Weather: Windy and chilly right now, a rumpled overcast. Rain and maybe thunderstorms in the forecast for this afternoon and tonight, with highs in the low 50's and lows in the mid 30's.
What I'm hearing: Dishwasher running, Gareth playing SpellTower on the iPad, the twins and Chipmunk discussing the relative merits of Chipmunk's Pokemon cards and eating a second breakfast of yogurt. (First breakfast was bacon and bananas.)
(Also, it's President's Day. That means Andy gets a bonus day home after being home sick all last week with the flu. Which he needs, because his sore throat is not going away, and so now he needs to go to the doctor. But it also means that "normalcy" probably won't start until tomorrow.)
Farm and Garden: I have not seen my garden in weeks, but there are still carrots out there and the kale and other winter greens are doing well, I hear. Andy reported seeing the beginnings of asparagus shoots last week, which would have been exciting if any of us could have mustered excitement at the time (which we couldn't.) So far, though, February has been colder than it has been the past two springs. That's actually a good thing, because it means we can put off planting the spring garden for a little while until we feel better.
Oh, and farm? We're supposed to get 35 day old chicks at the end of the week. Needless to say we are scrambling to get ready.
Around the House: What doesn't need to be done? We're slowly digging out from being sick. Biggest priorities are laundry, kitchen, and coffee table... so I can put out our books for Lent and a study of the Papacy.
In the Kitchen: I'm slowly starting to cook more actual food. It always seems wrong to me that the very times when you need the best nutrition -- when everyone is sick or after Mom has a baby or when she's in the first trimester -- are also the times when Mom can't cook. So we end up eating hot dogs and cereal when really what everyone needs is some homemade chicken soup. Anyway, I've been feeling more like cooking, so we have had some homemade soups over the past few days.
What I'm really hoping to do from now until the baby is born is to focus on eating really nutrient dense food. At my OB appointment on Friday I learned that I hadn't gained any weight in 6 weeks and had in fact lost almost 2 pounds after this flu. To some extent I think it evens out in the end because I always gain so much weight in the first trimester, but on the other hand, I have been sick. (The days I could only eat eggs and popsicles might have had something to do with it.) So I splurged on a US Wellness sale on shrimp. Trying to work "nutrient dense foods for pregnancy" into the Lenten spirit is kind of tough. But here's the menu for the week (actually just a list of meals to choose from, not really assigned day by day at this point):
Shrimp Gratin with Mornay Sauce (served on rice instead of eggplant)
Chicken and GF Dumplings
Baked Salmon (not sure how I'll do this -- either with lemon or maybe in a cream-dill sauce)
GF cheesy bread/no sauce pizza (using this amazing pizza crust recipe from Art of Gluten Free Baking)
Cheese Enchiladas... maybe. If I can figure out how to make my own GF tortillas.
Roast Beef (I like using the chuck roasts I get with a side of beef, since they have bones and I can get bone broth at the same time as I get dinner if I cook it in the crockpot.)
Also: getting my viili yogurt culture started and keeping up with the kefir and the buttermilk.
Oh, and I want to make beet kvass, because it is supposed to be especially good for you after antibiotic use.
Creating Anything? Before I got the flu, I was getting bored with the time I spent at night with my feet up and the TV on, and I can only read so much. So I thought I might try to learn to knit again. Visiting my mom only made me feel more like I ought to be doing some sort of creative thing, because my mom is so good at all the textile arts, and recently she's taken up knitting again. She and Katydid worked on a hat while we were there, and now Katydid is knitting a basketweave afghan.
In other words, I'm feeling a little
And on the other hand, trying to learn to knit when you have the flu is probably not going to be very successful. In fact, it may make you so frustrated that you throw your knitting needles on the floor and have to explain to your boys that even though those bamboo sticks look like excellent spears, they are not really for throwing. No, not even if you saw them stick in a pillow.
Not that I would know anything about that, of course.
Anyway, I've decided that learning to knit is just going to have to be put off (again) for some undefined time in the future when I actually have time to devote to it... and my mom or Katydid can teach me. But I'd still like to do something with my hands. I do know how to cross-stitch and after thinking about it (and looking through Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion) I think I might be able to manage a small cross-stitch project before the baby comes. At the back of the Embroidery Companion there are some links to online suppliers, and I have spent a nice long while looking at the kits from The Scarlet Letter. Oh my. These are not the kind of kits you can find at your local Jo-Ann's! I think I've narrowed it down to this kit or this one, although I would really like this one for over the piano... if there wasn't a TV hanging over the piano already, of course.
(Really, I'm just trying to restrain myself because so many of the big samplers are absolutely gorgeous, but I know it would take me ten years to finish them. And I do like the cross-stitch projects in the Alicia Paulson book, too.)
What I'm Reading:
God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat- Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Yes, Chef: A Memoir
The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family
Learning All the Time:
I think I'm going to have to hand in my Unschooling Badge. My teenagers didn't seem to be getting much accomplished on their own, so we've introduced some more structure for them in the form of weekly meetings with Dad and refrigerator lists.
Now that I can breathe again, I'm hoping to get back to reading aloud. And I also hope to spend some time studying the Papacy this week (mainly using Elizabeth's resources.) We probably won't make it into a notebook, but will instead pursue it in our typical low-key, read aloud heavy fashion.
And mostly what I want is to get everyone away from the computer, the iPad, and the TV.
I have more to say about learning at our house right now, but I think that deserves a post of its own. Maybe I'll get my Unschooling Badge back when I show you what Chipmunk has been doing for the past few days:
I think that can count as science for kindergarten.
(Andy helped a little with getting the big curve down to the carpet, but mostly Chipmunk built this whole set-up all by himself. The next problem was protecting it from indiscriminate brothers.)