Saturday, September 29, 2007

I knew this would happen

I had a feeling that I wasn't going to be able to do everything and still enjoy any of it. I talked to Michelle last night and we decided to go to the Farmer's Market next weekend. Much I have some wiggle room. I did finish the birthday gift and I know what I want to make for my friends...this morning I can go get the groceries and have plenty of time to put everything together before we leave for the party. (They are both going to be there so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to drop them off.)

I went to Jo-Ann's to get my fabric on Thursday night, after Ruby went to bed. There were 3 very friendly women who helped me while I was there and every one of them said they are working at Jo-Ann's to support their addiction. Every one of them mentioned the piles of projects they have stashed and how they always buy more fabric than they need. What am I getting myself into, I thought, as I left the store with my bulging bag of flannel.
Well, this for starters.

This was my first project from Amy Karol's bend-the-rule's Sewing book. It is tiny and sweet and I am hoping the little one that I made it for will love it. This is my favorite fabric and I might have to go back and get some more.

It took me about 2 hours to finish this...I got some new scissors and MAN was cutting out easier. Putting it all together had me stumped for a little while but it was one of those situations where I was missing what was right in front of me. Her directions in the book are clear and easy to follow. I love the little trick about flattening the bottom corners and sewing across them to make a square bottom...genius! :)

This was a lot of fun to sew (because it's so tiny and cute!) and I know I'll be making more of them. I also was able to finish a ballet pillowcase and I love how it turned out, too. I screwed up a little but I don't think the intended 4 year old will care much. This flannel is pretty inexpensive (on sale for 2.49/yd) and is so soft after you wash and dry it. The woman who cut my fabric for me told me that it goes on sale for .99/yd on Black Friday. She said the women are lined up outside for the 6am open and rush for the flannel aisle, FILLING their carts. Oh my. I'm not sure I could handle the anxiety of that. (we'll see) (Mom?) heehee.

Friday, September 28, 2007

oh my goodness

The weekend is almost upon us and I am freaking out a wee bit. We have lots of plans this weekend...all fun stuff but lots of it. I am finally going to make 2 meals for my friends, sew up a little birthday gift (hopefully it will turn out, measuring twice), go to farmer's market tomorrow morning with my neighbor, birthday party tomorrow afternoon and then an overnight guest for tomorrow night which means getting everything tidied up again. I did maintain control of the house & laundry this week so that last one shouldn't be too bad....maybe an hour. But, oh my gosh! So much before tomorrow at 3:00.

Hope you're having a good Friday and that you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

measure twice, cut once

Every once in a while you may have a little mishap when sewing. Don't be discouraged, storming around and hollering about the darn kids that wouldn't leave you alone for ONE MINUTE, be creative!

Top Ten Things to Do with a Pillowcase That is 2 Inches Too Short:

1. Decorative doily

2. Reusable garbage bag

3. Couch pillow cover

4. Festive sleeping sacks for the little ones

5. Non-absorbent dishtowel

6. Whimsical Art

7. Door Mat

8. Coffee Pot Cozy

9. Holiday Diaper Cover

10. Fun & Funky Carrier Cover

Rachael Ray puts the screws to me

Please STEPHANIE xxxxxx...
You know ANDREA xxxxxxx just loves receiving your gift of Everyday With Rachael Ray, but we haven't heard from you. (where you been hidin'?) Please don't keep ANDREA us waiting. Say "YES" today and renew your generous gift for another year at a 54% savings off the cover price, or else.
CLICK HERE, RENEW TODAY AND SAVE 54% or sleep with the fishes.
Thanks STEPHANIE xxxxxx. ANDREA xxxxxxx will "Thank You" too. By not kicking your ass.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

no offense to my German readers

P: Do you remember where Germany is?

J: Yeah! It's in your body and comes out your mouth. It's not nice to give other people your germanies.

number 58

58. He's honest. Happy 58th Dad! xoxo

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

57 things to know about my Dad

  1. He's funny
  2. and smart.
  3. He started his own business at 24.
  4. He has 8 brothers and sisters.

  5. He started out cute
  6. and stayed cute

  7. with a few rough spots in the middle.
  8. He files his nails while he watches TV at night.

  9. And likes to stop at the corner gas station for an ice cream cone.

  10. He's a good cook.

  11. He was so happy on this walk and ate berries off of a tree.

  12. He smoothed over a spat between me & Annie on this trip.

  13. He really loves this sweatshirt.

  14. He was a Marine.

  15. He loves me

  16. and Patrick

  17. and James

  18. and Ruby.

