Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I keep thinking I should be folding laundry, packing, sewing, putting my chicken in the crock pot, dancing a jig...something! But I am running in circles. Must stop now. You will help, dear blog. By 11:00am I will have my laundry folded and put away. will check back. xo

UPDATE: It's just before 11 and I have folded and put away the laundry and James & Ruby's clothes are packed.

By 12:30 my goals are to have my clothes packed, the kids fed and the chicken in the crock pot.

UPDATE #2: Okay, now I'm pooped. My clothes are packed, except for what is on the line drying. The chicken is in, the kids have been fed, I took the recycling out and emptied and filled the dishwasher. Ruby is going to take her nap soon and I am going to chill with James for a while. Then, back at it! By 2:30 I want to have the load that just finished drying folded, and most of our toiletries/misc packed or piled up on the counter. Also, I have to call Verizon and cancel our service.

UPDATE #3: Okay, now I'm really pooped. All my clothes are packed and mine and the kids' are loaded in the van along with the pack and play, little high chair, single stroller and some odds and ends. James & I cleaned the van, folded the laundry, and wrapped 2 gifts. I didn't call Verizon but will. Now my goals are to bake some pork chops that I had defrosted, empty the cooler I brought in from the weekend (ick), call Verizon, pack up the dry food that I'll bring along and get the refrigerator stuff in the freshly cleaned cooler. By 5.

FINAL UPDATE: Allright, it's just before 5, I think. I called Charter to order their bundle (cable, phone, internet) so they will cancel Verizon phone service for me. (hello project runway!) The chops are in the oven, the food stuff is together, the cooler is clean and I just looked in the mirror. Oh. Must shower. It is a holiday after all. (so maybe I shouldn't?) We still have to carve a pumpkin. I don't think James will want to trick or treat for too long. He knows he'll have to hand over most of the candy and already got his trade-in gift...a new skateboard. It's v. cute. He's had his helmet on allllll day. I'd show you the pics but I already packed the camera cord. Did I say that I'm tired? I have to get all this done today because Ruby & I have to bring James to preschool in the morning and I don't want to have to come home again before we pick him up.

I wish you a fun Halloween!

I'll be posting tomorrow night as it is the first day of nablopomo. It will probably be about my favorite rest area.


I interrupt this garble to share a few cute things. Ruby tooted while eating her dinner last night. She looked at James & I and said "burp!". We laughed and told her it was a toot, not a burp. A while later she did it again and quickly said "toot!" We laughed and she was very pleased.

When you call her name she answers with "yeah?" just like Patrick does. When you say her name, like when you're right next to her and want her attention, she answers with "what?"

She has been calling, "Babeeeee, whew aaaaaa oooo?" (where are you?) for a week now and I LOVE it. We always say that to each other in a sing song manner and she does it just the same for us now, too. She also jumps out of the closet and says boo.

cousin sarah,

I'll be home Th-M. Why? Can you come?! I'd LOVE to see you. email me. stephaniekg at yahoo dot com . xoxo

p.s. I also want to see my mom, my dad, my brother, jolee, jason, my grandma, aunt kristy, the rest of the mpls fam, and lindsey.

think it will happen? :)


Happy Halloween from James & Ruby!

I have been in denial all week regarding the fact that tomorrow I am bringing the children up to Duluth for 5 days and that Patrick is leaving for San Diego for 7. Today, I am facing my fears and getting it together. My to-do list is a mile long but I have already accomplished quite a few things this morning with the help of ye olde internet. I've held our mail, cancelled and rescheduled a doctor's visit I had scheduled for next Monday, ordered a refill on my prescription (to be mailed to me at no charge), confirmed that a copy of the Cars movie is waiting for us at the library and printed and sent a FREE* 4x6 picture postcard to my gramma using flickr & QOOP.

*If you have a flickr account and have never used QOOP, you get one postcard, created and mailed, free. Fun! Check them out, if you haven't already, by clicking on ORDER PRINTS above your photos on flickr.


