Thursday, June 6, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 41

Thanks to Jen for hosting!

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Whew! It's been quite a week. The warm weather is finally back (yay!) and we've been able to work and play outside after two weeks of mostly rainy weather. I'm still nursing a sunburn from Monday, but I think it's finally starting to heal. I also got this adorable picture of my almost-toddlers yesterday, which completely took my mind off the sunburn:
Emily (L), Erin (R). Too hot for pjs here!
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This past weekend, we went to the coast for a day. It was a lot of fun to see how Emily and Erin reacted to the sand and the water. Of course, they're much too little to play in the ocean, but we did let them play in the sand. Emily just touched the sand at first, like she wasn't sure what it was, but then she started digging her hands deeper and picking it up in her fingers. Erin was much more interested in the things we'd brought with us, like my keys, my sunglasses, and my sandals, but she played with Emily for a little while. We topped off our trip with dinner at Mo's, a chowder house that's very family-friendly. Dinner is a little challenging these days even at family-friendly restaurants, but Dan and I were both able to eat our dinners while feeding Emily and Erin theirs. Both girls loved the restaurant and were very vocal about their joy in being there. Luckily, everyone around us seemed reasonably tolerant of their joy.
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Erin took a step all by herself earlier this week. Just one, and she fell over and didn't really seem interested in trying it again. She will walk just fine as long as she's got one hand on something, but she hesitates and then drops down to crawl after letting go. One evening, I tried to entice her with my keys (her most favorite toy ever) and her face lit up. "Keysis!" she exclaimed as she reached for them. Laughing hysterically at how much she sounded like Gollum, I moved them a little out of her reach, and she looked at her feet and then dropped to her hands and knees. Aside from the reference to a movie she's never seen, it was entirely unsuccessful. She'll walk when she's ready. For now, I'll hug my chubby little toddler and enjoy her adorable laugh and smile.
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Emily has turned into quite the chatterbox. She will sit and babble for several minutes at a time, and respond with intelligent-sounding answers when you ask her questions. She can say "yes" ("ess") and "yeah" ("eah"), as well as "Mama" ("ammm-ah") and "baby" ("bebee"). Oh, and "bye". She's really good at "bye". As soon as anyone in our house takes a step towards the front door, even if I'm just closing or opening it, she starts to wave and say "bye, bye, bye". It's the most adorable thing. Sometimes she waves at herself, sometimes she waves at you, but she has it all figured out as to the timing. I'm amazed. She, like Erin, walks while holding onto something (they do laps around our living room pushing their highchairs) but she has yet to take a step by herself that I've seen.
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Dan's birthday was on Tuesday. I really wanted to get him a barbecue grill, but it just wasn't in the budget. I'd finally resigned myself to buying a really tiny, inexpensive one and promising that we'd save for a real one over the next year or two. That was, until I was headed out to the hardware store on a quick errand this past weekend, and saw a yard sale. On the grass next to the street was a barbecue. I drove on by, because the house was on the opposite side of the street, but I couldn't help wondering how much they wanted. It was a charcoal kettle-style grill, the perfect size for a growing family. It even had legs, something that most grills in my gift budget didn't. I decided to wait on purchasing one until I'd investigated the garage sale.

The grill was still there as I headed home. I pulled over to the curb, got out, and asked how much they wanted for it. The woman running the sale replied that since it didn't have a grate inside, they were asking $5. I was floored, having expected to pay at least $20. Without considering how I would haul it or that I didn't have any cash, I told her I'd take it. After a hasty trip to the convenience store ATM and a quick phone call to my parents, I had a present for Dan. The garage-sale lady was thrilled with my plans to buy a new grate and clean and paint it for his birthday.
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Aside from transportation, I hadn't considered how on earth I was going to clean and paint a barbecue during the day with two small children and a husband who works from home. For starters, we have windows into the back yard all across the back of our house. I decided to pull down the blinds, work behind the garage (no windows) and tell Dan he was banned from the back yard until his birthday. I enlisted my mom to come babysit, and set to cleaning during nap time. We'd made a hardware store run earlier in the day, for all needed supplies, and I was well-prepared other than my lack of sunscreen (see take #1). Approximately four hours later, I had a reasonably clean, reasonably nice-looking barbecue topped with a green Christmas bow. I couldn't wait to show Dan, who had done a really good job of not peeking all day. First thing on Tuesday, I brought it out in front of our kitchen window. He was thrilled, and is really excited to use it this weekend! I feel like a frugal rockstar - if you can qualify for rockstar status while sunburnt with an aching forearm and wrist. Oh, and I completely forgot to take a before picture. I know. You'll just have to trust me, it was rusty and badly needed to be cleaned, and now it's much cleaner and not rusty. A win, if I do say so myself.
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Last but certainly not least, I am a new regular contributor over at Kendra and Emily's blog Fine Linen and Purple, and I had a post there yesterday about how to get dressed like a guy without actually wearing men's clothes. Head on over and check it out, and don't miss Mary's joy journey posts while you're there! Have a great weekend, all!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Whenever our priest sees our little one (she's almost two and has been walking for a good while now), he quotes a Charlie Brown cartoon...
    Linus is trying to get a baby to walk, and Charlie Brown looks over and says, "Kid, you know once you take that first step you're committed for life!" :)

    1. Love it! My dad quoted a Family Circle one to me the other day: "The legs are willing, but the feet are weak!" She took a step from one thing to another unassisted today, and then did it again, so I think maybe she's finally on her way. It's amazing how they can learn to do all this in just a year or two!

  2. I love your twins stories. I cannot. believe. that they are almost a year! And I love the grill idea! I bought Jim one for his birthday (Well, also for me :) hehe)

  3. Thanks! I can't believe it either. Isn't it funny how we buy our husbands things we want them to have? :)