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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Go Bouncing

This past weekend was fantastic, minus the lingering cough that plagued Dave.

Friday he spent all day with Eddie. That night we took Eddie to Cassie's for "parents' night out." All the kiddos go to make Christmas tree pizzas, decorate ornaments, change into jammies, and watch a movie. Meanwhile, their parents got some much-needed couple time.

First we went to the local toy shop to modify an order for Eddie's "big" gift and for Dave to pick out a puzzle for Eddie. Then we used our gift certificate for Applebee's that my mom gave me a while ago. She also gave us a movie card but there wasn't anything playing that we wanted to see. So we spent a good 1.5 hours eating and talking ways to give me more work time, him more Eddie time, and us more "us" time. Oh, and how and when to get me graduated in a reasonable amount of time (there is light at the end of this's just that the wavelength changes on occasion so it is hard to see...but it is there!).

After dinner we didn't know what to do. We were both tired but it was only 8pm and we were paying for childcare until 10pm. We didn't need to go grocery shopping and weren't hungry for dessert. So we got some gas, got tea at Ciocolat, went to my lab to start another run in my instrument, then discovered it wasn't working (surprise, had been working at 5pm when I last used it...$%#*@ instrument). By that time we were ready to get Eddie. Of course, he had had tons of fun!

I had intended to work all day Saturday but since the instrument wasn't working I got to hang out with the boys instead. We did little stuff around the house (laundry, fixed the Christmas lights, etc.) and then got to work cooking up the abundance of produce we had in the house. The CSA basket we'd been getting since March decided to close for a bit and will relocate and reopen in the spring. Anticipating this, I signed us up for another basket, one that delivers to the house instead of just to campus. Somehow we ended up with three weeks of double baskets. So we've become inundated with persimmons, butternut squash, apples, and lemons. (Most complaints about winter CSA baskets is that you get nothing but kale. Around here there's plenty of variety all year round. And in our house we go through whatever greens we get mighty quickly. I'd actually prefer more kale and fewer persimmons.)

I chopped up tons of radishes and mini parshnips, some leeks, carrots, fennel, and beets and threw them into the crockpot for beef stew, along with more than a bottle of red wine. It turned out pretty tasty, but needed a little sugar to balance out the sharpness of the radishes. Then I squeezed as many of the ripe persimmons as were ready into a baggie for the freezer so I can accumulate enough pulp to bake something delicious.Next we tackled the apples (just when I thought, after 21 gallons of cider, that I was DONE with apples!). We didn't make applesauce yet this year so that's what we did. Eddie and Dave were in charge with cutting up the apples. It was adorable watching them work together. Eddie has his own knife. I've taught him how to hold it in his right hand and then press down on the top of the blade with his left hand, nice and flat. So now he is always checking to make sure his hand it flat enough before pushing on the blade.It cooked low and slow all day and part of Sunday, making the house smell amazing. I threw in all of the fuyu persimmons we had since I don't really like eating them (too sweet).

Before dinner we decorated some gingerbread cookies I'd cut out to look like trains (engines, coal tenders, trucks, and wheels). We used whatever candies and decorations I could find in the house and glued them on with pink, white, and blue royal icing. I figured we'd do gingerbread houses, but Eddie declared that he wanted to make "choo choo cookies." So we did. And it was super fun. Those cookies acted as a great bartering item for the remainder of the weekend. "Eddie, if you eat your dinner, then you have have a choo choo wheel afterward."

That night after Eddie was in bed I juiced and zested the 20 or so lemons we had in our fruit bowl and got busy making lemonade and three batches of canned lemon curd. We used something like 30 eggs...basically the entire half-flat of eggs we'd gotten on Wednesday from our egg delivery service. Thankfully, our chickens are still laying eggs or we wouldn't have had any eggs for breakfast this morning! Skipping morning eggs would be worth it, though. The lemon curd is tasty. I need to make some scones!

We wanted to take Eddie somewhere fun on Sunday and decided on the zoo. But when Dave was checking the hours online, he discovered that it'll be open for free on Christmas Eve. So we will delay our zoo trip until next weekend. Instead, we decided to go to the trampoline place in Rancho Cordova. We had a feeling Eddie would love it, so we booked two hours. Turns out that was a bit long for his first time, but WOW did he love it. He spent half his time bouncing and half his time running REALLY FAST along the yellow walkways. That kid is FAST. When we wasn't on the trampolines he was playing on all the arcade games. Who taught my child how to hold a gun?Or a guitar? My LORD, isn't he the cutest guitarist EVER?
I assumed he'd be tuckered out and fall fast asleep on the drive home, but boy was I wrong. We got home in time for a late nap, but decided to watch a movie instead and let him fall asleep on the couch. Again, wrong. Throughout the movie Hook he alternated between sitting on the couch and eating popcorn with us (butter, black pepper, and Parmesan, our new favorite topping combination thanks to Auntie Jennifer), climbing on us, and wandering around the house.

It was one of the best weekends we've had in a while. Just us Bowers with nothing pressing to do. Ah, fantastic. And I wish someone would pay me a dime each time Eddie's asked "can we go bouncing now?" Cause I'd be rich.

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