Friday, August 9, 2019

TGIF!

Happy, happy Friday! 

The book I'm reading is Cribsheet by Emily Oster. I loved Oster's other book, "Expecting Better," so I knew I'd love this one as well. She's an economist that works at Brown University but since getting pregnant/becoming a mother, she has applied her skills as an economist to all the decisions you make as a parent. I really love the non-judgmental tone of her books. She digs into things like whether kids are better off having a SAHM or a mom that works outside the home (turns out it doesn't really impact the child) or the benefits of breastfeeding (there are definitely positive effects but in the long run it doesn't make a huge difference). In a world that judges moms so much, it's really nice to read a book with an 'everything is going to be ok' kind of message that is supported by data! I highly recommend both of her books!

The high of my week was spending time with family on Wednesday. My SIL and niece from Chicago were in town this week so I took the day off and kept Paul home from daycare so we could spend time with them. We had a super fun day. We went to Wild Rumpus which is an amazing kid's bookstore and was on my 19 in 2019 list! I did not take any pictures there as I was busy corralling Paul/picking out books (I bought 5!!). Then we went to a park and out for lunch. We went home after lunch so Paul could nap but they came back over in the evening for dinner. Paul enjoyed all the attention, especially from his cousin Anna. 


Playing peek-a-boo with cousin Anna. He still prefers to play it with one eye uncovered. Ha!


Reading one of our new books. We love Todd Parr books.

Looking at a chatbook of pictures of him. He finally let Grandma hold him!

The low of my week was coming down with a cold - I'm guessing I caught it from Paul. Paul is also still struggling with his ear infection. The drainage went away for a couple of days and then came back so we got it cultured yesterday so they can figure out how to treat it. I was hoping he'd be over this infection before our lake trip so I wouldn't have to plug his ear when we go swimming. :/ Hopefully we get the results soon so we can get a better medication and get him over this infection for good!

A recipe I made was chicken and vegetable skewers. I made these for the family dinner on Wednesday night but forgot to take a picture. I went the easy route and marinaded them in store-bought Italian dressing. I used red peppers, red onions, zucchini and chicken. Everyone enjoyed them!

The best money spent was on books at Wild Rumpus. I'm pretty frugal but I'm always willing to spend money on books for kids. I know we'll read these books countless times!

My plans this weekend include staying in tonight. Tomorrow morning we are going to look at a house with a friend who flips houses to get his input on how we could improve the house. It's been on the market for 4 months as they had 2 offers fall through. As a result, the price has been dropped drastically. I always said I wanted something turnkey but the house doesn't need anything too major. I'd like to improve the kitchen and maybe do a few other things, but it's nothing too major. I went into house hunting hoping to find our forever home, but there is so little inventory on the market in our area so I think we might need to find an intermediate solution for the next 5-7 years and then eventually we'll end up in a "forever" home kind of house. The house is in an amazing location and when we were checking out the block recently, we met another young couple with a toddler. They said there are other families with kids so it seems like a block we'd love. We'll see what we think after seeing it with our contractor friend on Saturday. On Sunday, we have no plans. I'm hoping to hit up a farmer’s market but that’s it for plans!

What was the high of your week? What are your plans this weekend?

Monday, August 5, 2019

Our Weekend

Our weekend didn't get off to the greatest start. Paul came down with yet another ear infection on Thursday morning. He didn't have a fever so we sent him to daycare but he came down with a fever late in the day so got sent home. He got tubes around 9 months and they definitely help as we can treat the infections with ear drops instead of oral antibiotics (which are so hard on his tummy). But I wish he had fewer infections!

Cuddling with my sick babe on Thursday afternoon. 
He had a fever on Friday morning so I stayed home with him. The first 4 business days are the busiest time of the month at work for Phil so it wasn't possible for him to stay home. I had work that needed to get done, though, so I got as much work done as I could. Paul wasn't a huge fan of me working, though. As you can see in the photos below, he thought my laptop was a fun place for his dinosaurs to hang out.


Paul typically doesn't watch tv, but when he is sick we let him watch Little Baby Bum on Netflix. It is an educational show so I figure it's ok that he watches it from time to time.

Cuddling on the couch while watching Little Baby Bum
By Friday afternoon he was feeling better. I'm glad this infection isn't as bad as the one he had in June. That one lasted 2 weeks!

