Sunday, October 30, 2011

Picture time!

Zari "on stage" during swim lessons...she looks around to make sure she has everyones attention and then performs her Humtpy Dumpty move and hops into the pool.
Finger painting professional

I thought it was pretty

Common Ground Fair 2011

The best thing about swim lessons is the snack afterwards

Common Ground Fair Childrens area..they had tools to play with and nails in boards to hammer. Fun times!

I was holding her up and swearing at my mom to hurry up and take the pictures lol

Wearing some of my favorite pj's and her Mr Potato Head glasses

Cute baby cow with momma cow :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I smell good.

Solid perfume! I made some! Eeeek! I actually made two "flavors" they both have 4-7 different flavors of essential oil but the first smells predominately of jasmine, and the second of a vanilla/citrus yumminess that I based off a store bought perfume I have that is Vanilla's really hard to keep from licking the Vanilla citrus perfume it smells sooo good. Doug liked the Jasmine perfume and said it didn't seem to bother his nose like alot of perfumes do. Blahblahblah.

I'm going to make egg rolls this weekend, my parents used to make them when we were little, I haven't had homemade egg rolls since I was very young, so I'm kind of excited. I doubt I'll be able to get Zari to try them. That girl.. she asks for food constantly and won't eat ANY of it.
She got a little confused tonight and had a bit of fun mixing her yogurt with her crackers and then dripping that on her apple... I've been letting her mix her own recipes while I work...I'll give her some dry beans, some lentils, some rice, some water and a spoon and she mixes away happily, sometimes even tasting her creations. She got inspired with dinner and did some more mixing. I chose to ignore the yogurt mess on the coffee table until Doug came home and then he graciously took care of it.

I got my desk audit at work! Which is good news, comes with a small raise, and a new title, but it's also a bit annoying...since I've been DOING this same level of work all along..but I'm only now about to be treated as such. Wish I had done it sooner needless to say!

By the way...I love Rosanne. The tv show. The entire series is on netflix, and since I'm up in the middle of the night *I* get to choose what to watch and this is perfect. It's just so my childhood! I wish this was still on tv.

And...I'm tired. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lame worries

I know there are better things to worry about...but I just looked over at Zari who is sitting on the other end of the couch..and you guys...she's beautiful. Like undeniably beautiful. So this makes me worry 1 of 2 things... 1.) What if she starts out this beautiful only to somehow "loose" it while growing up? or 2.) As a young lady and woman, and even as a little girl, the unwanted attention that being beautiful do I teach her to handle it? I have terrible self esteem, I like to think I'm getting better...but after so much high school rejection, I still wonder, has anyone other than my own parents and my husband ever found me attractive? This is deeply personal and I can't believe I'm putting it on a website. But hell, I've been essentially alone for two weeks now while Doug works some serious overtime.. I'm due for a little over sharing with someone. Plus, I've only told like 3 people I know about this website. I'm <hopefully> a complete stranger to any other reader. :)
How do I teach Zari to be a better person than I am? Is it even possible to teach her everything I'm not? In your early 20's you start to separate from your family, realizing that your parents and siblings aren't the perfect people you grew up thinking they were. Then in your late 20's/30's you start to realize YOU aren't everything you thought you were. Personal growth can suck.
And how to hell do you TEACH your children the lessons that you've learned? One thing being overweight and tall taught me as a kid was compassion and empathy. For some reason kids listened to me when I told them to stop picking on the fat kid...I couldn't understand why they weren't picking on me since I was fat too (and also towered over my classmates by about 12 inches..not exactly blending in). I hope she stands up for the fat kids too. Lord knows they need all the love they can get.
That's about as deep as it gets here folks. TGIF!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


In its usual fashion summer left just as soon as it's been raining like it's April or May instead of October.. I'm left with thoughts of our brief summer interludes with Zari. Second annual trip to Fort Knox on Fathers Day, her 2nd birthday party, our trip to Biddeford and Storyland, day trips to the beach with friends, the State Fair, Moose Point State Park exploration <very cool tidal pools> another trip to Biddeford and the Wildlife Park, and ending it all was the Common Ground Fair not long ago. Now I enter the season of holidays...paid days off from work <grin grin grin!> and cozy time spent indoors. Both seasons (really, there's only 2 in Maine) have their benefits, and I genuinely enjoy both...but I find transition of any sort difficult, this included. I'll miss the freedom and the outdoor play (and yard sales!). I'll miss the garden (my first year with a vegetable garden and my mom is amazed at how well I did, thank you mom), I'll miss the adventuring with Zaria - showing her new places.

