Straw-berries!

June 20, 2007

The WhyFamily spent Father’s Day together, just being ourselves.  We had a relaxing morning alternating eating, playing, and eating again.  We made plans for a family barbecue in the evening.  We called Granddad and Paw-Paw and wished them Happy Father’s Day.

Then we all jumped in the car and went to go spend a few hours at a farm in the suburbs.  The kids napped on the drive, Whymommy hopped out for a quick errand while Whydaddy drove around to give the kids just a few more minutes of naptime, and then we arrived at the farm.  Just in time for the last few minutes of strawberry picking season.

It was lovely.

There weren’t many fruits left on the plants, but we filled our bellies and then bought baked goods and a pie at the farm store.  Oh, and we picked sweet peas, and Widget discovered the delight of eating fresh peas right out of the pod.  He’s been doing it ever since.  It makes me smile and remember long summer days sitting on my grandmother’s porch eating freshly shelled peas right out of the pod, and temporarily putting the pods in an old wooden bowl she kept in her kitchen.  Widget and I put the peas in that same bowl when we got home on Sunday, and we have been nibbling at the peas ever since.

But my WFMW tip is for enjoying those very last strawberries from the fields, or the slightly less-appetizing imported ones that fill the grocery store shelves year-round.  My mom-in-law taught me last week a fantastic way to prepare strawberries quickly for toddlers too young to eat around the stems — just take a disposable plastic straw, insert it into the tip of the strawberry, and aim for the green stem.  Push the straw all the way through, and presto!  The strawberry is cored!  No more icky white parts, and no green stem!  I cut the strawberry in half first, to waste less and make smaller, less-chokable pieces … but I loved her tip and thought of you all immediately!  Works for me!

strawberries

Mmmmmmm…. Gramma’s shortcake was delicious too.


An Unexpected Solution

June 11, 2007

After over an hour of trying to comfort our screaming baby in the car on the drive home from Grandma and Grandpa’s house last night, we tried something initially counterintuitive:  we played music REALLY LOUD.

Daddy rocked out.

Mommy sang along.

Widget played air guitar.

And the baby, God bless the baby, fell asleep.

Works for me!

Edited to add:  One problem solved.  Now, about that chocolate treat I ate at MOMS Club this morning … somehow I conveniently “forgot” that chocolate contains dairy … the (milk-intolerant) baby has been screaming ever since.  Anyone have any mom-calming solutions to suggest?  I’m ready to climb the walls.

Edited again, to add:  Quick recipe for that sweet and salty treat:  Spread 1″ square lattice type pretzels on a cookie sheet.  Top each with an unwrapped hershey’s kiss.  Place in preheated oven and cook for 5-6 minutes at 200′.  Remove, top each treat with a single m&m, and let cool.  This is a quick and easy playdate treat that will have the moms coming back for more!


Mucking around

June 6, 2007

Perhaps my favorite summertime activity with the kids is working in our garden — and just generally mucking around in the yard.  I’ve loved growing fruits and veggies since I was a kid, tending our family garden with my mom, walking through Grandma’s garden in the summers, and I imagine I’ll be THAT old lady mucking about in her garden when I’m 80.

Lucky for me, the kids (and by kids, I mean Widget) love it too.  So far this year, we’ve planted cherry tomatoes, minature yellow pear tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, garlic chives, bell peppers, jalapenos, cucumbers, and zucchini.  And when I say, zucchini, I mean, like one plant.  Because who really needs more than one zucchini plant?

But my new favorite plants in the garden are the blackberry and blueberry bushes over against the wall.  They produce FABULOUS fruit, and they’re so very easy to tend.  Really, all you have to do is prune them at the end of each season, make sure they don’t die of thirst, and they produce yummy yummy snacks all summer long.  Starting in late June, we’ll have a dozen or two blueberries every day, and then in July there will be at least as many blackberries. 

Widget loves his fruit, and now, in the garden, he’s learning where it comes from.

Works for me!

blackberry 

Now that I’m home, I prefer THIS kind of blackberry….


Heloise Moment

May 15, 2007

Our house has a small bathroom that steams up quickly with a hot shower.  Since there is no ceiling fan, and I don’t always remember to open the window, the steam often condenses onto the walls and ceiling.  Cleaning it is really annoying … but this week, I stumbled onto an idea that makes it tons easier.

How to effectively scrub the ceiling without balancing precariously on a chair or dragging a ladder upstairs?  Easy — just wrap two Lysol wipes around each side of a Swiffer sweeper, turn it upside down, and Swiffer the ceiling! 

It made me laugh, but it works for me!