On Saturday morning we went to brunch at Tilia. We were supposed to meet another couple and their 11-month old but they thought we were meeting on Sunday. It was nice to get out of the house for a yummy meal, plus we had a gift card from my wedding so it was a free brunch for us. :) Paul looks very serious in the photo below but he totally charmed out waiter!


After Paul's nap, Phil and Paul headed to his mom's for the afternoon. I usually go with but this time I opted to stay home. I had a lot of one-on-one time with Paul on Thursday/Friday so kind of needed some "me time." I spent 3 hours in the kitchen doing meal prep, assembling an Eggplant Parmesan for dinner on Sunday night and making chicken soup for a friend who had surgery on Friday. It was very nice to get all that meal prep done without a toddler pulling on my legs!

Paul had a fun day with Grandma and was very happy to see me when they got home!


On Sunday morning we read some books...


... and then headed to a local lake. Phil swims across the lake 2 times a week. We've been meaning to join him on his Sunday swim all summer and the weather finally cooperated this past weekend. One of my mom group friends lives close to this lake so her and her daughter joined us for a little play date. Paul can't get his ears wet we are treating an infection so we had to stay out of the water. He enjoyed playing in the sand, though!


Later that day, after a crappy/short nap, we headed outside to play with his water table. I didn't bring my phone outside with me so I don't have any pictures of him playing with the water table, but he had a great time! I snapped this photo before we headed outside!


He was tired earlier than usual since he had napped so poorly and had spent a lot of time outside during the day, so he went to bed right after our family meal of Eggplant Parmesan (which he was not a fan of - womp womp). I forgot to take a picture of the Eggplant Parmesan. It tasted good but was a little bit soup and had to be eaten in a bowl. I have more eggplant growing so will need to find some other eggplant recipes!

How was your weekend? 

Friday, August 2, 2019

5 Things Friday

It's been awhile since I did a 5 things Friday kind of post! Here are 5 things on my mind these days!

1. I took Paul on his first outing to the zoo last weekend.  I figured we'd try a free zoo before spending money on the larger Minnesota Zoo that's in a SE suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We went with another friend and her 2 boys. He really enjoyed it! It was quite crowded even though we went at opening time (10am - wish it opened earlier!) but we still had a great time. His favorite exhibits were the fish and the primate building. Now that I know he enjoyed the zoo, I think we'll ask for a zoo pass for his birthday or Christmas if any family members ask us for ideas - or even for my birthday! I'm all about experience gifts!


2. I had to get 2 steroid injections on Monday. I've had a flare that's been bothering me for a long time - like since February or maybe before that. I've been taking oral steroids to manage the pain and swelling but my rheumatologist said it's time to stop using oral steroids as they aren't great for long-term use. As soon as I started to taper off them, the flare got worse, necessitating injections. I thought I'd need just one in my pointer finger but the PA suggested I treat the flares in my pointer finger and thumb. I ended up taking the day off as my hand was pretty useless. The upside was getting to do some extra reading.


3. I've been in a purging mood again and have sold quite a few things on Facebook marketplace, like my pumping purse (stopped using it when I bought a 2nd pump for work), some baby stuff we didn't use, wine glasses, and my wedding veil. It feels good to sell things and it's nice the generate some extra cash in the process.

4. The next thing I am going to get rid of is... my wedding dress. I know this may be a controversial decision to some but it's been hanging in my closet (unwashed) since I got married. I absolutely adored my dress but I do not feel like I need to hold onto it as I have the pictures and memories from our wedding day. I could get it preserved but then down the road, someone else - like Paul - will have to decide what to do with it. So I figured it's best to make the decision myself. My mom preserved her wedding dress but it never crossed my mind to use it for my wedding (it was beautiful, but she was much smaller than me and had a winter wedding). So even if I have a daughter some day, I really doubt she would want to wear my dress. After researching my options, I have decided to donate it to the Sewn With Love Project. They turn donated wedding dresses (and other formal gowns) into burial garments for infant deaths. That way the family does not need to deal with finding a burial gown - so it's one less thing for them to have to deal with. Sadly, I've gone to 3 infant funerals so I have watched families go through the loss of a child, and this feels like the right thing to do with my dress.  I'll be dropping it off next week. One silver lining to donating it to a non-profit is that we'll get a tax deduction. Bottom line, I guess I am just not super sentimental about things and don't feel the need to hold onto this dress, even though it's from one of the most beautiful days of my life!


5. Whew, after that more serious update, we need something lighter! Here's a picture of our proud little walker. He has gotten steadier and steadier on his feet since taking those first steps 2 weeks ago. He's so proud of himself and he really loves being able to carry things around, like books he wants us to read to him! And yes, he is pants-free much of the time when we are home. Ha!



