We spent most of the weekend at home trying to catch up on homeowner stuff: cleaning house, pruning shrubs, pulling weeds, etc. Fun, exciting stuff.
I want to post pictures from everything we've been up to since mid-May, so this week and probably next I'll attempt to catch up around here. But for today, here are a few random thoughts and observations from my weekend.
- When asked by your wife, "Hey Babe, what are you up to?" The right answer is always, always, always, "Well, I was about to clean bathrooms . . .unless you object." God bless this man I married. (And no, I don't object. Ever.)
- Why do thistles have to be weeds? They have pretty purple flowers. And they are not fun to pull - I got poked even through leather gloves!
- Would now be an appropriate time to strangle the previous homeowner who planted invasive vines (lots and lots of vines, including Virginia Creeper, Algerian Ivy, Honeysuckle, etc.) in all the beds around the house?
- I know that they are tiny and cute when you buy them, but, just like puppies, plants grow. Go ahead and ask what size to expect the plant to get before plopping it in the ground. And if it is eventually going to be 4' to 6' in diameter, how about not planting it 8" from another equally large shrub? Just a thought.
- Bradford Pears = Not Good. Besides the putrid smell of their blooms that elicit images of a cheap motel, they have a tendency to split and fall during windstorms. Especially inconvenient is when half of the tree falls during your first days away on a trip to Brasil for 3 weeks. Even less fun is when the other half falls the day after you leave for a week long vacation in Georgia. Not exactly fun to come home to. And I'm not sure the grass in our front yard, nor the neighbors who moved in next door 6 weeks ago, will ever recover.
- I used to laugh at my Dad's never-ending list of projects and improvements to make on his house and property. After spending at least an hour each day over the weekend walking around with Eric talking about our vision for different rooms and parts of the yard - I understand now.
- It doesn't matter how many times you pick up the living room while Gabriela is sleeping. Within 10 minutes of her being awake, it will return to its previous state of chaos.
- Rednecks are not restricted to residing south of the Mason-Dixon Line. We went to the Lee County (Iowa) Fair Saturday night to get out and enjoy the nice evening. I've never seen so many NASCAR hats and t-shirts with the sleeves cut off. And I've sat in the cheap seats at races in Daytona and Atlanta . . . so that's really saying something!
- After months of traveling and being a big softie and giving Gabriela her pacifier to sleep with, I decided last night was time to officially retire all pacifiers for good. We put her to bed and she screamed, like top-of-her-lungs-making-my-own-throat-hurt-listening-to-it screamed. And this is the kid who pretty much never, ever cries. I let her cry it out for 15 long minutes. Then I went in to comfort her and tell her again it was time to sleep and tuck her back in. She refused to calm down even after I picked her up though and continued screaming. After a couple minutes, I was starting to wonder if something was actually wrong (something more than just pitching a fit because she didn't have her chupeta.) About that time, Eric came in for back-up. She immediately reach for her Papai, who took her from my arms. After silently laying her head on his shoulder for a brief second, Gabriela popped her head up, spun around to look at me, scrunched up her little round face, pursed her tiny pouty lips, and said, "Oooooooooo" while shaking her head back and forth. (She was obviously very much not happy with her mother. And very much showing off an emerging little attitude.) I sort of wanted to strangle her, but mostly wanted to fall on the floor laughing. I would generally recommend avoiding either action in such great moments of parenting. (Although feel free to laugh - uncontrollably - once in your own bed later that night as you recall her too-adorable "mad face".)