I made the most delicious cookies last night. Seriously. They are so good. I was moaning a little as I ate my first one, warm from the oven. James gave me a funny look but when I gave Ruby a cookie she moaned a little, too. Already she knows the goodness of chocolate. I found the recipe at this beautiful blog, Orangette, and made them using Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and plain soy yogurt. Superb.
(this picture reminded me a wee bit of simply breakfast, one of my recent favorite blog finds. go see! mom, I know you'll love her photos.)


I asked James to come and pick out one of his masterpieces to give to gramma for her birthday. He informed me that gramma already has a LOT of stuff and can't she just LOOK at one but we keep it here? haha. He then came up with an idea for a fresh drawing just for her. (And one for grandpa that we so sadly forgot in September.)


Just because she is so awesome, Jessica from scrumdillydilly and scrumdilly-do! sent me this cd of fun & creepy Halloween music. We listened to it right away last night and everyone enjoyed it. It will be extra perfect this afternoon while we are carving pumpkins. (#33 on my list) Thank you, Jessica!


I am not sure yet and don't have time to process this right now, but feel strangely okay with the possibility that it might be true: Ruby may be allergic to dairy. See? She is better today but this happened twice yesterday, after she had milk. Poor bubles. (and, filing this away for later, Benadryl does not make this one sleepy.)


Now I must go drink that coffee and eat those cookies that I set up for that photo. Maybe I'll be back later. (probably!) xoxo

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I finally signed up for this. I needed some direction for myself (for nablopomo, not life in general) and just tonight decided that I would post about one of my favorite things every day in November. It might be a favorite food, person, place, time, child (hahaha), creamer, et cetera. Something I've loved, every day. Are you signed up?

ruby's tuesday

I had a bunch of random stuff to show you but don't have time to right now. I put it all on flickr, instead. xoxo

Monday, October 29, 2007

family fun day (sunday)

We have had so much gorgeous weather lately.

Yesterday was spent hiking out to Picnic Point with firewood, bratwurst & marshmallows. It was perfect and I am loving how my hair still smells like campfire. (although I am going to shower now, finally, at 2:30pm)

The pictures are here...they go onto the second page.

solo saturday (kind of)

I left at around noon on Saturday. Do I have to tell you where I was headed? I didn't think so. I had thought that I was going to have some alone time but as I drove off I realized I had a stowaway. This is Simon Chipotle, you've met him once before. All right, I sighed, you can come.

He turned out to be pretty good company. He was always willing to help and could fit in spaces where I couldn't. He has pretty good taste, too. (ha! get it?!) Seriously, he talked me out of buying these for the kids. I thought they might want to dress up as the 70s for Halloween., and this for Patrick, who did mention he wanted a robe.

I had sue-itis on Saturday and was so overwhelmed by all that was offered that my cart ended up looking like this. Simon talked me out of most of it. This is what I ended up with. I also saw a great idea for a Christmas gift for my mom. Simon was strangely drawn to this tray but I wouldn't buy it for him. It felt wrong.
All in all, it was a great d&s day. I spent $15! That is a LOT for me. I got 4 new pillow forms, a chicken tablecloth (?), an old snoopy sheet that was the same as one that my mom & grandma made into a quilt for me, black skirt for me, cords for me, capris for my ma, cute little sweatshirt for Ruby, new bug t shirt for James, vintage candy box, lots of dishes that I don't really remember because they are still in Patrick's trunk, and a few other clothes that I've already washed and forgotten. Oh yeah, a fleece jacket for a friend's baby and some other baby clothes to donate. Whew. Simon and I dug & saved for over 3 hours. It was very relaxing and almost as good as being alone.
While I was gone Patrick took the kids bowling. Bowling! James loved it and bowled a 61. Ruby liked it fine but was mad because they didn't have shoes in her size.

are you there, blog? it's me, stephanie.

(Ruby & James, all ready for the costume party)

I guess I'll start way back at last Thursday night. Our hero Patrick returned to us at about 7:30pm. James galloped around with happiness and Ruby quietly draped her body over his. They were all sleeping by 8:15.

