Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Digging in (more literally)

LET US TALK ABOUT MY GARDEN. No wait. Let's talk about last year's garden.

The tomatoes were a bumper last year, possssssibly because I had planted eleven cherry tomato plants. WORTH IT. Nobody crossed the yard without eating at least a dozen tomatoes.

These were my currant tomatoes.

I read about them somewhere, and ordered the seeds online, and then planted like TEN of them, and only two sprouted. I coddled those tiny sproutlings and they became these two MASSIVE, VINEY PLANTS. The tomatoes are itty bitty and they were everyone's favorite. Eleanor called them 'tomato candies.' Geneva liked them because she could fit like five in her hand at once, and she is a greedy bird.

Even eating like three dozen a day, we couldn't get through them fast enough, and every two weeks or so, I would have to go out and do a cull.

Zucchini likewise kept getting away from me, but zucchini will do that.

We were like Oh man look how big this zucchini is! And then a week later I went out to see what was up and hello.

Remember how my cucumbers weren't growing? They grew. And GREW AND GREW and every time we left the house, each girl would get a cucumber for her stroller snack.

What else. I grew edamame beans! They were amazing. Fresh edamame beans are so tender. This year I am planting, like, THREE TIMES the amount. Last year was also my first year growing potatoes, and you guys potatoes are the funnest thing to harvest ever.

You just dig around in there and see how many you get! We had this amazing purple variety that I bought from the farmer's market. Eleanor loved to wash them, and then dry them and stack them.

Oh, remember how my artichoke plant was dying? He did NOT die and then we have the tiniest artichoke growing and then winter came and he died. Quel domage.

We had a few other disappointments. None of my cruciferouses survived the heat. My strawberries mostly got eaten by bugs. Green beans are still gross even if they're garden-fresh. My entire pumpkin patch resulted in one lonely, perfect pumpkin that Eleanor decorated for Halloween.

Something happened to my corn, and it stunted (I blame the smoke monster). Each stalk ended up with only one ear, and I noticed it was ripe the week my sister was here BUT THEN I FORGOT and then like two weeks later I went back out to check and everything was shriveled and dry. SORRY, CORN. You would probably have been amazing.

This year, I have raised garden beds! They are a something. But more about them anon. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sea buckthorn when there's no sea for miles.

The first time we went to the farmer's market, we stopped at the booth that sells sea buckthorn-based goods because what is a sea buckthorn.

(This is a sea buckthorn). We've never stopped at that booth again because the lady who runs it is the used-car-salesman of sea buckthorn. Sea buckthorn has, like, 1000x the vitamin C of oranges and more antioxidants than acai berries and is the best kept secret wonderfood, apparently. Every so often, I'll be like, Going to the market today, and Joel's like, Pick up some sea buckthorn, and then we both laugh.

ANYway. After our trip to the strawberry ranch, I was looking for other u-picks around town and LOLOLOL you can u-pick sea buckthorn right here in Saskatoon. They're probably going to be, like, $30/lb, we said. They're probably going to taste awful, like, you probably can't even eat them raw. This is going to be ridiculous. We should definitely do it.

So last Friday I phoned to see if the sea buckthorns were ripe yet, and when we should come in. I dunno, 6 am? says the voice on the phone. ...That's a little early, I say. We have young kids, we were hoping to just kind of make a morning adventure of it. Ok, I'll leave the gate open, he says. Um, I say. I'm just joking, he says.

I don't even. Can we come by on Sunday, around 9? Sure thing, he says. Have you ever picked sea buckthorn, he says? Because you might want to just cut off the boughs, and throw them in the freezer, and then when they're frozen, you can pick the berries off. This is a weird conversation, I think to myself. See you Sunday.

So we get there, and Joel talks to the guys. Apparently, despite the tropical appearance, sea buckthorn is like the Saskatchewaniest of all berries, because you usually wait until it's -20 out and the berries are frozen, and then you just go and, like, POP them off.

Because they're fragile, and hard to get off without just smooshing them. So we did as recommended and just broke off a couple of likely-looking boughs.

Eleanor is not a good berry picker, but she is an EXCELLENT berry-picking companion because she just, like, tears up and down the rows, shrieking gleefully, and then calling you because she's found a bush with 'thousands and thousands and MILLIONS of berries.'

And spends the next ten minutes stuffing grasses into her pockets. Look at my grasses! Some in here! Some over here!

Geneva is still very needful to be touching me if we are somewhere weird. That backpack was the best $60 I've spent all year.

The berries are TART as HELL, you eat one and you're like, *phew* and then a few minutes later, you're like, Hey that was pretty good I should eat another one, and then you DO and *sour face* and you never learn because they're so pretty. They are probably going to end up as jam, let's be honest.

Add this to the adventure pile. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I will never stop talking about the weather.

Josie has a lot of good qualities, like making me waffles and liking my kids, but I really cherish her positivity. Cynicism is SUPER overrated, you guys, and I am done with like endless sarcasm and hating on stuff. Josie is one of the few friends who will never get tired of talking with me about how beautiful the weather is.