  19. He likes to have fun with James outside.

  20. He comes to see us a lot

  21. and always leaves reeeeelly early in the morning.

  22. He sends me flowers on my birthday

  23. and makes me cool stuff.

  24. He introduced me to Johnny Horton and Johnny Cash at a very young age.

  25. On my first birthday he wrapped my Baby Beans doll up in purple carpeting with a pink carpet bow that he made.

  26. He's generous.

  27. (and going to be a millionaire!)

  28. He's easy to please.

  29. He rocked a moustache
  30. and leather pants during that year.

  31. He loves Fanny Farmer mint candy bars.

  32. He's willing to try anything,

  33. even spending a week in a house with his ex-wife, just so we can all be together. (you both are awesome for this...xoxoxo)

  34. He loves to have James help him out in the garage

  35. and Patrick, too.

  36. He sends funny pictures for James and for me.

  37. This was the first time he met Ruby. He said, "Looks like you did it again."

  38. He's crafty.

  39. He drove all the way down here when I was one week overdue with Ruby, just in case I went in to labor that weekend and my mom wasn't here yet.

  40. He collaborated with my mom in giving me Andrea & Thomas.

  41. You know that Panasonic tape recorder I mentioned? They year they gave it to me he recorded himself talking to me on it, wrapped it, and put it under the tree. It drove me NUTS to see him but hear his voice somewhere else and not have any idea why.

  42. I once asked for a big bowl of ice cream and he brought me a mixing bowl with a tiny little scoop in the bottom.

  43. I love to hug and kiss him.

  44. He wears Chanel.

  45. He introduced me to Ebay in 1999.

  46. James' middle name comes from him.

  47. He bought my mom a charm when I was born.

  48. He had the wrong date of birth engraved on it.

  49. He recently bought me a new t shirt with the Italien on it,

  50. and sent me some candy.

  51. That picture up there is going to be on the COVER of a magazine very soon.

  52. I remember asking him if he liked sex when I was pretty young. I was in my room for a long time working up the nerve to ask him and when I finally did I just burst into tears. He told me he did like it and never let on if he was mortified, which he must have been.

  53. He's always willing to talk seriously with me about anything. (Do you still like it, Dad?) HAHAHA

  54. It wasn't as hard as I thought to come up with this list. (57 sounded like A LOT.)

  55. I hope to God he is 57.

  56. He forgave me that I forgot his birthday this year.

  57. He knows how much I really love him.


Ruby has been sleeping for 4 hours. 1,2,3, FOUR.

I hope it is restorative sleep.


ruby's tuesday

"Stop standing around and get me some raisins, woman."


You know how I said I didn't want to leave the house yesterday? I wasn't kidding - I didn't even go out to get the mail. Today I decided to leave a little early and stop at JoAnne Fabrics before we picked up James. I got Ruby buckled and was about to jump in when I decided to go check the mail. I am so glad I did! Ellen had sent me a wonderful note & CD as a thank you for a little shirt I sent her Sophie. The CD is filled with excellent music and we listened to it right away. At one point Ruby was clapping along in the back. :) I love listening to music with my kids and this just made me so happy. Thank you, Ellen, you seriously made my morning. Giving a gift that you think someone is going to love is so exciting...finding out they do love it multiplies that feeling by 100.

So, there I was, grinning from ear to ear and so happy to go look at fabrics. Ruby quickly let me know that this wasn't what she was excited to do and I had better hurry up or things were going to get ugly. I managed to get a few notions (see how casually I throw around the sewing lingo?) before the wailing & gnashing of teeth began.

Now you all know how much I love Ruby. She is my little peach and all that crap. HOWEVER, she has had this bad cold and is working on the dreaded molars and is being not very nice lately. She has bitten James 3 times in the last 3 days and has done it in anger. She also likes to pinch him. And yesterday afternoon she came after me. James had just run by me (I was laying on the floor) and accidentally stepped on my hair, very close to my head. I yelled OW! and almost immediately Ruby booked over to me and tried to jump on my hair. !!! I think it's the reaction she likes because she always giggles.

When she bit James, hard - he had an immediate bruise, I said "uh oh" and put her up in her crib. She started screaming and James said to me, through his tears, "It hurts, mom, but she can stay down here." Awwww. But no, she can't. She is definitely too young to lecture or totally understand right from wrong (though she does know in some ways) but she is obviously old enough to understand cause and effect. I left her in there for less than one minute and have put her in again the other two times she did this to him. She didn't make a peep those 2 times and when I say "uh oh" and come at her she puts her head down. (playing submissive) Little stinker! (maybe I'll tell you about all the adorable stuff she's doing tomorrow)

Aside from getting beat up on, James has been busy startling me over and over by saying EXACTLY what I say. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ruby, I'm not going to play with you when you're acting like that.