The following morning was the morning of our Halloween party. Everyone needed a shower so I decided to save some time and bring all 3 of us in together. (daddy was still sleeping or I'm sure he would have stopped me) Let's just say there were lots of tears, mostly from James & Ruby. When it was all over though, James was standing by the door, wrapped in his towel, and said, "I liked that shower. That crying shower." (seriously. I know he's mine but this kid is witty!)

The bars I had made Thursday night (for the party) were crap. They tasted DELICIOUS before baking but then got all dried out, both in texture and taste, even though I had cut the baking time way down. They are crumbled up in my fridge because I hate that I wasted all that Sunbutter & honey. sigh. Anyways, I have no real point here except to let you know that another thing had gone wrong this particular morning.

We picked up some donut holes and a Cranberry Sierra Mist for me (good!) and headed to the party. It started out great. Almost all of us were there, there were lots of delicious snacks and the kids all looked darling. James & Ruby were in their street clothes but I was really fine with that. Vicki had suggested I draw mustaches on them and they could be their evil twins but I never got around to it. Hilarious idea, though. After about a half an hour my pet allergies kicked in and I knew I'd have to take some Benadryl because sneezing all over the buffet table was not in good taste.

I hate taking Benadryl anytime except when I can head immediately to bed. Every time I take it at playgroup I HATE IT, even though it works, and I now have a huge note on my counter to buy some non-drowsy Allegra. That stuff works and it doesn't make you tired...why haven't I bought some?! I took the darned Benadryl and proceeded to get very, very tired. All I wanted to do was sleep. It's hard for me to muster up facial expressions, much less parent, when I've taken that.

The next hour was a slow, painful blur. Ruby started to get tired & cranky but I wanted to stay so James could do the trick or treating portion of the party. As we started passing out treats, Ruby started screaming. She pretty much screamed for the last 20 minutes while I gritted my teeth and tried not to meet the eyes of my concerned friends for fear of bursting into tears. I finally had enough and hauled her out to the van. I was so mad at her but then not really, because I knew she was just tired and needed to sleep so then I got mad at myself and it was just one of those awful times. I went back in the house to get James who was thrilled and didn't seem to mind being hustled out of there so fast because he had a bag full of loot. I got him buckled and we took off for home. Ruby stopped crying almost immediately and fell asleep in about 2 minutes. I called Patrick to see if he was up yet and started sobbing uncontrollably on the phone with him. He just told me to come on home. James had never seen me cry like that (that he remembers) and was so concerned. I told him I was tired and that Ruby's crying had made me really sad. It felt so good to cry, I could have cried for hours, but I gathered myself together and drove us home.

Patrick had the bed all ready for me and after depositing sleeping Ruby in her bed I headed across the hall and crawled into ours. I slept 3 hours. Glorious. When I woke up I went down and curled up on the couch. Ruby had just woken up and was finishing a snack with Patrick. He made us a fresh pot of coffee and we cuddled on the couch until James woke up a little bit later. It was so nice to be back together again.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


(the party which neither of my kids wants to wear costumes to. oh well.)

cookies momentarily forgotten in favor of the sink
telling me his sprinkle action plan
helper (dough eater)
(he's finished!)

*The weirdest stuff just happened with this post but I'm going to leave it as is. tired.

we're doing just fine

This circus should be over by tonight.

Those were Patrick's words, describing this week. He came home Tues night (very late) and slept until 10 yesterday morning. When he came down the stairs Ruby started this very quiet crying...she just didn't know what to do with herself. She saw him Mon night at work but hasn't seen him at home since Sunday night. He said he was going to come home last night but never did. He isn't sick yet and felt pretty good last night at 11:00pm. They are all banding together over there and on the same kind of sink-or-swim high that I've been. (which is a direct gift from God, I believe) Tonight at 6 they box this stuff up and it ships, end of story. whew.

I know God's been taking care of me this week. I've just been in love with my every single thing James says is so cute I should write it down (but I haven't) and they both are just cracking me up. It's been a good week. Great weather, too. (but I do want it to be over now, please.) (I can't keep taking this double dose forever.) (HAHAHA) I have a history of holding it together really well until the last day and then letting things fall apart because I know I can. I'm going to try not to do that today.

