August 29, 2011

Dear Rose - 19 months

Dear Rose,

My little snugglebun!  What a great month we have had!  We returned from our Hawaiian adventure, recovered from the jet lag, and have enjoyed the last part of August.

On the first weekend in August, we held our annual Farber-Lau BBQ!  Lots of friends, family, and neighbors came to enjoy a beautiful summer afternoon, and we ate delicious food, hung out on the hammock, and talked to everyone.  You had a fun time, running around with all of the other kids, and eating yourself silly.     

You have more words now; my favorite one is cheese!  You say it like this, "cheeeeeeeeeze" and get so excited whenever we offer you some.  You are also saying "shoe" and "doggie".  Tonight we went to the park and you said "play!" very clearly.  We have spent some time on the front porch, too, with the sidewalk chalk and bubbles.  You are learning how to blow bubbles, but they mostly drip on to you!
We have been spending more time in water together, too.  You are sometimes nervous in the water, but it appears that each time we go to the pool, or hang out in the "warm" tub, you become more confident.  We are signed up for swim lessons this fall, Rose!  I hope that you learn to enjoy the water, and how to be safe around it.  The water can be so much fun to play in!  I want you to feel comfortable and confident around it and in it. 

You and I went to Como Zoo and Park and had a great time visiting all the animals.  It was the first time I recall you actually noticing the animals, pointing, talking about them, and showing your excitement to see them.  After the zoo, we went over to the Como Town, where they have rides and you rode the little cars - twice! and the tea cups, too.  At first, you were not sure what to make of this thing, but then, once it started, you were smiling and enjoying the ride.

Sweet Rose, let's enjoy this fall - the fair is coming up, and apple picking, and lots of fun!
All my love,

30 Days - First Project

My first 30 day project, doing (at least!) one fun thing a day concluded a few days ago.  It was a wonderful experiment, and reminded me to be present during my daily life.  Some days, the fun was spontaneous and just happened as events unfolded, like Day 7, having an afternoon treat at Starbucks and Day 20, going to Hudson to have dinner with Rich.  Those fun things were good reminders that there is always fun to be had, each day.  Other fun things were planned events, and so the anticipation was almost as fun and joy-inducing as the actual event, like the annual Farber-Lau BBQ and my day off with Rose.

Here's a quick list of the 30 fun things.  Whee! 

Day 1:  Dinner with Amy; made a list!
Day 2:  Swimming at neighborhood pool with Rose and Aunt Sarah, followed by a sushi date with Rich.
Day 3:  Hair cut!
Day 4:  Swimming with siblings, Rose, and Rich, followed by nachos!
Day 5:  CSA delivery.
Day 6:  National Night Out in the neighborhood with Rose.
Day 7:  Afternoon Starbucks coffee treat.
Day 8:  Taco night!
Day 9:  Shopping for popsicle molds - power hour!
Day 10:  The Annual Farber-Lau BBQ!
Day 11:  Diner at IKEA with Rich and Rose.
Day 12:  Final lunch of the summer with Sarah.
Day 13:  Winning on my scratch-off Slingo game!
Day 14:  Eating lunch outside, enjoying the sunshine!
Day 15:  Dinner with Breanna, discussing my business idea.
Day 16:  Dinner at Tanpopo with Rich and Rose.
Day 17:  Breakfast with Rich and Rose, winning two games of Scrabble.
Day 18:  Homemade strawberry ice pops!
Day 19:  Hanging out in the "warm" tub with Rose. 
Day 20:  Spontaneous trip to Hudson, WI to have dinner with Rich and Rose.
Day 21:  Lunch on the rooftop of Crave in Minneapolis.
Day 22:  Realizing that Thursday was my Friday!
Day 23:  The entire day with Rose:  we went to the zoo, rode rides, had lunch, napped, went to the pool, dinner at Eddington's, laughed in the hammock, bathtime, books, bed. 
Day 24:  Waking up early, having the house to myself.
Day 25:  Grocery shopping with Rose, seeing how excited she was to ride in the race car shopping cart and have a FREE COOKIE.
Day 26:  Dinner on the patio.
Day 27:  Eating homemade pickles.
Day 28:  Talking with Sarah about teaching a community ed class.  Also, visiting the planners at OfficeMax.
Day 29:  Trip to Costco.
Day 30:  Staying up late to watch a movie with Rich.