Where's my flippin' shoes?

Ruby, when I say stay by me, stay by me!

Is this going to take forever?

(when offered a bite) No thanks. It sounds delicious but I just don't want any right now.

and my very favorite:

(to Ruby) I love you, little one.

one down

Oh my gosh. The day has hardly begun and my blood pressure is already through the roof. Not really, but it felt that way for a minute. James has school this morning and let's just say it's not a smooth transition for the boys to get out of here on time. I held my tongue today, which I am very proud of myself for because I am not always good at this, and will talk to Patrick tonight so we can come up with a plan. James is so riled up on school mornings...he reminds me of a large puppy when he's like Patrick and I need to be on the same page in dealing with him. I would like my page to be in the shower but we will see.

Onto more exciting things, for me anyways. I finished one pillow last night! The orange fabric wasn't too awful. I wouldn't choose it for a project but it is working fine for this and is nice and soft for a sleep side.

This is super simple, my kind of project! I finished it in about a half an hour and that was with a couple bobbin tangles, the presser foot being loose, adjusting my stitches, etc. (it's been a while.) It got me all fired up and I could barely fall asleep last night because my mind was racing through ideas for birthday and Christmas gifts.

I've mentioned before how large our playgroup is. I think there are 10 now with most of them born in December and one each in Oct, Nov, Jan & Feb. (with all the siblings now there are too many to count...somewhere around 100) HAHA! That makes for a lot of birthday gifts. In past years I only got a gift if we went to the party (with a couple exceptions) but it's a hard time of year to make all the parties, too, so I never felt quite right about it. We talked about doing a combined birthday with name draw and that never got off the ground.

This year Heidi emailed all of us saying she loved all the kids but could really only afford to spend $5 each on them. Perfect! It was a sweet, simple email and I was thankful and relieved that she had sent it. So. Now I want to try and make something for each of them. There might be cute pillowcases in their futures. Or freezer paper stencil t shirts, or little tote bags.

There is also a slew of new babies that I want to have a little something for. We'll see. I got to see Ben, the latest addition, last week at the ice cream social but haven't held him yet because of my cold. He is such a little sweetheart and his mom is up cleaning vents one week later. :) Neelone had her tiny twins there, too, but I didn't hold them for the same reason. I have to say I am looking forward to cuddling these new little ones all winter while their moms have a chance to drink a cup of coffee. And there are 2 more coming!

I got Neelone's permission to post a link to her commercial here. That's right, her COMMERCIAL. They're famous! Her beautiful face is also on billboards all over Madison. I finally got to see one the other day, they look great, and just laughed thinking of my friends who saw them for the first time unexpectedly. How odd to be driving to work and see your friend's face 12 feet tall.

Ruby is up now so I am off to restart that mothering portion of my day. xoxo

Monday, September 24, 2007

I really don't want to go outside today

Well, the house isn't as clean as it was this morning but there are 48 little banana muffins up in the kitchen as well as a dozen of these.
Those pumpkin muffins are really, really good. I add one small chopped up apple and they made 18 normal size muffins and baked in about 30 minutes. Notice I made 18 but there are only 12 left? That's how good they are...we all love them. I also sprinkle the tops with a little sugar before baking so they get that good crunchy way.

I also managed to cut out my pillowcase fabrics. I had scored a large orange jersey sheet at D&S a while ago and had marked it for this project. Jersey is not easy to cut. I wonder how it will be to sew...this could end badly. It doesn't help that I have DULL scissors. I would like a rotary cutter & mat for Christmas, if anyone is paying attention. (my dad just gave a harsh laugh)

I don't have much for dinner so I think I will be trying this with mashed potatoes and green beans. I think it sounds pretty good. On Saturday night my family sat down to two cans of refrigerator biscuits with all the fixins. It was only going to be a snack but they were so good, warm, with sunbutter & jelly that we ate them all and baked up another can. Those ones we had with ham & cheese. Not the healthiest dinner I ever made, but probably the easiest.

It is close to 90 outside and very humid. I am hoping to avoid the outdoors at all cost today but my mom guilt may take over. I don't know, though. Yuck.

unsure of how to handle this new freedom

I am finally out from under the oppressive thumb of laundry. (until Wednesday, probably) My kitchen is clean, my whole house, really, and the garage, too. (my half) I'm not quite sure what to do with myself.
I freaked out at Patrick for a couple minutes Sunday morning. It was my typical ranting about not being able to do everything and how these kids don't leave me alone FOR ONE MINUTE. I was over it quickly and then the teasing began.

