Thursday, May 31, 2007

reading & eating

My library stack is way out of hand. I have a huge pile of good books and I am so afraid I won't get to them all before they are due. One nice thing is our library only charges .05 per day in late fees. I do feel guilty keeping books longer, though, as I know what it's like to wait.

Two that I have gone through and am really enjoying are The Sneaky Chef and Vegan Lunch Box. I love the hunt for new recipes and both of these books have given me lots of ideas. The Sneaky Chef does have an awful lot of recipes with cheese (hard to substitute with soy) and eggs but there are still plenty of yummy tips I am filing away for future meals. One of them: If you're going to make your kids Jello, and most of us will at one point or another, substitute blueberry juice or brewed green tea for the water. Brilliant! I can't wait to try it...I bet my friends will enjoy green tea jigglers as well. (I wonder if you could make Jello Shots with green tea & vodka...YUM) Okay, I'm getting off track...

Vegan Lunch Box is full of recipes from Jennifer McCann's blog of the same name, found here. I found this blog over a year ago and have periodically checked in on it ever since. The cookbook has lots of delicious recipes and tips for fun vegan eating for kids and adults. Of the two of books, this is the one I might buy. It's always nice to have a cookbook that I know I could make any single recipe in it for James.
Another blogger with a book out this summer is Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini. This is one of the first food blogs I ever read and I am so looking forward to thumbing through her book. I'm sure it will be as gorgeous as her blog.

On another food note...I finally tried putting fresh spinach in smoothies last night to see if it worked as well as I've heard. It does! I blended frozen strawberries, blueberries, a banana, some soy yogurt, soy milk and about a cup of spinach in the food processor. James, Ruby and myself all loved them and James didn't even question the little dark green flecks...they blend right in with the blueberry skins. Another great idea that I am going to use again and again.

I just got an email that Plenty is waiting for me at the library right now. I better go put on my jammies and start reading.

birthday (not so much a) picnic

We met Patrick for lunch yesterday to celebrate his birthday. It was a moderate success except for the moldy buns and the fact that I didn't buy enough chicken. Sorry, bunny.
We had some friends over this morning and had a really nice time. Ruby has been sleeping for 3 hours (growth spurt?) and James has done a great job with his quiet time for an hour now. I have been relaxing with some lunch and laundry...sounds odd but I do love to pull dry laundry down off the's so easy to fold! Now I logged on and found out that my payment to flickr went through...I am now a "pro." All this means is that I can divide all my photos up into little albums like I could do for free on Yahoo. But, Yahoo is retiring come fall and this move was inevitable. I do like flickr and am happy to start organizing to my little heart's content. Off to do so!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

happy birthday, bunny

I could go on and on about this man.

Instead, I'm going to go upstairs and squeeze him.


pillow talk

S: Good night, bunny.
P: Where is the Monona Menards? They have NINE hundred bags of River Rock at the Monona one.

BlogHer anyone?

Are any of you them there bloggers that read this going to BlogHer? I am kicking the idea around of going for one day and would love to meet up with anyone else who might be there. Let me know!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

chow down, girl

If I hear chow down, girl ONE MORE TIME.

Why did I ever introduce Patrick to YouTube?

(You can see another one of his favorite's here.)

(oh, sniff, that one reminds me of our night out in the Dells. Love you seester & brother!)

ruby's tuesday

This is her "I'm very busy right now" face.
(and yes, that is River Rock that she is holding)

river rock, we love you

We had a wonderful weekend, so wonderful that we've all gone a bit haywire today. The day Grandma leaves is always a hard one and that, along with the lack of any type of schedule for 4 days, has left us all kind of messy. It's quarter past 5 and James is napping on the couch, where I left him just a while ago, and Ruby is upstairs for her second 2+ hour nap of the day.

I hope to post about some of the fun we had, even though I didn't take a single photo until yesterday afternoon. At the world famous Bratfest Sunday night I forgot the camera in the car and walking 100 miles back to fetch it seemed too daunting. Too bad I can't show you James flying down the Super Slide with myself, Patrick or my mom. Funny stuff.

One thing I can show you is this, our weekend project. One of the wisest decisions Patrick and I ever made was to buy a new home. We knew ourselves well enough to be certain that the projects an old home carries with it would just put us over the edge. All the talk about fencing the last month or two has led nowhere. We absolutely cannot find the fence we want within our 5' limit. Just to mix things up a bit, I threw out the suggestion that we build our 3 season porch this year, instead. So now there's that to mull over. And, mull we have. So much so that we are sick to death of all of it. Instead of spending our child free time at Menards doing research on fencing or decks, we bought bricks. Tumbled edge Belgium bricks, to be precise, and River Rock.

Patrick did all the work on it yesterday and we LOVE it. It's everything we've always wanted in a mailbox surround and it's, best of all, finished!* No more research, planning or decisions! I could see the pride in Patrick's face as we stood gazing at it one more time after we put the kids and Grandma to bed last night. I could hear the joy in his voice as he called me today to tell me that the Menards on the East side has over 600 bags of the beloved River Rock in stock. 600 Bags! We are golden. Our new plan is to build a plexiglass form around our backyard and fill it with River Rock.