Now we will embrace the library visits, the Target toy aisle playing, swim lessons at the Y and family get togethers <hopefully. I think my mom will agree we're kind of retarded about getting together. We all claim to like each other quite a bit, but spend time together? Pfffffttt> I've already started reading voraciously as I do every fall and winter. Now is the time of craft projects and planning. Last year I started tearing down walls and have created a little closet nook my father claims he'll finish some day. My FIL volunteered to help us with fixing one of the toilets and lying down new floors and walls in the other bathroom. Very exciting things could happen this winter. Or none of it could happen <more likely>. Either way, this season also notes the beginning of The Cold and Flu Season. I blame Doug. Zari is a good girl and won't hold it against him. But it did give me an excuse to order supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs. Coming in the mail <thank you visa card> are some essential oils to make my own vapor rub, as well as some beeswax for vapor rub and lotion bars <EEEEEEK!> I'm super excited! Oh yes, I also ordered some elderberries for making elderberry syrup...hopefully something I can stomach, and Zari will try. Doug does what I tell him, bless his heart - so he'll be taking it too. I think I've encountered elderberries before, and if I remember correctly they're extremely strong flavored and quite unpleasant. I'm actually a bit nauseous just thinking about it. So we'll see how it goes.

The garden is gearing up for winter.. I've had to bring a few plants that were living on my deck railing to my workplace. The one good window in a cat proof room, can't handle all the plants I have. My basil will probably need to live at work as well. Hmm..Maybe my two indoor tomato plants can live there too? IDEA! I'm not sure if I can trust others to keep their paws off my 'maters once they start growing. I'm thinking that will be around Xmas time too. You know how people get all wanty-grabby around the holidays. They might expect me to SHARE!

Once I get to finally MOVE INTO MY OWN HOUSE <dad..walls..c'mon now> I plan on having a few hanging plants (cat proof!) and a few smaller plants living on the mantle...and I'd like to have one for Zari's room to. I talked to her about it one day, she didn't seem interested...but then a few days later she was "helping" me and moved one of my plants into her bedroom all on her own. It couldn't stay because the cats could get at where she put it, but I was thrilled to my tippy toes. :)

My cosmos <also known as the hidden, and most gorgeous things I've grown all year> are now taller than the first story windows. Mom says I must be doing something right. Other than cutting 1-2 new bouquets for the past 6 weeks, I don't know what that could be! Honestly it's gorgeous out there and not a single person but me knows about it because it's on the backside of the house outside our living room window...a frothy green wave of dark, and medium purple and white cosmos. There's enough that Zari can pick her own and not upset me, or the flowers. I can't wait to do it again except in an additional location that will show off. I also want a rock wall for the front of the house...wish rocks were free! And dirt! I can't believe the stuff I've paid for this many bags of old cow crap have I bought? Jesus.

that is all. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

The fair

We went, we saw, we conquered, we skipped our nap time! haha! Doug and I took time off from work to enjoy the Common Ground Fair...our first visit with Zaria. I'm not sure the Common Ground Fair is Doug's favorite place to be. He likes The Hippy Food, but he doesn't like The Hippy. But Zaria quite enjoyed it! At one point we were watching a live band and she got up and danced much to the delight of the other patrons. I have a 2 minute video of her dancing her sweet dance, but I can't figure out how to get blogger to let me post videos. :( I still owe Aunt Ellie a video if I can ever figure it out.
My parents went as well and my mom and I hit up the Johnny's Select Seeds tent, and the Fedco tent. My mom took Zaria over to the childrens area for a bit and Doug and I hit up Sal's Calzones..Sadly Sal wasn't there this year :( he had 4 women doing the work of 1 Sal. Doug and I made sure to hit up Dr. Pussums for some new cat nip toys for the cats. It was a cat nip orgy when Doug handed out the toys. Then Leo got mean and started pounding on everyone and taking their toys..he's a mean drunk.

I put Zari down to bed at 5pm, she did amazingly well considering she started her day by vomiting in the car. (Let this be a lesson to me: Even though you cannot comprehend a scenario when you may need a change of clothes for your offspring, pack one anyways...) Followed by an over stimulating time at the FAIR! with GRAMMY! and GRAMPY!..I'm amazed, thankful, and impressed by my little nugget. She's a trooper! And a people loving fun seeker. She's so not me. I'm so happy for that! :) I just hope she'll continue to visit me in my hermit cave in my old age. :)

Tomorrow we have swim class day 3. Blaze and Sara our friends from class, tried to teach Zaria "Knuckles" (what I call Fist Bump) and I've been working on it with Zari. We hope to impress the older, more mature toddler: Blaze. Let's hope he's impressed by blond girls that like to mash fists like it's a potato!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

China Philips

I cannot get over how repulsive a personality China Philips has! I am absolutely STUNNED anyone would even stand NEXT to her! How was she ever part of a BAND?! I just had to get that out. Whew.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apple Picking

