Monday, August 27, 2012

Good, (mostly) clean country fun

Our house is a case of a country mouse married to a city mouse. My husband is the country mouse. And while I do love and appreciate the country, I am a suburban girl - give me expressway access and a grocery store 10 minutes away and I am a happy camper. But I'll be the first to admit that the country has a lot to offer, and we've had a lot of fun this summer taking advantage of its wholesome entertainment.

Exhibit A: The All Colors Tractor Show. I collect shoes, but it turns out there are people out there who collect tractors, and make quite the hobby out of attending tractor shows. Under normal circumstances you would not be able to convince me to attend such a thing, however, I have a child who is obsessed with tractors, so his enjoyment is mine as well.

This looked like a fun photo op to me. However seconds after it was taken, Bitchy Tractor Lady came storming over to inform me that this tractor "hadjustbeenpaintedgethimoffnow!" Ok, ok, I understand the fresh coat of paint thing, but manners still apply. Even at a tractor show. 

This, according to Hubs, is the only color of tractor worth having. Red tractor people will disagree. I saw a guy wearing a shirt that said "Crops are green. Tractors are red." My, my, who knew how divisive an issue this could be???

ONLY my husband could run into someone he knows at a tractor show.

Here's Sweets with Grandma G. It totally made his day when a very nice tractor owner offered to let him sit on this big, big, big John Deere! 

Exhibit B: The County Fair. Hubs and I try to go to his hometown county fair yearly. It really is fun - the midway, the rides, the exhibits, the greased pole competition (oh yeah, that's what I said) and OMG the fair food! Two years ago, I was in labor with Sweets and we still debated going (in the end we opted out simply because it's an hour away and I didn't feel like giving birth in a livestock barn if things happened fast). This was the first year we took him, and it was so much fun!

At the tractor pull. Yup, I think this officially qualifies me as a Boy Mom.

Checking out the goats with Grandpa G. 
He seemed to like looking at the animals, but refused to touch them.  

Except for the bunnies...he LOVED the bunnies! One woman had a litter of baby bunnies out for the public to pet, and let me tell you, Sweets was twitterpated!

We did manage to convince Sweets to pet this little calf (who was so stinking adorable I wanted to take him home with me, until I remembered that adorable little calves become large, stinky cows).

And what's a trip to the fair (or anywhere, really) without a tractor sighting? 

Future farmer. 

OH my goodness, can you stand the cuteness? He was so proud to drive this little blue car all by himself (and there *may* have been a temper tantrum when the ride was over). We have a little video on my camera of him riding the cars, and every so often he asks to see it, and then totally melts down because I don't have a blue car for him to drive Right.Now. Ahhh, two, such a magical age ;) 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rock On

Have you ever had one of those days that make you feel like a domestic rock star? I feel like those days are gifts thrown our way to remind us that we totally have a handle on things. Yesterday was a rock star day for me. Sweets and I did our grocery shopping early (ahh, the bliss that is the supermarket on a weekday morning) and spent our day in the kitchen dealing with the aftermath of my overzealous trip to the farmer's market last weekend. I was amazed how long Sweets was content to be my little helper, standing next to me on a kitchen chair, dumping things in bowls, stirring, and splashing in the sink. We had a great time! Behold, the fruits (quite literally) of our labor:

We love us some apple butter in the fall, and when I came home from the market with like 10 pounds of incredibly ripe peaches, I thought this would be the perfect use for them! It.Is.Incredible.

I've been hearing alot about kale as a superfood, and specifically that you can make chips out of it. Weird? Sure. But Sweets has a serious love of salty, not-so-good-for-you snacks, so I wondered if I could trick him into eating a leafy green. He didn't scarf them down by the bowlful, but he did try them and that's a victory in my book!

For some reason, our zucchini plants are struggling this year. That doesn't thrill me, but at least they're only 50 cents each at the farmer's market! We always have a few overripe bananas hanging around, and the combination of them together in these muffins is tasty and nutritious!

In the midst of all that baking, I managed to get this delicious meal marinated, grilled, and on the table...

...and this one into the crockpot for dinner tonight. It was rainy and cool, and we got home late from Sweets' 2 year well visit, so it was fabulous to walk in the door to a house smelling like comfort food!

And last but certainly not least, the remainder of those peaches went into a mouth-watering crisp that was pure perfection! This recipe truly was everything you could ask for in a fruit crisp - simple, sweet, crunchy and perfect with vanilla ice cream. We can't keep our spoons out of it!

I am loving playing part-time stay-at-home mom this summer! I've been working about 3 days a week getting ready for school to open in September, and it's truly been the perfect balance for me. And I have to say, I attribute most of that to this:

Not Sweets per se (although he is a dreamboat to parent), but do you see how many kiddos are in this photo? One. I've become quite obsessed with having one child lately. Life has just gotten so easy compared to the days of infancy, and he's so perfect, our little buddy, our sidekick, our great sleeper! I can't imagine rocking the boat, nor do I have any desire to!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Two years ago today, we welcomed our beautiful, healthy, amazing, smart, funny, personable, loving son into the world. Of course, we didn't know all those things about him when he was born. We only knew immediate, intense, and overwhelming love.

Brand new!

We couldn't possibly have known how the next 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, and everything in between would change us, make us grow, challenge us, tire us, energize us, teach us, and mold us, into parents. We didn't know on the day of his birth how much joy, how much laughter, how many tears, questions, songs, stories, snuggles, kisses, outfits and diapers would fill up our days (and nights, let's not forget the nights!). What I did know, holding my tiny newborn, was that I thought I had an eternity before he would be a walking, talking, thinking, emoting little person. And yet here we are, and two whole years have passed us by in the blink of an eye!

Now two!

I hope my son knows every day that he is the biggest blessing of our lives, and that each day of my life he will always be my baby boy. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!