*Finished, except for one more glorious perennial, but that is not a problem for me, no sir. Oh, I love perennials, I could go on and on. Why buy annuals? THEY DIE. Perennials? They come BACK and you do NOTHING. Hello? No contest.

Friday, May 25, 2007


We made it! Or, we're in the home stretch and I'm pretty sure we'll make it! Patrick has been gone since Tuesday morning and returns later today. I told myself not much blogging this week so I could keep up with everything and it really worked. I was so efficient, it was frightening. It made me see how much I rely on Patrick getting home at gives me the room to slack off a little more during the day. (and by slack off I mean sit down for 5 minutes instead of putting the dishes away) I couldn't keep up this pace for much longer, though, and I didn't do it alone. Kate probably saw more of us this week than she really would have liked. heehee. The kitchen is clean, the laundry is done, I spent time reading, my kids have been well fed and we've had lots of fun. A good week.

I did spend my allotted online time (you didn't think I'd totally give it up, did you? 30 minutes at night and pit stops throughout the day) this week searching for some new blogs to read. It's amazing the number of beautiful, creative and well written blogs that are floating around. I will post about some of my new favorites soon. This search did bring up a few little stabs of inadequacy (put perfectly into words in the first line of this post) (see?! I can't even say how inadequate I feel! hahaha) but I'm over that now. It's funny how that happens from time to time, just like in real life. On a blue day I might think every other person is being a better something than I am. The next day I am back to normal...feeling pretty good about where we're at but always hoping to improve. Boy, I sound like Mary Poppins this morning. Or that chick from the Sound of Music. (There is a little bluebird chirping away on my shoulder.) I'm going to wrap this up before you all start vomiting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

monona terrace collage

I've wanted to do this forever and finally got the chance this morning. I couldn't find a "Stephanie" so I went with Mom & Dad. I love the rooftop gardens at Monona Terrace, even with 100mph winds.

James & Ruby had fun and the wind wiped them out. (not literally, but almost) More pics here.
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the road to a friend's house is never long

especially if there is a new Super Target on the way.

They are building this on the road to Kate's house.

(I've noticed Target isn't as fun in the summer...

though I'm sure it will be a favorite next winter.)

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good morning, tuesday

OMG. It's Wednesday already. I swear my life is just flying by.

More pics from our lovely yesterday up at flickr. (I FIXED LINK)

James finally put the grandma/grandpa connection together yesterday. He asked if they slept together. HAHAHA. Well, son, they used to.

Monday, May 21, 2007

MIA this week

We'll see how the week goes but I might be MIA for most of it. Busy week here for me. If I put new pics up on flickr, I'll let you know, Mom & Dad. :) There are a few there now from last Friday afternoon and evening.

Ruby's one year appt. went well. She is tiny but growning and meeting/exceeding all their milestones. James and I are now going out to plant some flowers. xoxo

Friday, May 18, 2007

friday favorite

Years ago I stopped at a garage sale late on a Saturday morning. Two kids, probably 8 & 10 years old, were manning the booth. They said their mom was inside sleeping. At the time I remember thinking, "What a slacker," but now I understand.
I understand how one can be so tired that letting one's children sell your stuff so they leave you alone for a few hours can sound like a great idea.
Anyways, I wandered in and saw this hanging up on the wall and asked how much. "Oh, how about a dollar?" was the reply. Instead of answering, I surprised both them and myself by leaping 6 feet straight up in the air to snatch it down before they could change their mind.
Okay, not really, but if you've ever found something that thrilled you to the core for a mere dollar you know the feeling I had.
It now hangs in our entry during the summer months.

Formula 4 0 mine

Back in February I mixed up a little batch of what I like to call Formula 4 0 Mine. The recipe is not mine, however, I found it here. I used the last recipe, for Dishwasher Soap, but it didn't work for us...I think our water is too hard. Instead of throwing it away I diluted it and put it in a spray bottle. (shown) We've been using it ever since as an all purpose cleaner for bathroom, kitchen and even poured it in an empty Swiffer bottle (cut hole in the bottom) to use on the kitchen floor. It works and smells great. I ran out this morning so I might hunt for a new recipe, or just use less soap, as this one requires a little rinsing. (fine for countertops, a pain for the floor) I also added a couple drops of Orange Essential Oil and today I'm going to try it with lime juice as that's all I have on hand. I hated the thought of Rubles crawling around on a floor cleaned with chemicals...this was a great solution.

Around the same time I made some baby wipes that I loved. I used a small amount of the Trader Joe's castile soap and Olive Oil. They also smelled great and were very gentle on Ruby's bum. I just hated sawing the freaking paper towels in half...not an easy I never did it again. I still should have Patrick cut me some with his table saw.