We made it to an apple orchard (Conant's to be exact) for Maine Apple Sunday and had a blast. We picked three large brown paper bags worth of Cort's and Mac's, picked up some cheese and got a picture of Doug with the General Lee (thank you Wendi for help with the name!). :)
Zari put about 3 apples in a bag and then said she was done and sat down and age two apples under the tree...endless amounts of adorable right there. She was EXTREMELY EXCITED at the idea of going apple picking, but I guess the actual ACT of picking apples isn't that thrilling because then she asked to sit in the car so she could watch her DVD. LOL Oh well. We went to the store and got her a balloon and bought some locally made coffee and cheddar cheese <sooooo good with apples!> and headed the 20 minutes back home. I'm in process of making applesauce, and I need to find those little cinnamon red hot candies so I can make some spiced apple rings and other goodies. Has anyone seen those lately? I'm almost thinking the dollar store might have some?? I'll also be making more pie filling.. I canned blueberry a week ago and now I'll do apple, after that no more pie filling. I may do some different jams for gift giving, but other than that this canner is going BACK IN THE BASEMENT I'M DONE. lol I don't know how the ladies did it years ago but holy moly it's alot of work putting up food!
Zari started her second round of swim lessons this past weekend with her swim buddy Blaze that we  met last year in swim class. The changes in the two kids is astounding! LOL They actually notice each other this year! At one point Blaze was trying to sneak a feel of Zari's hand and leg, I just about died it was so adorable LMAO Zari pulled away and was all WHHHAAAAT do you think you're doing?! Ha! Both kids seemed to have retained what they learned last year, and I know I can speak for Zari and say that she is much more brave in terms of putting her face in the water. I even dunked her all the way under once. She had her mouth wide open laughing but didn't take in any water.. I didn't dare push it though. The instructor says to blow hard in their face right before dunking them to get them to close their mouth and eyes and hopefully NOT take in water. Zari also blew bubbles in the water which I couldn't get her to do last year to save my life! She also kicked her little legs the ENTIRE TIME we played "pick up the balls in the water" game that she adores so much. During our free time we played Humpty Dumpty ALOT so that she could climb up the pool wall and "jump" into the water. She went almost all the way under a few times doing this, and again, did fantastic! I'm thankful, and will feel much relieved when she earns her fish fins. Now if only she could breathe under water I'd feel much better! My grandmother had a hard and fast no water over the belly button rule as a child. Which is really okay with me since lakes and oceans get pretty freaking in the yuck department.
Oh oh oh I got Zari a tricycle at the thrift store today for $3. The new one I've had my eyes on is $40 $3 was a "no brainah". I also got some SUPER COOL MARTHA GREEN (Read: Jadite colored) melamine vintage coffee cups... I got 8 for myself and another 4 for Zari to play with lol. Or yeah..12 for me. And a cute wire closing jar with a retro "Popcorn" inscribed on the front. And a vintage strawberry/mushroom/egg slicer... I bought a new one a few years ago used it once and broke it. So I've never gotten to have the fun of slicing hard boiled eggs like they do in restaurants! It's the small things, folks.
My tomato plants have almost had it. I canned one batch of salsa last weekend and have a ton of fresh tomatoes on the kitchen table waiting for me to do something with.. I'm thinking Mark Bittmans Tomato Onion Salsa (YUM!) We ate GALLONS of the stuff last summer with the tomatoes from my in laws. SO GOOD!
I went to the chiro today for my ongoing back problems since "The Fall", and let a swear word slip when she had me on the table LOL needless to say the back cracking hurt, and it continued to hurt all the car ride back to work, and then while I was complaining about it hurting to my stopped. And then it felt GOOD! And I've been AMAZED all day about what I've been able to do without pain. I seriously cannot believe it. So very thankful..although sweet JESUS I HOPE I DON'T HAVE TO GO THROUGH PAIN LIKE THAT AGAIN TO GET HERE. It was the first time I've had it hurt while there...usually she uses a gadget on me, and the one other time I was on the table it didn't hurt. Holy Hannah I'm getting prickles just thinking about it! Eek! Anyways..another appointment on Friday, keeping my fingers crossed!
On the potty training front, Zari hasn't gone in our potty in weeks. We also haven't been home much, even on work day evenings. But she went yesterday! A biiiiiiiig ol' river of pee came streaming from that child much to every ones delight. I started ANOTHER potty chart (the 3rd and really into
I think that's all the news for least all that I want to take time writing about before I have to run! Pictures later when I get some more time.
Hmm.. "alot" still isn't a word, hmm? Oh well.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mini Vacation

My hectic summer work schedule has ended - I survived with only minor mental trauma - and we celebrated by staying with family and taking Zari to the Maine Wildlife Park.  If it involves animals, we all enjoy it. It was a nice secluded, open space. "Crowds" were extremely manageable - and they had a nice variety of animals. About halfway through we turned around to look and see what made this horrendous honking...only to find a rogue goose walking around as if he owned the place. Shortly after we found the peacock enclosure. They had a male and female and a few baby peacocks, funny little things that look like baby chicks with long necks. They had a feed machine and for .25 cents we fed the...chipmunks. The peacocks wanted nothing to do with our offerings, but those chipmunks were aggressive hoarding our corn...I saw one even take the corn directly from a young child's hand. Am I the only other parent that thinks that was stupid? Anyways...I took a few hundred pictures of the turtles sunning themselves, then we visited the fish hatchery where we all had a great time feeding the fish. I've always loved feeding fish at fish hatcheries, seeing them swarm and jump is very exciting and Zari enjoyed it very much...that is, when her food actually made it INTO the water. We need to work on teaching her to NOT throw like a girl. Because right now she's definitely got my arm! Lucky for her she has Doug's legs. :)

Sadly the day after we returned from our mini vacation my parents-in-laws dog died. The morning after Doug explained to Zari that Rusty had died, and that means he's not coming back. Unfortunately being 2 years old this obviously isn't satisfactory and she's asked me a few times now where Rusty is. Today when dropping her off at my MIL's she saw Grampy's truck in the driveway and said "Grampy and Rusty are home!"