I guess things almost fell apart last night at Jo-ann's. There was a loooooong line for fabric cutting and Ruby was very tired. I quietly told James to keep his fingers and arms away from her mouth and decided to try and hang in there as long as we could. The people around us in line distracted Ruby by saying how cute she was and playing peek a boo with her. I prayed no one would bend over and try to touch her while I discussed the building structure with James.

I thought we were golden after our very efficient cutter whipped through my bolts in about 30 seconds and sent us up to the checkouts, me not being really sure what had just happened. Oh no, long lines there, too, but the checkers were in costume and this had Ruby stunned silent. Especially the tiger mask. Can you imagine what she was thinking? heehee.

I ended up getting the rest of the fabric for my kid birthday gifts and James picked out some really cute flannel planet print for himself.

Oh yeah, before I forget, there is no preschool today! Bummer. I think we're going to try a new cut out sugar cookie recipe. All right, I am losing interest in this post. I checked my ever expanding bloglines account before posting and saw that it was chock full of goodness...I'm headed that way now for a little relaxing reading before the kidlets wake up.
p.s. Ruby LOVES to hide and can keep quiet for a loooooong time while we hunt for her. Kind of a scary ability but right in line with her personality.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

my morning is pretty cute

I told Ellen yesterday how I've been wanting to try to make these. I decided to start with this gingerbread boy as they are a bit simpler. (inspiration came from these cuties) I have no stuffing but am coming along with my blanket stitch. I was too tired to get out the sewing machine last night so I figured I might as well cut out a felt cookie. Life is odd.

See my new coffee cup? Love it.

It's gorgeous again so I must get out of my pjs and get us outside. xo

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm going to be a zombie/ruby's tuesday

(and not for Halloween, either.) (Patrick is my Zombie love interest.)

So, Patrick slept over at work last night. He thought working until 3am (his estimate) and driving 30 minutes home to sleep 2 hours and be back by 6 was crazy. Yes, but boo hoo. I miss him. This darn laser ships on Thursday so this will def. be over by then. He did watch the kids for a couple hours while I went to my class last night, that was great. I do want to write more about L&L but not today. I'm nearing zombiness.

I had to drive James to preschool so we all had to get up and out the door by 7:45. Ruby and I stayed in Madison and went to Lazy Jane's for coffee and delicious waffles with berries and cream. YUM. Then we went to the thrift store, then D&S. Then we got James and went to meet K&N at pumpkin patch. GORGEOUS day. I couldn't get James up this morning so I sent Ruby in. She squealed and jumped up on him, waking him right up. He was all put out. "Ruby, I'm doing something," he said. hahaha.

I'm done for now. Time to go call Patrick (not to complain, just to say hi) and James wants some "" (Do you think he's watching too much PBS?) Oh yeah, pics on flickr, help yourself.


Monday, October 22, 2007

we're ba-ack

We managed to do a little bit of everything this weekend and still found time to relax. Patrick told me it would be another busy week for him (late nights) so I took some time yesterday to get caught up on laundry and he helped me pick up the house last night. I got 5 sewing projects cut out (cutting out is the worst part) so I can fit in a little sewing here and there and that always makes me happy. We are in survival mode and I think we're going to be fine.

Jolee wanted a little camo tote bag for her son, who likes to collect clues and such. I had the idea to make it a longer messenger type bag (using the term loosely) and I think it's going to be cute. I have 2 of those ready, one spidey bag, a camo apron and a spidey apron.

The wedding celebration was very nice. They had gotten married on Friday afternoon in a civil ceremony and had this cocktail hour on Saturday to celebrate. There was tons of delicious looking food (roast beef, lobster, tarts) but all we managed to have was a drink because we each had a child clinging to us. Taking the kids to a busy party at their bedtime is not always a good plan. But we tried it and were really happy that we did. The bride and groom were beautiful and gracious and just seeing them made it all worth it. I love those little moments in my life when I've been somehow touched by someone I barely know. Those little moments of contact that make me feel like we're all in this together. Very nice. (I decided to wear my favorite skirt and a new was perfect.)