S: Can you please grab the orange juice?

P: (with hands in air, palms up, just like I do) I just can't handle ONE MORE THING.

HAHAHA. He is a riot.

This continued until he offered (lying, it was my idea and he agreed) to take the kids to Devil's Lake until 4pm when I would meet them and take James to church. (Ruby has a bad cold.) They left at 10:30 and I spent a few hours around here doing stuff I really wanted to do...put laundry away, clean garage, etc. (The laundry avalanche started with both of our vacations and picked up speed when I began the whole fall washing/sorting/pack away/donate summer stuff. I'm so glad it's over. My kids pretty much wear their "fall" clothes all winter so this won't need to be done again until spring.)

I have been craving D&S ever since my short, chaotic Wednesday trip. I mainly stuck to the clothes bins and was rewarded with 2 sweaters for me, a shirt for Patrick, a couple things for Future Ruby, and a pair of (new) underwear for James. (I know, sick, right? but they are NEW and his favorite soft padded kind.) I had been feeling blue about fall only because I really liked my summer clothes this year. My fall clothes last year sucked and I wasn't looking forward to wearing them again. I am happier now because I've found 3 sweaters at D&S, got all those shirts & sweaters at Lands' End for so cheap, and have 3 pairs of pants that I actually like. Now I'd just like a new pair of shoes and I'd be happy for a while. I said I was going to splurge on these but now I'm not so sure I can.

Church was good except the singing went on for 30 minutes. (That is a long time, in my opinion.) James had fun and really has no problem with it now. Afterwards I picked up Ruby at Patrick's work and stopped at Super Target on the way home. Patrick joined us a while later. It is our turn to bring snack on Tuesday so I had to get provisions. I do have some baking to do today...4 dozen mini banana muffins. They are also getting mini boxes of raisins and apple juice.

I think I might get out my sewing machine and start on those pillowcases. I decided I'm going to put up Halloween stuff on the first of October so we can enjoy it for a while...we really have some cute stuff. (we have mini pumpkins already, who can resist those?)

There are some new pics on flickr.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

my first decade

Idea from Mighty Girl & her book.

Year One: My parents were 21 when they had me. TWENTY ONE. Can you imagine?

Year Two: I remember being afraid to cross the monkey bars at a playground in California. This was also the trip where I nearly got hit by a car at a service station and the man who almost hit me bought me a Hershey bar from the vending machine. I remember a row of those molded plastic chairs that are attached to each other and a big front window. (is that a real memory, mom & dad?)

Year Three: My dad got me a Baby Alive doll. I can't remember the details but it caused a fight between my parents. I remember him walking in the front door with it and being so excited. I found this picture on Ebay and remember those little food packets perfectly. I remember being in my Grandma's basement and all of us feeding her and trying to get her to poop.
Year Four: I loved the 5th grader at the end of the block, David, who had a Doberman pincer. For the longest time I thought it was DoberMINT pincer and I was so surprised when I finally saw it and it wasn't green & brown like my favorite mint brownies from the Target bakery.

Year Five: My kindergarten room had paneling and pictures of the Letter People on the walls. We also had the inflatable letters and I loved them. I remember going into another dark room to get the crate of chocolate milks out of the refrigerator...this was a big treat and we all took turns doing it. During the summer of this year we went on vacation with my aunt & uncle. I sat on a large Stegosaurus one night at our campground with my Uncle Gary while he told me about the constellations. I also rode bareback on a horse with a Native American woman named Stephanie.

Year Six: My sister was born. I was in love with my first grade teacher, Mrs. Nechtaval, and Shaun Cassidy. I listened to him on my portable Panasonic cassette player. I went to see Star Wars with my little boy friend and either my mom or my dad sat behind us somewhere in the theatre. His name was Chris and he gave my C-3PO and R2-D2 figurines for my birthday that year.

Year Seven: I remember being in the backyard on a blanket with my mom and some of her friends. One of them, Dawn H., had curly hairs coming out of her swimsuit bottom and I didn't like it.

Year Eight: I started at a new school this year. My teacher, Mrs. Wagner, looked like she wore diapers. (she probably did!) I also remember her saying we were going to the lavatory on the first day of school and being very afraid. I loved Sunkist pop.