Tomatoes! 3 plants fell over during the hurricane, and I had to harvest 4 completely green ones (currently residing on the windowsill) because a branch of one plant broke off while I was trying to stake it back upright..but everyone seems to be doing well - and we had no damage to our home. A piece of my neighbors tree fell on a fence...honestly I don't know WHICH neighbors tree it is, but the branch is mostly in our yard...and on this fence that is owned by the guy next door.. anyways no one has done anything with it..possibly because no one else but me realizes it's on this guys fence. OH WELL

I hope Bruen's Tree Service is keeping track of the referrals I've been sending them..our neighbors in the back had a couple very large trees fall on their neighbors fence and HOUSE. Scary stuff!

So back to tomatoes.. I have a small stash of harvested tomatoes...Unfortunately it's small so I don't think I have enough to really go through the trouble of making salsa or sauce and canning it... But I'm also chomping at the bit to make blueberry jam. I wish home canned food lasted longer than a year..for all the work I'd like it go last a food 5 years rather than the 1.

I'm getting the furnace cleaned tomorrow. It's hard to believe it's that time of year again. I should probably clean all the Cheerios out of the registers before he comes tomorrow... I wonder if he'll find any crayons or cat toys when he goes to clean the filter?

We took a break on potty training while we were away...when we got back to our normal schedule on Monday Zari ASKED her Grammy if she could use the potty, and then went on to put so much pee in the potty that Grammy started to worry a little bit because she wasn't STOPPING lol
I believe she asked the other Grammy the next day if she could use the potty too..She's coming along, that kid. :)

I put a top sheet in her crib...She's had a fleece blanket that I've caught her ACTUALLY I thought now would be a good time to introduce a sheet as well. I bought a down comforter for this's an LL Bean comforter I got from Goodwill, it's been washed and dried twice and it's still in one piece so that's good. She loves "my" green blanket that is an "alternative down" lap's really good for playing hide and seek and peekaboo with. I like it because it's "Martha Green", from my massage office when I had such a thing, and the warmest lap blanket we own. Doug is forever trying to steal it, but I won't let him. But I DO let Zaria. She's so spoiled I know. ;) Anyways I think because of her green blanket love she'll hopefully take to the down comforter just as well. Exciting times in her crib! I still cannot get her to use a pillow to save my life. She'll read like 2 pages of a book on a pillow and then toss both out of the crib.

One last Zari tidbit... We went shopping at Old Navy the other night and she saw some pink shoes   and asked for them! She's on her third pair of pink shoes now...We've tried to be very careful about not pushing pink on her...and she doesn't care about it for anything else, but when it comes to footwear she really likes her pink shoes. Her favorite color is actually green... She's very happy to use the green crayon, to search for the green car that lives by my MIL's house, to eat a green (pistachio) muffin, receive a green balloon, etc.

Well that felt good, I had a lot swimming around in there. Thanks for the mind dump everyone! And I hope you had fun reading about my daughters pee, and her favorite color and her love of pink shoes. =P

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My little musician

<Having technical difficulties with the video I'm trying to upload. It might be too big? That's my best guess. Anyways this post is fairly meaningless without it. I'll keep trying...>

This one's for you Ellie! Yesterday Zari said she was "going to play music like Ellie", and she started drumming on my food dehydrator and singing. She's always been very shy about singing in front of an audience, so this is an EXTRA special video.. She usually won't let me take video or pictures of her when she's feeling shy, so this is THREE times extra special.. Sorry for the hyperactive mom chatter in the background.. I get a little nuts when she gets super cute. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Yard sale goodness

I had a phenomenal day with my friend Wendi and her family at their camp... and have just tasted the frosting on this cake of goodness. I bought a Sony turn table at a yard sale's not very old, 8 years, so it's newer than any other record player I've ever come in contact with. I now have a way to play my childhood record collection! I have records from the 70's that were my brothers that I inherited, as well as my all time favorite "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day" record with read-a-long-book. I love this Winnie the Pooh so much that I frequently watch this video on YouTube because I feel nostalgic.
Zari has good taste as well and doesn't need to be forced to watch this with me. :)
So now I have an awesome tan/burn glow from being in the sun, my Sim Social Meter is full, and I have a record player and will now become one of those snobs that only buys records. The only thing that sucks about these is how short they are LOL I'm finding I have to get off my rear quite often to changes sides or correct something. Yes yes, laugh at me... BUT I HAVE A RECORD PLAYER AND YOU DON'T!
Oh and as we speak I'm using last weeks yard sale purchase..(or rather a few weeks back) my food dehydrator.. I'm dehydrating the massive bunch of Chives my mom helped me harvest from her garden. What a good, GOOD day! :)
And tomorrow my FIL is supposed to help my husband install our front screen/storm door! Yeay! :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Look at my beautiful potatoes!"

We gave the potato barrel a tip and she poured out 5.8 lbs of organic homegrown potatoes!! My mom and Zari were with me, both enthusiastic, both adorable and helpful. I can't tell you how fun it is to play hide and seek with your homegrown garden produce!

