Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Movie Madness

Last week I received an email from Netflix telling me my sister-in-law was a customer and she'd recommended me for a free month of Netflix. Well, usually I am quite skeptical of freebies, don't you know there is always a catch. However, after rolling the idea around in my mind for a while, I decided to go for it and try and watch as many movies as I possibly could in one month's time and then cancel before I was billed for the second month. Movie madness has begun. I signed up to receive three DVDs at a time, and I have made my way through the first three. I've watched The Terminal, The Ring II, and Million Dollar Baby. Today I should be receiving two more from my pickings and I'm already trying to mentally squeeze them into my schedule. The tricky thing is the timing of this free month of movies. It coincides inconveniently with premier month on t.v. and a few days of the week I have devoted to favorite shows of mine. Tonight, for instance is Gilmore Girls and Supernatural on the WB, and there is just no room in the schedule to spare for a movie. Tomorrow night is LOST (last week's season kick off was GREAT!). That means Thursday will be the earliest viewing day. I will be curious to see just how many movies I'll be able to watch for free this month. Any suggestions? I have more to add...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Here are some pictures from the Big Apple Adventure to Rocky Ridge Farm.

The Big Apple Adventure

We decided that since fall was officially upon us, it was time to find a new apple orchard here in Maine to visit. I'm picky about apple orchards. We lived in Concord, NH a year ago, and we had a favorite farm we visited for all our apple, berry, pumpkin and scrapbook-worthy-picture needs. It was called Apple Hill Farm (if you're ever in the area) and we were quite fond of it. I was weary of beginning our search for our Maine adventure, because you never know what the place is like until you get there. It has to meet all my criteria in order to be our new favorite. First of all, it has to have apples. Duh. Next, it has to have great photo ops. Also, in order to qualify, it needs some kind of activity for our active and easily-bored boys. A hay ride would do nicely, or some nice little farm animals to feed. We looked around online for a bit in the morning and decided on Rocky Ridge Farm in Bowdoin, ME, about 20 minutes from us. We packed a tote and grabbed our camera and hit the road. Upon arrival, we noticed how incredibly busy it was. Apparently, the rest of the county decided it was the big day for their apple adventure as well. One nice feature of Rocky Ridge is that they have twenty or so kiddie wagons available for use to haul your wee ones, or just your load of pumpkins. We grabbed a wagon and a bag for our apples and walked into the orchard. We picked 13 lbs of Macs and some Courtlands. I think we were a little earlier this year than most, since quite a few varieties aren't ready to pick yet. It was a fairly small farm, but had a great assortment of pumpkins in all colors and a fabulous-smelling little cafe with donuts, pie and fudge. We got a couple of donuts and picked out some pumpkins and cornstalks and after a couple of hours in the windy sun, we decided to head home. My overall rating of the farm was pretty good, however, next time we go apple picking, I think we'll try a different place. This farm seemed a little small and pretty crowded. The boys didn't seem to notice and Miles swiped as many apples as he could get his pudgy little hands on. He did a pretty good job chomping on one and Max had fun being lifted up on Rob's shoulders to pick the high up apples. We arrived back home all tuckered out and I made some apple crisp. The sweet ending to a sweet day.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Baby Babble

Yesterday morning Rob and I were enjoying our normal weekend routine of taking turns reading the Sun Journal, while the other sort of keeps tabs on the boys. As I was drinking my french roast and reading the paper, I overheard a conversation I never dreamed I would be listening to. Miles is 10 months old. He is walking and climbing and babbles away incessantly during the day and has a smile that assures you he is, indeed, full of the dickens. At any rate, Miles says to Rob "arra babsha do". Rob nods his head and says, "oh really?". Emphatically nodding his head, Miles reiterates his point, "Brrrrrr..... (raspberry).... ssshhhhoooo bra bra." Then in a high-pitched frenzy "Eye-ye YA YA". Rob continues on with his dialog with Miles while he scans over the sales fliers. He looks up and catches my eye and says "What?". "You're supposed to do that, right? You know, answer them so their speech gets reinforced?". In that moment I realized why I love my husband so much and why, until you form a family, you never truly know your spouse. If I had never bore Max almost four years ago, I would never have known that my husband could so sweetly converse with a drooly, demanding, precocious and lovable 10-month-old.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pressure Washing: The Power Released