We were leaving when we ran into a professor of mine that I hadn't talked to in a few years. He and I and another woman in the Spanish class that he taught had gotten to be friends and shared some meals together a few times. I lost touch with them when we bought our house...or rather, waited a really long time to respond to their emails until it was so long that I just felt stupid and then it seemed too long and you know how that goes, right? Anyways, it was fun to see him and his partner. They were heading up to the rooftop of the Monona Terrace for some star gazing party that we never would have known was even going on. It was a beautiful night so we took the kids and joined them.

The first telescope that we came upon was aimed at the moon. We all got to see it close up, craters and all. It had been a while for me and it was so cool. James LOVED it. We also saw the Andromeda galaxy and Jupiter. James impressed them a little when he knew that Jupiter wasn't a star, but a planet, and the largest one at that. Patrick was proud of him. It was sweet.

The kids both fell asleep on the way home and stayed asleep until 1:30, when Ruby woke up requesting a bagel. She settled for yogurt. (new words: yogurt, wash it, back (as in give it back), and more bless you (now after she toots))

James was down for the count. Patrick had taken him mini golfing that morning and then I brought him to a birthday party at Madtown Twisters. Lots of fun.
Last night we went for a long walk, there are some pics here. After the kids went to bed we watched The Pursuit of Happyness. We enjoyed it. (how could you say that you didn't without looking like an ogre?) I would change the title to The Very Long Pursuit of Happyness, though.
This seems like an abrupt ending but my timer (ruby) just went off. xo

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

my crock pot can kick your crock pot's ass

I'll get to the crock pot in a minute.
First, here is the fruit of my morning's labor:

I still have to top stitch around the whole thing. It is reversible and the apron string slides through so it's adjustable. It is a 3-4-5T. I am just not sure how to finish the holes where the string slides through so the inside doesn't come poking out. I'm thinking of ironing on a little fusible stuff? Hmmmm. Any ideas would really be appreciated.

My inner critic noted that the pocket is crooked but like all of my projects, it's for a 4 year old! The seam ripper and I have already had some quality time together this morning so I'm pretty sure the pocket is staying as is. You won't even notice with a little wooden spoon or cookie cutter poking out. I should mention that the pocket was cut from one of Patrick's old shirts. He never wears it but I'm sure he'll come home and moan a little. (unless I hide the evidence...I bet you $50 he'll never notice!) I was going to do some embroidery but thought with all the wear and tear this will potentially get, something sturdy would be better. It's for one of the preppier little buddies in our group...I sure hope he likes it. (he loves to cook)

Speaking of cooking, I was talking to my sister about my crock pot this morning. I cooked a whole chicken in it yesterday and made some stock with the carcass. (what a horrible word to have on my blog) The stock was boiling on LOW and I told her how I should have returned it a long time ago as the settings are obviously mislabeled. It should read "HIGH" and "REALLY FREAKING HIGH." We were laughing and she pointed out that my crock pot could kick her crock pot's ass.

(it's also nice back up for the microwave.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

my weekend lists, just for you

(beautiful photo found here)




dishwasher cubes


garbage bags


pay bills

go to JoAnns (yip, yip)

go to PO

go to birthday party Sat aft

go to wedding Sat eve

finish groc shopping


freeze meat

finish shopping for my outfit tonight, alone, Thank God

cook meals for Patrick's lunches, freeze (chipotle mac & cheese, lasagna, tt hotdish)

blog about:

going up north, what I hope to do

James sounding out words

parents (I have no recollection of what this means even though I jotted it down this morning)

button crafting (calm down, I know it's exciting but you're just going to have to wait)

making me happy

  • I forgot to add a link to Sondra's blog the other day after she won my satchel. I went to check for new posts there this morning and was surprised to find a really nice one all about US! :) Aw, that was fun. Thanks, Sondra. It is so fun meeting new people and I'm just thrilled that she is so excited to be getting my little bag.

  • New artwork from James yesterday. These are monster trucks and they are very special because they are the first drawings he has done of actual things, aside from a couple faces & people. (which I also treasure) I heart them and want to frame them. Oh, and the orange one is a germ.