Originally I planted 6 potato "eyes" in the barrel...we saw plenty of examples of baby potatoes that would've kept growing had we let it go longer. Next year I'll try and wait a few more weeks...I doubt I can do it though :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's been a busy two weeks! The car woes continued, but came to a clean end...the shiny red car has passed inspection for another year with MORE new tires in her near future. Oh well. I much rather have a few hundred dollars than a few thousand in car repairs.
Some of my summer groups at work have ended but a laaaarge one started this week...30+ kids with me and 1 was rough, but we made it through. Now I only need to do that 2 more times this month before I can relax before the real work insanity starts. Speaking of which it's been nuts today because I fell at work on Tuesday and have been submitting all the necessary paperwork today...this has involved a lot of typing, phone calls and using the fax machine. Now my supervisor has to make an appointment for me to see the work approved doctors before they'll pay for my chiropractor visit.  Luckily the place they want me to go to is right around the corner from my office, so at least it's not far.
We took Zari to the fair twice while it was in town..the first time we went with my parents and she had a great time..I almost think the novelty of having Grammy ride in the backseat WITH her was almost as fun as going to the actual fair.. So during these two trips she got to ride a pony (twice), pet a bunny (she got a ribbon for bunny petting), see a Rattlesnake show, see a Sea Lion,  watch the lumberjacks and play inside the Toddler Area that had a bunch of Step 2 brand toy's for the Littles to unwind with. She would ride in the little cars for about two seconds before saying "I'm Done!" hoping out and then into the next car, riding in it for 2 seconds, hoping out and..well you know the rest.. There were like a dozen cars that she did this to. She also got her "drivers license" here.
We didn't go on any rides.. My office gets free tickets, but the tickets don't include rides, and she's probably too little we were happy to stay off (especially momma who gets motion sick in her old age). Doug tried a fried Snickers bar and fried macaroni and cheese. And we got a really yummy $8.00 fresh squeezed lemonade that was sooo yummy. We've been drinking lemonade all summer..but cheating by using the bottled lemon juice and this tasted particularly spectacular.
Last Saturday was my brothers birthday (38 years old...seriously?! I might have to start calling him a MAN now instead of a BOY) =P After a celebratory lunch at my parents house we took Zari home for a nap and then went to our second fair trip...we got home at 8:30 (bedtime is 7:30) and she didn't go to bed until 10pm. We paid for it the next two days. But I'm happy to report that the child is now sweet and lovable again. Boy oh boy she was nuts. Happy one second crying the next, throwing a tantrum after that... it was rough. I looked at Doug at one point and said "I hope this is just her recovering from the fair and not The Terrible Twos"!
Potty training is slow going. She seems to be doing well at Grammy Rolnicks..going pee on the potty almost once every day there. It has been going at home...she's earning lots of stickers for trying...but hasn't put anything in for I want to say a week or two now. Honestly I've been exhausted and haven't been pushing the issue (as you probably SHOULDN'T anyways) we're hoping to go away for a few days in a couple weeks and I already know I'm going to keep her in pull ups the whole time so I kind of don't want to get her trained and then stick her back in the pull ups. Confusing? Yes.
My garden is now in stage 3... We've harvested twice I've planted the third round of fall crops.. my sweet parents bought me zucchini to fill my zucchini void and I'm hopefully going to make zucchini "crab" cakes today or tomorrow.
I've planted a bunch of Chinese cabbage varieties, kale, bunching onions for spring harvesting as well as beans, radishes, and the two varieties of carrots. I'm super excited about the bok choy varieties I planted too...that stuff is so damn yummy. Just put it in some chicken broth and I'm happy as a pig. And eating like one! Har har :)
We're hoping to visit Wendi and family this Saturday "upta camp" (always wanted to say that) I'm super excited to drive through the small towns I've heard my friend Theresa talk about so much.. Doug and I are big fans of small towns and their small stores...Lately I've been seeing these "You know your from __suchandsuch town___ if you remember..." groups on facebook..and all these people (20+) years older than me are remembering all these small town stores that used to be in my hometown.. I remember a few of them..but it makes me so sad I didn't really realize how much we depend on Walmart, Lowes and Hannaford in our town. Our town used to be fairly self sufficient.. we had our own movie theater, drive in theater, roller rink...and tons of other we go to Bangor if we need something, or one of the big box stores now located in our town...when I realized that it made me so sad...and I think I'm going to try buying least within Maine for Xmas this year.. I'm hoping on making a lot of my items anyways so that will help offset the cost of the local items that are more expensive. This isn't a hard and fast rule of mine..just something I want to explore.. I've been such a hermit these past few years (Who am I kidding, MY ENTIRE LIFE) that I don't even know what is in our "Downtown" for shops..and I'd like to help out the little guy...the little guy that reminds me of what my town used to be like!
Oh! And we think a place that the facebookers have been talking about might've been owned by my husbands grandfather and uncle (they passed away before he was born) that's kind of neat.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm housebound for the time being with my car at the spa getting her nails done. And home alone! I took some time to peak in on the garden.. sadly vegetables that are supposed to be notoriously easy to grow <i.e. ZUCCHINI!> are not making an appearance in my garden. So now my hopes lay in my MIL and FIL for a bumper crop of zucchini so I can make some bread and zucchini pancakes and zucchini faux crab cakes that we love so much. I also harvested a single cucumber...which I think I let go a bit too long because it's got a bottom like I *used* to. ;) And it's turning a yellowy color.. I'm not sure that's good. I'll find out when I bite into that sucker! I appear to have watermelons growing..teenie things the size of a 50 cent piece. They're still in little, dad? Are you guys ready for them??
I don't think there's enough time for them to grow before the evil Frost comes back to visit. We'll see.
My second batch of carrots are growing nicely and I planted my third this past week. Two different variety comes in a rainbow of colors. I'm very excited to see those.
I've also got buttnernut squash coming along VERY least 3 if not more, from two plants. And then there's my five tomato plants...all doing very VERY well. And all going to turn red at the same time. lol oh well. Salsa may be in order...really it depends on the weather. I'm pretty exhausted still from all the strawberries I canned. But I am DEFINITELY getting some blueberries and some apples this fall to make into canned pie filling. I'm geeky excited about pie filling - it's the reason I learned how to can. Just so I could make pie filling. I was at our local health food store a few years back and saw this sexy jar of blueberry pie filling "Made in Maine" sticker with a simple homemade label...and I was totally won over. Except for the price. Which is why making your own is so much fun! That and the sharing bit. Last year I bought the special kind of pectin off the interwebs that you need for pie filling. It is not carried in stores.
I am so ready.
I'm also eating a taco for breakfast.
I cannot describe how badly I needed this time off. Thank you car, for needed a spa day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Plum Upside Down Cake

