work. The daggone pie takes two and a half hours to bake. In the morning before leaving for work, dh had given the girls instructions for baking the pie. He should know better than to play telephone with a 5 and 8 year old when it comes to important directions. Banana said we had to heat the oven to 550 degrees and Bear said it had to be put in at 2 o'clock... Really, it was 350 at 3:30. Thankfully, he remembered to leave me the recipe.

The directions also called for setting the pie on parchment paper because it has a tendency to leak. Since I had no parchment paper, I improvised with wax paper. Not a good idea, smoke filled our kitchen. Banana was convinced the house was on fire. After many reassurances to her, a new pan to catch the dripping, and a fan to air out the kitchen, the pie was cooking.

Thankfully, dh was home in time to pull his masterpiece out of the oven on time. I had indeed been able to successfully follow his less than precise directions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apples Red, Ripe and Rosy

The last few weeks have been hectic at work for dh, so we were all due for some much needed family time. After Mass on Sunday, we decided to trek out to pick some apples/peaches (thanks Emily for the recommendation). We loaded all the girls into dh's half a car (affectionately termed by Banana b/c it only has 2 doors) in an attempt to minimize gas consumption. I look forward to the day when there are too many of us to take advantage of this option, but for this trip it seemed the "green" choice.

Being a Sunday afternoon, we normally would have taken naps first, but I was a little stir crazy from the past week and anxious to get out the door. Three girls overdue for a nap and one very small backseat do not a good combination make. Add this to close proximity to mom and dad (who also could have used a nap) and your left with close to a deadly combination. Luckily, the one in the middle crashed first making a natural border between the other two warring bodies. Soon Bear fell asleep too, so it turned out to be a rather relaxing Sunday drive.

Dh makes a great apple pie so we were looking for some good pie apples. The recipe is from a favorite local restaurant Cap City Diner. It calls for 8 sticks of butter-- anything with 8 sticks of butter has to be good, right?

We spent quite some time searching the orchard for the Paula Reds. When we did find them most of the early trees were empty. We eventually found a few good trees when Bear declared she had to go to the bathroom -- should have seen that coming. I convince her she can wait only to have Banana inform me she now has to go as well-- really should have seen that coming. We get to the end of the Paula Red row with barely enough apples to fill a fourth of the bag. Being the frugal (read: cheap) mom that I am, if we are going to pay for a bag of apples that bag is going to be filled (read: bursting at the seams). I decide if the pie apples aren't in season I will gather some eating apples, Fuji sounded good. So I decide to schlep across the orchard with Bophie while dh takes the other two to the bathroom.

We finally get to the Fuji apples and they are nowhere near ripe. At that time, I start to hear thunder. Dh had told me it was going to rain and I had the headache to prove it, but he said it was to start late in the evening and it was still early afternoon. I pick a few apples and hear the the brood returning. Dh really wants to make a pie so while taking the girls to the restroom he asked about other pie apples. Turns out the row next to the Paula Reds is Cortland apples, and they also are pretty good pie apples. So we turn around and hike back to the Cortlands, thunder continues to brew. We pick some Cortlands and I ask dh how many pies he plans to make. We have enough for 1 maybe 2 pies at the time, but only half the bag is full. He of course says one, so we are left looking for more eating apples.

I had passed the Gala apples on my way to the Fuji and they looked fantastic, so we again made the haul across the orchard to fill our bag. It is at this time (bag only half full, thunder looming, 3 girls tired from the multiple hikes across the orchard) the handles on the bag break. Unfazed, I continue on my mission of filling the apple bag. I take the older girls for more apples, dh decides the storm is coming close and we are going to get caught and takes the baby to get the car. The girls and I were stuffing, shoving, and piling the last apples into the bag when the first drops began to fall. By the time we made the 30 second drive to the store to pay for our bag (and buy cheese and jerky for dh), it was coming down in bucketfuls.

It was still a wonderfully nice day.

Bella's first fur cut

Bella is our recently acquired puppy. In a moment of weakness, dh and I allowed her to come into our home. We had tried fish, they died after my niece decided they needed chapstick. Then we had a guinea pig. Her demise came shortly after getting out of her pen when we had her in the backyard for fresh grass and cage cleaning. After spending quite some time trying to dig her out of our brush pile, she came in with a big gash on her back (I was similarly covered with scratches and dh had a good laugh) and was never the same. You would think we would have learned our pet lesson.

Bella is as cute as can be and poor dh has had to get over the fact that she is definitely a girl dog. She became very sick a few days after we go her. The breeder sold her much too early. For weeks we had to force feed her. She had convulsions and quite honestly neither dh nor myself thought she would make it. Here we are a month and a half later and she has more than doubled in size (a little over 2 pounds now) and seems to be thriving. Bophie is especially fond of her and Bella is the preferred doll. She gets carried around, wrapped in blankets, taken for a ride in the stroller, etc. She is the perfect dog for us in that she tolerates all of this very well, sometimes I even think she enjoys it.