Has anyone else whipped up some cleaners that they particularly liked? Please share. :)


I changed my banner again...what do you think? Our furnace isn't working, have to call this morning...sure is chilly in here! Pic is of James last night, more here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

good stuff

  • We had a good time this morning with Kate & Natalie at the Madison Children's Museum. Ruby was walking ALL OVER and James & Natalie played really well with eachother and the other kids there. James had a breakdown when we had to go and Kate reminded me of an excellent technique I often forget about. She told him, very sweetly, that we had to be happy when we left so they would let us come back another time. This worked great and he stopped the fake sobbing almost immediately. I find this to be one of my biggest problems with how I deal with James: Sometimes I forget he is 3! We can normally get good results reasoning with him and when it doesn't work I tend to just give up. He is 3! He responds to playfulness, teasing and well meant little white lies. Thanks, Kate, for reminding me to lighten up sometimes. :)
  • I thought my kids were both exhausted but after they ate in the parking garage they perked right up. (oops) The good thing is that they stayed awake and I got to get some groceries on the way home.
  • Tacos for dinner...already partially prepared!
  • Cub will soon be carrying soy yogurt again
  • Mom has a date tonight at the Pickwick...yum (now don't go spy on her, Dad) heehee
  • Patrick & I get to watch Lost tonight
  • It's already been established that I get some time alone on Saturday
  • Mom is coming next weekend so Patrick and I can have some time together...we've already decided to spend an evening down at the UW Terrace drinking beer and listening to music
  • Mom is coming next weekend so I get to go to Cleveland's with her
  • I had some chocolate today...I've been wanting some since yesterday
  • Both kids fell asleep on the way home and are still sleeping, one hour later (HALLELUIAH)
  • My sister sent me a gorgeous red vase for mother's day (picture soon)
  • I am getting together with a new friend next week

not a whole lot to say - very busy

I am always way behind and overwhelmed the week after we get home from a trip. Thus, not a lot of posting. Or pictures.

sorry mom!

We do have plans to meet Kate this morning and I'm hoping this will be a good break. I did try to take the kids to a new park yesterday afternoon and it ended horribly...with me hauling James back to the van while he screamed "NO WAY!". (He ran out onto a dock by himself.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

this is what the end of my day looked like

my mother was (choke) right

An interesting thing happened during the last 2 weeks in our home...light bulbs started burning out left and right! I had wanted to switch to fluorescent and *poof* - I needed to.

I bought some 60w and 100w equivalent bulbs in multi packs at Menards, getting a $5 rebate on each...sweet. I am in a little project mood today and finally started switching the burnt out ones. (sad that changing light bulbs is a fun! project!) The 100w bulb doesn't fit in our bathroom's too long. Crap. I had told my mom to buy fluorescent bulbs and she said she didn't think they'd fit in her fixtures...whatever, I thought. She was right.

Any suggestions? Are there different length fluorescent bulbs out there?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ruby at 12 months

This is the post I wanted to write last night but just couldn't do it.

At 12 months Ruby is:
  • walking
  • signing (birdie, eat, more, help, milk, all done)
  • saying: mu (milk), ba ba (bye bye), ba (ball), dada, ba pa (grandpa), and uh (uh oh)
  • loving: James' tickling, playing in James' room, her blanket, soft cuddly things in general, the tub, being outside, her dada, puppies, birdies
  • eating: she likes almost everything except bananas and avocados. her favorites include: honey wheat pretzel sticks, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, spaghetti, animal crackers & sunbutter & jelly finger sandwiches

This is what I especially love about her right now:

  • she is so serious about nursing in the morning - she lingers, brows knit together as though she's going through her packed breakfast, make sure and bounce kix, poop, get whatever James has, check entryway for different shoes, make a break for unsupervised stairways, climb, check floor for snacks...
  • she knows we are going out when she sees me with my keys or sunglasses. She immediately starts waving and saying bye bye.
  • the tiny sound of her toots
  • her open mouth kisses
  • how she tries to bite my toes when I'm sitting on the couch
  • the urgent eating of my hair when she wants to nurse
  • her little tiny babbling voice
  • how she works the system. She will shriek at James and look up to see if I will reprimand him...I've leaned a stern JAMES! is not always in order...this little sister is not always an innocent victim
  • her giggles
  • how she cuddles up to me, to Patrick, to anyone she likes. I am proud of this independence in her.
  • how she problem solves and wants to try new things herself. She has perseverance, just like her brother

We just delight in you, Ruby. We thank God for you every day.

up north

I remember when we went up north back in March and I tried writing these long posts about every day. I got bored with it and never even finished Saturday and Sunday, two of the days we had the most fun.

This time I will do a short & sweet recap. Or, rather, I will try.

Friday - left home at 9am, stopped in Madison for Patrick to get his haircut. Love State St. and happy to have some time down there. The trip went really well and we had a nice long lunch in Eau Claire at a school playground. Rolled into my dad's driveway at around 7pm. Long day, but good. It's so much better making the trip with Patrick...I actually got to read!

