Monday, August 31, 2009

An Affair To Remember

What would a post be without some Farmer's Market? Yes, I'm having a love affair with the F.M. I'm a lonely law school widow, there are worse things that could happen.

I decided to dedicate this Wednesday's trip to the Bave. She walked around and pointed to produce, and that is what I bought. This would not be advisable in a doughnut shop, but is completely acceptable at the F.M. First she spotted a mountain of okra. After the cutest description of okra, "Mommy, it's furry like a kitty!" the man selling was bewitched, and threw in a half pound extra for free. I was thrilled because my mom has an Okra Tomato Gumbo that is muy delicioso. Next mission: tomatoes.

Some sampling led Ava to this table of scrumptious red fruit. I'm not sure they let just anyone sample, but I've stopped feeding Ava breakfast on Wednesday mornings because she is offered so many healthy nibbles at the F.M. Ava sweetalked the lady selling tomatoes into letting us have an extra handful of dark cherry tomatoes to accompany the tiny yellow ones we purchased.

On our way back to the car, she spotted a trailer full of watermelons. I can't eat watermelon (it kills my stomach). I wasn't sure it was a sound financial choice to buy a watermelon the size of my child for only two people to munch. But the watermelon salesman was charmed by Ava's watermelon enthusiasm and produced this tiny little one from inside the cab of his truck. When he offered it for half price how could I say no?

Ava with her F.M. booty

(To Norman folk, this Wednesday is the last week they'll guarantee Porter peaches so make sure to stock up!)

Loving on her new friend


She wanted to hold the watermelon in her car seat, but the seat belt wouldn't reach around them both. To persuade her to sit I bribed her with tomatoes.

I had the brilliant idea to set the tiny yellow tomatoes out on the table like a candy dish. Ava hovered here for the whole afternoon, and within 24 hours the tomatoes were gone. Daddy helped a little too, but oh my this girl loves tomatoes!

A part-time nanny gig landed in my lap the day after I resigned at the childrens center. I pick up two fabulous kiddos from school each weekday and play and help with homework until around 5:15. It's been so nice for Ava and I to have something to do each day, and she is loving the instant friends. On Wednesday, when we picked up J.K. from school something exciting happened. Can you guess? I'll give you a hint: the tooth fairy paid her a visit later that evening.

Red-faced girls playing at the park

Just like Daddy, Ava is overcoming many obstacles.

Smiley girls

J.K. and Ava playing in the pool

Yes J.K. has a brother, but you try capturing a 3rd grade boy on film.

I'm working to keep HLS healthy and sharp for school. When I came home from the grocery store with this he called me grandma, then I informed him that it was for his vitamins. This way he doesn't have to waste precious brain space remembering when to take each pill. Maybe I am a grandma, but I'm a grandma who loves her hubby.

Cooler temperatures this weekend made all of us think fall. I can't believe this is August! Ava has been obsessed with scarecrows since she saw them in Rabbits garden on her Winnie the Pooh movies. When we saw this girl scarecrow with pigtails for a dollar at Wal Mart I could not help myself. Besides, she was, as usual, an absolute angel on the trip. She spots the things we always buy, and helps me hold onto my phone so we keep up with the list. (Any of you iPhone-ers out there need to check out Grocery Zen, it'll change your life.) I cannot imagine shopping without my big helper. Here was our discussion in the checkout line:

Me: Ava, thank you so much for grocery shopping with me. You really helped me!

Ava: Your welcome Mommy, and thank you for using your nice manners.

We should probably stop with her, right?

And speaking of Wal Mart, I am not really a big fan. I've always lived in relatively close proximity to an HEB. I had no idea how completely spoiled we were. HEB was affordable, offered many points club rewards and coupons, had excellent variety and quality, AND handed out a free balloon and Safety Pop to each child. Each time we grocery shop Ava begs for a balloon and a sucker. She thinks we're holding out on her, but no store we've found offers any kind of "be quiet and sit still" incentive for children. Even though Wal Mart has rock bottom prices, they do not have much selection. They also do not carry many of my grocery staples, forcing me to bounce from store to store each week just trying to complete my shopping list.

I feel kind of like Marian in The Music Man, except my high standards are grocery store, not man related. In one of my favorite parts of the movie Marian sings,

"Now, really Mama!
I have my standards where men are concerned,
And I have no intention--"

And her mother interrupts and sings,

"I know all about your standards
And if you don't mind my sayin' so
There's not a man alive
Who could hope to measure up to that blend'a
Paul Bunyan, Saint Pat and Noah Webster
You've got concocted for yourself outta your Irish imagination,
Your Iowa stubbornness, and your liberry fulla' books!"

Well Marian, I feel your pain. Ava and I are traveling back to HEB land over the Labor Day holiday. I will be visiting my favorite Hewitt HEB over the long weekend to stock up on my non-perishable staples. I'm also going to look into franchise information. I think I could run a grocery store on the side, don't you?
In situations like these I like to ask myself WWMSD?
What would Martha Stewart do?
(Answer: Find a solution to the problem that involves rolling up my sleeves and overwhelming myself by micromanaging every single element until I'm gripy and horrible to everyone who comes near me but somehow still manage to be fabulous and creative to the point that I make "normal" people want to puke.)
Hmmm...maybe not.


Carrie said...

WWMSD! That is amazing. :) I am a little jealous of your amazing farmer's market! It seems like a fun place. It is so great that Ava loves veggies and fruits. And the manners comment was priceless! She will love hearing that one being retold throughout her entire life. :)

Carrie said...

Hey, this made me think of you.

Anonymous said...

I loved the post as usual. That big smile on Ava's face is priceless!!!! I have never seen her smile that big. Her smile reminded me of her pop's smile when he was young. That will make him smile!! I love the pill box. See, I guess we all need a reminder or two.
Love you all!!
Mom (Baba)

Stacy said...

I feel the pain with no HEB - we didn't have an HEB near us in Dallas, but we did have Central Market, which...if you have never been, PLEASE go - it'll change your life!

(I link these two things because I'm pretty sure HEB and CM are owned by the same company)