So Angry Chicken keeps talking about this rustic fruit dessert and it's been driving me of course I had to make's quite unlike anything else I've ever had. And delicious. Buttery. Crumbly and moist, slight vanilla flavor...and a tartness I wasn't expecting.. Delish!
I've been debating what kind of fruit tree to plant in our yard (and uh...WHERE to plant it) and plum has been at the top of my list. I like that it seems old fashioned. Pear is another top of the lister. We have loads of Apple picking places in the area so that doesn't seem necessary. That and there isn't much to do in Maine when it gets cold so I figured I wouldn't rob my family of an annual apple picking tradition by planting an apple tree or two in our backyard.  

Doug did it too!

Doug got a promotion at work! He's now the Lead UA...UA = universal agent = customer service rep in normal person speak. Which means he has to be to work at 8 instead of 9, and he doesn't know what time he'll get out and he doesn't know how much of a raise it will be. It might be as little as .50 cents an hour, or a dollar. Either way he did it! YEAY DOUGGIE!!!

I did it!

I submitted my paperwork to my supervisor for a desk audit..if approved by my supervisor and the person that investigates my request - then I'll officially be a "level II nutrition associate"...and get a whopping .60 cent raise! Every little penny counts! Doug also applied this week for a position at work that would give him $1.00+ an hour raise if he is chosen. A coworker who also applied for the position told Doug she thinks he'll get it. We're hopeful. If you'll remember a few posts back I was complaining about money...this would be lovely if we get these raises!

In the potty training update Zari is not using the potty at either Grammies house. It makes it really frustrating when she doesn't do what she does at home at EITHER place even though one of the Grammies even has the same exact style potty she has at home. But she is in pull ups at both houses and we'll try the training underpants when I receive them. I also requested a book from called Potty train your child in one I know this is not possible, and I read the reviews and found out that the "method" for this is basically just throwing a big deal potty b=party for your kid where you make a huge deal out of them, give them a doll that poops and pees and have them "train" the doll in the morning...then in the afternoon you train your kid and supposedly they'll be so into it they'll continue with it. She also suggests A LOT of rewards, some I don't agree with (like food and candy) but I can come up with other things. I'm going to try doing my own version of this with her... I'll report on how it goes. It will have to be on a Saturday and it will NOT be tomorrow since I need time to gather supplies for the "party". :) Never did I though I would throw a party about poop and pee. Shesh.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In the mood

I got out my Christmas fabrics yesterday and got them washed and folded.. I want to make something. I don't know what. Something decor-y. A runner for the mantle, maybe a Christmas stocking, and I need to finish the Christmas tree skirt I started after Christmas last year. I'm doing this now so it will hopefully be done by December. Har har. Have I mentioned we've lived in our house for almost 2 years and we have STILL haven't primed and painted the living room walls? Yeah. Time stands still in our house. But at least I won't age like the rest of you! =P
Anyways if you're like me and get "the bug" I recommend skipping google and going straight to and and searching for "Christmas"...they've got awesome lists of stuff (awesomely LONG lists).

It's been such a scorcher here this past week, and today will apparently be the worst of it. This is of course, the day I have to work late, AND outside in the afternoon.. I am not a small woman by any means and any sort of MOVEMENT makes me sweat. So this is going to be rough. I need some sort of reward when I'm done today. But instead I get to go pick up my kid at Grammies. My kid that will probably be tired, cranky and ready for the dinner I've not yet made. Ugh.