Saturday - Busy day. Party at 1:00 but there wasn't much to get ready. It was a beautiful morning so James, Grandpa and I went down 7 Bridges Road and into Lester Park for a while. Lester Park reminds me a bit of Gooseberry Falls, which I am dying to go back to. These places are what Minnesota is to me...water, trees & rocks. I am so happy when I am outside and even happier when there are rocks to be climbed on and water to listen to. I decided it's because some of my happiest childhood memories are of these things...camping, Canal Park, Gooseberry, Jay Cooke. It explains why my need to be at these places is so strong when I am at home, I think. Okay, enough psycho babble. I JUST LOVE IT, okay? :) And I loved seeing James climbing on fallen trees and rocks and feeling just as happy as I did. (my dad seemed to feel the same)

After our excursion we headed home to get changed for the party. Patrick's family arrived and we all sat around watching the kids and finally singing to Ruby and partaking in the cupcakes. It was a pretty quick party because the guest of honor needed her afternoon nap by around 3. Really a fun afternoon.

Next, my dad & I went down to see Kerri & Chris and their brand new baby boy. They were all doing great and Kerri looked beautiful. (She did share that Bobbi Brown concealer is her best kept secret for under eye circles...definitely gonna check that out!)

We drove home and rounded up the kids to go drop James at grandma's house for a sleep over. Patrick remarked that it felt like a mini vacation only having one child in the back of the van. We went to Shamrock for our favorite pizza and then home to put Ruby down. A lovely day.

On Sunday, my dad made us pancakes for breakfast...what a nice way to start the morning. I put Ruby down for her nap and when I came out I found Patrick out in the garage with my Dad. He was having fun helping him with a trim piece so I left to go get some coffee and stroll through Duluth Pack on Canal Park. It was windy and freezing and my favorite coffee shop, Amazing Grace, was packed. I decided to skip their baked goods but was regretting my decision as soon as I was on my way home.

When Ruby woke up we went down to my mom's to see her & our buddy. He was happy to see us but had had a really fun night with grandma. After a little while we went up to see my grandma. She was in such a good mood and really happy to see us all. My uncle Frank was also there and it was a good visit. Frank is so cute with James and will just show him anything he wants to see or let him take anything apart. He was a curious child, too, and likes to encourage that in James. After a while the kids were getting cranky so we left. James watched Calliou, a bribe so he would kiss my grandma goodbye, (can you believe I did that? It was worth it.) and my mom and I ate ice cream bars while we drove around and Ruby slept. Patrick met us at her house and helped her out with a few things. Another good day.

We got up Monday morning and packed it up. We were going to go back to Lester Park but it started raining so we said our goodbyes and left Duluth. We were barely through Superior when it cleared up and turned into a gorgeous but windy day. We made more stops on the way home to let the kids move around a little. Ruby woke up from her 2nd nap right as we were passing the Devil's Lake exit so we headed that way. It was very windy but hot and beautiful. James & Ruby had so much fun...Ruby loved the sand and water and James just ran up and down the beach, in and out of the water, singing and laughing. We got home around 7:30 and the kids were in bed by 8:30. Overall, a great trip...lots of fun and we got to see lots of family. It's also very good to be home even though I have a mountain of laundry to climb...the payback for taking 4 glorious days off from laundry duty. :)

I put a ton more pictures on flickr - 4 pages worth! (and I would have more pics of my mom, I have none, but she will never let me)

Monday, May 14, 2007

this is REALLY ruby's tuesday

a perfect little blessing given one year ago, today

we brought you home and life started over, that sunny afternoon in may

right from the start you surprised us, your wary mom & dad

you didn't scream & stay up all night like your older brother had

all through the summer you slept and slept, no matter what we did

you were very content
and rarely peeked out
of the soft cotton sling where you hid

as the days turned colder you found a voice and began to let us know

you were bored!
you were frustrated!
and so happy! to be letting it show

holding toys was exciting, you were sated for awhile

but the next month it grew old, when can I sit up like that child?

and on it went with you rushing towards one milestone after another

of course, we realized, she is only trying to catch up to her brother

your brother has loved you from the start, after an initial burst of doubt

when told you would someday sleep in his crib he responded with "dump wuby out"

in the crib you are (with his mobile, too) and no dumping has taken place

he is now thrilled to have you around and searches for your smiling face

we decided on "Ruby" New Year's Eve, after we saw Walk the Line

an old fashioned name for our brand new girl seemed to suit us fine

many ask if the name followed the hair and are surprised when the answer is no

I can now see the name arrived for the girl who fills our lives with a rosy glow
Happy Birthday, miss bubles. We love you so much it makes us sick. (in a good way)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

to all of my friends & family...

who are mamas...Happy Mother's Day!

Being a mom is such a neat bond between women. Those looks shared over a newborn's sweet head or a screaming toddler at Target...they connect us. We know like noone else what it can be like...the wonderful and the not so wonderful.

Today is about the wonderful and I wish you all that kind of day. (If you're reading this, it's meant for you!) xoxo

Thursday, May 10, 2007


If there is one thing I can't stand it's drinking water out of a plastic bottle or mug that tastes like dishsoap. YUCK! Same goes for just totally ruins it for me.

