Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lots of Updates

Despite how I've made it sound in some of my recent blog posts, we haven't been totally lazy around here the past couple of months.  Even though we are being hit with a winter storm for the fifth, yes FIFTH, weekend in a row, and have taken advantage of staying inside and catching up on Netflix movies, we have gotten a few things done around here.  And since I haven't been so good at quick little updates lately, I'm putting it all into one post.  Here we go...

The Chicken Coop and the Workshop:

We've had endless discussions on what to do with the Chicken Coop.  It was our initial intention to make that our eventual tasting room.  It's cute and charming, but needs some work to meet our standards of what we envision our tasting room to look like, at least in the long-run.  After three years of consistent powerwashing, I think the poop smell is finally out!  That's the first step.  And since we are still a few years away from that anyway, Aaron decided it would be a good storage place for some of his vineyard equipment and tractor for the time being.  So he put on a garage door. Well, actually his contractor buddy did most of it. 

And to make his time more efficient out in the workshop, he had his electrician friend, Tommy, upgrade the electrical for him.  It's nice having friends in the contracting business. 

When it hasn't been bitterly cold, Aaron has spent his time insulating the workshop.  He comes in after being out there and tells me, "this is really a two person job..."  I'm not sure if that is his way of telling me that what he is doing isn't exactly safe or if he is actually asking his nearly full term pregnant wife to help him install insulation.  Either way, I don't like the sounds of it.  Sorry I'm not more help, honey.  Just please don't make me a pregnant widow!

The Vineyard:

I just went back and looked and realized a did a post on December 10th last year about growing grapevines in Minnesota.  We tend to get a lot of questions about now...when we get a blizzard and windchills are predicted to be -25 below!  "How are those grapevines doing anyway?"

If you want a refresher on what I said last year almost to the day about how these grapevines survive in these conditions, that link is here.

I thought I would post these pictures Aaron took last weekend after we got about 8 inches of snow.

Because as beautiful and fresh as it looks here...

We are adding another 12-14" on top of all of this...

I have yet to venture out and take any pictures of the current blizzard!

Aaron's finger:

It is healing.  Slowly.  He did have to give up his dreams of being a hand model as it looks like it is healing slightly crooked.  And he says that finger gets colder a lot faster than the others.  As if Aaron didn't already have enough to talk about to people, he now has a built-in conversation piece on his right hand.


We went to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving with the dogs and took my Jeep Liberty.  When we travel with them, we don't have room for our luggage in the car because, well, they take up a lot of room.  So we have to pull a little wagon behind the car just for our stuff.  It's ridiculous! Next time we go, we'll be adding a baby and a carseat. After careful thought, we realized it just wouldn't be right if we put the baby in the wagon.  I hear there are some carseat laws or something. 

So we traded in the Jeep for.....

a bigger Jeep!  What can I say...I like Jeeps!  I'm sure it will be caked in dirt in no time!  When they say dogs are expensive, you never really think of it in terms of having to upgrade your vehicle just to accommodate them!  Now we have a 7 passenger vehicle for our growing family, and a bigger engine with the tow package so we can haul grapes next year when we sell them to neighboring vineyards.  It was a win-win car all around.

You may remember a post I did a while back on Aaron's kit cars.  After several years of building this Porsche from scratch, and some recent help from our mechanic neighbor, the Porsche is now in driving condition!  I mean, can you think of better timing for us to finally have a cute little red two-seater to go joy riding in?  Right at the beginning of winter with a baby due in just a few short weeks?   We decided it will just have to be our "date night" car come next spring and summer when Schrambino's with a sitter.


They haven't gotten a lot of blog love lately, but rest assured, they have been getting lots of love.  We seem to be totally negating the theory that you should ween your dogs off getting lots attention before a baby comes along so they get used to being second fiddle.

We are doing the exact opposite.  We think they know something is up because they have been especially needy and cuddly lately.  I woke up in the middle of the night (a common occurrence these days), and noticed neither dog was in their dog bed.  Instead they were sprawled, stretched out at the end of our bed, spooning.  If it weren't 2am, I would've taken a picture. 

They've also continued to eat shoes and gloves and some throw pillows, but we love them anyway.  We might be sending them the wrong message by giving them empty plastic jugs as chew toys. 

Don't judge us.  Any toy we buy at the store gets destroyed in about 15 minutes.  Kong?  Phef.  Please.  But this jug.  This jug has lasted weeks! 

Despite all of this, we feel pretty good that their adjustment to a new baby will be good as they have reacted favorably to the babies they have been introduced to recently.  They've been sniffing around the nursery getting used to some of the new smells and helping me get things set up.  Behind all that puppy energy, they are really gentle giants.  Protective gentle giants.  How could you resist these faces?


Expected arrival is exactly one month from today!  We have no indication of whether he will be early, late or right on time, but we're as ready as we're going to be for him to come!  All I know is he is an active little guy and he's been pretty good to me this pregnancy.  Right now I am enjoying just hanging out with him on the couch admiring our Christmas tree as the wind whistles outside. 

We couldn't find a traditional angel for the top of the tree, so Schrambino is filling in this year. 

Yes, those are grapes at the top of the tree too.  I added those in this year! 

We can't wait to meet our little Angel!