Winter Bucket List

  • -- Make snow ice cream
  • -- Set up tree
  • -- Build a snowman
  • -- Go ice skating
  • -- See Santa
  • -- Watch The Grinch and drink hot chocolate
  • -- Enchanted Forest
  • -- Nutcracker Ballet
  • -- Make a gingerbread house
  • -- WinterShines Festival
  • -- Festival of Trees

Monday, March 30, 2015

An embarrassment of squashes

Did we never talk about how my garden went down in the end? Eleanor and I were planting seeds in egg cartons today, and that made me think of it.


Remember my two little windowsquashes?



And then I planted them in Squash City and basically everything else back there died? But those two became like Secret of the Ooze and I forgot them there in the corner and then in late August Joel was like, Hey, go harvest your squash. I went in and pulled out maybe a dozen rull big ones. Oops.


I made a squash/sausage (squashage?) corn chowder. That's one squash down.


I made double batches each of squash-lemon-poppy seed muffins


and chocolate-squash muffins. Another four squash gone. Eleanor and I had squash pancakes for supper when Joel was gone, and they were not terrible. And then I just started putting squash in stuff. Squash in the stir fry, squash in the roasted balsamic tomato pasta.


And then I went back there and like half a dozen more little ones had sprung up, so I picked them and roasted them and made my family eat them.


One squash plant.


Many much squashes. I will probably plant another one this year, because even though we don't love them, they grow like gangbusters and it's very, very satisfying.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Palm Springs adventuring!

Ok so even though we had this backyard pool, and the girls would have had the Best Vacation Ever if we had just pooled all day, every day, we actually did THINGS in Palm Springs! With and without the childrens!

We went to the night market!


We had street tacos!


Geneva had like a three-minute nap and then was awake for the rest of the evening!


We had a chocolate-covered waffle on a stick!


Eleanor danced with a lion!


But she did NOT want to go hug him, because his mouth was open and he might eat her. (Also, for the remainder of the trip she referred to that orange dress as her 'lion-dancing dress.')


We wandered home around 8:30, only to find that we were locked out of our house and the keypad wasn't working. Geneva was STILL AWAKE and the house owner was half an hour away and everyone was ragged and we were still recovering from the previous day of travel, and then somebody jimmied the patio door open and everyone went to bed, hooray.

We went for a ladies brunch! Look at all these ladies we have!


Eleanor and I had the waffle with malted banana mousse, peanuts, brulee'd banana, and candied tangerines. It was ridiculous.


Eleanor was delighted by this macrame'd elephant above our table.


We left the kids napping with the dads and went thrift shopping! And pulled over at this hilarious sign, where we ended up buying a bunch of things, so good work getting us in the store, sign!


It was a super well-curated little consignment shop, and I bought an adorable blue-and-white polka dot dress for $15. The lady was all like, Oh yes, that's a coat I bought in New York and never wore, that was part of my wedding dress, that was a puzzle from when I was little. Basically we bought up all her memories.

We went to the street market!


Eleanor and I petted the friendliest corgi!


I bought a mom-hat!


We had an ice cream bar with toffee bits!


Geneva did baby things!


We went to have brunch and watch a polo match!


Eleanor ate all my hash browns and Geneva ate like half my eggs!


The girls petted a polo pony!


We went to Costco because twelve people eat an unimaginable amount of food. The girls ate every sample they could get their hands on.


I did not buy this comical Costco bottle of wine because $80 but I DID take a novelty photo with it.


WE WENT TO THE ZOO AND RODE A CAMEL.


Look at that camel, carrying us all. Good work, camel.

We petted things.


And sat on things.


And when everyone was well and truly worn out, we were like, Let's go ten minutes out of our way for some In-N-Out burger! Only we didn't count on the drive-thru line-up so it ended up being an extra hour BUT we didn't have to feed the girls lunch when we got home, and the babies were in the other car so we didn't have to deal with them. WIN WIN.


