Summer Signs

It’s a sign of the times, my friends. E. and I spent an entire day in our bathing suits and/or sundresses. We lounged around in the deliciously warm sun, finally brought out the wading pool, and made these:

It’s my own, quick and dirty version of frozen yogurt (quite literally). Today I bought E. a four-pack of kid’s Greek yogurt. Then we went to The Dollar Tree and I found these popsicle molds. At first, we thought we’d freeze some orange juice until I got a chance to pick up more fruit during my next grocery shopping trip (in the past we’ve pureed strawberries, bananas, and raspberries to make popsicles instead of just using fruit juice), but E. wanted to save the juice to drink. So, I used up three of the four yogurts to make eight popsicles, each with a little raspberry in them, for a treat.

E. tried one tonight after supper and the verdict: very cool!

That’s good, right?

Breakfast of Champions

Have you ever found yourself liking weird stuff? Like, things that just sound like they’d be weird,but in actuality are quite good? Like, calamari or haggis (haven’t had haggis…yet). A couple of years ago I decided for reasons unknown to try goat’s cheese. And you know what? It’s kind of delicious. Definitely has an acquired taste, or you at least have to be willing to try unusual tasting things, but you really can’t beat goat’s cheese on toasted bread, a pesto and tomato sandwich, or, as I had it for breakfast today, on an English muffin with strawberry jam. Dee-lish!

What’s your favorite weird food?

I’ve dealt with a lot of yucky, disease related stuff in my short time as a mom. I’ve been projectile pooped and puked on. I’ve endured long, unhappy nights of crying and peaking fevers. I’ve snuggled, made special couch “beds”, and poured cans of ginger ale into foamy, ice filled cups. But I’ve never dealt with them for as long or as urgently as I have the past couple of days.

E. has had a fever for two full days, the poor bug. We’re spending another day at home tomorrow and will probably be making a trip to the doctor’s office in the afternoon. I’ve been trying to figure out what, besides the usual, could perk up my little wilting rose (and keep me busy after I completed all the house work I could possibly find while she slept on the couch).

I decided to bake a Sick Day Cake.

I found a simple (and delicious) recipe in my Domestic Goddess cookbook (by Nigella Lawson) for Victoria sponge cake and used some frozen berries, defrosted, jam, and chocolate frosting to fill and frost the cake. And then I fed it to E.

It’s yet to be seen if the cake has cured her, but it was nice to see her cheer up a bit (and eat something, even if it was just cake) and feel a bit more like a little kid again and not Ms. Sicky Sickerson. I most certainly see this turning into a (hopefully rare) family tradition.

We’re on our second day back from April vacation and it’s amazing how quickly it feels like vacation never happened. My house is a mess again, I’m thoroughly exhausted (though, we were so busy during break that I really didn’t get those wonderful, rest-filled days (anyone with a four-year-old can understand how this is possible), and my mood is fairly foul lately.

Getting back to work and feeling this way almost makes me wonder if there was any point in going on April break (for me, anyway – I’m thinking selfishly, I know) to begin with. It’s funny how vacations can become just as tiresome as the time you spend during your usual schedule. I find myself wondering what I could have done differently. I mean, yes, I was busy (I sort of had to be), but I did work some relaxation/fun in there as well. I read…a lot. I discovered my new love, Gotye (totally, totally obsessed with his music…and him). We visited family, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and E. even took a little “swim” during one the warmer days last week.

I don’t know…I suppose I need to, I don’t, write more. Why this comes to mind isn’t clear. I just feel better when I’m writing consistently (and I don’t necessarily mean on here – I have other things going on, you know). Creating, thinking, lovingly crafting sentences, carefully choosing words. It feels so good.

I suppose that now I have a charger for my iPad (part of the reasons posts have been so scarce lately) I’ll have more opportunity to write…to write anything.

No vacations from writing for me.

My mom does this thing on my birthday every year. She’ll look at me with that weird, nostalgic mom look and wistfully say, “At this time, twenty-*insert appropriate number here* years ago, I was…” and some part of my miraculous arrival would be revealed. I know I roll my eyes every time I hear it (in fact, I rolled them a bit as I write this), but in reality, I kind of like it (okay, love it). I don’t remember the day I was born, so it’s nice to know that someone remembers.

And now I find myself doing the same to E.

Today is her birthday, and every time I glance at the clock I try to guess where I was at that moment. It’s hard to remember, because time moved so quickly that bright Tuesday in early April. What I remember, however, with absolute clarity, is the moment I heard her and the moment I saw her and the moment she was placed in my arms and I held her to my chest. It was time slowed down, every emotion flooding through my body, out my fingertips, making my heart pump the blood through my body with a sudden new purpose.

I was a mother, but, more importantly, this was my daughter. If I didn’t have a reason for life, I most certainly had one now.

And the last four years have been the purest I’ve ever experienced, with the greatest joy and the greatest love (and sometimes the greatest fear and frustration). E. has transformed from a beautiful baby, the model infant – perfect nurser, sleeper, completely content – to a full blown child with ideas and loves and a vivid brilliance and ridiculous vivaciousness. I try to not think so much about how she has changed and how quickly it has all happened, because it can bring me to my knees with joy and wrench my heart with the horrible speed in which it has all happened.

I expect the next four years will go in much the same style the previous four have. I will blink and too much time has passed. There will be the cliche struggles and joys. And ever before me will be a girl who I will simultaneously see as the growing, wonderful person she is, but also as the bawling, raw, pink baby quickly thrust over the curtain as she was delivered nearly exactly four years ago today.

Happy Birthday E. You are loved.

Dirty Jobs

We’ve all got chores that we hate (dishes, ugh), and maybe we’ve even got some that we like (laundry – or at least folding it; I’m less good at putting it away). And then there are the chores that just skeeve you out.

Like the toilet.

In the past, I’d wear a pair of yellow dishwashing gloves every time I cleaned the bathroom then throw them in the wash afterward. While the dishwashing gloves were probably getting clean, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that they’d repeatedly been in my toilet. Yuck. Even my love for non-disposable items couldn’t keep me from feeling gross every time I donned those gloves.

So, when given the chance to use disposable gloves from , I jumped.

Now, this is going to sound really silly, but I’ve actually worn a lot of disposable gloves in my time (due to work) and this particular brand/type is what I prefer. They’re lighter weight (though still leak-proof, which is nice when you’re cleaning your yucky toilet), fit nicely, are powder and latex free, and don’t get my hands all sweaty and gross (which thicker, more opaque gloves do, and trust me, it’s not fun). What’s more, a box comes with a hundred at only $9.20 (here’s a ). That’s fifty toilet scrubs – so for me, that covers about a year.

I’ve also taken a couple of pairs out and stored them with our family’s first aid kit. While blood doesn’t make my stomach turn quite as much as the contents of a toilet (recently used or not), for safety precautions, it’s good to wear gloves, especially if it’s not a family member you’re working on, but your kiddo’s playmate or a friend who’s come to visit (who’s head inadvertently meets with a bocci ball – true story).

If you’re sick of reusing the same dish/cleaning gloves over and over OR you’re purchasing more expensive pairs of disposable gloves in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store or Wal-Mart, reconsider. Magid’s EconoWear nitrile gloves do the job just as well and comfortably, but with a bigger supply and therefore better price.

Disclosure: This is a review of the product EconoWear by Magid Disposable Nitrile Gloves. I was provided with a free sample. All opinions are my own.