I had bought a couple nalgene bottles in the Dollar Spot at Target two summers ago (?) and they lasted for a long time (duh, about 2 years) without absorbing any odors. Until one day they didn't. And I had to recycle them. Now that the weather is warm I especially need to be able to bring some water along for me on our walks. Today I bought an Eddie Bauer nalgene bottle at Target for $5.40. A little more than a dollar but it should last for a while. (I'm going to be watching that Dollar Spot, though, to see if they get those in again.) If I like mine I will get one for Patrick and then I need to find a jumbo one that we can bring along to the lake and stuff. Maybe REI?

The other drink that I often transport is coffee. I discovered these a while back but I just can't justify them anymore, even though they are recyclable. And, the same holds true plastic insides! I wanted stainless and I wanted one of these (they are so cute!) but I looked at them at Whole Foods the other night and they didn't offer exactly what I needed. (I need a sip lid on my coffee mug!) Target came through for me again! I bought one of these today (for $3 less than Amazon) and I think it's going to be perfect. This is another thing I will buy for Patrick if it turns out to be worthy.

Having mugs & bottles that I enjoy using really save us a lot of money and is a lot better for the environment.

When I do want to blow a little cash, nothing beats a drive thru iced coffee. There is a local spot that I love, Cargo Coffee, but it isn't in a very central location. Then there is Starbucks, of course. Now, McDonalds has joined in with a new iced coffee for summertime. I tried the Hazlenut version today and it was really sweet but not so sweet that I didn't drink it. It's just nice to know it's available in case of a coffee emergency. (like I don't want to unbuckle my kids and drag them in somewhere)

Photo by marikosuave

I am such an addict

The highlights & another no make up picture!
So many books to read while Patrick drives us to Duluth! mwa ha ha
(Library, I love you.)


(notice the plant is gone? she looks so innocent)

(and yes, I know I should wash my windows)

Actually, I have been kicking some to-do list butt this morning so I am sitting down with a second cup of coffee before my shower. I have about 10 minutes. That will leave me 10 to shower and get dressed before Backyardigans is over. I have already promised James some play time and I'm not sure what he has in store for me.

Big news this morning...Ruby walked about 7 feet! She walked towards James & I holding a tube of Desitin in one hand and with a plastic bag stuck to each foot. We were all thrilled and there was a lot of squealing, kissing and squeezing. What makes me happiest about this walking development may surprise you. I'm happy for her, sure, but I am REALLY happy that she will finally be able to wear all her cute summer dresses!

Speaking of summer dresses...remember way back in February when I bought her a new dress at Gymboree? Well, I just don't love it anymore. And why spend $40 on a dress & sweater that is cute but no cuter than the $12 ones I see at Target and H&M? And, I have so many adorable hand me down & thrifted dresses that she doesn't need new ones right now anyways. So, long story long, I'm returning the Gymboree stuff. Thank God I keep receipts.

Off to prepare myself for the out of the house portion of the to-do list: Target, Cub, Church, & Wild Child. (for Miss Ruby's gift from gramma)

so much to do today!

I have put off my to do list all week because of the gorgeous weather. Today will be a busy day - we are leaving for Duluth tomorrow. I hope I can spend some time here later. :) Until then, have a great day...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

the new normal

This morning felt just like one of my old summer mornings when it was just James & I. Funny how that works...all of a sudden you're doing the same things and feeling the same way but there are 2 kids in the stroller in front of you.

I stepped outside this morning and it was that perfect way. The sky was blue, it smelled "warm" and there was the slightest breeze. I went back in, got us dressed, saw a red bump on my head, got a little scared, made a dr appt. (that stuff is not normally a part of my day), and off we went for a walk. We stopped at the library, walked through the town square and headed over to the park on the lake.

As we turned the corner to the park I saw a mass of kids on the playground equipment. Hmmmm. Oh yeah - toddler time! I had been meaning to try this but it never worked with Ruby's naptime. We walked down and joined them. It was so much fun! James had a blast playing with all the kids and I finally got to chat with some other local moms. I guess they meet at the park every Wednesday for the summer & I definitely want to go again. That was a nice surprise.

Then we headed home and drove to Madison so I could see the doc. Patrick works nearby and he came to hang out with the kids while I went in. (I love that he will do this for me. Thanks, Bunny.) This thing on my head is fine, not something nasty. It's a small hemangioma right in my part. I had noticed it before but for some reason it alarmed me this morning. I think it really popped against my new caramel color. HAHAHA. Anyways, thank God.

I put some new pics, just a few, over at Flickr. I am off to play little Legos with James.

right back at ya, mom

J: Mom, I love you but I do not love that song you're singing. Please be quiet.

This sounded startlingly similar to my words from the previous day:

S: James, I really love you but I DO NOT love that noise you're making. Please be quiet.

7 in 11

I have 11 minutes to write down 7 things you may or may not know about me. Hmmm.

  1. I used to sell stuff on Ebay for my full time job. The postal workers were my best friends. Seriously. Working at home gets lonely.

  2. I cried like a baby when I broke my 4.0 in college with a grade of AB in Logical & Critical Thinking. I called Patrick at work and the guy who took the message thought someone had died. I was fine before too was kind of liberating, actually.