Year Nine: I got Blondie's Autoamerican for Christmas and listened to it on my Fisher Price portable record player. I also liked Billy Joel and recorded myself singing Big Shot into my trusty tape recorder. I found the lyrics in Tiger Beat.

Year Ten: Wrote my first story and recorded it with my friend Tya. We called it, "Paul's Passion for Maria's Knockers." First kiss (on my cheek) from Kurt Verville after lunch one day as he walked past my desk. I was wearing my Levi jeans with a crooked seam on the left leg and my Lee baseball style long sleeve t shirt.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I got this idea from not martha.

Today I am:

tempted to: ignore my kids and blog/read blogs all day

going to: turn off my computer again and get the house clean and the kids fed and the groceries bought and the dinner made (Our guest is bring a huge beef tenderloin so I just have to get salad stuff and potatos and dessert and bread and wine. I suggested baked potatos and Patrick said, "I hate baked potatos." Finally after 12 years he can let me in a little.)

wishing: that I had more of that homemade hot fudge from the party yesterday afternoon (will get recipe and was so good! I know it had butter, chocolate chips, more butter, vanilla, and more chocolate chips.)

hoping: that Ruby's diaper rash will get better

thinking: what a nice time I had at Titus yesterday. It was really fun to go and not be the new girl like I was last year. Fun to remember other women and be remembered.

thrilled that: my genius sister got on MY FLIGHT from Chicago to Phoenix and the reverse! No way! We get to be on an airplane, alone, sharing magazines and talking. By ourselves. And then, in a hotel room, by ourselves. Hopefully, Thomas & Erin will be next door and my Dad right down the hall. God bless Patrick for letting me go alone and my mom for so graciously saying she'd come and help him out. Thanks, you two. This is so very exciting for me. Seester, you rock!

happy that: my knee is almost healed. It itches like crazy but the scabby area is diminishing daily.

admitting that: I better go and get started.

Have a good morning!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

sorry about yesterday

So, it's 6:20 and I just laid Ruby back down after nursing. She is up there saying no over and over. My reply? yes, yes, yes.

I'm not sure what was wrong with me yesterday. I sat down 4 different times, starting 4 different posts and I thought they all sucked. First, I wrote about this but then I realized that I didn't want him (?) on my blog so I deleted it. Then I followed in blackbird's footsteps and answered these questions on blogging. It felt incomplete and I couldn't think of a way to finish it so I saved it for a rainy day. A little while later I was going to post about making Halloween pillowcases for my kids. I know, right? My final blogging desire was to share with you the idea of creating collage cards from magazine clippings. Just in case you had never thought of it. Of course, I'd show you mine. y-a-w-n. (although I did love making those.)

Moving right along, then. It's been a busy, busy week.

Monday. Well, I can't really remember Monday. Did I blog on Monday? Sure, I did. It was just a good day at home. On Tuesday, James had preschool and we went to Kate's house afterwards for lunch. Tuesday was a very good day filled with many good things. Tuesday night I went to dinner with some friends and got to hear all about N's new life at home with her twins. I have such a soft spot for this woman and am beyond thrilled that she has her two little ones home now. They are all doing as well as can be expected. They are thrilled that they are home and healthy but exhausted, of course. I hope she will let me help her in some way.

Oh yes, I mustn't forget my appt. on Tuesday night. This woman gave me the all clear to continue on with my Zoloft without going back to see her. Unless I want to hear more about her son's wedding, of course. (not.kidding.) This is kind of what I expected to happen. Not that I have my life figured out but if I wasn't filled with angst before my depression set in and the drugs took my depression symptoms away then we're just back to where we started with the typical mom angst. I can usually hash this out with God, my husband, my mom, or my friends and feel better. And if not, I'll go back to talk to someone ELSE.

I was planning on staying home on Wednesday to get some things done around here. A friend persuaded me to venture out and we tried Dig & Save with our 4 kids on a WEDNESDAY. Wednesdays are half price clothes day (.50/lb) and it was NUTS. We managed to come out with a random little sampling of crap, all four kids intact, and proceeded to the park. The park was chock full of goose poop but other than that it was very nice.

Last night was the first book group. We met at a little bar on Main St. and it was all right. It's not exactly my demographic (stay at home mom with children under 4) but that's good...I'm all for broadening my horizons. It doesn't look like the book selections will be doing that so I guess something has to. HAHA! The first book is a Harlequin romance. Kind of as a fun ice breaker. Oh, Lord. We'll see about this. I am actually excited to get to know some new people in town, am never against having a beer and do like to read so it might be lots of fun. (After the Harlequin.)