Lately poor Bella has been looking pretty mangy so we decided that even though she was pretty young, it was time for a grooming. So today I took her in for a "puppy treatment" of a bath, eyebrow trim, foot and belly trim, and rear-end cleaning. The dog will get more spa treatments than me. I declined the "top dog" extra charge for premium shampoo and conditioner (I don't even use premium shampoos and conditioners!), but I could not resist the little pink bow. Mostly because I knew how dh would react:)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hot and Dry August

We had such a beautiful early summer. It was cool and there was so much rain. August has been hot and dry. Not that I am complaining. I like the late summer and thankfully this year hasn't been incredibly humid. Last week, knowing the end of summer was drawing near, we took advantage of the hot weather we missed in the beginning of the summer and biked to the pool.

I always enjoy biking with my girls. It is a little bit of exercise, but it is also a little chance to chat. Last summer, Bear was still in the trailer with Bophie so it gave me some one-on-one time with Banana. This year Bear is on the bigger two-wheeler and I am enjoying the talks we have as we bike around the neighborhood.

On this particular afternoon I was reminded of how hot and dry it has been and how dead the lawn is since we haven't yet watered. We planted some new holly bushes that I may have neglected to the point of no return. I also am a little worried about a poor tree that is losing too many leaves too early.

Bear put it all in perspective on our bike ride. We passed a house with a nice lush lawn, well tended, sprinklers going full blast. As we turn the corner Bear asks,"Why do you think they have sprinklers going without any kids playing in them?" I love the priorities of a 5 year old. I hope our sprinklers are always growing kids... I think today I'll water the lawn/kids.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A good place to work

Yesterday was a good mail day for us. No bills and 2 exciting packages. The mailman and the UPS guy know us well. Internet shopping has become our new method of purchasing. This week I ordered more than 30 books for this school year so I knew our house would be a regular stop for them. These packages, however, were not our schoolbooks. Dh has a long history of ordering things without letting me know, so surprise packages can sometimes drive me nuts.

The first package was new books I had been warned were coming. Dh found a good deal on some Chesterton books, and knowing I am a sucker for good deals conned me into 6 new books he probably won't find the time to read. The second package was a mystery. It looked as if it was from his work. The girls and I took turns speculating about what was in the box. That was a fun game. It seems 5 and 8 year olds have little sense of space dimensions as their ideas of what would fit in that box were imaginative.

What was in the box was a package of summer goodies for the family as a thank you for all his hard work. They sent us SIX baseball caps, a cooler, his and her beach bags, and a selection of sunscreen and chapstick, all with the company logo. The cooler and bags were really nice. I had been eyeing a new tote to carry school planners to the coffee shop this school year for my planning time, this one will do nicely. It was really nice to get a little surprise. I am so thankful dh works for such a nice company.

In the past few weeks not only did we get the summer package, we won Kings Island tickets at a company party, were given Cedar Point tickets for the whole family, and had 2 nights worth of dinner from leftovers at a catered lunch. They also had a family day with Tressell (coach of the Buckeyes), and an afternoon with the American Idols. It just goes to show how important work environment is. Now if we win OSU tickets I might just have to kiss the CEO :)

Here is a picture of the girls sporting their new ball caps...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Couch Cleaning

It is nearing the time to start a new school year. Knowing that it will probably be another year before my house gets a good cleaning again, I have spent the last weeks trying to get everything in order. Today, I decided to clean the couches. My good friend Kim has a great post detailing all the goodies she found while cleaning her couches. I think this ranks up there with it.

I couldn't possibly list all that I found mostly because there is no way to quantify the crumbs I found. Dh is a cracker/peanut lover and the couch shows the evidence of many months of snacks. However, Bophie found a long lost pair of sunglasses she tries to wear upside down. As I am vacuuming, I look over to see her chewing on something. Knowing she finished her snack of grapes, I am a little concerned as to exactly what she has. This is the look I got when I asked her what she was eating.

She didn't know what she was eating. I don't know what she found-- I don't think I really want to know.... I do know she gets it from her dad.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My first post

I have tried blogging before, but this time it is going to work. I think. I tell myself there are memories of my children I will never forget - and there are. There are also so many little day-to-day things they do that I do forget, or I forget how important they seemed or the way they made me feel. This little blog is to remind me of those things.

Banana, Bear, and Bophie are my three daughters. I toyed with calling this blog "No Princesses Allowed." This house is overrun with girls, but I detest all things princessy. My girls are all girls (no tomboys here), but contrary to popular opinion little girls are NOT princesses nor must they aspire to be such.

Banana is 8. She takes after her dad and is an avid reader. I can't make enough trips to the library and I think over her lifetime we will spend enough at amazon to warrant some kind of award. She once said, "I wish I could just spend the whole day reading." She was of course trying to find a way to get out of helping unload the dishwasher.
Bear is 5 and as close as this house has to a tomboy. She is still all girl, but much more physical and so much more energy to be contained. She wants to go, go, go. She still wants to be thrown in the air and loves to be tickled. She is always the first to come for a hug.
Bophie is 2. She is as close as we have to a princess. She loves her dresses, her pigtails, and her dolls. The stroller is her favorite toy, unless you count the dog. She especially enjoys pushing the dog in the stroller. Thankfully the dog tolerates it.

I am a sahm. I homeschool our girls and treasure all the time I am able to spend with them. It isn't always pretty, but it is always an adventure.