Beating the summer heat….while pregnant

Pardon the serious lack of blogging, but there is a serious lack of motivation on my end right now. It seems that every time I sit down to write a blog or do anything creative, all I can seem to do it think about the heat. That and sweat. And sweat some more. And I’m usually a positive, optimistic person….but I’m pretty sure this heat is frying my brain. I’m glad to know it’s not just me, as this seems to be the hottest summer on record…ever. Of course it’s the hottest summer ever…because I’m pregnant and the AC unit is out. It’s quite fitting, actually.

And I’m sorry to say that the garden is taking the worst of it. I have now harvested my pumpkin…in August. It is likely to be one of maybe 2 pumpkins that I get as of right now. It was supposed to be a full-size jack-o’-lantern…it ripened as a pie pumpkin 🙁 As this is my first year of having pumpkins, I was sure I was doing something wrong. But then after talking to a local farmer, I realized that everyone is having a hard time this year. That makes me feel a little better about my own green thumb, though I’m kind of dreading a fall season with a serious lack of pumpkins 🙁 There is still time, I believe, to get some pumpkins going if the heat and humidity drop, so I’m still hopeful.

This is a female flower...which blooms beautifully and creates a pumpkin in normal weather. I have seen many, many of these this year! And I have seen many, many of them shrivel up and die before ever even opening up :(
This is a female flower…which blooms beautifully and creates a pumpkin in normal weather. I have seen many, many of these this year! And I have seen many, many of them shrivel up and die before ever even opening up 🙁
A pollinated female flower! Notice the growing pumpkin?! Exciting, right! Too bad the heat killed it off a few days later :(
A pollinated female flower! Notice the growing pumpkin?! Exciting, right! Too bad the heat killed it off a few days later 🙁
And finally...my pride and joy! Unfortunately this little fella is already turning orange and not getting much bigger, but I suppose I should be happy with something!
And finally…my pride and joy! Unfortunately this little fella is already turning orange and not getting much bigger, but I suppose I should be happy with something!

And in really good news….the new AC unit is going in as I type!! Hip hip hooray! These fellas are my heroes! Did I mention that we’ve been camping out in the living room in front of the window unit since it went out? Which has been somewhat fun if you like sleeping on the couch while pregnant….which I don’t. This is actually my ideal setup:

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Yes, I have absolutely confiscated every decent pillow in the house….unashamedly. Husband gets one. Children share one. I get the rest…I think my normal count is 6 or 7 now…

But I digress…back to my sure-fire way to beat the summer blues (and heat). It’s simple really….start working on fall! And winter! Harvesting a pumpkin already actually helped with this process! And yesterday we had some fabulous chocolate chip pumpkin muffins! These things were totally worth turning the oven on in this heat, though I probably could have cooked them on my deck.

I’ve also already finished Halloween costume #1 (this might be a bit early for most, but since baby #3 is due in October and I’m pretty certain I will be busier than ever, I thought I’d knock this one out now)! And on that note, this is probably the last “Simplicity” pattern I’ll ever attempt. The name is super-deceptive. It should be called “Super-Difficult And Will Take You Weeks And Cost You Twice As Much In Fabric Than If You Were To Buy It At The Store” pattern. And as excited as my child is for her new costume, there is always that very real possibility of her seeing another costume around Halloween time and becoming completely ungrateful for all my time and effort. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for that now because I’m so sure it will come, despite the fact that I’ve already threatened to eat all her candy if she so much as longingly stares too long at another costume. I’m a somewhat jealous seamstress…

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Another thing we’ve been doing is youtubing fall/winter DIY videos and recipes. Most of the videos that I have been watching have been made by….teenagers. Yes, I am now officially old. And they are ridiculously young and freakishly talented with their video skills….and their recipes aren’t half bad either! And I’m old enough to be their young, hip mom. In my defense I’ve tried looking up grown-up mommy youtube DIY channels…and they’re very boring and feature a lot of Martha Stewart. Youtube is such a weird world.

You gotta admit those are cute videos! And I swear they make the house feel cooler!

Anyway…the forecast is starting to look reasonable next week, so there is hope in our future! Yay! Don’t give up! Cardigans and pumpkin spice everything is right around the corner!!

 

Preschool Week 1: Apple Week (and apple leather recipe)

So we kicked off our preschool curriculum this past week (you know, again…don’t judge) learning all about apples. The week before, we decided to go ahead and drive to the closest apple orchard, which was almost 2 hours from my home. But it was well worth it!

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This place was at the top of a mountain in Charlottesville and was breathtakingly beautiful!! We ate peach ice cream, donuts, and apples for lunch. Don’t judge…I’m never prepared for these things. Oh and the peach cider was quite possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. Ever.IMG_0048IMG_0054IMG_0055IMG_0060

We picked $13 worth of apples. Not sure how many pounds that was, but it was quite the challenge to keep the toddler from eating all the rotten ones off the ground. For her it was a smorgasbord!

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They had a lookout area where I could experiment with my new phone on how to do a panoramic. Doesn’t do the view justice at all, but I tried!

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I had so much fun learning about apples with my little preschooler! Of course a few days into it I realized I missed an important milestone that every other mother was reminding me of on Facebook. Mom fail.

IMG_0123Our “preschool” days are really only 30 minutes to an hour. And it’s incredible how long it takes me to plan for that 30 minutes to an hour! We practiced writing the letter A, learning about the lifecycle of an apple and the different parts of an apple, making apple leather and apple chips, learning about oxygenation, and did apple crafts all week. Everyday we started with some exercise and a song. It was so much fun!

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It's difficult to tell, but that was supposed to be apple prints. You know...you might need to use your imagination to see it...
It’s difficult to tell, but that was supposed to be apple prints. You know…you might need to use your imagination to see it…

I’ve had some requests for the fruit leather recipe…it’s too easy and kids can help!

For more ideas on how to create your own apple-themed preschool week, check out my pinterest board!
       Follow ReliableRoots’s board Apple Week – Preschool on Pinterest.

Apple Leather
Print Recipe
Really easy, kid-friendly apple leather
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Apple Leather
Print Recipe
Really easy, kid-friendly apple leather
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Servings
14
Cook Time
3-12 hours
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, then turn down to 180 degrees. If you have a gas oven that doesn't go down that low, preheat to 400, then turn off and just keep the pilot light on. This is how I made mine, and I had to keep it in the oven overnight.
  2. Lightly spray baking sheet with oil spray.
  3. Spread applesauce over baking sheet, just enough to barely cover the sheet (about 1/8th inch).
  4. Place in oven for at least 3 hours to overnight, or until you can peel off the applesauce.
  5. Peel off applesauce into a roll, cut, and enjoy!
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