Today is Thursday and James has preschool again. Ruby and I will be heading to the first Titus meeting at church to meet my new flockers. This afternoon we are going to an ice cream social to celebrate the kids starting preschool. Tomorrow we are having friends over for dinner so that means shopping and cleaning. whew.

Well, James is up now, too. I'll be back later. xo

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

dream on

(new friends, made in Japan, from D&, mom, you can't have them for your shadow box. Love you!)

I keep thinking of all these things I want to write about but that dedicated writing time never comes to be. Instead, a list to get you all up to date with my thrilling life:

  • very happy today, heart full of happy

  • James' teachers told me how funny he was today...making them all laugh and teasing with them. He jokes around with us now in a new way...he is clever and teases us on our level. (the level on which we tease with him, so I guess it's his level.) Fun to be getting it back from him. (I will finish that long, heartwarming post about him soon, mom)

  • watched The Good Shepherd. I really liked it but dreamt spy dreams all night. Woke up feeling exhausted & suspicious.

  • made maple glazed salmon last night and my favorite roasted fingerling potatoes (with other veggies) I love fingerling potatoes a little too much, I think. Maple glazed salmon isn't hard...just drizzle salmon with real syrup.

  • Ellen freaked me out today when she commented on this flickr picture. I just found and bought that smallest mug thinking it would be perfect for James. The creamer is relatively new to me, too. I LOVE it. I love this old diner china. (I love a lot today)

  • The kids did great on Sunday at church. Patrick & I liked it, too. We laughed and learned more about perfect is that?

  • I had all Sunday afternoon on my own. It was so nice.

  • Patrick dove 2 Lake Michigan wrecks on Saturday and really enjoyed himself. He went down 120 feet! It was 44 degrees down there...brrrr.

  • The kids and I had a really good day on Saturday. We were gone from 9-2 at the farmer's market (which James really enjoyed...all the fall veggies are so large and colorful), a playground, and 2 thrift stores. The afternoon hours weren't super fun (when are they?) but things shaped up at dinner time (James finally napped a little while) and were good through bedtime. But I did not finish that laundry. It's almost all washed now, though, and I should be putting it away right now.

  • I saw my friend this morning when we were picking our kids up from school. She brought home her twins 2 weeks ago. They aren't even DUE for another three weeks! It's amazing. They are so cute and still under 6 pounds but have really filled out since I saw them last on the first day of school. She said they are little pigs. :) We are going out to eat tonight and I can't wait to hear everything. Can you imagine 2 newborns?? OMG.

  • Before dinner I am going back for another visit with that psychologist that I didn't really like the first time. I don't feel like I have much to talk about so I don't really want to go. I should have cancelled yesterday, though, because they charge $50 if I cancel today. Guess I'll go. Maybe she'll surprise me and dig up some hidden damage that I can use against my parents and explain away everything that's ever gone wrong for me. You never know! I've never been hypnotized so I am a little excited. (KIDDING.)

  • Allright, I guess that's it for now. xoxo

ruby's tuesday

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this is the face

He uses this face when he is trying to show you how sensitive he is. He will talk in a soft voice and nod his head sympathetically, realizing how special the moment really is. Today, this face came after I told him I wanted to take a before school picture for grandma & grandpa.

He is thinking...Oh, dramma & drandpa, I know how much you love me and just how much it means to you to see me this morning. Here you dough.

(I hope he adopts his own version as he gets's clear where he got this one.)


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Monday, September 17, 2007

she ain't heavy, she's my sister

A: Hey! What time exactly do you leave Chicago? We might be on the same flight!

S: Cool, lemme check. 12:55.

A: I think we can!

S: On United?!

A: (pause)

A: oh.


(We get to go to Barrett in January!)


3am, last night

S: thinking...oh, crap. go into her room
R: Ow.
S: Do your teeth hurt?
R: uh huh.
S: Do you want some medicine?
R: uh huh.
S: pick her up
R: dank oo


Yesterday morning to our neighbors out walking their dog:

J: Good morning! Nice to meet you! Have a good luck!

This morning to me:

J: I'm a creepy little old man today.


Anyone else remember this song?

we had a very good weekend

I am shutting my computer off for the morning. I know, it's almost unheard of. I'll be back later with lots of random nonsense.

Happy Monday!
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Sunday, September 16, 2007

no, I didn't finish my laundry

Oh my, I am in the middle of a loooooong post about James. I got bored with it and now it's time to watch a movie. Back tomorrow, xo.