What's on your mind today? Do you think I am crazy to be getting rid of my wedding dress? I polled a group of friends and it turned out almost all of them were trying to decide what to do with theirs so I wasn't an outlier in wanting to find a new home for it.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

What We Read in July

I had another strong month of reading - I finished 11 books, although one of those books was read in less than an hour. My favorites are in italics!

Non-fiction



Small Animals was a really interesting examination of how the fear of things like abduction/kidnapping has impacted the way we parent and how much freedom was allow our kids to have. It made me think about how to balance the need to keep children safe with giving them some freedom/autonomy.

Present over Perfect was a collection of personal essays about trying to live more in the moment and reject the need to always be busy. This resonated with me as I used to pack my schedule FULL OF ALL THE THINGS. I'm finding that I enjoy a quieter, less-scheduled pace of life now that I'm a mom.

My Own Devices is another essay collection by a local musician, Dessa. I am not familiar with her music but she spoke at podcast event I went to a couple of years ago. She's incredibly intelligent and an excellent writer. This is our August book club book. I think it will make for an excellent discussion!

Summer Reading Guide Books (from Modern Mrs. Darcy):


Searching for Sylvie Lee was the 3rd book I read this summer by this author. In this book, the daughter of Chinese immigrants living in NYC travels to The Netherlands where she lived for the first 7 years of her life. Then she goes missing so her younger sister travels to The Netherlands to try to find her/figure out what happened. It was a good page turner.

Ayesha at Last is a modern-day Pride and Prejudice set in a Muslim community in Toronto. It was a very sweet book. I personally did not like Pride and Prejudice (not an Austen fan) but I love the modern-day retellings!

Ask Again, Yes was my favorite read of July and will make my best books of 2019 list. It's very much a character-driven novel, but there is enough of a plot to push the book along. It's about 2 families who live next door. Their lives are altered by a tragic event that has life-long ramifications.

Other Fiction Reads:


The Flatshare is set in London and is about a male over-night hospice nurse who decides to rent out his flat. A young woman who works in the publishing industry stays there (and sleeps in his bed) at night and on weekends and he has the flat during the day. You can tell by the cover design that it's a light, breezy read - perfect for summer.

Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok was the 2nd book by this author that I read this summer. Similar to her other books, it features a Chinese immigrant family, living in NYC. In this book, the oldest daughter secretly finds work at a ballroom dancing studio which is a job her father would not approve of. The author worked as a ballroom dancer between getting her undergrad at Harvard and her MFA at Columbia, so she draws from personal experience!

One True Loves was a light, enjoyable read and probably my favorite book that I've read by this author so far. In this novel, a woman's husband goes missing after a plane crash in Alaska. After several years, she moves back home to the Boston area and falls in love with someone she knew in high school. Then her husband is found and she has to decide who she is truly meant to be with.

Miracle Creek is a courtroom drama about a fire/explosion at a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that was used to treat special needs children, such as those with autism and cerebral palsy. 2 people are killed in the explosion. The cause of the fire appears to be arson, but who set the fire? This novel covers a lot of topics such as parenting special needs children and the immigrant experience. It was very well-crafted - I was not surprised to learn that the author was a lawyer.

Miscellaneous

Principles of Uncertainty was, in a word, strange. I guess I was not the target audience for this book. It's a collection of photos and drawings along with short bits of text. It's a very short read - I read it in less than an hour but it honestly left me scratching my head a bit. I guess it was just too "out there" for me to appreciate it?

Paul's books:

Paul's favorite "books" to look at are the chatbooks I have made with pictures of him. We have a little narcissist on our hands. Ha! We try to include as many pictures of him with family members as we can so these books are good for working on words like Nana and Papa and identifying his cousins, aunts and uncles!


He's back into his Little Blue Truck books, especially Little Blue Truck Leads the Way


He still likes the Usbourne Fingertrail/Lift-the-Flap Books!


He's also been interested in this touch and feel book that my mom got him last fall. He especially like that 'tap the drum' page!


What have you read lately?

