I’ll Take A Cherry Limeade, Please

Dear Kristen,

Remember me? I’m your sister!  I bet you forgot you had one since I’ve been silent on this here blog for…..cough……well, forever.  I’m sorry!  I’ve been off in Lime Land.

Lime Land: noun.  A state of being that is interesting, tart, confused, and slightly under appreciated.

You know the saying, “When life gives you lemons…”?  It categorizes things in life that are hard, and then you’re supposed to think optimistically about it to make it all better.  But what if I want to know that the hard things are necessary and good, even if hard?  I don’t want to just mask it with superficial sugar.

Life has been different for the past couple of months.  Hard, but not really hard, per say, just…life.  Limes are a wonderful fruit, perfect for understanding us.  They make things interesting, different. Are they for savory things or sweet?  Are they sweet and innocent or appropriate for bars and the night life? They’re all these things!  Limes force someone to do a double take, they evoke thoughts of sunshine, and they’re cute and little and awesome.

Limes added to rice make a WHOLE different dinner.  Limes in a pie?  Nothing is quite like it – even lemon meringue pies can’t compare with the delightfulness of Key Lime Pie.  Limes take mixed drinks to a whole new level – a drinkable level in my opinion.  Give me a Moscow Mule without a lime and I won’t touch it.  Give it to me with a lime…I’ll taste it!  Don’t mask the lime, just let it meld with everything to give a richness to it.

And my favorite, a Cherry Limeade.  All things wonderful in a glass.

So…we’ve been in Lime Land.  Which really is just normal life.  Can I give you an edited run down?img_4027

  1. Munchkin is in Kindergarten.  It has been emotional and hard at moments.  But she is doing great…and its nice to have only one kid talking my ear off all day instead of two.  (Is that bad?)  She’s growing up, making friends, learning new things, and none of that is a bad thing.  In fact, they’re beautiful life things!
  2. Little Man has had an allergic reaction to something – maybe a dye free and fragrance free dryer sheet, maybe some other mysterious thing. But it doesn’t bother him!  And since we have lots of fun with allergies around here, it wasn’t NOT expected.

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    Mommy, can I have a cherry limeade?

  3. Our just over a year old (and slightly past warranty) dishwasher broke.  We could spend the amount of money for a replacement expensive dishwasher to fix it or buy a new one.  We bought a new one. A less expensive one.  (Our track record for appliances is abysmal at best.  Thanks Consumer Reports for teaching us that even you are imperfect.) Our kids, however, have enjoyed their “rocket ship” continually since we got it. (Yes, we’ve just had a huge box floating around our house.) So there’s been lots laughter to combat the memory of weeks of hand washing. (And the old one became a cheap therapy session for some high schoolers who broke it all into little pieces…) img_4191
  4. Little Man is a full blown two-year-old, which means tantrums on a daily basis.  And I can’t think of anything to make this better.  But he will get through it.  We will survive this.  We’ve done it before.
  5. We’ve been in and at weddings and wedding events for the past few weeks – and although tiring – weddings are always awesome. img_4176
  6. The weather has cooled down, which means its time for pants.  Which means Munchkin Meltdowns before school because she decides she doesn’t like the jeans she picked out at the store YESTERDAY any more.  Hello, mirror.  Its so fun to see my five-year-old face sassing me in the same way I did Mom years ago.  Sorry about those moments, Mom.

This isn’t a comprehensive list.  But really, if everyone wrote down all the challenges and joys of a week (not to mention a couple months), it would be epically long.

Our Lime Land life has had its share of challenges and joys. But combined it makes for a rich life.  So I’ll take a Cherry Limeade, please.  Some sweetness, some tartness, and more than a little splash of interesting.

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from urbanstrawberries.com

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The Turn of the Year

Dear Erin,

Fall is in the air, at least technically. So is a hurricane over at the homestead (Hello, Hurricane Matthew! Please make a sharp right turn and go blow yourself out over the middle of the Atlantic without hurting anyone else. Kthxbai.)

Although he isn’t going to preschool yet, Little Mister picked up a bug from someone and has very generously shared it with his brother. Poor Cap’n Wiggles – not even 5 months old yet and already on his second cold. Neither kid seems to feel especially poorly, but number 1 is more ornery than usual, and number 2 doesn’t sleep well (so by extension, neither do Charles and I), and both boys seem to be covered in mucus, and I’m pretty tired of the whole thing.

To compensate, I’m devouring things:

  1. Coffee – Mostly from my own coffee pot of course, but oh gracious, have you tried the Chile Mochas from Starbucks? Who cares about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, when you can get coffee blended with spicy chocolate. Yummy yummy! as LM says. Not that I let him drink them. They’re mine, all mine.
  2. Cookies – The most dangerous discovery at the grocery store in the last two months is the bags of frozen, premade Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough. It is now way too easy to have fresh baked cookies (ahem, every night, cough cough). There might be a few in the oven right now.
  3. Books – You reminding me about YA books has been a minor revelation over here. I’ve finished 3 in the last not-quite-three weeks, plus half of the new Harry Potter, the beginning of another, and I have two on hold at the library. It’s slightly depressing that this is what I’m reading these days, but at least I’m reading. It’s like scratching a bone-deep itch that’s been going on so long that I forgot about it, or like when you start drinking water and didn’t even realize you were dehydrated. Will try to write on this and give more specifics sometime in the next few weeks.