Friday, September 14, 2007

slow afternoon

My neighbor's niece, Jenna, was supposed to come over and play with James this afternoon but Rachel got roped into watching another little girl so James went over there to play with them. We are going to try switching James & Jenna back and forth on M/F afternoons because they love to play together. (Jenna is 4)
What's my point? James has been gone since 1pm. Lovely! Ruby's been napping the whole time and I have been busy with laundry. My hopes are to finally get caught up with it this weekend. The influx of vacation laundry was too much for me and I fell hopelessly behind, as I previously showed you. Much progress has been made. I am also in the process of washing all the kids' fall clothes because it got awfully cold awfully fast. It's gorgeous, though, I'm not complaining.
Speaking of clothes, this is one of my favorite dresses I got for Ruby last fall.
I am thrilled that it still fits her this year!

And, in case you're worried that you might not see it next year, I've already decided that I'm going to turn it into a skirt when it gets too short as a dress. (I put more pics from yesterday on flickr.)

As for our weekend, Patrick is going on his last dive of the season tomorrow. sigh. I know, the pity party just won't stop around here! I actually think we'll be fine. I can manage another day. I do have kind of high hopes for us...farmer's market in the morning and baking in the afternoon. James loves to help me make bread and I am in the mood for baking it...perfect! I also have to make 3 meals to bring to friends who have had babies, or brought babies home, lately. My hope is to have all of this done so I can go off by myself on Sunday afternoon to deliver everything. (I want to bring them some pumpkin bread, too. This recipe is really so good.) I also really want to get us to church on Sunday. I can't believe how long it's been.

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

dinner time blues

Yesterday was a good day. A very good day. Until dinner time, when it usually goes downhill for us these days.

I am opening my life up to suggestions, if you have any. I feel like I have quite a few different things I could try but I'm not sure which way to go. If any of you have any experience with this I sure would appreciate hearing it. Here's the problem:

James is a beast at dinner time. For the first 3.4 years of his life he ate almost everything. He still does eat a lot of different things, just not at dinner. My first issue is that we never eat as a family anymore. The kids are hungrier earlier than 6:15, when Patrick gets home. I have given them a big snack at around 4:00 and that helps some but it still screws Ruby up to eat so late. Also, honestly, the LAST thing I want to do at 6:15 is sit down and spend another half an hour with my kids. But I would, I suppose, if it all went better. (I am garbled on this...see?) James does eat better when Patrick is here (like he does most everything better with him) but 6:15 is still pushing it, especially on the days he doesn't nap. He's just plain tired and grumpy, wants to play with his dad, not sit and eat. But Patrick still needs to eat when he gets home so the kids are all over him and I just want to escape for 10 minutes and it's sickening. I am frustrated also because I spend this time planning, shopping for and preparing food that gets NO LOVE from James, maybe some from Ruby but she just throws it on the floor if she doesn't like it (she's pickier than James ever was), and gets reheated and eaten quickly by Patrick. (I'm sorry, I'm not even trying to make this very coherent.)

So. I can continue preparing whatever I want and having it ready by 5pm. (I am not really good about the timing right now) Maybe James will be more receptive to whatever it is if it's earlier. I can continue with the line I am taking with him...You have to try what I make. If you don't like it you can have more pasta (always have this on hand) or Yogurt or make your own sunbutter & jelly. If he complains he has to leave the table and go upstairs and I will NOT cook him something else. (Just not a nice atmosphere, though. sigh.) And, I hate that he eats the same thing for dinner that he did for lunch. Is that crazy of me to even care?? (I should add that I get a great sense of satisfaction for cooking & feeding my children good, pretty healthy stuff. It is a challenge for me, with his food allergies, not to sink into a rut of sameness. But, with the current issues, it's very tempting to give in to it. But there is a part of me that very obviously doesn't want to! It's something I enjoy, darn it!)

Pretty much across the board I have heard my friends struggling with this same thing. Seems 3.5 (4 in Dec) is a primo age for eating power struggles...well, just power struggles in general. (but only at dinner! end of the day! tired kids & tired mamas & dadas!) So maybe I should just do whatever is easiest on ME and try to believe that it won't always be this way. I just hate that Ruby isn't getting the same family dinner situation that James always did.