Monday, July 29, 2019

"Cleaning" and "Greening" Up Our Act

Since becoming a mom, I've thought way more "clean living" which, for me, means paying attention to ingredient lists and minimizing our exposure to chemicals. It's kind of sad that it took having a child to make better, cleaner decisions for myself but so it goes! Besides wanting to limit the chemicals that Paul is exposed to, I also feel like making these changes may, to some extent, reduce my chances of getting cancer. Sadly, I know so many women who have gotten aggressive forms of breast cancer in their 30s. It's hard to know why exactly younger women are getting cancer but I do think/wonder if the chemicals in the products we use are a contributing factor.

I thought I'd share the changes we've made in case anyone else is looking to go cleaner and greener. I'm not trying to scare anyone into changing up their products. Who knows if these changes will make a difference at all! But I figure if they can reduce the odds of us getting cancer and reduce the chemicals in Paul's environment, it's worth it! Besides reducing our exposure to chemicals, we are also trying to live more greenly and use less plastics!

1. Gladware/tupperware - My first step was replacing my plastic containers with glass pyrex containers. I recycled all my containers that weren't BPA-free. I probably had 30+ containers and out of all of them, only 2 were BPA-free. Eeks. We generate and eat a lot of leftovers in our house so it wasn't cheap to replace everything. This would have been a good Christmas present idea but I didn't want to hold off until December!


2. Sunscreen - There are two kinds of sunscreen - chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen is absorbed into your skin, absorbs UV rays, converts the rays into heat, and releases them from your body. Physical sunscreen sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun's rays. I used to use chemical sunscreen but I have made the switch to physical. I've always used physical sunscreen on Paul as that is what is recommended for children. Paul uses Babyganics and I usually just use his sunscreen instead of buying something different for myself. I like this one because it's a bit thinner and easier to apply. The downside of physical sunscreen is that it's thicker, can be harder to apply and can give your skin a white appearance. Bottom line, any sunscreen - chemical or physical - is better than no sunscreen but I've opted to go the physical sunscreen route.



3. Plastic bags - I'm really trying to reduce our use of plastic, so I purchased reusable silicon bags. We still have some plastic baggies but as we run out of them, I'm not replacing them.



4. Skincare - After looking at the ratings of some of the make-up and skincare products I've been using on the Environmental Working Group's skin deep website, I wasn't happy with how some of my products were rated. So I am gradually making the switch over to Beautycounter. So far I am using their Counter Control cleansing line, which is for acne-prone skin. I'm really happy with it so far. I'm also using their tinted moisturizer as foundation and I've been really happy with it. As I run out of make-up products, I'm going to switch over to all Beautycounter products, but it's going to be a work in progress because it's expensive! But their products are so clean so I know it's best for my body and worth the investment.

5. Switch to natural deodorant After reading about the potential harms of using deodorant with aluminum as an ingredient I made the switch to natural deodorant. I use the Schmidt’s brand, which you can buy at places like Target and I have been happy with it. It kind of had a paste-like consistency but I got used to it quickly and it has worked in the recent heat and humidity!
We still have room for improvement, though. Here are a couple of things I need to figure out:

1. Eliminate our use of plastic wraps/press and seal wraps. I don't use these all that often but it would be nice to have a reusable option. I found this article about plastic wrap replacements so will go with something on that list.

2. Stop using the plastic bags in the produce section at the grocery store. Phil does our grocery shopping so I just need to get him on board with that change as it will require bringing bags to the grocery store. He's a "green" guy, though, so I think I can get him to make this change.

3. Bring our own bags to the grocery store. This is another thing that's going to fall on Phil's shoulders. I need to buy more reusable bags before we can do this. We mostly use paper bags at the grocery store as we then use those paper bags for our compost (Minneapolis has a 'organics recycling' program). But we do occasionally use plastic bags, especially when I go to Target during the week, and I'd like to stop doing that!

Have you made any cleaner or greener changes recently?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

My Reverse Bucket List

Stephany posted a "reverse bucket list" earlier this summer and I thought I'd play along. It was kind of fun to think about things I don't care to ever do! Here's what I have come up with so far!

- Get a tattoo - way too permanent and there's nothing I feel strongly enough to permanently ink onto my body!

- Go on a Caribbean cruise - I don't think cruising is for me but I would maybe consider an Alaskan or Mediterranean cruise, but that's a big maybe as I'd rather just visit one place!

- Read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace - this is a doorstop of a book and I just have no desire to say I've read it.

- Do a Polar Plunge - in the frigid Midwest, polar plunges - which means jumping into a lake (they cut a large hole in the ice) - are a popular fundraiser activity. HARD PASS for me. I get cold so easily so this is not an experience I need to have!

- Watch or read Game of Thrones - Nope. No interest.