I have to stop now because Rubes needs me. xo

Thursday, October 18, 2007

cupcakes bad, taser good

OMgosh. I was expecting to pick up James from preschool this morning and instead I got a monster. There was a small episode before we left the building and I didn't think much of it. (even though he was darting to and fro, all wild eyed, with brown crumbs around his howling mouth) On the way to the van I saw two other mothers all but dragging their children along. Hmmmm, now I've never seen that before.

I realized what was going on (un-healthy snack due to birthday festivities) and quickly gave him some milk and almonds. Figuring that would be that, we headed to the grocery store. OMg. At one point I had to buckle him into the "fun" bench cart and was totally resisting the urge to either shake the crap out of him or cuff him upside the head WHILE Ruby pinched my back. (she was in the mei tai, or however the hell you spell it) I cut the trip short, sparing their young lives.

On the way home James was kicking the seat. I pulled over and, while showing empathy and love, ripped off removed his shoes and threw them to set them down in the back of the van. A bit later he unbuckled his car seat. HELLO! Again I pulled over, re-buckled him and told him not to worry. Not choosing to take my advice, he worried all the way home. (mwah ha ha)

Upon arrival I whisked him up to his room and shut the door. He was wailing about wanting lunch and blah blah blah. I quietly unloaded the groceries, fed Ruby and I and got his lunch ready. I brought it up to him (he had calmed down) and told him he was being punished and he had to have his door closed for quiet time. He hates this but knows that if he opens it, I lock it. (haven't had to actually do that for a while. very nice.)

He emerged, with my permission, over an hour later with a whole new attitude. I knew he needed to eat and have some down time until the sugar rush had passed. I've never seen him react like this before but he usually has sweet treats after a meal.
Sadly, there's another birthday next Tuesday. I will be ready this time.
(I'm thinking taser.)

I can't come up with titles for the life of me

The last 2 days wiped me out. I don't like having the kids for 12 hours straight. yuck. But, I do think it's over now and it went really well...just tiring.

I am skipping Titus to chill with Ruby. Ruby who said monster, shovel and rooster this morning. Ruby who is waiting (not so) patiently for me to read her another pile of books.

I love this...little feet padding across the carpet this morning...hi dad! it's a preschool day! His teachers have told me they love when he comes in in the morning because he's just so darn excited to see everyone.

xo p.s. a few paltry pics on flickr, mom. It's the best I can do right now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

our day so far

First of all, Congratulations to Sondra! I had James pick a number and out came #2. I'll email you later for your address. I hope you & the satchel have lots of fun. :)

We are having another lovely day with Ruby napping since 10am. She is sleeping a lot lately, maybe it's all the language bursting around in her head that's making her so tired. This morning she said mailbox, mine, and garbage.

James has a couple classmates with birthdays coming up so we made some little cupcakes today for him to keep in the freezer there. It's good timing because we can also bring a few along for a wedding cake substitute for him Saturday night. If there are any left, I should say. This recipe makes 48 mini cupcakes and 12 regular size...quite a few of the mini ones have already mysteriously disappeared.

It's gorgeous today so we are headed out after our late lunch. I had planned on doing a major grocery shop but I think I will wait until I can go myself or just do one of my shorter stops with the kids. I have to go to 4 places to get everything we need (for the month): Cub, Whole Foods, Woodmans and Trader Joes. I don't really even have my list finished, though, so I should go finish that up. I did plan meals for the month...quite an undertaking but so nice when it's done.

Patrick worked until 3am last night and went back at 7 this morning. He had a laser presentation moved up a week so they are busting their butts trying to get it ready. Turns out that he will have to go to the Neuroscience convention with this laser in a couple of weeks because no one else knows it like he does. sigh. I hate when he has to go but I guess he hasn't had to for a really, really long time. I also guess this means we're going up to Duluth and will happen to be there on my mom & brother's birthday. (did you hear that mom?) So, yay! I am very excited to see my mom & dad and anyone else I can fit in. Ruby is kind of at the worst age for being in non-child proofed homes so I'm thinking we'll stay at my mom's, if that's okay. My Dad's spiral staircase would just be a nightmare.