Other options? Just give them pasta every night and cook whatever for Patrick and I to eat later. But that's not really an option. I don't want to not have anything new even available to him. And, I don't really like to eat later. That is SNACK time, not SUPPER time. :)

So now after typing this all out, and re-reading it, I think I should just continue to do what I am doing but have to LET GO of my angst about it. I kind of HATE just giving him another plate of pasta but maybe I do need to just accept it. I will trying having whatever ready by 5pm. And, there are quite a few meals that he will eat so a few nights should not be an issue. (pizza, hamburgers, turkey burgers, sloppy joes, bratwursts, chicken fingers (oven fry), sometimes tacos)

Allright, I am talking in circles and sick of this. You probably are, too! I would love to hear any of your experiences if you feel like sharing. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

behind the scenes: morning

just in case you thought I was kidding

(Remember when I polled you and asked advice on getting rid of James' crib bedding? Good thing I didn't listen! The nights sure are getting chilly now and it's a super soft little quilt that Ruby will be happy to have. (You can see it on the top o' the fleece on one side.)) (It's actually in the washer right now!)

oink oink

Greetings from sunny Wisconsin! It's another gorgeous and slow moving day here at our house. It took me nearly 3 hours to get us to the grocery store this morning. Since then I have been busy digging myself out of a laundry landfill while defending us all from small armies of fruit flies. My kids are both asleep so don't let my sarcasm fool you, I am happier than a pig in, well, than a pig in my basement.

Did you see I posted a few new pics on flickr yesterday? Oh. You did? Allright, well have you seen that I started putting together a "favorites" set on flickr? Go on, that should keep you busy for a while.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

dr. thunder strikes again

Our friend Erik did it again...he completed another huge mural in Bloomington, MN.

It is just AMAZING. Go check it out and don't miss the slide show.

Congratulations, Erik! Hopefully we can see it in person sometime soon.

oh, you guys

I have a wicked bad cold. The kind where your nose runs when you tilt your head down. Uncontrollably. Ruby has it, too. I am almost out of Kleenex. I must admit to using a baby washcloth and one of James' socks today, in emergencies. (my shirt is new.)

James had another great day at school. He wasn't very happy to see me at pick up time but didn't put up too much of a fight. His teachers all thanked me for the snack list & recipes I sent...the director had already printed & passed them out when I got there to pick him up. He doesn't seem to mind having a different snack at all, so that is good. Today he got to eat pretzels with the other kids and just have his own cheese while they had string cheese. Perfect. The two recipes I sent were my two best & easiest muffin recipes that are dairy & egg free and don't have any "special" ingredients. I will be curious to see if anyone makes them...they really are good!

I had a nice morning here with miss rubles. I did discover a couple things: She plays really well by herself and she gets into much more trouble when James is not around. I think when he is here she just hangs out by him...playing next to or with him. When he is not here she is into EVERYTHING. She got up on the table (nothing new, but still) and finished the yogurt he had left behind. She found a pen (one of my favorite fine points!!), pulled the cap off and destroyed the tip, getting ink all over. And, worst of all, she took that elephant he made last week off of my cork board and poked herself with the pin that had been holding it up there. She walked over to me with it, crying. (I know, what was I thinking?) There was no blood or anything, thank goodness. And this stuff all happened while I was within 5 feet of her, just with my back turned. She is stealthy. But, we had fun. What a nice change of pace.

After school we met Kate & Natalie at the playground. It was gorgeous today...66 and sunny with a nice breeze. Loved it!

The rest of our day was pretty typical. I finally got some more laundry done. (you should see my basement is a SEA of laundry.)

Oh yeah, the bookstore was so nice last night. I was only there for an hour and a half but it was just what I had been imagining. (I decided I was tired at 8:30...I am old.) I had a decaf pumpkin spice latte and read through a lot of the new fall magazines. I loved the Martha Stewart Halloween one, it has so many adorable ideas. (you can find a lot of them on her site, too.) I love Halloween now, more than ever. Last year James was a firefighter and Ruby his Dalmatian puppy. Oh, it was so cute. See:
Oh yeah, in gross news: My knees are healing very well, thank you. I still can't put any weight on the left one but it's all scabbed over in a very healthy manner. Our fruit flies have decreased drastically. I put a bowl of watermelon that they had overtaken in our garbage disposal and let it sit. A couple hours later I just turned the water on full blast and the disposal at the same was a violent end for most of them. There are still a few stragglers hanging around but all the food is bagged up or in the fridge so they'll have to live off of whatever crumbs they can find. I expect them to be around for a while, quite honestly.

how collectible are these, dad?

Because I am REALLY in the mood for some chocolate.

My Dad ordered these personalized m&ms to hand out to the high rollers at Barrett-Jackson. He just let us know that the Italien will be lot #1306 on Saturday Jan 19, 2008. (sometime around 6:30pm on the Speed Channel.) Can't wait!

p.s. Sorry about the crappy pic & thanks for sending them, Dad. xo

ruby's tuesday


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