Now, the next adventure begins!    

August 14, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Pops!

This afternoon, I whipped up a batch of homemade strawberry ice pops.  They were delicious and healthy!  Rose devoured one, and then immediately asked for more! 

The recipe:
Homemade Strawberry Ice Pops
Into the blender or food processor toss:
2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
Lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon's worth)
3 T sugar

Blend it together - add a little water if needed to get the blender going.  When ready, pour into molds (or paper cups).  Freeze.  A few hours later - enjoy!  (You may need to run warm water over the mold to loosen them).


July 28, 2011

Hawai'i Nei, Part I

Hooray!  The Farber-Lau and Laus just returned from a fantastic vacation and family visit to wonderful Hawai'i, specifically, the island of Oah'u.

July 10
Departure day!  The household (plus Aunt Sarah, who happily drove us to the airport) awoke at 5:00 to get dressed and throw the rest of the bags in the car.  Aunt Sarah drove us to the MSP airport, for our flight which was to leave at 6:00 am to go to Chicago O'Hare airport (ORD).  When we arrived to check in, we discovered that the airline (United) had canceled our first flight, but were able to get us on an American Airlines flight to ORD, arriving about the same time.  Whew!  We made our way through the airport and boarded.  The flight was a little bumpy, and we arrived on time . . . but we ended up sitting on the tarmac for around 30 minutes, and THEN there was no gate agent to greet the plane.  We made a mad dash off of the plane and RAN from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1!  We missed the next flight by minutes . . . we saw the jet pull away from the gate.  The United agents were apologetic and worked hard to rebook us through.  They ended up putting us on a flight to Los Angeles (LAX) and then to Honolulu (HNL). 
We made all of those flights and even had some cushion time that we could get something to eat and stretch our legs.  The highlight of our travel day was that Rose was given a first class ticket for the LAX - > HNL leg, but alas, as babies are not allowed in first class, Mama was the one who enjoyed it.  We arrived in HNL about 9:00 pm and after finding our bags, we made our way out to Kaneohe on the winward side of Oah'u to our rental condo.  We all collapsed into bed around 11:00 pm HST.  (Hawai'i is five hours behind Minnesota, so, that would be about 4:00 am CST!)

July 11

The best part about the vacation condo rental was the koi pond off of the lanai.  The koi were gorgeous, and throughout the entire trip, we enjoyed sitting out on the lanai.  The other entertaining part were the two ducks, thusly named Larry and Joe.  We fed Larry and Joe some bread and rice which enticed them to return each day to the door, to quack for more.
In addition to checking out the koi pond and entertaining Larry and Joe on this day, we also made a trip to Costco (did you know that the Honolulu Costco is the busiest Costco in the land AND they sell more rotisserie chicken than any other Costco?  Thank you b-school!)  to pick up some supplies.  We visited Ni-Ni and she was incredibly happy to see Rose (and us).  We all had dim sum, oh so delicious.
After dim sum, we did some more shopping, going to Safeway, and then Sam's Club.  At Sam's Club, we ended up buying some seared ahi poke for dinner.  So delicious and only about $4/lb - it was a steal.  We had dinner on the lanai and all went to bed shortly thereafter.

July 12
Up early (thanks time zone change!) and off to Wally world to buy diapers and wipes!  After the store, we picked up Ni-Ni and had early lunch at Kaka'ako Kitchen.  So delicious, if you are in Honolulu, go!  In the afternoon, we went to the Honolulu Zoo to run around and check out our animal friends. 

 The best part of the Zoo, was, of course, the slide!
Hello Hippos!

