Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend started with this:

Our new deck, on Saturday before dinner.

By the time we were ready to eat dessert, it looked like this:
I saw a few decks on Pinterest that had a checkerboard pattern, and I took a liking to them. Didn't expect Matt to actually like them also, but lo! A checkerboard deck.

All that building made someone very sleepy:

Sunday was spent gardening. Grandma babysat and I was able to get a lot accomplished. Details to follow.

Monday we went to our village's Memorial Day parade. It. Was. Hot. When we left for the parade, which was all of half a block from our house, it was overcast. After a while, though, the sun came out, and the temperature (and level of general crankiness) skyrocketed. I fetched an umbrella for the baby:

But it was still too hot, so we retreated to the shade of a big maple tree. Unfortunately, people had parked their cars on Main Street, so we had to stand to see the parade.
She only stayed like that for a little while because her drool was dripping onto Matt's face. Cue hysterical laughter!

Charlotte really, really liked the marching bands. Her dad and her grandma both participated in marching band when they were in middle school, so maybe she'll continue the tradition.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby naturalist

On Friday, Charlotte and I got our learning on. We headed up to Landis Arboretum for a "sounds of the spring night" nature walk. When the leader realized I had an infant strapped to my chest, he said, that's a really junior naturalist!

We listened to bird calls at dusk, and I finally figured out what a cardinal sounds like. Then we learned about the rod and cone cells in our eyes, and headed into the woods to try and call in an owl. We ended up seeing a massive great horned owl. Holy smokes they are big! Did you know that they can have up to a five foot wingspan? That's only a few inches shorter than me.

After that teachable moment, we headed down to one of the many ponds to listen to frogs.

Clearly, Charlotte was enthralled.

Once it got dark, we saw an Io moth, as well as the first fireflies of the season. I can't wait til Charlotte is old enough to actually, you know, stay awake and learn something on one of these walks.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Second homes

Since Mellow Your Soul has pretty much turned into a full-fledged mommy blog, I'm starting The (Mis)Adventures of Farmer Jo to chronicle my gardening, canning, and homemaking, radical or not. Posts will likely be fairly sporadic, and really, it's more for myself than anything else. Blogging is a great way for me to keep track of what works and what doesn't work.

Lots of activities!

Charlotte had a very eventful day yesterday. She slept unswaddled the night before, she rolled over (video to follow), and she started chewing on a teether.

Not just any teether, no, this elitist mama made sure her cutie daughter got a Sophie la giraffe.
She digs it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Charlotte's first craft

Charlotte and I made Mother's Day cards for my grandmothers this year. I saw something similar on Pinterest and thought it'd be awfully cute with an itty bitty hand.

I painstakingly traced her hand while she was sleeping onto a post-it note, then cut it out and used it as a stencil. I'm embarrassed to admit that I forgot to make sure the text on the scrapbook paper was going in the right direction before I cut it the first time.

A little glue, a little more scrapbook paper, and Bob's your uncle! (I actually have an Uncle Bob, so this phrase always amuses me)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Three months

Wow, I am late posting these!
 As a refresher:
 One month.

 Two months.

Three months.
An outtake from our photo shoot. She won't fit in the basket much longer.

Charlotte likes:
watching - everything!

Charlotte dislikes:
going in the laundry basket for photos

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday's pick-me-up

Charlotte is, I've decided, teething. As such, she is a grumpy hot mess most of the time.

See? Grumpy for sure.

Pretty much the only time she's not playing the part of Grumplestiltskin is when she's sleeping:
Preferably with one arm out, and her head turned very sharply to one side and tilted as far up as it can go. Sometimes I think she is an owl.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Warning: no Charlotte

But, a major personal milestone: I ran my first post-baby 5k. And I did loads better than I ever hoped I would!

Honestly though, I'm pleased as punch. It was a small race, probably about 160 people, and it was f-l-a-t. I ran with a very friendly couple for most of it. M ran it also, and did well, too; he only beat me by 90ish seconds.

At the end of the race, I 'poured on the sauce' and tried to beat a 10 year old to the finish line. I did not beat him. Or his father. Let's just pretend I did that so he would feel a great sense of accomplishment, 'k?

Thursday, May 17, 2012


This picture kills me. So many times, Gus will plop himself down next to his new friend and just chill. He's really such a good nanny!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A visitor!