On the potty training front she went twice on Sunday (day 1) on the potty, and day 2 she sprinkled in the potty once (literally 4 drops lol). Day 3, went twice in the potty, and day 4 peed three times on the floor and pooped in the bathtub. Did I mention I was home alone with her that night? There was a lot of cleaning. Her bath toys are out of commission until they get their own special bath... I kind of want to just put her right into underwear and just deal with it when she poops and pees in it. It's summer time and she won't be able to go around half naked like she is at our house now once it cools I really want to help her make the most of this. We are planning on traveling late August and I'm totally taking the easy way out and just keeping her in Pull Ups for that. No travel potty for us!

BTW If you have kids and you HAVEN'T visited you REALLY need to! They have a ton of parents contributing reviews, info and tips on all things parents/kid's so handy to those of us that like to research and take advice!

Okay.. I should really do some work while I'm at work...

OH OH! By the way I made a living succulent wreath the other day (have I written about this already? I can't remember) it is totally rocking my world...this is the tutorial I used..

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Success x2!

She did it! There was pee in that potty TWICE and within 40 minutes of each other! FANTASTIC! I have photographic evidence too. I'm just so surprised since we would ask her periodically if she needed to use the potty throughout the day and she always said no <in a rather short way..too funny>. Then tonight she willingly sat on it and asked daddy to read her some books, and while he was doing that SHE did THAT! And then as a reward we let her watch tv...Elmo's Potty Time DVD appropriately...and after that she went and sat on it again this time asking me to read to her...AND SHE DID IT AGAIN! I know this isn't rocket science, but it's a pretty big deal to our little family! :) Here's the rockstar with her rockstar pee..


These two things have been stuck in my head all week. I just got finished making beautiful flower petal "pictures" for the front door glass panes..Just stick flower petals on clear <or frosted...very cool> contact paper <thanks for buying me some dad!> and slap that puppy on the freaking cool! I'd take a picture but it's like a billion degrees in here and we don't have the air conditioner just making those things took everything out of me. Maybe by next summer I can show you a picture.

OTHER cool thing floating around in the noggin is watermelon popsicles. Slice watermelon and cut out with cookie cutter shapes. Stick a popsicle stick into the shapes and place in freezer until watermelon is frozen. Take out and enjoy!

Then there's the taking nubs of chalk, grinding them up and adding just a tiny bit of water to make a paste or "paint" and then use a paint brush to apply to the sidewalk outside.

I just added a bunch of kid friendly blogs to my reader and I'm too lazy to look up the sources for each of those ideas, but they're not mine! I'm just an admirer. :)

I should totally be at the beach today..but I'm too lazy.

***Edit: Here is a picture of the flower arrangement on contact paper..i think this stuff is sooo cool looking!

Pull Ups

Oh yeah...and we're officially in Pull ups 24/7 now. We no longer have any diapers in the house... and Zari ran to the potty half way through breakfast to "try" to use it...nothing happened, but she sat on it for about 5-10 minutes reading to herself, so that's good. We've told her that her Pull ups are very special underwears...and we don't poop or pee in them. And WHERE do we put the poop in pee? Why in the very lonely potty of course! Yes, sanity is wearing thin in this house.
We are officially potty training. <gulp>

Bathroom experiments

I just came out of the downstairs bathroom and heard the UPSTAIRS bathroom toilet lid slam shut. Doug is in the living room. The cats do not have thumbs. I called upstairs to ask Zari what she was doing and she came to the top of the stairs and said she's playing with Kirby. When I went upstairs she asked me what the toilet was and started to open it...
I'm afraid I might have one of THOSE pictures to show you...with the kid wrapped in toilet paper and the rubber ducky floating in the toilet with the kid standing there using my tooth brush to stir the toilet water...

Family photos went well. We went to Spencers Ice Cream afterwards... then had a hankering for Pat's Pizza and by the time we got there our pizza and rings were ready...then we headed home, walked about 8 steps from the car, sat down in the grass and ate pizza. Zari picked off all the black olives and ate only that, while Doug and I gorged ourselves on a piece and a half each. We're such cheap dates now. Well rounded nutrition sort of day. And by the way...the homemade Orange Pineapple ice cream at Spencers is OUT OF THIS WORLD good. Doug's Pumpkin Pie ice cream was a little too weak in the flavor department, and he says he liked Zari's Red Raspberry ice cream the best..I still think mine was the yummiest. :)
And Wendi, it's in Bradley on the right side, BEFORE Claudia's if you're headed towards Brewer..There's a big ol' sign with a picture of an ice cream cone..I know you had said you hadn't been there before last year.. I'm hoping that's changed by now but if not... :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Potty training. I gave it my best shot...

I took Zari to the potty and told her the potty was sad because it had no poop or pee...and all it wants is to be peed's so lonely.. I thought maybe she'd like to "help" the potty by peeing on it.
Perfect plan..that is how we manage to finally get her to let us brush her teeth..she "helps" her Thomas the Tank Engine toothbrush get toothpaste to the people of Toothpasteville... I thought that by having her help the potty maybe we'd make some progress with the potty training. The books and DVD's and gentle encouragement haven't worked. We've had the potty since December. <sigh> Oh well. I'll wait for one of her little friends to get potty trained and then we'll let peer pressure take over!