  3. I am a wee bit hard on myself but don't usually realize it.

  4. If you make me laugh really hard I will probably love you forever. (funny people are one of my favorite things)

  5. One of my best days was the day I took off for Kansas by myself. (I went down to live by Patrick for his last 5 months in the Army.) There is something very liberating about taking off down the highway with all your stuff in the back of a '79 Celica.

  6. I have had my favorite hoodie for about 10 years and am finally easing up on it a little. (but I do still wear it A LOT)

  7. I just adore Tom Petty.

That was kind of hard! I have one minute left! I will be back later to tag unsuspecting innocents. Thanks, can see her replies here. :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

just to tide you over...

Here are a few pics from our day today. We went to the allergist this morning (waste of time) then to Kate's house for playgroup. I love going to her house...I feel very at home there. (thanks, Kate!) It was a gorgeous day and we spent time outside and in. Ruby took her first 3 steps (in a row) to my friend Rebecca! It was so cute and she repeated her new trick a couple more times. Her and James both had a lot of fun. It got a little wild near the end and kind of turned into a naked playgroup - them, not us. HAHAHA.
Ruby and James fell asleep on the way home and I successfully transferred both of them into their respective beds. Ruby did wake up when I laid her in her crib but I just looked away and left the room. She must have got the idea. :) I laid James in our bed and he loved waking up there. I had such a nice break...I laid on the couch and read a magazine and then came down here and worked on that banner. I don't have to tell you how much I wish that would happen every day.
Tonight I had an appointment for a haircut, highlights (my first time!) and eyebrow waxing. I went back to this woman Stephanie who I met in December. I really like her and we have a ton in common. 1. We are both named Stephanie 2. We both have hair! and 3. We both love reality television a little too much. I don't get to indulge like I used to so she filled me in on some of the latest reality gossip. It was fun. I love my cut & my eyebrows and am still getting used to the highlights. I think they are cute, I just now look like every other brunette at the mall with brown hair and caramel highlights. haha. Patrick likes it all but is still adapting...he did this weird hand motion and said "chaaaaange" when he saw me. He is special.
Okay, I wasn't going to write much so now I will stop. It's bedtime. I'll be back tomorrow with 7 things you may or may not know about me....

now continued...

I am trying to change my header but Ruby is up now...will fix later.

And give credit for the help! :)

eta: Okay, I basically have it how I want it now with just a couple little changes. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. A couple weeks ago I spent about 2 hours playing around in Paint Shop Pro but didn't end up with much. Yesterday Linda posted a link to a how-to description but that one didn't work for me so well...I guess I needed extra help. :) I did a search and found this site - Tips for New Bloggers. They totally helped me get it together and I can't wait to go through the rest of that blog...looks awesome!

Thanks for the inspiration, Linda! She also tagged me for a meme that I will join in tomorrow.

ruby's tuesday

I know she looks a little scary here but you can see the TEETH, which is what I wanted. They are huge!

cousin love

Two very exciting things are going on with 2 of my favorite cousins right now.

First of all, Kerri is ready to have her first baby boy any day. Eeeeeek!!! I heard through the family grapevine that she will be admitted Wed. night for induction if it doesn't happen before then. I hope she will go on her own before then but I know that induction is not the end of the world, either. In fact, it can seem like a miracle when all you want is to get that baby out! :) We will be praying for an uncomplicated labor & delivery for her. I am really hoping I can see the new little bundle before they head back home to Ely on Saturday.

And then there is Stacey who has created something that will be on my mind all day...

Those are RUBIES! I must at least have the earrings & hopefully the necklace. It is almost mother's day right?

But back to Stacey and her beautiful new website, Stacey Johnson Jewlery Design. Please go check it out...her work is just amazing. And you can know that you are buying from a warm, funny & creative woman who LOVES what she is doing. And she's my cousin - how lucky am I?! I have a couple of her pieces and adore them, you won't be disappointed. (obvious from the picture! I want that!)

Monday, May 07, 2007

I broke 2 needles!

Well, I did it. I turned a t-shirt into a small bag/purse. It was a lot of fun until the handle. I opened up the 2 short sleeves and folded them in half and sewed them into a long tube. Then I had to turn it out to the right way. You know when the string of your sweats dissappears inside? That's what it was like, only even more sickening. Then I f*ed up sewing it on, breaking 2 needles in the process. The 2nd one was heavy enough but the first broken needle was still lodged in the foot. HA! Overall, I love it. I want to add some velcro to the top so it will hold it's shape a little better but that will have to wait. I am exhausted.
(The good kind of exhausted, though.)

I sewed!

My Dad gave me a sewing machine years ago and I had never tried it. Patrick used it once to hem our curtains but I wasn't here to watch seemed so intimidating on my own.

BUT! I just sewed my very first straight line across a dishtowel! Yay! I called my Dad for help with that pesky bobbin and then I was on my way.

I could hear the fear (and awe) in Patrick's voice when I told him...he is expecting the kids to be sewn together or something when he gets home. wheeeee! I'm sewing!

