“Dad, Uncle Duane got sprayed by a skunk!” said Emma.

The scene: A girls’ team walk last week. Emma is on her scooter leading the way. I am pushing Stella in the stroller and Maya is walking/sniffing/squirrel hunting along next to us while leashed around my waist.

Emma: Mom, what’s a raccoon?
Me: It’s an animal about the size of a large cat. It’s mostly black with white circles around its eyes.
Emma: What’s a skunk?
Me: It is also a black and white animal. They can spray other animals or people if they think they are in danger. Uncle Duane was sprayed by a skunk once.
Emma: He was? Was it fun?
Me: I don’t think it’s fun. It’s really smelly. He had to take a bath in tomato juice to get un-stinky.
Emma: My brother* got sprayed by a skunk once. He had to take a bath in apple juice! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Me: I don’t think apple juice works the same way as tomato juice. You would get really sticky taking an apple juice bath.
Emma: When we go to Uncle Duane’s house for Christmas I am going to ask him about getting sprayed by a skunk.

We finish our walk/scoot and there is no more skunk talk.

Scene: Matthew arrives home from work and walks in to the kitchen. I am sitting in a chair feeding Stella. Emma runs up to Matthew, stops about a foot in front of him and is waving her arms as if she is going to make a very important announcement.

Emma: Dad,  Dad!
Matthew: Yes, Emma.
Emma: Dad, guess what?
Matthew: What?
Emma: Uncle Duane got sprayed by a skunk!!!

Matthew looks my direction.

Matthew: Seriously?

I clarify this happened a long time ago when Duane was living in Chicago. You know, a very populated urban setting where this kind of thing is totally common.

*Emma has an imaginary brother named Purper.

Quiche

I belong to a chicken co-op. This means one day a week I take care of 10 lovely hens and get to keep the eggs they lay that day. I’ve been wanting to branch out from the usual fried or scrambled eggs so I decided to make a quiche. I used up the last of the swiss chard from our garden and made this lovely Swiss chard and carmelized onion quiche. I also added about five strips of diced bacon to the recipe. Matthew’s rating was two thumbs up!

Last Swiss chard harvest.

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So we had baby…

Miss Stella Mae arrived on May 29. Despite being 10 days (that is not a typo!!) late she decided to make a rather hurried appearance once she was ready. Fortunately, she seems to be pretty laid back considering the way she rocketed into the world.

We spent the summer settling in as a family of four. (OK, five if you count the dog, but after all the things she chewed up yesterday I am currently not counting her.) We worked in our garden. Emma bounced, climbed and ran around and Stella observed/slept in her bouncy seat on the patio. Matthew and Emma would adventure to the farmer’s market, a Rockies game and most frequently Home Depot. There wasn’t a whole lot of sleeping. I take that back – Stella had some brilliant nights of sleep from weeks five to ten. It wasn’t until week 13 I realized she fell off the nighttime sleep wagon. In the past few weeks she’s slept quite well and it’s allowed me to see the world through rose colored glasses. It’s really lovely – I suggest trying on a pair.

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This is why I don’t take Emma to see Santa

Lots of Emma’s friends are turning three, which means we’ve gone to some great birthday parties. One of Emma’s friends had an all girl princess party – even Cinderella was invited!! A real live princess!

After the parents got out all of our giggles one dad pointed out you might see a group of grown men acting similarly if Brett Favre had shown up.

While most of the little girls sat as close as possible to Cinderella and starred in amazement our skeptical Emma stayed back and eyed her with concern.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She trusted her a bit when she was giving out stamps complete with fairy dust. Ok, so I may have shoved her into the circle and yanked out her hand for a stamp.
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She ran over to Matthew and made sure he saw what she was seeing, “that’s Cinderella, dad”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlas, she returned to her skeptical ways when sitting on Cinderella’s lap for a photo opp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am sure I am to blame for some (or all) of her skepticism. I haven’t exposed her to a lot of the princess stuff. I figure the fairy princess marketing machine will get to her at some point. Of course we have dress ups and wands and crowns, and she’s even been heard shouting, “I am a princess!”, but we’re a little behind as far knowing who is who in the world of princesses. Last summer she would ask for Cinderella, which meant she wanted a slice of mozzarella cheese. I am certain princesses eat cheese.

A quilt for Emma

An embarrassingly long time ago I picked out a pattern, bought fabric and even did a little cutting for a quilt for Emma. A few weeks before we went on vacation my little nesting instinct kicked in and I actually finished all of my cutting and started sewing the squares.

Crossing my fingers the progress continues…

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Three years, three cupcakes

Emma turned three in the middle of February. We took a family trip to the Denver Zoo to celebrate. Matthew and Emma share an equal love for the elephants.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt appears a giraffe may have confused Matthew’s hair with a pile of hay.

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We met the cousins for a little birthday lunch afterward and Emma enjoyed birthday cupcake number one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few days later we went on vacation and when we came back we invited 10 three year olds descend upon our house for some birthday fun. Emma insisted on wearing her “fancy” dress for the party. Here she is patiently waiting for birthday cupcake number two.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally, Emma talked for months about inviting her cousins to her birthday party. They are all older than her and just seeing pictures of them leaves her starstruck. I couldn’t figure out a good activity that incorporated the three year olds and the older kids, so of course we decided to have another party and a third birthday cupcake.

Happy birthday Emma!!

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Museum Mondays

A teacher friend of mine clued me in a long time ago that schools don’t generally take field trips on Mondays. Knowing this, Emma and I try to make Monday museum trips as often as we can. It’s especially great for younger kids – they don’t have to compete with the older bigger kids for hands-on activities.

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Stock Show!

Matthew and I love the National Western Stock Show. It’s always been an annual event – even before Emma. This year we decided she could handle a full rodeo. She clapped and cheered for the cowboys and girls and saw the One Armed Bandit perform. When we got home she hopped on her rocking horse and proceeded to fall off and lose her hat like the saddle bronc riders.

It’s a toss up as to who had more fun in the petting zoo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think she’s gonna be a Deer girl.

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