24 May 2014

SQTF 89: Picnics and Baking and Vikings

Please excuse the lack of posting this week... Little Bear was sick, and I couldn't seem to find the time or mental wherewithal to write coherently. After Saturday and Sunday's high fever went away, he developed a nasty cough that is still hanging on; he's fine during the day, for the most part, but when he lays down at nap or bedtime he's coughing himself awake every half hour it seems like. I don't think Matt or I got more than three hours of sleep most nights this week--after a few nights of that, it just wasn't worth attempting to accomplish anything beyond what was necessary. Thursday night, though, I think he slept from 10:30 to 7 without waking up once! Either that or I'm so tired my memory is shorting out, but I'm finally free of the throbbing headache of the past few days, so I think he is finally getting over it. 

Yesterday Little Bear and I made it to Mass and the Catholic homeschoolers' end-of-year picnic at a nearby park. He had so much fun running around after my younger siblings and their friends, playing in the playground gravel, and kicking a soccer ball. Sharing the soccer ball, though, was... well, he took my instructions to share the ball nicely with a little girl about his age as an opportunity to "practice being two": laying on the ground and fussing. I kind of shrugged at him, handed the ball to the little girl, and walked away. When he realized he wasn't getting the attention he wanted, he got up and wandered back over to play in the gravel. Thankfully it only happened once... I know all of the other parents there have been through the toddler years many times, but I still get really self-conscious about being a horrible parent any time he acts out in public.


I decided to go to the picnic kind of last-minute; I really should have made something to bring the night before, but instead found myself wandering around the kitchen at 8:45 am looking for inspiration. There were four bananas on the counter waiting to be turned into bread, so I wound up making muffins. To avoid bringing boring banana muffins, I stuck a teaspoonful of Nutella in the middle of each one. It sure made Little Bear more interested in helping! I went through three spoons just while putting in the Nutella, because he kept licking them when I wasn't looking.

He usually naps around noon, so Mass pushed his nap late, and then the picnic afterward really did: by the time we got home, it was after 3 pm! It worked out perfectly that way, though: He slept until 5:30. Matt called at 5 to say that he and a friend, who had planned to go see X-Men after work, wanted instead to stop by the brewery and then come back to our place for supper (picking up Thai on their way) and a movie. I had plenty of time to straighten up and play outside with Little Bear before they came, and then he was happy and energetic and not at all ready for bed until the movie and our conversation ended around 10. It wouldn't have worked without the very late nap!


Somehow I never fully internalized how much of a difference kneading makes in how well dough rises. I tend to knead until it's no longer sticky, just a few minutes, and my dough usually takes forever--hours and hours--to rise semi-respectably, and it verrrrry rarely actually doubles before I lose patience and throw it in the oven. And part of the problem is certainly that it's just so cold for more than half the year, but my kneading is also part of the problem. Thursday, though, I gave it a full twelve minutes of kneading while Little Bear poked at it with me, trying to keep him from swiping bites of dough, and then we covered it and walked away and it actually rose! Definitely happy to have proof that I can turn out great bread without a bread machine, even if it takes more work.

Garage sale-ing is one of my favorite things about summertime Saturdays. We don't need more stuff, though! I try to keep a list of things we actually are looking for in my head and not get other unnecessary things, but this morning Matt and Little Bear came with me, and we did a less-good job of that... We only spent a total of $6 at all of the garage sales we stopped at, and came home with a DVD we'd been looking for, a pretty Japanese blue-on-white ceramic bowl with a lid, a hotwheels Mini Cooper for Little Bear, and some wood grain contact paper for a project Matt wants to do, so it wasn't exactly extravagant... I've been in "spring cleaning throw out all the stuff" mode recently, though, so now I'm finding myself eyeing the little pile of not-yet-put-away treasures skeptically.

The winning photo in HooDoo Brewing Co.'s recent contest:

Matt, the jolly viking. Photo by Artem Zhdanov. They did such a great job!

Have a good Memorial Day Weekend, everyone. We will be praying for the souls of those who have died for our country, and those they have left behind. 

For more quick takes, visit Conversion Diary.

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