Thursday, February 13, 2014

Iced In

We enjoyed the following series of fun weather events this week:
Tuesday: AM Sleet, warm afternoon, night time freeze/icing over 
Wednesday: AM snow on top of the ice, wet sleet all day, night time freeze
Thursday: AM snow, warm afternoon. 
It looks like we're finally out of the path of the storm now; it's headed up to the northeast. Micah has been home Wednesday and Thursday but will be going back to school tomorrow. He's got a lot of work to do and so far has not been very productive this semester, so that's a little stressful. He just got back the reviews from a paper that he submitted to a journal and the paper is going to need some serious revisions before it can be published. It's a good and bad thing- on the one had, it gives Micah more stuff to do. On the other hand, the reviewers were very thorough and offered a lot of commentary, which shows that they felt that the paper really deserved some attention. Micah is supposed to write his thesis proposal this semester but so far has not been able to start. And somehow, I imagine the springtime won't be too wildly productive for him either. I'm mostly disappointed because Micah was talking about graduating as soon as next August if he proposed this semester, which is when he stops receiving his fellowship stipend. It would be nice and neat and eliminate the worry of how he would get paid for a while, but I guess 4 years would be a freakishly short amount of time to get a PhD anyhow.

In other news...
I tried English muffins again and they were great. This time, I used half whole wheat flour (freshly ground!) and I made them flatter. They had more nooks and crannies than my first ones, but still not quite like the kind you can buy. 

Also, I started this herb garden on my kitchen window sill. Hopefully the cold weather won't kill them all before they can even get started! I planted cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, lemon balm, and parsley. 

Last weekend, we got to leave Natalie with Micah's parents while we spent the night at a nice hotel to celebrate our birthdays and Valentine's Day. We had a delicious dinner at a small Indian restaurant (for some reason I can't get enough butter chicken and naan right now) and then watched the opening ceremonies while soaking in a nice spa surrounded by junk food snacks. Unfortunately, between the bath and the amazingly comfy bed, I passed out unintentionally before the torch even got lit. 

We had to put this off for a couple of weekends because I wanted to make sure that Natalie's potty training was well established. But she has been doing great lately. We made it a week with only one accident.
Here she is making some modern art with the silicon baking mat that Micah got me for my birthday.

And here she is eating a slice of lemon, rind and all.

We broke out the watercolors on Tuesday. I see a lot of expressive and technical progress here! The top one is from a few months ago and the bottom one is from Tuesday.

Some other things we've been doing to kill time? We made Valentine's Day sugar cookies. Natalie got to add the red sprinkles, which she did by the huge, grubby handful. By the end, Micah and I were both ready to hyperventilate with anxiety because she was making such a mess. 

I've been making a few nice meals and then being lazy for other ones. This snowy weather has been very damaging on our waists. This morning for breakfast, we had sausage, eggs and blueberry pancakes; dinner was Alfredo pasta and homemade Macaroni Grill bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic; yesterday we  made eggs Benedict again and I've got meringue cookies in the oven right now.

Cool thing- did you know that you can reuse pickle juice to make more pickles? Micah and Natalie love pickles and I hate spending $1-$3 per jar when they can eat a whole jar in one sitting. I read that you can put cucumber slices into your pickle juice, stick it back in the fridge and they become pickle-ized in 2 weeks.  I've done it twice with slices and just stuck in some spears to try. Cucumbers have been on sale at ALDI for $.29, so a much cheaper alternative. Just takes a little space in the back of the fridge.

Aside from all the food, there has been a lot of this over the last 2 days:

Micah generously took Natalie outside to play both yesterday and today. She got soaked and was freezing but still didn't want to come in after an hour. Here I tried to get her to wrap up and get warm after returning from the snow/slush.

Natalie's snowman (which Micah forced her to make. I guess she was NOT happy to lay down in the snow):

Micah has also done a lot of prepwork to paint our bathroom and practiced piano to pass the time. I'm excited to see it done! I think it's going to look great- the nicest 18 square feet in our whole home! 

Micah has also been doing a lot of chores and letting me rest because in the past week I've developed continual, sharp pelvic pain that is unbearable. It makes everything a struggle- walking, standing, laying down, getting up- it's just been constant pain, pretty severe at times. I've already been experiencing terrible back pain. This makes it so hard to believe I have 12 more weeks to put up with. I believe that I may be suffering from SPD (see link for info), so we'll see if the doctor agrees on Monday. I go in for the first glucose screening. Natalie has gone to my appointments with me in the past, but since this visit will take over an hour, I had to schedule a time when Micah could stay home with her. Hopefully I pass; I don't want to have to find someone to babysit her for 3 hours if I need to take the follow up test! 

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