Monthly Archives: June 2010

Saint Louis and home again


We had a great weekend visiting my in-laws in Saint Louis. We took the kids to the City Museum, and it had to have been one of the most interesting kid-oriented places I’ve ever been to. Things to climb on and through, slides everywhere, secret tunnels. We had a nice time and the travel part went okay, all things considered.

Yesterday was back to real life in hurry, although it was our wedding anniversary. Seven years ago today we were driving back up to Chicago to unpack and repack and leave for our honeymoon! We had so many boxes of gifts (crammed into our car and the cars of guests who also drove down from Chicago) that they filled an entire wall in my little apartment. What a generous way for our family and friends to send us off into married life! We unwrapped and made a list, but left them boxed along the wall until we moved into our house in August. I took almost a whole year to send thank-you notes.

I celebrated my anniversary yesterday with a pleasant if not-so-romantic dinner out with my parents and kids, while my husband taught a night class. There will be other years for romance. But Rob did keep with his tradition of purchasing a “traditional” gift for me, according to anniversary gift charts. He has fun thinking of something that fills the requirement and makes me happy. I particularly liked year 3–leather. He bought me cowboy boots! This year was copper or wool, which was almost too easy. The good people at Grinny Possum helped him out, and I’ll be sporting beautiful handmade woolens this fall just for me.

Now I’m turning my attention to our house. We rescheduled our open house for this coming weekend, and I’m really trying to get the place in shape for a good showing. I’m washing curtains, scrubbing nooks and crannies, driving myself crazy. One of yesterday’s projects was recovering our dining chair pads with new fabric. The others ones had gotten too worn from years of use and accumulated car fur. They never looked nice even after a good cleaning. These at least looked good for about four minutes, until the cats realized they were done!

Jam session


Busy day today! Trying to clean up around here for an open house this weekend (crossing fingers that we’ll get some interest), got new tires on the car, and made strawberry jam with berries from my brother and sister-in-law’s garden. Yum! Here’s Dorothy with her jam face. I didn’t bother processing the jars, as I learned last year that just one batch only lasts us a few weeks. They won’t take up much room in the ‘fridge until they are eaten up, especially since Dorothy is going through a stage where she’ll only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I love the sweet, homemade taste of the old-fashioned recipe with just strawberries and sugar, where you boil the s#!t out of it and it sets up on its own, but given the time constraints inherent in jam-making with a small baby I used pectin this year. So it tastes more like grocery-store jam, but I know it’s not. 🙂

Now I’m off to party with my Mom who is retiring today. Hooray for Nana! Dorothy says “after today, Nana will be a stay-at-home-mom.” Amen to that!

Mommy’s new toy


We had a lovely, full, long weekend. Rob and Dorothy took their tandem bike on a several-mile stretch of the mayor’s Bike and Hike, we relaxed, made homemade ice cream, grilled out, drove to a nearby woods and took a nice walk. There was also lots of complaining, because, well, we have a four-year-old. But Mommy did some complaining too this time because the new toy she’d ordered fully a week ago had not yet arrived and she had to wait until Tuesday for the UPS dude to deliver it. (Incidentally, why do mothers often refer to themselves in third person?) Anyway, today my parcel finally arrived and I somehow managed not to run out to the sidewalk, pounce on the UPS man and rip it out of his hands when it finally got here.

One of my very favorite things in the world is taking photographs of my beautiful kids. I consider it a hobby, privilege, duty and job perk all in one. My favorite method of storing our family photos is to put them into books using the software available at and have them printed. I’m holding our most recent edition here in my hand. I choose different layouts for different batches of photos and add some text–it isn’t complicated, it doesn’t take long, the results look great, and I don’t have to go to one of those schmaltzy estrogen-filled scrapbooking stores at any point in the process. Anyway, it felt like the weak link in our photo situation was our camera, which does a perfectly fine job but not a beautiful job like some nicer cameras. So we upgraded, and it finally arrived today! Now my next crafty project is definitely going to be to learn to use it better so that the new weak link in the family photograph situation is not the, er, photographer.

But happily it seems to do a pretty good job without me even knowing how to use it properly yet. I’m afraid my sewing machine might get dusty in the next week or two while I’m chasing my poor kids (and maybe even the long-neglected cats) in my attempt to master the digital SLR thing.