Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January in the Rear View

So the month of January is gone tomorrow and guess how much exercising I did this month? I was doing great on daily yoga with Adriene until I stopped being able to breathe without coughing, which was somewhere around Day 8.

ANYWAY, I'm giving myself the permission of the blank slate and we'll let February be the month for exercise! (Honestly, my ribs are still a little sore, but I think I can ease my way back in with yoga, and I expect it will be good for me.)

As far as other resolutions... meal planning is going swimmingly because David has been 100% on board. We talk about meals on Sunday, laying out which nights we have stuff going on, and he does the lion's share of food prep. It's been awesome! We've also gotten Blue Apron two weeks out of the month, and making dinner just feels EASIER when all the ingredients are ready to go that way. Plus the meals were really super good. Doing a premade casserole or enchilada or lasagna on Sunday is also a way to win at life during the week.

We still occasionally fall into the trap of making a completely different meal for the kids. I want to be all French Kids Eat Everything about life, but in reality my kids sometimes just eat noodles with butter and Parmesan cheese.

We are about to enter some hilarious adventures in homesteading as the girls have been making butter at school and they are desperate for us to make some at home. We're borrowing a little churn container from their school (it's just a plastic jar with a screw on lid and a marble in it) and picking up some heavy whipping cream at the grocery store today to see what we can do. Zuzu is adamant that we get saltine crackers on which to spread the butter, because that's what they have at school.

I'm also filing this under "Do more fun stuff" because it honestly does sound kind of fun to me and the girls are crazy excited about it.

I'm also wanting to look up the chapter in Little House on the Prairie on churning butter... I can picture the illustration with Laura standing at the butter churn. I'm trying to remember if there's also a section about making butter in Understood Betsy, which is another favorite of mine from when I was a kid.

Zuzu and I are almost finished with Ramona the Pest and we read Beezus and Ramona. Our progress is occasionally slowed by reading her book of Greek mythology, which she finds spooky and fascinating. The story of Cronos eating all his children is kind of alarming. She really likes Hermes's winged sandals and wants me to find a similar pair for her.

I've been asking the girls questions from this Q&A a day journal that I did for like a month in 2017 and then forgot about... Anyway it's cute, but Coco's answers crack me up because every one of them is about her best friend, Evelyn, at school.

Q. What games do you like to play?
A. Wif Evelyn!

Q. What snacks do you like?
A. Crackers. Wif Evelyn! We sit on the floor!

Q. What pet would you like?
A. Evelyn has a pet?

Even Zuzu commented, "She sure is talking a lot about Evelyn!"

It's a bit obsessive, but very sweet.

This morning I was fixing breakfast for the girls and Coco said, "I don't want to go anywhere dangerous."

I told her that I thought that was fine and she didn't need to go anywhere dangerous.

She followed that statement with, "I don't want you to go to jail, Mommy."

I assured her that I am not going to go to jail, but I'm really wondering what's going on in her head.

Maybe it has something to do with me discovering both girls inside the washing machine yesterday? They've never climbed in the washer or dryer before, but something possessed them to crawl inside it and it just almost made my heart stop to find them in there with the door closed (but not latched). I tried to explain it was dangerous and compared it to the time Coco zipped Zuzu inside a suitcase and she didn't like it. Anyway, they weren't in any real danger but it still felt terrifying... mostly to think about one of them closing the door and hitting a button with the other one inside. I don't even want to think about it, and I kept telling them how dangerous it was (I didn't say anything about jail, though!).

Last night I slept poorly because I had bad dreams about mice and rats. I think it's from listening to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which talks about the German occupation of the Guernsey island during WWII, and has some discussion of work camps and the sleeping quarters there (infested with rats).

I've read the book before, but it's such a good one that I was delighted when my book club decided to read it for this month. I am actually listening to the audio version, which is even better because it's an epistolary novel (written as a series of letters back and forth) so different readers do each of the different character's voices and it is SO great. Makes me look forward to my commute.


  1. We have that 365 questions journal as well, and it's been much more fun this year, with her being six. I almost never, ever, keep up for more than a couple of weeks at a time (then we spend an hour catching up on the month...) but I'm so glad we have it. Thinking of doing another one for the next three years.

  2. Farmer Boy has a really excellent description of making butter, Almonzo uses a churn that rocks back and forth like a rocking horse!!

  3. There is a chapter about butter making in Understood Betsy! I believe it's the same chapter in which Uncle Henry and Aunt Abigail ask Betsy all about street paving, and she realizes there were a lot of things she "never noticed." I think the butter churning in the Little House books is in Little House in the Big Woods (although maybe it's in Little House on the Prairie, too?). We recently made maple sugar snow candy and read the chapter from Little House in the Big Woods -- so fun!

  4. About the butter - It's SO easy, but takes some elbow grease. You don't even need the marble. I just bought mason jars, filled one up 3/4 with cream and shook and shook and shook. At some point it will go from sounding like liquid to being a solid. Open it up and show the girls - at that point, it's whipped cream. Then close it up again, shake for just a little longer and when you feel/hear it change, it's butter (and buttermilk)! So yummy!

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