I was supposed to go out to dinner with my friends tonight but had to cancel. Patrick might be late getting home and will be exhausted even if he is here on time. I am kind of bummed because they are going to Tex Tubb's Taco Palace, a place I've really been wanting to try. Maybe Patrick and I can try it soon if our new sitter works out.

I made the mistake of telling James about Jail this morning. The questions came non-stop for the next hour. I folded laundry and he fired questions at me. What if you stole a calendar from your neighbors house? A lego? How long would you go to jail for? What if you found a key and got out of jail? What do you eat there, how big are the cells, and on and on and on and on. In the beginning of the conversation I assured him that little kids don't go to jail because he looked a little worried. At the end of the conversation he was saying he wished I would go to jail. (nice) I said I wished he would go and he replied smugly from under the coffee table, "But kids don't go to jail, member?"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ruby's tuesday

Ruby attacking something unseen in the first picture and a little stuffed beaver in the second. Her assistant is Sharky. Sharky has been around for years and should really be put out to pasture but Patrick will not stand for it. (He still wonders where Silky, our old blanket, is.) (at the farm, Patrick, at the farm.)


  • Loved the parenting class. Wish Patrick could come. Got name of new babysitter, maybe there is hope. When I got home last night Patrick asked me how it went, what we talked about and really listened to what I told him. It was nice. The whole idea of Love & Logic is to let kids make lots of small mistakes that won't cost them too much while they are young and then they won't make the pricier mistakes as they get older. You are supposed to look at each mistake as an opportunity to help them make a better choice next time. If I can have a few minutes to collect my thoughts I will give you a better description later. (ha!)

  • I did a little shopping after class last night and didn't get home until around 10. I was starving when I got home so I popped a bag of popcorn and brought it up to our bedroom with my new book. Patrick was already reading and minding his own business when I went in to wash up. I came out a couple minutes later and he had a HUGE mouthful of popcorn, his hands were full of it, he was laughing and the bowl was almost empty. Wha?!? Could he really have shoveled that whole bag into his gullet during those few minutes? No. He had poured it into a basket beside the bed but he did have me going for a few minutes. little rat.

  • So, I got the name of another babysitter to try! It's our librarian's daughter and we may call her to come over Sunday afternoon for the first time. How exciting!

  • We are taking the kids to a wedding reception on Saturday evening. I'm looking forward to it but still need to complete my outfit. I did get this shirt for $2.50 last night but I don't think it's appropriate for the wedding. (lots of good deals at Old Navy, folks)

  • Kate is back from Grand Cayman. We got to see them after school today and it was really good. We've had beautiful weather the last 2 days...not sunny but warm and nice...and I've had the kids outside a lot, that makes me happy.
  • (This picture was taken while Natalie was describing one dinosaur eating another one. James thought they all died due to meteors.)

    James and I had an excellent day yesterday. Everything just flowed and I didn't even make him have quiet time. Very nice. There is a little boy in his class who will be just turning 3 on Thursday. Today when we were leaving James patted him on his little blond head and said, "Bye Henry." It was just the cutest thing.

  • Ruby continues to say everything. Some new ones: bless you, amen (before she eats...soooo cute), buckle, off, on, weeeeen! (Halloween), pumpkin, Elmo (I know, I know), lady and milK and booK (with a hard K).

  • James has taken to sliding down the pole in the basement. He loves it but needs more totes stacked (or something sturdier, I said) to reach the very top.

  • Ruby tried the Indian Corn. She didn't like it.

  • I had a vision for changing our living room around and Patrick made it come to life last Saturday. I got home from an afternoon away and this is what I found. I love it! It's not done yet but it's so nice to have that huge entertainment center somewhere else for the first time in 3 years. I should do a post about how I want a new big rug, some new curtains and to finish fixing up my really cool footstool. (but there's not really much more to say so I just saved us all a few moments.)