After the Zoo, we went back to the condo and had some dinner on the lanai and then went to sleep!

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of our trip to Hawai'i!  I promise to post more soon!

PS - "Nei" is Hawaiian for beloved.  So when you say "Hawai'i Nei" you are really talking about your love for your beloved island. 

July 27, 2011

Try Something New

I love projects.  Mighty Girl (one of my favorite blogs to follow) shared a post about trying something fun for 30 days. She also included this short video about doing something for 30 days; I really like the idea of trying something for 30 days (I also loved Morgan Spurlock's 30 days, too, so bonus points to Matt Cutts for mentioning that).   

30 days is doable.  So, what should I try for my first 30 days?

Also, I've been reading The Happiness Project book and planning my own happiness project.  Maybe I should think about one of the resolutions I want to do in my own happiness project, and try that for a month?    If anyone else has read this book, and has started a happiness project, let me know.  Or, if you are interested in starting a group with me, that would be wonderful!


July 24, 2011

Dear Rose - 18 months

Dear Rose,
Today you are 18 months old.  18 MONTHS OLD.  You have been with us for a year and half!  Amazing.  I was just telling Uncle Luther last night that one year ago, you were just beginning to sit up by yourself.  And now, you are a walking, running, whirling, talking, screeching, laughing, giggling, tiptoeing delight.
Behold you in the sink/tub at 6.5 months old (above) and you in all of your rolling-around-on-the-floor-18-months-old-glory (below). 
Oh, Rose.  What a month you have had!  We traveled to Hawai'i and you had a nice time visiting your Ni-Ni  and Uncle Luther.  We were able to see lots of other family and friends and it was a wonderful trip.  You survived TWO epic travel days (each about 23 hours long!) in order to get to Hawai'i and back, so you are becoming a very seasoned traveler, for someone so young.  Daddy and I are very proud of you.  I hope that as you grow up you enjoy traveling and seeing the world.  Daddy and I promise to do our best to share with you wonderful, delightful places, and to create happy memories with you around the world.

You are talking a bit more, Rose, uttering random and various words "Hi" "Bye" "Water."  You continue to babble at us, as if you are telling a very long, detailed story.  We find it infinitely adorable.
 Our friend Mairi from Canada came to visit us over the fourth of July weekend.  We loved taking her to our favorite spots in the Cities, and you enjoyed visiting the Sculpture Garden at the Walker.

Your love affairs with slides and melons continues. 

Oh my sweet Rose, curious, strong, smart, opinionated, nibb-able, Rose!  What fun will we have this new month?  I look forward to our upcoming adventures!

All my love,

July 6, 2011

CSA Bounty o' Goodness Rounds 3 & 4

We've been busy making preparations for our trip to Hawai'i, so I've neglected to update you on the goodies we've received from Eener's Farm.  Our third batch arrived and we received more leaf lettuce, spinach, green onions, and more garlic scapes.  We also received some salad turnips (which really resemble radishes).  We most enjoyed this batch in salads. 

Our fourth delivery was very very green.  We received some collard greens, leaf lettuce, a type of turnip that only grows the green tops (called Seven Tops), and the most exciting yet:  broccoli and pea pods!  
We enjoyed some of this in a salad, and I even stir-fried up some of the pea pods and broccoli (and some of the garlic scapes from last week) with some onion, sweet peppers, fresh rice noodles and a little thai flavorings.  Delicious.

A few thoughts:  I have really enjoyed receiving our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shipment every week and it has really encouraged us to eat more fresh vegetables.  Our meals are more local, and we feel great from supporting a local family farm, too.

We leave for Hawai'i on Sunday, y'all, so our CSA deliveries will be on hold until we return.  This also means that our delivery the Monday after we return will hold 3 WEEKS WORTH OF PRODUCE.  I am alternately excited about this and scared that my body might implode from all that fiber.  (Not to mention what it might do to Rose's digestive system!  Hee!)

Ok.  More about Hawai'i preparations to come in future posts, too!