We abandoned the littles with their grandparents and went out for Mexican food like grown-ups and I got enchiladas because duh.


I ate them while they were hot, and I didn't share them with anybody, and it was incredible. My life is amazing.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Palm Springs pool party

So. We went to Palm Springs. The trip there was excellent, even though we had to leave the house at 4am, because Eleanor is turning into a solid little traveler. At the airport:


At the gate:


On the flight:


Geneva cat-napped during the first flight, crawled around the airport for the 3-hour layover, and then slept the entire second flight, and was awake and frisky for the last one. It was the literal best it could have been, except when the dude beside me on the long flight wouldn't move up to an empty seat because he 'liked the window.' And the flight attendant and I are both like, *eyebrows* but he was maybe 21 and obviously had no idea how much harder it is to fly with an infant in your lap. WELL HE HAS AN IDEA NOW because I sort of didn't contain her crying, and breastfed half in his lap, and generally let her kick him until she fell asleep (and then he fell asleep, and I'm like, WHAT DO YOU NEED THE WINDOW FOR YOU ARE SLEEPING ALSO YOU DO NOT GET THIS ARMREST I NEED IT).


And then we got to the house and everyone was there waiting and we had a pool in the backyard and Eleanor got RIGHT INTO IT and that pool was the best, because the cousins were just IN IT and ON IT and AROUND IT at all times.


We got each of the older girls a swim buddy, and the younger ones a floaty space pod thingy, and then one grown-up could wrangle ALL FOUR if they had to.


We also got some bubble wands, which turned out to be super hard to blow bubbles from


AND a giant duck that deflated after the first day.


Can't all be winners. Eleanor would put on every floaty she could find, and then jump off the top stair into the pool.


Suddenly on the second-last day, she gave in to our coaxing to jump off the side, and then you couldn't STOP her jumping off the side.


Geneva was iffy on the pool, but game about the noodles.


On the last day, we didn't plan any activities for the day, we just let the girls swim all morning and then have lunch by the pool and then swim again all afternoon. We still had to drag them out by their toes at the end of the day.


Leetle fishes.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Home again, home again.

We just got back from Palm Springs (about more which anon. Eight grown-ups! Four littles! A Bogey-dog! All in one house. Hijinx ensue) and our travel day was a disaster.


Our original flight, ok no. Our original original flight was at, like, 8 am, Palm Springs to Denver, Denver to Saskatoon, but then United cancelled their Denver to Saskatoon flights, and switched us to a 6 am Palm Springs to Denver, Denver to Calgary, Calgary to Saskatoon. Ugh so many flights with small children.


But then (after we got up at 4 and flew from Palm Springs to Denver), our plane sat on the tarmac in Denver for an hour, being de-iced or whatever. We deplaned in Calgary and I was like, I can't believe we have one more flight to go, this is the worst. 


FAMOUS LAST WORDS, my dudes, because the hour delay and having to pick up our bags and go through Canadian customs meant that we missed our 4:30 connection, and the next flight wasn't until 11:30pm.



AND THEN ALL THE LIGHTS IN THE AIRPORT WENT OUT. Total power outage for, like, half an hour, and we sat there in the dark and laughed and laughed because how does this even. But the lights came back on, the Calgary airport has like six play places, Geneva fell asleep and Eleanor ruled the empty roost and somehow we killed seven hours.



And then we landed in Saskatoon just before 1am, and Joel went to get the car, and the girls wept with rage and frustration while I stuffed them into hoodies and hats. We are being gentle with ourselves today, taking our time and allowing for flares of temper and sad moments and long naps. We were glad to have gone but we are so, so glad to be home.


(I tried to barter for the 8:30pm WestJet flight, but United doesn't partner with them, and doesn't take responsibility for things like de-icing that are caused by the weather. We thought about getting a hotel for the night and flying out in the morning, but when 6:30 came and went I thought, We would have been home by now, and imagined how I'd feel in the morning if I knew I could be waking up in my bed but had to fly another flight instead. So we powered through.)