Thursday, June 30, 2011

Strawberry Fest!

Oh my are the strawberries heavenly right now.  We picked 15 pounds of the largest, juciest, reddest, sweetest strawberries of my life.  I'm just about to finish my second batch of jam, a tray is freezing, and I sent two quarts home with my helpers.  My brother's girlfriend, Abby and my Mom made the trek to Maxwell's just a couple miles down the road and spent an hour picking.  Trish and I gabbed while Mimi and Abby played in the car.  Abby did pick a few and for time's sake we finished without her.

Note to self - be sure you have enough pectin before you get started.  I had to make a trip to the store mid batch to pick up more.  How do I make it?  I follow this recipe for jam and the site for most of my canning.  It is very thorough and detailed on lots of canning, pick your own fields, and so much more!

Sixteen jars later, I'm spent and can't wait to enjoy the yumminess all year round.  There's nothing quite like homemade jam.  Where's number 16?  My huller took it home for all her hard work!  I may need to call her for round two this weekend!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Think We're In Trouble

Now, upon Abby's birth, we've sworn her off to lots our friend's sons.   Abby takes a liking to one in particular.  Phewww. Because what's an arranged set up if they hate each other??  Luke's mommy and I were due a day part with these two and Abby ended up being 9 days older.  Oh the wait was tortuous...

It starts off all innocent with a little high five.

Did they not think we were looking???

End of date tea.  I know, Luke, she needs practice.  Luke's brother, Sam, patiently ate and slept while these two had a fantastic day.  Thanks for a wonderful afternoon at the lake!  Mommies had a nice time despite your shenanigans. 

Abby is a Member of the Church!

This weekend was a whirlwind and I'm thankful I still have one week to recuperate before I go back to work.  On Sunday we celebrated Abby's baptism and her initiation into the church.  She was absolutely stunning in the christening gown I found at Lots for Tots, her white tights and size three white Mary Janes.  She also had a little cape that matched her dress.

The service was beautiful and welcoming. Pastor John explained that the water used in baptism was gathered from congregation members all around the world and collected during Homecoming Sunday in September.

Our families were present and made the day extra special.  Some even were on the road at 6am to get here on time!

Thanks everyone for making this day so special!  And, what's a celebration without cake?  MMMM, Lemon Blueberry torte from European Bakery in Falmouth was complete yumminess and we've been enjoying it a couple times a day.  :-)

Congratulations, Abby!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Dumpter Dived

I admit it.  I have dumpster dived.  What is this you ask?  Well, it's just like it sounds.  You dive in a dumpster and get stuff.  Now I didn't actually get IN it, nor did I dive in one.  I just pilfered around for...wait for  Since January first I have really been checking out coupons and using them faithfully to save money while I'm not working.  The time spent is sort of like paying myself to shop, right?  Because of the learning curve it used to take three hours or so and now I'm down to 2 hours or less.  Efficient websites, easy navigation, knowing what to clip, etc has made it super easy. 

I also hosted a Coupon Class with Couponing with Cari yesterday.  While it cost attendees $15.00 to attend, we easily left with coupons or rebates to make up for the fee.  The knowledge and tips she shared was awesome!  Now I can't divulge all her secrets, but I can say her manual is complete, her stories were hilarious, and shopping scores inspirational.  Will I become an extreme couponer?  Nope - and Cari doesn't endorse that either.  She explains how to shop with your families needs in mind and not to go out and buy 167,398 tubes of toothpaste.  Although she did share how she got didn't pay for diapers for her last kids until she was 2 1/2.  Yes. TWO and a half years old.  Legitimately.  Check out her website and contact her to see how you can host your own class.  She has loads of classes at community centers in the fall, but why wait?  Do it now!

And make sure you get on a coupon train so you don't have to dumpster dive for $1.00 off method coupon.  Which I found without too much diving.  :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

What a gorgeous day we had here in Southern Maine!  We celebrated exactly the way Tim wanted to.  His only request was to sleep in until 7am, and in fact he slept in until 8am.  Abby was kind enough to wake up at 5am for me.  We also took a wonderful Sunday drive down to Kennebunk for lunch at Federal Jack's and dessert at Big Daddy's. 

A nice lazy day celebrating a fantastic Daddy.  The Proctors wish all the Dads, soon-to-be Dads, and  Grandfathers a sensational day and we lovingly think of the Dads no longer with us. 

Happy Father's Day, Tim!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Scale Was Wrong!

We went to Abby's ear check on Friday and had lots of great news.  Her ears looked perfect, foot is fine (we found a couple of bite marks), AND her office realized their scale was off by 7 oz.  I asked to have her weight and wouldn't you know she gained 1 lb 9 oz in two weeks. Up to 20lb 7 oz!   I completely admitted I had just fed her crackers and made her gulp down a cup of milk.  I wanted every oz Abby could get :-)  While it's safer to leave her rear facing until two, we have clearance to move her forward facing. 

Now with good news, we do have to share the bad.  Her vaccines this round were rough.  She did fantastic with the first shot and didn't seem phased by the needle.  The second was a whole different story.  Apparently, the needle is not the worst part it's the actual vaccine entering the body causing a definite sting.  She was not impressed.  Even with Tylenol, she did not sleep well and woke often.  Many times pointing to her leg and saying, "boo boo".  Poor thing......