About a week ago my brother James (who currently resides with us) decided he was going to get a nice soapy bucket of water, grab a scrub brush and have at our deck in an attempt to transform it from desperately yucky to fabulously new. Well, it was a brisk sunny morning and James was full of cleaning gumption. For hours he fiercely scoured that deck, emptying my bottle of dish soap and then the good part of a bottle of bleach. After exhausting himself just in time to get ready for work, the deck did look quite nice. Much much brighter and not nearly as green. After ten-ish years of neglect the structure was grey-green with a caked on dirt that prevented anyone from looking through the cracks below. I, being a clean freak and proud Virgo, watched with much satisfaction as someone, other than myself, in the household was furiously cleaning something. In fact, it made me quite giddy. However, at the end of the day Rob said it wasn't quite done and not ready to stain. There was still, after hours of scrubbing, caked on grub. So, the next morning on James' day off, he announced that he was going to Home Depot to rent a power washer. Now, this had originally been my plan when we moved here, but after almost a year of other little projects and a shortage of spare cash, that had been put on the back burner. I have also discovered any amount of time to do these said projects is scare for me and Rob. Anyhoo, James rents his power washer and fills it with the appropriate amount of gas and fires her up. All I can say is that I was in sheer amazement at the difference in my deck. It looks like it was just built. Even after all that hard work he put into it, the power washer stripped away yet another layer of grime and we now have a bright, light, clean surface to stain. As for the labor, we did take turns at using the machine. No self-respecting clean-freak would pass up the opportunity to use a power washer. In addition to the deck, we also washed our old, weathered wood outdoor furniture. It's truly amazing what these man-made wonders can do for your outdoor cleaning needs. I highly recommend using one the next time you are motivated to do back-breaking outdoor scrubbing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cool Mornings, New Notebooks and Apple Pie

It's hard to believe it's September already and another fall is here. I love fall. I love the crisp cool mornings and the apple picking and the leaf piles. I love wearing cozy clothes and making pies and lighting candles. Fall feels good. All those things are great, but one thing about fall I have always loved so much is buying school supplies. Admittedly, it's been a while since I was in need of school supplies. I do unnecessarily browse through notebooks occasionally trying to come up with an excuse to buy one and leaf through the crisp clean fresh pages. I get excited for kids at back-to-school time when they get to pick out new school bags and pens and trapper-keepers (um, did I just date myself?). My little Max started preschool this month. This is his third day of school today to be precise. He loves school. He's been eyeing Spider Man backpacks for weeks now and insisting that he NEEDS to get "some stuff". I really had to resist the urge. I know it will be just a blink of an eye before he is hopping on the school bus out front and waving to me with his Spider Man backpack on. On that day I will get my fix of school stuff. 'Till that day, I will be more than happy with my almost-four-year-old's crafts from Morse Zoo School and his "award" that reads "Good job following directions, Max". And while my little man is working hard at his numbers and letters maybe I will go bake an apple pie.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Remember what Saturdays used to be like?

This morning I slept in. It was heavenly. I rolled over and snuggled up and fell back alseep in my cozy bed until eventually Rob barrelled in with the two beasts around 7:30 and said "Are you gonna get up now?". I guess so. Yes, you heard me right, 7:30 is sleeping in 'round these parts. Remember when sleeping in meant 11am or even sometimes NOON? Remember when anticipating Saturdays meant planning what fun project you'd like to accomplish, or maybe perhaps going out on the town for a fun evening? What the hell ever happend to my Saturdays? Right now Rob is out with Max (my eldest beast) grocery shopping, dropping clothes off at the clothing bank and other assorted errands. Miles (the wee beast) is snoozing on his daily morning nap and I should be doing something productive while I have the free minutes. Something like pulling spent plants out of the garden, preparing the deck for staining this afternoon, laundry, or perhaps even a shower? Nope, I sit here sneaking computer time because once nap time is over it's back to reality. Saturdays are not quite what they used to be. Don't get me wrong, I still look forward to the weekend. I still eagerly await the days of the week when Rob will be home and we can do something as a family. However, it's chaotic and our big ideas never quite seem to pan out anymore, and there's always a big dose of dirty diapers and whining. Both of my children were born with internal clocks that demanded they rise at 4:30-5am every day, and while we've worked rather hard on reprogramming that, they are still up by 6ish most days. I do love reminiscing on those days when I never realized how good I really had it, but, you know what? I wouldn't go back. Now I know what it feels like to have my chubbly ten-month-old crawl over me to wake me up. I have an almost-four-year-old driving his construction truck like a maniac Massachusetts driver down my hallway wildly honking his horn and yelling "morning Mommy". I get to sit next to Rob on the sofa and have my first cup of coffee each morning and wonder what did I ever do with myself before I had this great, noisy, rambunctious, hillarious family?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Yes, I must be out of my blog...

What the hell is a blog anyways? This question is one I wondered not so very long ago. Here I am beginning my very own. I suppose my most compelling reason is the fact that I enjoy other people's journaling so much. I love checking in and seeing what crazy things happened in the day of my sister-in-law, and have even checked out some of her friends' links. My internet-savvy brother tried turning me on to blogging a while back, but it never seemed to interest me much. Lately, though, it seems like a thoroughly great way to keep up with friends and family that are so spread out. So, here I go.... I am in new, frightening, unfamiliar territory... and I feel blogging crazy.