June 21, 2011

CSA Bounty o' Goodness Round 2

Oooooh!  More veggies from the CSA Eener's Farm arrived yesterday! 
 We received a beautiful mix of green and red lettuces, spinach, and parsley.  We also had some more radishes, green onions (although they were actually a gorgeous shade of purple), and some garlic scapes.  I've eaten everything in this box before, except for the garlic scapes, and I'm very excited to try them.  I've found several recipes for using them, from grilling them up and putting them on pizza, to simple stir frys, and adding them to salad.  If you are interested in seeing any of those recipes, just send me a note, and I'm happy to send it along to you!  And, if you have any recipes for any of these ingredients, please send them to me! 

Tonight, we had salad, with the lettuces, spinach, parsley, and radishes. 

June 19, 2011

Running with Joy!

Watch for it (starts at :19):  after Rose gets off of the slide, she runs back around to climb back up.  That wiggle waddle walk she has makes me giggle and my heart so happy to see her run with such joy.

Dear Rose - 17 months

Dear Rose,

You are now 17 months old.  A big, wonderful, curious, powerful shining light of joy!
Summer has arrived finally in Minnesota and we are having a ball enjoying the warm weather!  It also means that the hammock is out in the yard and you LOVE it so - lounging around with us, swinging in it, and crawling back and forth in it.  We love that you enjoy it so much!

 We've been exploring different parks and you are enjoying them too.  This photo of you amazes me - you look like such a big girl!
 Summer time also means ice cream! 
 And melon!  Lots of honeydew and watermelon.  You eat them up so fast.  It is not unusual for you to eat half of a honeydew by yourself!  Your appetite continues to astound us:  we've watched you eat two hot dogs in one sitting, too! 

 You mimic us a lot now, too, Rose.  You are so observant, and try to do what we do.  You talk on the phone, you like to push the buttons on our laptops, and one day, you were out with Dad at the store and you insisted on handing the cashier the credit card, and taking the pen to sign the receipt! 
 You love slides! And swings!  And just being outside.  We love it with you too. 

Teething still continues, too.  You had a rough bout a few weeks ago - two of your molars came in and you were again miserable, drooling, chewing on everything.  You are now up to 8 teeth, though!

Oh, Rose, how can we slow down time?  You are so big, so smart, and growing so fast.  I try to take each day and savor every moment with you.  It seems just like yesterday you were a little wiggly baby, and now . . . now, you are my big toddler.  You are so in love with the world, and I am so in love with you, Rose!

All my love,

CSA Bounty o' Goodness

Earlier this spring, we signed up for a half-share in a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.  We chose to go with Eener's Farm in Boyceville, WI.  My plan is to post about what we received and how we enjoyed it.  

We received our first delivery on June 13 and it had mustard greens, radishes, green onions, and rhurbarb in it!

We've enjoyed salad, and Rich made some soup with the green tops, too.  

I don't know about you, but there is something beautiful about vegetables.  I like their shapes, their brilliant colors, and what they say.  The radishes are spicy little crunchy things, reminding me that life is about little bites that wake you up.

The next delivery is tomorrow and we are so excited to get our next batch of veggies!


June 2, 2011

Moments of Gratitude

"Gratitude is the better part of joy."  -- Oprah Winfrey

So today has been filled with moments of gratitude. 

Moment #1:  I wrote an e-mail today that was a little, ah, snotty.  I paused before hitting send, and had an uneasy feeling.  So, I revised it.  And, thank you, Universe for watching out for me; if I had sent the original e-mail, there would have been a BIG mess.  Lesson learned?  Listen to your gut.

Moment #2:  I rode my bike, with the trailer, to Rose's montessori to pick her up this afternoon.  When I got there, Rose's teachers apologized for how dirty she was - again.  Rose likes to play in the dirt.  And I replied that it was fine!  I said a little thank you for a place that Rose loves to be, and allows her to explore fully, without worry of how messy she might  will end up.

Can you see the mess?  I love this!