I am soooo excited!

I never asked Jolee if I could put her good news on here but she is posting it all over the internet herself (hee hee) so I don't think it's any secret...She's Pregnant! I am so excited for her and Craig and Mason. It is just thrilling news!

And today I got more thrilling news that another good friend is finally pregnant after trying for a very long time.

I just have goosebumps thinking about these 2 new little lives growing in their bellies.

Congratulations you two...I love you and will be praying for the good health of you and your little ones.

p.s. I want to see you both rocking the belly shirts this summer...

hold she?

This picture was taken last year on July 11th. James was asking to hold Ruby who was almost 2 months old. I look back at the pictures of these two and it just amazes me. He has loved her right from the start. He would say, "Hold she?"
A couple days later Gramma Kris was leaving. She was putting her shoes on by the front door and holding Ruby while she did it. James turned the corner and saw them. He ran right up to her and said, "Our sister stays here!"

'member that fun friend?

James was asking me to name my friends this morning so I was naming all the ones that we see every week. He listened and then looked thoughtful. "Member that fun friend, mom? Um...ANNIE! She lives far a way in chusets and we have to go on a jet to see her."

Yes, I member Annie.

Then I got to talk to Thomas this morning and it just figures that the weekend they will be passing through Madison is the one weekend we will be gone. After I hung up James asked me if we got to see Thomas later. I said hopefully soon, but not for a few weeks. He said, "Member when we went to O Claire and stayed in the big hotel with Thomas? And he took me in the elevator and down to the pool? That was so fun, mom."

We miss you guys! xoxoxoxoxo

Sunday, May 06, 2007

sunday evening news...

I took a mini break from blogging over the weekend and didn't even take a single picture of our kids! I think 2 days is the longest I've gone in a very long time.

This weekend started out good with a special surprise in the mail from Jolee on Friday. Thank you, Jules! I should be sending you gifts! I can't wait to try these. xoxo.

We met Patrick for dinner at Panera that night. On Saturday he and I swung between friends & enemies all day. It was exhausting and frustrating. Today we woke up, got things settled and had a really nice day.

The good part of Saturday included a walk through the chilly morning with hot cups of coffee. (for us) It was our village's garage sale weekend so the fire department had a weenie roast going. It was cute because James had just mentioned them having hot dogs earlier in the week (member, mom?, he said) and there they were on Saturday. He was thrilled to be sitting in the fire station munching on a hot dog. I was so emotional that it just about brought me to tears...small town Saturday morning with all the town folk gathered...oh my Lord. (I believe these emotions played no small part in our weekend drama. My husband had his own funk going on, though, so don't think I'm taking all the blame!) :)

We walked along this new bike path that I think I mentioned before. Parts of the trail were recently dug up and gravelled (word?) and while we were walking James & I found old railroad spikes (thank you, mom) and huge was cool. I want to clean them off and put them on a shelf somewhere to dust for the rest of my life.

I will spare you, and future me, the rest of the painful day and just skip right along to this morning...We went to church, got James a haircut, and then split up with the kids and Ruby & I went to Target for birthday supplies and Mother's Day cards. We met back at home and both of the kids napped so we had a little bit of time to relax together. Later on I went to Dig & Save and then the Dollar Tree for more party supplies*.

I had a fabulous time at D&S and found a lot of good stuff. I got myself a pair of capris, a brown gauzy shirt that reminds me of my favorite maternity shirt that I had, a couple scarves and a faded red sweatshirt. I also got a Duluth Pack t shirt that I swear I'm going to make into a purse. I got Patrick a pair of jeans, Ruby an adorable handmade sleeveless shirt and my favorite finds...some vintage fabric, a very very old handmade gaucho type outfit that was mended so many times (isn't that sweet? It must have been a favorite) and 2 vintage sundresses from probably the 1950s. I hope to sell those on Ebay. I think the other outfit might be from the 20s or 30s? Gosh, it's hard to tell...I'm going to do a little research. I don't think anyone would buy it, due to the poor condition, unless as a cutter for a quilt. I just couldn't leave it there, though. In the picture: The red & green fabrics are the sundresses, the gold paisley is the old outfit and the lighter stuff is just a big piece of material.

I got home at about the same time Patrick and the kids got home from a walk. Patrick showed me what James had drawn on his Doodle Pro...he said it was Patrick. Patrick dated it because he knew I'd want a picture. :)

We had agreed earlier to spend 2 hours cleaning in the basement after the kids went to bed. We worked so hard and got a lot's a lot more fun to do it together and without our sidekicks. We may try to do this a couple times a on projects for a big chunk of time at night.

Now it's time to relax and read the paper for a while before bed. We are having a little hard earned refreshment...Blackberry Merlot on the rocks with a splash of Sierra Mist. Good stuff!

(*We decided to go up to Duluth on Friday and are having a small party at my Dad's house for Miss Bubles on Saturday, thus all the party stuff)

Friday, May 04, 2007

this is what 15 minutes can do...

