This past week has been very busy for us, as we had Pawlooza (a doggy festival), work and a full day of pickling! It was hectic, but we really did have a lot of fun and it was neat to think that in a way, Little Muppet was there to experience these things with us.
We went to Pawlooza bright and early on Saturday morning, as I had to work later on in the afternoon and we knew we couldn't disappoint Sawyer by missing this special puppy day. And what a day it was! The place was packed with animal charities and rescues, animal treats and toys, a pet physic, pet first aid demonstrations, dog competitions like dock diving and agility and let's not forget the crazy amount of dogs towing their owners behind them! http://www.pawlooza.com
Sawyer's favourite thing (besides sniffing dog bums) is swimming, and this year they had fenced in part of a body of water so the dogs could run, play and swim freely without dragging their people into the muddy water. He swam and fetched all sorts of toys that had been provided for the dog's entertainment. He was basically in heaven. We stayed there most of our visit, as it's impossible to drag him away from any body of water (even if it's a puddle the size of a tennis ball). He came home very tuckered out, but blissfully happy. He cannot wait for next year!
Chris filmed a little video of Sawyer swimming with his 4 legged friends with his iPhone, so click on the link to watch the fun! www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Qw0aWahjg (He likes to chase the ball, but has yet to learn to bring it back to us.)
The next big project was making homemade dill pickles (my mother is famous for them!). I have been looking forward to making them for quite some time as there really isn't anything more satisfying then creating something wonderful from scratch. You really feel like you have accomplished something important...even though to some it's, well...just a jar of pickles. One of my favourite childhood memories is opening that first jar of pickles on Thanksgiving Day, and I want the tradition to continue on in my little family, so I knew it was time to do the whole process...not just eat the first pickle. :)
Our pickle quest did not start off too smoothly, as finding pickling cucumbers is getting to be more and more difficult. Apparently there was some crazy cucumber disease a few years back, and it's been hard for the farms to grow decent crops. Another reason may also be that pickling and canning is becoming a thing of the past, as people of my generation seem to be quite content just buying their goods at the grocery store. Sadly in this day and age, no one has the time to make their own food, and it really does feel like canning is becoming a lost art. I am determined to keep it going as I think it's important to get back to basics when you can, and really feel and appreciate the work that goes into everyday things, as well as support local farmers and businesses. I already am looking forward to apple picking this fall and making homemade apple sauce and pies! Yum!
We finally found a farm that had pickling cukes, though they warned us that people had been picking earlier that morning, and we might not have any luck. Thankfully our persistent rummaging talents (thanks to shopping at second hand stores) paid off. We were dirty, our hands sore and Muppet was dizzy from the constant bending and squatting I was doing, but we had cucumbers! We had to visit another farm to find dill (which is also hard to find), and managed to pick a few more cucumbers there as well. By the end of all that picking, my back really started to hurt and I couldn't wait to sit down and peel garlic. We stopped by the grocery store, got some pickling salt, garlic and vinegar and then we were off for a long evening of playing tetris with pickles and oven hot glass jars. We managed to get 20 jars done that night, and my mother did another 20 jars the next evening. I am so excited for Thanksgiving, it's crazy!
At the one farm, we were amazed to see so many different vegetables growing around us. They had a billion different kinds of peppers: red, green, black, yellow, hot, sweet...The list goes on and on, just like their fields. One field we couldn't pass up was full of beautiful tomato plants. We decided to might as well get a half bushel of tomatoes, as they simply smelled too intoxicating to leave behind. As we picked the tomatoes, my mom grabbed one and took a bite. It looked delicious! I then remembered that I happened to have a package of salt and pepper in my purse, so I also picked up a tomato, dusted it off on my shift, and sprinkled it with seasonings. I took a big bite and it just exploded! It was so fresh and tasted so...real. There is something about food that comes right out of the ground that just feels so right to me. I hope that one day I will be able to plant my own little garden so that my child will be able to enjoy all the wonders of nature right at home.
After all that craziness, the back pain just intensified to the point that we went out to buy me a supportive maternity belt. I have never needed to buy a back belt before, so I wasn't sure what to look for, but the lovely girl at Cheeky Monkey steered me towards a product called the "BellySling". It not only helps ease back pain, but also helps reduce groin pain, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins while letting you feel like you can go about your daily activities without discomfort. It was designed by an 84 year old Canadian registered nurse who felt the need to design a supportive garment for pregnant women after working with children and mothers for years. I'm just starting to use it, so I'll let everyone know how it goes! *fingers crossed*
At 23 Weeks, Muppet weighs about the weight of a large mango. Loud noises outside my tummy are now becoming familiar to the baby which is good because Sawyer barks loudly. I've been playing music for the baby, as well as reading it Winnie the Pooh and have been encouraging my kitties to lay on top of my tummy while purring, as I know how comforting that sound can be. I've also been watching it kick and move around, as it is so active these days! I am even feeling it move while I walk around at work. It still seems the most active at night, and I have woken up to little jabs a few times around 1 or 2 am. It's not going to like it's 8:30pm bedtime when it's older. :) I've been craving pie and cake lately. In fact, I wanted cake so badly one night, Chris drove around until we found a place that had some (though I told him I'd be satisfied with a discounted birthday cake at the grocery store...he insisted I only needed one slice, not a whole cake).
I'm really starting to get antsy with not having things done around the house, as I must really be nesting now. I hate having unfinished projects, and I really want to have everything in order before the little one comes. I also want to do it now when I can still move around without bumping into everything. Oh well, things will come together! :)
Oh, here is a little clip of Muppet moving about! My tummy, as you can see, has become very fuzzy. :)