- Go to Las Vegas - Another hard pass for me. I may need to go here for a work conference or client visit at some point but I will never spend my own money to visit this city. I know some people love Vegas but it is just not for me! Give me an outdoorsy, quiet location with hiking options (I know you can hike outside of Vegas - still not interested in visiting this city).

- Watch an entire professional soccer match - or even half of a match! - I know some people love soccer, but I did not grow up with this sport and find it incredibly boring. I would rather watch golf on tv than soccer. I think my attention span for a professional soccer match is maybe 10 minutes? Chances are Paul will play soccer at some point during his childhood so I am sure I'll watch an entire kids' soccer match but at least those are shorter?

- Get botox. Inject botulism into my face? Hard pass. I guess I just don't care enough about eliminating wrinkles to spend money on something like this! I just hope I age as well as my mom has. Would you believe she's turning 71 next month???


- Go to Disney World. Yep, I do not want to take Paul to Disney World. I know this is a very unpopular opinion. I did not go as a child and I don't really care that I didn't have that experience. I do not like huge crowds, lines, and over-hyped (IMO), expensive experiences. Does this make me a fun hater? So be it. I'd rather take Paul to a national park or go on a low-key beach vacation. This is a topic that Phil and I disagree on so we'll see who wins out. He went a couple of times when he was a child and said it was a fun experience. I'm surprised he wants to go because it's not exactly cheap to go to Disney World (he's the most frugal person I know). I imagine a lot of people reading this post have been to and LOVED Disney and probably think it's selfish for me to not want to take our child there. But it's just not something I feel like Paul HAS to experience.

- Own a luxury vehicle. So far we have been a Toyota or Honda type of family. Maybe we'll expand into Suburu when we need a roomier car. But we'll never drive a fancy luxury vehicle. I hate driving and we drive as little as possible (my car is 3 years old and has 17k miles on it; Phil's is almost 6 years old and has around 22k miles on it), so I don't need a lush, fancy car to get me from point to point.

Your turn! What would you put on your reverse bucket list?

Monday, July 22, 2019

Currently: July 2019

There are less than 10 days left in July. Where has this month gone? Time flies when you are having fun, I guess! Here's what's currently going on with us!

Reading: Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok. This is the 3rd novel I've read by this author this summer. I really like her writing style. Plus her background of being an immigrant to the US from China and living in poverty in NYC has given her a lot personal material to draw upon. This book has a bit of a mystery to it. The oldest daughter, Sylvie, goes to the Netherlands to visit the extended family that raised her for the first 7 years of her life (her family couldn't afford to care for her when they first immigrated to NYC). But then she goes missing so the younger sister travels to the Netherlands to find her sister.

Loving: the cooler evening temps we've had the last couple of nights. After many days of running the air conditioner, it was cool enough to sleep with the windows open the last several nights. I love summer but it's been super humid here lately. The picture below was taken after a short walk with Paul after work last week. I was DRIPPING with sweat!



Feeling: like I've found a good balance of making plans and leaving our schedule open. I was a serial over-committer before I had Paul but having a child has really forced me to think before saying yes and to not over-commit. I thought this would be a harder transition for me than it has been but I find that I am loving the quieter schedule and don't feel guilty saying no to things because a no to plans is a yes to family time which I am really prioritizing.

Anticipating: our 5-day trip to the lake in August. I can't wait for some low-key time away. This will be my longest trip to the lake in years and the longest time Phil has been at the lake ever. Our trips there are usually super short so I'm looking forward to having more time to relax and enjoy time in my happy place! I think we'll have lots of grilled meals and spend lots of time outside. I know my mom and dad are super excited to get extra time with Paul, too.

Grateful: that we have air conditioning! Sleeping would be pretty miserable if we didn't have air conditioning. As I've said before, we don't love a/c but when it's about 80 degrees during the day and doesn't cool off at night, a/c is necessary for us!

Working: on some organizational projects around the house. I went through our cupboards and gathered some things I wanted to sell on Facebook. If they don't sell, we'll donate them to good will. I also organized Paul's clothes over the weekend. Next up I want to go through the piles of baby stuff in the basement and figure out what we can get rid of/what we should hold onto if/when we have a 2nd child.

Listening: to allll the podcasts as usual. A couple of new-to-me ones I've listened to lately are How to MoneyWhat Fresh Hell (parenting podcast) and Didn't I Just Feed You (podcast about cooking/meal planning for a family).

