Almost August

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July 31, 2012 by Ellen V

Oh, my… it’s been a while, folks. I’ve been putting the blog on the back burner in favor of spending my non-working hours with my lovely little family and, in a rare moment of solitude, taking care of my very own self. It’s exhausting, this whole working-wife-and-mother thing. Who knew? ūüėČ
A quick update on our crazy, happy summer.

Eric¬†is working overtime on his dissertation. I’m so proud of him. This type of work requires so much discipline and fortitude, and he’s constantly amazing me. To answer the age old question, no, I don’t know when he’ll graduate. But I do know that his dissertation will be killer and that he will be a great catch for whoever decides to hire him first! When¬†he¬†finds a rare moment of solitude, he works on his latest hobby–beer brewing!–and some old ones (like guitar playing and photograph taking, both of which serve us well).

Jane¬†is growing like a weed. Seriously. At her 6 month appointment, we were told she was the size of a 12-month-old. Yikes. She’s got the large motor skills of a horse, too–she’s crawling, climbing, cruising. If she starts cussing, then I’ll really be nervous. It’s been a joy for Eric and I to watch her personality emerge. She’s a wild one, just like her dad. She parties hard and sleeps hard (praise God!) and smiles through it all. She absolutely loves the water–the lake, the pool, the bath, the dog’s bowl, whatever. Other current favorite things include mangos, her zombie doll, her sitter Kenzie, and devilish glances.
Our home¬†is quickly becoming more kid friendly, like it or not. There are usually a dozen or so toys scattered around the living room for the majority of the day. We penny-pinched for a while and were able to replace our coffee table with this statement piece of a red ottoman that I have been lusting after for months! Hooray! The added storage and lack of hard, sharp corners have been blessings in the middle of Jane’s usual play place. Other big, plastic baby gear has been replaced with sleeker, big kid pieces. I love our high chair. Love. Trying to baby proof has been an adventure. I never would have guessed I would have the wild, energetic kid that I do!
Our yard¬†has been a sad, sad thing for awhile. The Wisconsin summer, like that in most of the country, has been HOT and DRY. When our city took our ash tree a few weeks ago, we knew it was all over in the front. The yard is completely dormant. A few short rains in the last few days have proven that it’s not completely dead, at least, and something that almost hints at greenness sometimes pops up here or there. Whew. We’ve tended to the back a little more carefully, as the grass is so new and we have veggies growing. Our pepper plants are thriving, and the compost pile is… well… composting, I guess, very well in this hot, hot heat. We think it’s important to conserve water, especially during these times of drought, so we’re using only a bare minimum to keep things alive. When the heat subsides a bit, we’ve been trying to spend at least a little time outside to enjoy the beauty of the barely-alive things.
Our kitchen¬†has been a busy place. Most of Jane’s baby food is made there, and, luckily, she loves a few of our CSA veggies. Especially zucchini. That girl eats zucchini like its going out of style! We’ve been trying hard to get away from “recipes” and be better about¬†using what we have.¬†We’ve never really cooked that way before–without relying so heavily on recipes–so it’s a new way of eating and shopping and menu planning. I had hoped to do some canning this summer, but it just hasn’t happened. I suppose there is still time, right? Even if we don’t can them, we plan to make at least one or two jars of both bread and butter jalape√Īos and pickled banana peppers to eat right away. We’ve got such a harvest of peppers, we need to make sure we use it!
Finally, our fun¬†has been non-stop this summer. We have been celebrating birthdays, preparing for the wedding of dear friends, spending time with family, traveling to the lake and Door County, and much more. On the rare free afternoon, we try to find water to play in. If only Uncle Mikey could bring his jetski to Milwaukee… sigh… Anyway, it is all exhausting. Party hard, sleep hard. Right, Jane?
I hope your summer has been as wonderful as ours has been so far! Peace and joy in all.

V Family Summer Fun

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