'Today is such a beautiful day.'

'The weather is amazing right now.'

'We are giving our kids such good childhoods.'

'We are such good moms.'

Geneva is...less of a mess? She ate almost an entire lunch and didn't barf any of it and she let me put her down for like ten minutes at the park. 

She's still sleeping a lot and needing to be touching me all the time and I basically just backpack her around the house so I can get stuff done, and this morning Eleanor and I got into a huge fight because I was trying to get her dressed while wearing Geneva in the backpack and shit is DIFFICULT and Eleanor was being, just, like a total butthole about it, but then we went to the park to meet Josie and the weather was amazing and our kids are having such good childhoods and we are such good moms.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The sickest, saddest Wren.

Joel was gone for two weeks, you may recall, and we had been invited to my second cousin's house last Friday for a big pizza thing, buncha families, kids everywhere. We were super excited to go, but then Geneva wouldn't eat her lunch. I texted Josie saying, Geneva's a bit off, we might not make it. Come, she says, even if you just come to eat and then go. But come.

Geneva woke up fine, so we piled into the car and drove off, and two blocks from the house, Geneva barfed everywhere. HA HA GOOD THING YOU ATE LIKE BASICALLY NO LUNCH, I said. I am extremely good at wiping barf off of kids by the side of the road. We were going to just go in and hose Geneva down and then leave again, but she seemed fine after the barf. Stay! everyone said. So we stayed, and didn't touch any of the babies. Eleanor ran riot in the backyard and had pizza with the big girls and basically had the time of her life. It was amazing.

Saturday morning, Joel was home but on call, so we went to the farmer's market without him and he met us there after rounds. Geneva fell asleep on the way there.

She seemed okay after that, and after Regular Naps we walked down to the Food Truck Festival (Joel drove down so that he could take off if he got called in).

Geneva ate, like, two nacho chips and a fry. There was a lot of Baby Reclines On Lap While Contemplating Food But Not Eating It.

Lookit her dipping in the salsa, though, that dainty little fat hand.

And then we walked home, and I'm all proud of myself for remembering sweaters for the walk because it's fall now, it gets chilly.

But by the time we got home, Geneva was shivery and shuddery and I got her in her jammies and then held her - feeling horrible and guilty - until she fell asleep, and then until she stopped shivering, and then a few more minutes just to make sure.

She was looking pretty rough on Sunday morning, but the weather was beautiful and we had a literary festival to go to, so I put her in the carrier and she fell asleep IMMEDIATELY.

We walked down to the Word on the Street festival (Geneva slept) and Eleanor did some coloring and some puzzles and some beading and some parachute-shaking and some enormous spelling.

Geneva slept. We were only going to stay for an hour, but then we heard there was fairy tea party at 11:45, and Geneva was sleeping anyway, so we stayed for the tea party.

Geneva woke up VERY briefly to be sad, and then went back to sleep.

She hadn't really been eating all this time, and her fever was high but controllable and she was drinking fine, so we weren't really worried. But when she woke up from her regular nap Sunday afternoon, she was lethargic and inconsolable and refused to drink anything, so I took her in. Joel was in hospital, and he came down to visit us once we got a room.

Eleanor was thrilled. Geneva was miserable.

We were there for hours. Geneva perked up and perked down. They ran some tests and we waited for the test results and four hours is such a long time to be in a tiny curtained room when no one has had supper. Eleanor ate a granola bar I unearthed from my bag. Geneva ate my will to live.

Anyway. No ear infection, no urinary tract infection, just a virus that needs to run its course. We left the hospital at 9:30 and I could not find my car, and we retraced our steps twice and I still could not find it, and some maintenance people were like, Are you ok? And I ALMOST CRIED and they made me describe where I had driven into the lot, where I had turned, and then were like, Get in the truck, we'll take you there. Eleanor is all, I AM NOT IN A CAR SEAT THIS IS INSANE and aside from the glove balloons, that was probably the highlight of her night. Seeing my little car waiting for me was the highlight of mine.

Geneva is still pretty rough today. She went back to sleep about an hour after waking up, thank goodness Joel was home so I could take Eleanor to preschool without having to wake her up. She's grouchy and she needs a lot of holding and my back is killing me because she ain't no newborn. But we made it to preschool and we made it to dance class and tomorrow we have a playdate at the park and the weather is amazing and we're MISSING IT but she can't be sick forever. If it's a 7-10 day virus then we're at least halfway done.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thank goodness it's Monday.

It has been a busy weekend. 

And kind of a rough one. 

And today is the first day of fall, so I made a grape-apple pie. 

GRAPPLE PIE! We have earned it. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Getting a handle on this 'sister' thing.

Just me and the bitches this week, I'm so tired I could die. Sisters be sistering, though.

Box car racing.

Jugo Juicing.

Playing 'bird' (that is the nest).

Blanket forting.

Book reading.

Book having-read-to-ing.

Fish watching.

Water painting.

Hand washing.

Horsie riding.

MOREsie riding.

Leaf stomping.

Park sliding. 'I will catch youuuuuu!'

So it ain't been so bad.