Watching: new episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee on Netflix. Phil and I both love Jerry Seinfeld so we were excited when new episodes of his show dropped. As the title implies, he drives in some sort of fancy or unique car to pick up a comedian and then they go get coffee. It's fun to watch his interactions with other comedians.

Wishing: for a really long summer. Our winters are so long so I really hope the warm, sunny weather sticks around until September or even October!!!

Bonus Paul pics!

Riding on daddy's shoulders for the first time. He loved it!

Must you always take my picture?

First time at Target - he loved it!

What's new with you? What are you currently anticipating and loving?

Friday, July 19, 2019

TGIF!

For some reason, this felt like the longest week. Wednesday felt like Thursday, so it felt like we had a 6-day work week for some reason. Here's what's happening in my world!

The book I'm reading is Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. This is a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice set in a Muslim community in Toronto, Canada. This is from the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide. I'm really enjoying it so far!

An article I read was this piece about late walkers by Emily Oster, author of Cribsheets and Expecting Better. She's an economist that analyzes data related to decisions parents make (what daycare to choose, whether to breast feed, whether to get an epidural, etc). I love her non-alarmist voice on things. The (short) article on late walkers was reassuring as she reminds readers that while the average baby walks at 12 months, the range of first steps is wide: 8 to 18 months! The fact that Paul was not walking was really bothering - and then he took his first steps last night! And not just a few - many! He was really holding out on us!

The high of my week so far was watching Paul take his first steps!!! See the video below! I was obviously VERY excited! I love how instead of just taking a couple of steps, he took almost 10. He was holding out on us! I also had some fun meals out with friends. On Tuesday I went out for lunch with 2 women that I used to work with in a previous job. I met these ladies in 2007 so our lives have changed so much since we met. We don't get together as often as I'd like so there's always so much to catch up on! On Wednesday night I had my book club at a local pizza place (the owner won a James Beard award this year!) that has awesome GF pizza. I love seeing these ladies once a month!




The low of my week was Paul getting sick. Again. This summer has been a bit brutal. It's been one thing after another. I thought this would be his healthiest time of year! We had to pick him up early from daycare on Monday as he was just not his usual happy self. He had a fever and has a bad cough/cold. He seems to have inherited my awful immune system. I was a sickly kid that caught things so easily and he seems to be following in my footsteps. 



A recipe I made was one-pan sausage and pepper pasta. We made this again, even though we just had it a couple of weeks ago. I love this dish as it comes together quickly, requires very little 'active' cooking time, so is perfect for our hectic week nights, and only dirties one pot. I chop the sausage and peppers up ahead of time so it comes together extra quickly. Score! 

The best money spent was on a new Kindle paper white on Amazon prime day. My 5 year old Kindle has been a bit slow lately and doesn't hold its charge for as long as it used to. Between the prime day sale, my trade in of my Kindle and extra savings from doing a trade in, I spent $50 on the new Kindle. Plus I had a $40 amazon gift card that I got through a wellness program at work so I only spent $10. Woo hoo! I also splurged and bought a 23andme DNA kit. I've mentioned wanting to take a DNA test for awhile so Phil pushed me to buy one when it was 1/2 off on Prime day. It'll be interesting to see what my results say!

My plans this weekend include staying in tonight, which is what we usually try to do on Fridays since we are both tired. Tomorrow afternoon we are going to a family reunion for Phil's dad's side of the family. Phil's dad passed away 5 years ago, but we are still very close to his extended family. I really enjoy spending time with this group. His cousins are all waaaay older than Phil and me, like they have kids in college or kids who have graduated from college! But the age difference doesn't matter and we like hanging out with their kids, too. Plus there are no new babies so Paul gets A LOT of attention! I'm bringing a taco salad for our contribution. My aunt brought that to our 4th of July celebration. I hadn't had it in many years (seems like a kind of retro salad!) and it was so yummy! On Sunday Paul and I might hit up a farmer's market in the morning with friends and then in the afternoon we might try to go to an outdoor "Pops Symphony Orchestra" performance at a lake nearby. I love pops orchestras as they usually play fun songs like Gershwin or songs from popular movies! Hopefully it won't be too hot/humid on Sunday so we can hit that up.

Bonus Paul Pic

My little reader!

Paul carried this hedgehog toy all the way up the stairs (which is quite a process for a toddler!) to bring it to me so I would open it up (the hedgehog spikes are stored in the body). He loves this toy so much!


What was the high of your week? Did you buy anything during Prime Days?