These are all making me pretty happy (underneath the constant tiredness), and to add to that, the knitting is picking up again. Things usually slow down in the summer, and with the Cap’n added to our family mix this year, my interest in yarn took such a nosedive over the last few months that I semi-seriously wondered for a bit if I would ever pick it up again.

Silly Kristen. So, a little back story here. Little Mister has a huge head. It’s been consistently above the 90th percentile for his age since he was born. And what with that and the fact that he was born in March, I’ve only made him three hats:

Little One Swirl Hat

His welcome-to-the-world hat. Newborn size. Fit him for about a minute.

Little One Viking Hat 1

His Viking hat, which is pretty much perfect. Six month size.

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And his hipster hat, which was too big when I made it and has therefore lasted a really long time. No idea what size.

The point is, he never needed a hat when his head was between the newborn and 6-month sizes, so I never made one. Thus there isn’t one to pass down to little brother.

So little brother needs his very own new hat to wear until he grows into the Viking hat. I knew what I wanted, and amazingly, it worked out exactly how I imagined.

Look what I made in the last couple days.

pixie-hat

The hat, not the boy.

Isn’t it cute? It’s not a pattern; I made it up – a basic beanie shape with a slight trick at the top to make it pointy like a little elf hat. But I actually got the math worked out right and the thing fits! Also, no idea what the yarn is at the moment, but it’s thick and fluffy and is probably way too warm for our climate. Who cares? It’s adorable!

So, yeah, I’m unreasonably pleased with myself after this experiment, and the answer to the question of whether knitting would ever be back on the table is a definite yes.

Geeking Out – Disney!

Dear Erin,

School has started, so summer must be over. I’m glad about that; for a lot of reasons, September was welcome this year. We’ve had a few days recently that have even felt a little like fall here.

But before we trade in popsicles for jack-o-lanterns, there’s one last entry in the summer series to go. What’s the last interest I have a history of geeking out on? Why, Disney, of course!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my interest in Disney is nothing compared to a lot of people you can find on the Internet. But I could – once upon a time – sing every word to every song from Disney’s major animated releases from The Little Mermaid to Mulan and plenty from before then.

And you could, too, fellow Disney geek, so don’t pretend otherwise.

We all have our ways of expressing our love. Some people dress in costumes, some Disney-fy their normal wardrobe, some memorize the movies, some memorize the songs, some create their own works in response (see: WAY too many things on YouTube).

And some lucky stiffs get to go to the parks on a fairly regular basis.

Guilty.

One of the benefits of growing up in the Sunshine State and still having family there is that I have been to Disney World more than I probably should have – not that I’m complaining – enough that at one point, it got a little boring. (First world problem, I know.)

But it’s not boring any more!

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A fantastic first trip for the boys. But it makes for a bit of a long day:

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Bring on the Disney! It’s going to be fun to geek out in a whole new way.

Geeking Out – A Time Out

Dear Erin,

I apologize for missing last week. To be honest, though, you stole my geekdom. You were timely, too, since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out this past weekend. Did you get it already? Have you finished it yet?

I didn’t, and so, naturally, I haven’t. I think the only Harry Potter I pre-ordered and bought at a midnight release was the last one, and that was because we were about to leave on vacation – like, the next day – so I had to get it before we left. And then I read it aloud to Charles in the car all the way up to the place we were staying in North Carolina.

And he laughed at me for getting emotional when Dobby died (Oh, spoiler), because the man is dead inside.

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Speaking of trips, Captain Wiggles and I went on a quick trip over the weekend, and it’s taken me all week to recover. We flew out to Ohio for the wedding of a college friend. I enjoyed catching up with old friends and sharing in this woman’s joy. And the Captain enjoyed being held and made much of all weekend, without having to share attention with a big brother. But having both boys again this week slowed the recovery from jet lag, and I’ve just been persevering between sleeps this week. Going to the zoo yesterday helped

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because I could stand still for a bit while he was entertained, and it wasn’t by a screen, so I didn’t have the tantrum fallout that accompanies screen time.

So, I have a few more things to write about in our series – despite poaching that may happen by unnamed sisters – but today all I can summon enthusiasm for is a fantasy of six hours or so of alone time, in which I might sleep for a few hours, read the new Harry Potter book, even fold some laundry or do some knitting. Without the two month old screaming as soon as he realizes he’s hungry or bored. And without the two year old climbing all over me, insisting I do what he wants (read the blue book, look at pictures of mini coopers in the water, write letters on his speak and spell toy, watch “Mickey [Mouse club]House”), and screaming and flailing when I refuse because I need to work or eat or get dressed.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go deal with the screaming.

Enjoy your weekend!

My Mother’s Day Present

Dear Readers,

As you might have figured out from the previous post, there has been a change in personnel here at Crackersisters:

LM and bro

Little Mister has a little brother!

And, as with our previous additions, we’re going to take a few weeks off to rest and recuperate and reset our lives. I, at least, have to figure out how to juggle two kids as well as Erin does. Without dropping them.

When we return, we’ll have the summer ahead of us, a summer series or two may be in the offing, and hopefully we’ll be a little more consistent in our posting – it should be easier without storks dropping off little boys on the doorstep.

~Kristen.