My very dear friend and Charlotte's surrogate Auntie Lottie came up from Brooklyn for a visit on Saturday. The three of us dared Albany's annual Tulip Fest, and had a blast. We mostly did a lot of Charlotte watching and a lot of people watching.

And we ate some fried pickles.
It was a great day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Houdini in the house

We still swaddle Charlotte and it helps calm her down at night, but she is three months old now and I'm starting to think she might not want to be swaddled anymore...

Because this is how I've found her the last three mornings.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday's pick-me-up

Sweater dresses are fun when you're little and your muffin top is cute.

Charlotte's legs are too long for 0-3 month pants, but she's too skinny for 3-6 month pants. Good thing clamdiggers are a cute look for her.

Skirts are my favorite thing.

Friday, May 11, 2012

New project!

Man, I am in LOVE with the internet. This comes as no surprise, but really, thank you internet. You rock.

Here's why:
Last Sunday, we took our first trip as a family to get soft serve. Our usual place, which close enough to ride our bikes to, if we had an hour to spare, closed. Frownie face. So we had to expand our trip radius, and ended up going to a place just outside of Sharon Springs. It's maybe 20 minutes from home, straight down Route 20.

After gorging on fried food and soft serve ice cream, we headed back. Do note that we were driving my not-so-big car, not the pickup.

About 6 miles from home, we passed two chairs and a pile of tires. The sign on them said free, but it should have read 'rocking chair hoarders, beware.' Seriously, we have FIVE SIX rocking chairs in our house. And now we have two more:

(I do wish I'd taken a picture of the chairs in the back of my car. We had to drive on the shoulder with the hazards on. We looked like Dust Bowl refugees.)

Clearly, though, these need some work, especially the darker one. And that's where the internet came into play. Much like Janie at Thicket and Thimble,  I do not want to learn how to cane. I do not want to pay someone to re-cane them. I just want 2 matching serviceable rockers for the front porch. So I typed 'cane rocker redo' into Google and lo and behold, a plethora of ideas. In a perfect world, I would paint the chair frames before putting in new seats and backs. But, the world is not perfect, so instead a good scrubbing with some Murphy's Oil Soap will have to do.

I make no guarantees, but there is a possibility that I will have 2 useable rockers by the end of Sunday! We'll see how motivated I am this weekend.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday's pick-me-up

A friend gave me some great advice. She pleaded with me not to save the cute outfits for special occasions, because there really aren't that many. I took that to heart last week and dressed Charlotte in cute things every day. And so, to make your Monday a little sweeter, I present to you Charlotte's outfits from last week:

Grey dress and tights. I am a little bit obsessed with baby tights and dresses.

Pink and brown polka dots and stripes. The shirt may or may not have been backwards for most of the day.

Picnic table outfit. How big is Charlotte? Thiiiiis big!

Cinco de mayo/baby sprinkle outfit twins. Charlotte kept trying to eat the button on her jacket.

Admittedly, one day I was lazy and didn't feel like dealing with layers during diaper changes, so she just wore a footie sleeper thing. Still cute, but I forgot to take a picture. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back home

Charlotte did fantastically well on our trip. She slept the entire way there (and back!), but that was expected.

She entertained Grandma for a while while M and I went for a 4 mile run Saturday morning. This was the first time the two of us had left her with anyone for more than 15 minutes, and, surprise, she did fine. And since I was so focused on running and hating the fact that his parents live at the top of a hill, I did fine, too.

We had lots of visitors on Saturday, and Charlotte was a champ. I had expressed my concern to M that she was going to be overstimulated once all his family got there - they can be a little loud. He noted that during her witching hours (from 5:00-8:00), she does best if she's being held, and that chances were, she wouldn't get put down much at all once his family arrived. Sometimes his wisdom surprises me. He was right, of course, but don't tell him that!

Great Aunt June giving Charlotte a bottle. The little hungry girl took 5 ounces in one fell swoop! Aren't the two of them adorable?

Sunday went just as smoothly as Saturday. She slept through most of breakfast, then blew out her diaper at the diner. Grandma and I ended up in the bathroom giving her a serious wipe-down. At one point, she was holding a very naked Charlotte while I removed the dirty changing pad, and, you guessed it, she peed all over Grandma's shoes and the floor. And of course, we had an audience for that. We were in hysterics. I was laughing so hard I had a hard time getting the diaper closed. It's always an adventure with us.