Tomorrow we have a mini photo shoot with an area photographer...who it turns out, is a girl I went to high school with. She was a year or two younger than me. I'm super excited to be able to get a picture with the three of us in it together! :) Oh..and it's also supposed to be 90 degrees out tomorrow and the photo shoot is outside. FUN!

As I write this we're rocking out to "Old Dan Tucker" by the Wiggles. Good stuff.
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh Oh OH!

Free Burda Shrug pattern..

And I still REALLY want to make an "Infinity" scarf for this fall/winter ..I wanted one last year but never got around to making it...really sewing is the most impossible hobby to do with a toddler. I think that would be a super cute thing for Christmas gifts too...god I can't believe I'm thinking of that already! But I loooove the infinity scarf in jersey knit type fabric..soooo cute! And on the topic of clothes, I am totally digging the knit maxi dresses... by the time I make or buy one summer would be over. Oh well. Better off planning Christmas gifts in July.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Work is just one big bundle of nerves for me this week. I'm working on a project with someone I've never worked with before and it's been a practice in patience. I cannot wait until this week is over. And thankfully have some very dear girlfriends who have agreed to go out with me at the end of the week so I can hopefully come down off the ceiling.
Making matters worse is that it's a billion degrees in my unair conditioned office. And it's stunning outside. I'd really rather be outside with Zari right now, instead of studying curriculum's, photocopying and snacking on my daughters Teddy Grahams from the car.
To Do:
I need to figure something out..we're having a heck of a time financially lately. I've been pursuing my own interests, which benefit my family (i.e. Gardening, landscaping, canning) but still it does not come cheap..we've been living pay check to pay check with no wiggle room and our savings has dwindled. I'd love to find out what Dave Ramsey is all about but guess what? HE COSTS MONEY. The money guru to help you save money, costs money. Blurgh.
Anyways...ramblings from a crazy woman at work. Resume your business.

Behold! The child that eats!!

For a week now we've been practicing sit down family style dinners at our small little household of 3 (in our even smaller kitchen). We also upgrade Zari to a booster seat, and have explained to her that as soon as she requests to get down, the food is going away - no more until the next scheduled snack or meal time. All this was done after rereading Ellyn Satters "How To Get Your Child To Eat, But Not Too Much". I'll be the first to admit I have issues with food, and assumed because of me my children would too. So far Zari has had the OPPOSITE problem of me. Thankfully she's always been healthy, but there was her initial entrance to the world, and my dawdling milk supply issues. And then as an older infant she didn't exactly ENJOY solid foods. And now as a busy toddler we're lucky to get her attention on food for 30 seconds.
Thankfully I think sitting down at the table together is such a NOVELTY for this child that she sits happily and eats with us...even trying a few new foods <!> ATTENTION PARENTS OF PICKY EATERS: TRY READING THIS BOOK!! I have no idea if it will work for you, but the nights I've wasted worrying about my child eating enough are no more! She's doing just fine, trying new foods, and enjoying meal time with us. That child even sat and talked and ate with us for 40 minutes Saturday night!! :) Now she also eats about as fast as I do geometry, but still, nutrients are making it INSIDE my child. Yeay!

And...I canned 5 quarts of pickles and harvested 2 lbs of beets from my little square foot garden. And we ate all the peas I harvested Saturday.

Oh, and while I was outside our living room window planting my hollyhocks Zari walked over to the window and started talking about pooping in the potty, and I told her that sounded like an excellent idea, maybe she should go try. My husband told me later that she had in fact pooped. But not on the potty. And not in her diaper. But instead on the heating grate in the living room!
I'm still laughing about it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name...

So my mom doesn't "get" the Home and Hiney name...let me spell it out for you.. Home refers to my small life and that of my household, and Hiney is to highlight my favorite Hiney that needs regular diapering, patting and sometimes a tickle and a pinch.

On the HOME front... I went strawberry picking with a friend earlier this week and have worked hard to can the 12 quarts of berries before they spoiled...or rather, before the fruit flies figured out how to air lift the berries right out of the house. So far I have something like close to 30 jars of strawberry jam, strawberry kiwi jam, strawberry lemon marmalade and kiwi daiquiri jam. AND strawberry lemonade concentrate (we tried some with dinner tonight and OH YUUMMMMO. Sorry folks but you couldn't pay me enough to share this!). The Lemonade was a huge pain in the HINEY to make... we had to squeeze 7 lbs of lemons for 4 cups of fresh lemon juice. Doug had to take over half way through because my wrist was getting ready to file a lawsuit.
As for my favorite HINEY.. I've been contemplating potty training. I'm pretty sure when you decide to do it, you're supposed to like...stick with it. But I'm a little hesitant. LOL YES IM HESITANT TO COMMIT TO POTTY TRAINING. Frankly I'm fine with changing diapers, but I knew a woman whose 4 year old son wasn't potty trained and I don't want to be That Mom. My favorite Hiney also shows no interest in actually producing something ON the potty. We've tried numerous times over the last 7 months, but nothing to take a picture of. Eh, maybe she's just not feeling it either. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Clean slate!

Unlike my kids chalk board, Home and Hiney is a clean slate, a fresh start, a pristine couch just waiting for the marker art of a 3 year old. Welcome! :)