Sunday, January 30, 2011

Not all ham is prepared equally...

So I just tucked away into the pantry the first canning project of 2011. When our friend M offered to bring half a ham to contribute towards our evening meal together, we graciously accepted (and I suggested to Jason that we might also roast a chicken we had in the freezer). You see, I don't like ham. I can't really think of a time in my life that I ever enjoyed a bite of ham that I consumed. That is until last evening. This was a home butchered, salt cured ham that simmered in our big canner for most of the afternoon while some went for a walk with me and some hung kitchen cabinets with Jason. When it was pulled from the water, we realized we had a canning project on our hands and by the end of the night two canner loads of rich ham broth - ready to be the base of a hearty bean soup - were cooling on the counter. When we sat down for dinner, I took a small piece of ham. I wasn't sure it was me who a few moments later, asked Jason to pass the ham. And I'll admit that a third helping happened in there somewhere. And this evening we enjoyed ham, egg and lamb's quarter roll sandwiches. Yum!! So, I guess I like some ham!

In other news (pregnancy-related), I officially overdid on Friday when I decided to tackle the build up of construction dust and grime in our house. Since scrubbing floors is also one of the best ways to get a baby into the right position for birthing, it seemed like a good excuse to, at least temporarily, get our floors clean again. I felt pretty good in the process and had Kali at my side a good part of the time (since she was earning a quarter towards her "duck fund" for each floor she helped with). But by evening my back was complaining at me, and after laying on the futon for awhile I found that I could hardly get up. And when I did, it felt like somehow my spine was no longer supporting the rest of my body, and my legs were not functioning well. So, I'm attempting to figure out what my limits are and also a bit surprised to learn the unpleasant results when I surpass them... Tadpole seems quite happy though, normally having very active evening times and normally a case or two of hiccups daily (and in the picture above, Kali was trying to encourage Tadpole to throw her first snowball).

In other news (construction projects-related), Jason is busy putting a second coat of oil on the kitchen drawers for my folks place. This weekend was "cabinet installation" weekend and, with the extra hands of a few friends yesterday, went very well. We have taken a break from our bedroom project (floor is now leveled and framing done) to get back to the kitchen. We are managing quite well in the guest room and are still hopefully both projects, if we stick at it and utilize evening time to keep us on track for the foreseeable future, that we may move back to our bedroom about 2 weeks or so before Tadpole's possible arrival date. A little closer than we'd like, but we keep telling her she can stay cozy and comfy where she is until the end of March!

In other news (Kali-related), she is amazing us with her aptitude for picking up tunes on the piano. Here Aunt E was here for a few days and shared a song she recently wrote. By the time she left this morning, Kali was working at figuring it out on the piano. Then later today, I came into the front room to hear her figuring out "chim, chimney" from Mary Poppins. I also had a hard time stumping her today when she asked for a math lesson - we went from subtraction, to multiplication, to division, to algebra (simple addition problems) and I realized that I am a bit behind on where she is at in those areas.... She is enjoying direct applications of these math skills with the bank account she recently opened and is also quite focused on the goal of acquiring some Rouen ducks and building her "duck fund" through generous contributions of willing donors, or through paid labor when that is available. She is currently deep into her new copy of "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks" sent to her by her Grandpa M (who made the first contribution and is basically to be credited with the start of the previous named "duck fund").

I think it is about time I get back to a promised game of Mastermind. There aren't many games that she can't beat me at these days, including getting a score of 599 in ONE Yahtzee game the other day (with 4 Yahtzee's in one game). I didn't have a chance!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Diving in...

For any of our "faithful blog readers" out there, we may be needing a little external motivation to keep writing/posting in the coming weeks! Seeing this blog as my way of not feeling guilty for my negligence at scrapbooking, as my mother so faithfully and wonderfully did, has been helpful in some ways. But I'm afraid January - March 2011 may include large gaps in posts when looking back. We are BUSY!! And life is full and good in so many ways.

2011 is here: Tadpole's birth year! And we have crossed the 30 week mark!! We have traveled through some emotional weeks as we journey with this little girl and reminders of these weeks of pregnancy with Nora. I would have been just adjusting to bedrest at this time... And the emotions were only fueled further by some frustrating phone calls with various insurance persons attempting to get to the bottom of why we not only received one new medical insurance card for Nora, but two (the second arriving after spending considerable time on the phone trying to get to the right person who could fix their records to show that in fact our daughter had died over 2 years ago and did not need to be on our health insurance policy any longer). Sigh...

The real reason for tonight's post is to highlight yet another project we are embarking on. As I type, Jason is up in the "shop" (soon to be my folk's garage) working on their kitchen cabinets. But, in case he gets stalled on that project as other things happen fall into place in their living quarters, we officially moved out of our bedroom yesterday. Our new quarters in the guest room are shown here. We'll be cozy and comfy and right now it feels like an adventure and it felt wonderful to pull the last things out of the last room with blue carpet over concrete floors!

Jason and I had a "schedule meeting" for our last date night (I know, very exciting!) and with a bit of trepidation decided to dive in - to attempt to replace the blue carpet and redo the closet in our bedroom prior to Tadpole's arrival. We hope she agrees with our decision! The stress leading up to that time made me question if we should just attempt to drop the whole idea indefinitely. But the "schedule meeting" was really helpful for me (and I think Jason) in inspiring in me a real "team spirit" once again. While we aren't seeing a whole lot of each other these days, the times together over meals and in other snippets during the day are good and it feels like we are working together well and in our areas of strength. I'm noting this here, as I imagine the thrill of the adventure of living in the guest bedroom and once again having a construction zone in our home, may wear off at some point between now and March. So I made need some reminders of that "team spirit."