I set the timer on the microwave (it's not the same, mom) for 15 minutes this morning and this is what we accomplished. He is such a little sweetheart and was so proud of helping.

I am glad I went through this power struggle with Patrick, who likes to rake toys into piles, because James learned it this way and does it so well. We definitely have bins of jumbled up toys but things like play food, big legos, small legos and cars are all separate and waiting to be played with together or jumbled all up again.

I love when he'll take out his food to make soup and end up giving his cars a bath in the bowl or building an oven with his is so amazing the directions his mind goes.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

ruby ruby ruby ruby

A friend recently burned me a copy of this song and I love it! For the obvious reasons but also because it totally takes me back to the 80s. Their sound reminds me of Tears for Fears & a bit of OMD.

This is not news but music is so powerful. I was listening to this in the van today and I recalled so vividly how it felt to be me the summer I was 15. I remember my favorite outfits and how my best friend and I found an abandoned shopping cart and walked down Grand Avenue with it laughing hysterically. I remember the boy I was "in love" with and sneaking out to walk around with him in the middle of the night. He picked a peony for me and was thoughtful enough to shake out all the ants before offering it.

I'm not sure I'll be sleeping much when James & Ruby are teenagers.

go get it

I got my latest issue of Wondertime a couple days ago and just got the chance to start reading it this afternoon. The magazine usually delights me and this issue is no exception. There is an article by Jacqueline Mitchard about the relationships between her children that just gave me goosebumps.

Maybe I won't be getting that IUD after all.

Kidding! Ha Ha, Mom, I got you!

But seriously, it's so good. Go read it.


It feels like years since I've written! I have so many things running through my mind that I'm not sure where to start.

I'll start with James, I guess. When we got up this morning and I told him we were going to church he immediately started whining. After about 10 minutes, though, he suddenly said, "I think church will be fun today, Mom." Amazing! And he did do screaming or denouncing God at all.
On the way there I called my mom to tell her that Heather was having her surgery today. I said I forgot to put it on my blog so I just wanted to remind her to pray for her. After I hung up James says, "'member my blog? It's called engine repair blog. I do sugeries on engines." HAHAHA - man, he listens to everything.

Today was our last official get together of the year and they had a delicious brunch for us and a really good speaker. When I went to the fondue party back in February I spent most of the night talking to this one woman. I really liked her and we seemed to have a million things to say to eachother but I haven't seen her since. I had emailed her once but it got returned to me and I had her phone number but really, that is so old fashioned. (hahaha) We finally saw eachother again today and it was great. I sat by her, with her flock, so I got to meet a few other women I hadn't met before. We exchanged information and are going to meet up for a walk or something some time. Yay!

As a side note, 4 of the women in her flock had new (under 8 weeks) babies. Oh my, those little bundles just squeeze my heart. They are all so beautiful and chewable. Like vitamins! For old barren women like myself! Anyways...

After Titus we went to the playground to meet our friends. It is a gorgeous sunny day but pretty windy. Ruby made huge texture strides and got over her dislike of mulch and sand! It was the first time I let her crawl around on this particular structure and she had a lot of fun. James also climbed up and down this ladder by himself for the first time, only falling and requiring the help of a stranger once. That was a proud moment for me...busy taking pictures of my filthy but adorable daughter while my son's life flashes before his eyes. Sorry, buddy.

I just took a break to help James in the bathroom. He was pooping and when he finished he looked up and said, "I'm empty!" He goes on the toilet all the time now and even shuts the door for a bit of privacy sometimes...this all makes me very happy. At church today he wanted to go in the Mens room by himself so I let him. He got a bit of pee on his shirt but felt it was a pretty fair trade for the freedom.

Hmmm, what else? I got to go out to dinner with my friends last night, it was a lot of fun and very delicious. (The leftovers just made a very satisfying lunch for leftover margaritas though...damn.) It was all my playgroup friends and for the first time in a VERY long time all 10 of us were there. We had this appetizer that had melted cheese, cream and poblano chiles in it that was FABULOUS. Oh, it was so good. I have to say it's a lot of fun to have some cheese again.

Tonight is Lost night for Patrick and I. It's hard on Thursdays because there is lots of chatter about the show all over the internet. I am looking forward to cuddling up in front of the computer with him tonight.

One last thing....I got all teary on the way to dinner last night when Friends in Low Places came on the radio. It immediately brought me right back to the Locker Room, hanging out with the girls. This will sound unbelievable but it's true...on the way home I heard She Talks to Angels AND Black Water!!!! Do you think it's time for us to plan our weekend?

There are a lot more pics on Flickr. xoxo

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

restoration doesn't stop in the garage

Can you believe my Dad? He is restoring a one of a kind Ford Thunderbird Italien concept car...and when I say he is restoring it, I mean it.

He just finished one of the seats, sewn himself out of some custom leather he purchased. They are beautiful, Dad. Based on his emails I would say this one seat took him a couple weeks. If I send you my fabric do you think you'd have time to make me a headband? :)

Here are a couple other pics of the car:

You can read all about it here. xoxo


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