Looks like those peanut butter sandwiches are working their magic. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago we were packing the moving van, cleaning the condo and saying "see you later" to Vermont.  It seems like yesterday.  So many great and wonderful things have happened in those 365 days and you could browse through the blog to read all about it.  The highlights really include watching Abby grow, buying a new house, and turning that house into a home. 

Fittingly, we celebrated by hosting some of our best friends from Vermont.  Life has its way of closing circles gently and completely.  We are extremely blessed. 

sniff, sniff....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Diva in Training

Nap Time Deco Project #3

I really, really felt like taking a nap today.  Abby and I enjoyed a fabulous picnic at Fort Williams with a friend and the sun and sea air lent itself for an afternoon nap. BUT, with very precious nap times left to get stuff done around the house I dove into my next deco project.  I've been wanting to do this for months!

A bare wall in our living room begged for a fun display and I stalked decorating blog and websites to get some ideas.  I settled on a linear layout with 3D pieces added in for depth. 

I included all of the pictures from our heritage table at our wedding, a shadow box of my grandfather's memorabilia, two shelves, a clock, mirror and a few frames that need filling.  An empty space is for pictures to come!  The heritage pictures are wedding pictures from our parents and grandparents.  I'll be able to add frames to the left of the shelf when we decide on what to put up.  

There are lots of sites to get inspiration.  Here is where I sometimes get mine.  About a quarter of the way down is a grouping of Inspirations Pictures for Photo Galleries.  

Not too shabby for a two hour nap time!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Red Sox Game

This past weekend we had the opportunity to take Abby to her first Red Sox game.  Most of the games we have in our season ticket's package are night games and waaaay past Abby's bed time.  Fortunately, our friend from Vermont usually gets a group together each year for a trek down to Fenway.  We had hoped Abby would sleep the entire trip down but had so much fun playing with Geoff's sons Liam and Ewin at our half way pit stop and friend pick up, she remained awake through the second half.  Instead of sleeping we studied:

Not anticipating the Aids Walk, we hit a lot of traffic on Storrow (shocking) and were a tad late to the game.  Only missing a couple outs we found our seats and settled in.  Abby was a rock star through out the game and correctly identified the score board and the Green Monster.  She knew where the ball was and even the field.  We had our own halftime (er, wrong sport) and spent a couple innings walking around and eating lunch.  Miss Abigail will most likely associate Fenway with junk food and the opportunity to miss naps.  Once in awhile won't hurt, right?  Orange soda has Vitamin C, right?  (RIGHT?)  She didn't really have that much anyways.  We on the other hand consumed half our daily calories and points (for those in the know about weight watchers) in the sugary sweet free refillable soda cups. 

She was a bit antsy through out the game and we kept her busy with books, coloring, playing lap hot potato, watching the game, chatting with our friends, eating popcorn off the concrete, etc.  I figured I ate chewed bubble gum off the ground and I lived, so she'll be just fine.  

We left in the top of the ninth in the hopes to miss a bit of foot traffic, but after a potty break and a diaper change, we left with everyone else.  The drummers were out as always and Abby shimmied to the tip buck to drop her dollar in. 

Hating to miss any of the fun, Abby finally fell asleep on Tim while walking to the car. She may be there lucky charm since we got the "W" with a 6-3 score. 

High five, Abby!

Friday, June 3, 2011

18 Month Appt

We've got some work to do.  Although still not very concerned with her lack of weight gain, her doctor is concerned that she is falling farther behind.  She looks healthy, acts healthy and for the next three months we will try to pack on the pounds by giving her extra milk, peanut butter, avocado and other healthy fats.  I swear her activity level is through the roof which causes her to burn all her calories.  Besides the weight issue, she's on target for everything else.  She's interested in the potty, teeth look great, sleeping well, and a very well adjusted little gal.  "Keep up the good work" is the best compliment parents can get, right?

It never fails that when Abby is scheduled for a well visit we always call with sick related questions and this week was no different.  Monday was a call about the rash around her month and we were told to put hydrocortisone cream on.  Check.  On Wednesday I called because Abby had woken up SCREAMING in the middle of the night wanting milk and food.  All signs (low grade fever, ear tugging, hands in the mouth) pointed toward teeth until I noticed a bit of blood in her ear.  Abby's temperament was normal so she rested comfortably with Tylenol and we decided to wait to bring her to have her ears checked.  Of course, she ends up with double ear infections.  Nice job, Momma and Daddy.  After three middle of the night screaming fits which have resulted in ear infections, we promise we've learned our lesson.  

Here are her stats:  18 months vs 15 months

Weight: 18.14 vs 18.4 pound
Length: 30 1/2" vs 30 1/4"
Head circumference: 46cm vs 45 cm

She's growing!   Now if she could just keep on the weight we'll all be happy to campers.  She's welcome to have some of the stored fat from my behind that my body thinks is necessary to hang onto.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nap time Deco Project #2

I love swap shop finds.  Better than thrift stores because the finds are FREE!  I snagged a high quality resin patio set that needed some TLC.  I figured, if I couldn't fix 'em, I could always bring them back :-)

Before they were gray, chalky, and grubby.

After they are red, fabulous and totally match the front door.  I used four cans of Krylon Fusion spray paint designed for plastic.  Well-rated and hopefully withstands Maine weather.  I'll let you know!

Several weeks ago I snagged a child size plastic chair at the swap shop and guess what color? RED!  While it's not pictured, Abby loves sitting in it.  It will make a nice addition to our morning coffee or sunset watching gatherings.