  • We have been getting our cable at a steep discount for the last 3 years because they never came back to restrict our channels after hooking us up. We were getting regular cable for the basic price. ($20 vs $60) Well, they finally sent someone out and the party is over. We now have the 15 or so channels that we actually pay for and I'm really fine with it. EXCEPT no Mythbusters now and no Project Runway in November. I'm not sure if I can handle that. We'll see.

  • Our regular phone is dead. I wonder if we really need phone service or if we'd be okay with just our cell phones. Do any of you do that? How does it work out?

  • My dad's ITALIEN is on the front page of the Barrett-Jackson site. It's over on the left under Latest News. VERY COOL. He keeps sending me press that people are seeing all over about the car.

I think I have more but, really? Isn't this quite enough? xo

ruby's tuesday

Our alarm clock (Ruby) slept in this morning so we all did. We heard her at 8:02. The boys usually leave at 7:50. There was a flurry of activity and they were out the door 15 minutes later.

I have lots of emails to respond to and a messy house and I'd like to blog a little (a little more than this quick update) but it's Tuesday and it's just Ruby & I here. First, I'm going to make coffee. Then scrambled eggs.

I love Tuesday mornings. The pace is so much slower with only one child...the one child who doesn't (yet) talk constantly.

I'll post her picture a bit later, too.

Monday, October 15, 2007

in the news, here and there

This made me so sad.

James is using some good logic skills. At the bookstore last night we went to the highest point to look for Patrick. James said, "he's wearing blue so I'll look for all the blue shirts." This impressed me...that he is carrying over what we taught him in the I Spy books to real life.

I have to drop out of the book club for now. I signed up for a 7 week parenting class at church that starts tonight. The leader is an awesome speaker and I'm very excited. (It's based on Love & Logic.) Patrick will not be joining me...we decided it would be very bad for Ruby to try and go to bed for someone else right now. (you know, someone else being that nonexistent babysitter that we have) He has agreed to actively listen to all I learn and try new methods with me.

Miss Ruby got up early and then took a morning nap! James & I have had a very nice time together.

Our new church will have a sewing room so you can pop in and do some sewing on their machines at any time, for the different projects they have going on. (blankets and such.)

S: I want to talk about our relationship.
P: Go ahead.


Patrick is going to devise a screening device for my calls to his cell phone. He'll install a anxiety level detector that will measure the stress in my voice and assign it a value between 1 and 100. Anything less than 20 (0 being none) will go right through. We decided these will probably be my "Please bring home some milk" calls. Anything over 20 will automatically go to voice mail. Any calls between the hours of 5pm and 6:15pm will automatically go to voice mail and then be automatically deleted.

heeehhehehehehehehhehee. See? funny. xoxoxo

okay, more later.


satchel, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

This is a modified tote from Amy Karol's bend-the-rules sewing. I think I bent them a little too far as this turned out half the size I intended and a totally different shape. :) I love the colors and fabric but it's not really my style. It is kind of small (about 8"high). I would love someone to have it who might use it. Please leave me a comment, with your email if it's not in your profile, and I'll pick a name on Wednesday. You can see a photo of the inside here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


  • Why doesn't my library have this book? Seriously. I want to know.
  • Did you hear the girl version is coming out soon? I see these books in our future.
  • I first saw this and thought she was branching out. Oh no. It's a memoir. (good gravy) (30% homemade gravy)
  • I always look forward to his books even though he scares me a little. I think he is hot.
  • My uncle shoved one of these up my bum when I was a baby. (he's only a year or so older, not some perv.)
  • I think this will be a fun read. I like to read these books and feel all alternative for a little while and then quietly go back to my coffee & playgroup.
  • These dolls just don't scream fun to me. Scary, yes. Fun, no.
  • I'm really looking forward to reading this one.
  • One of my writing professors once compared me to him, based on a slightly off color limerick I wrote.
  • Only 2 other people have requested this so far. That kind of surprises me. I thought I was the only one who didn't like Fear & Loathing. Of course, I've never seen it or read it but it bothered me, none the less. I do want to read this book, though.
  • Bobby Flay's got nothing on Picasso. Who knew?
  • 84 others are ahead of me for's local, you know.
All right, I'll stop now. Can you tell I was at B&N this weekend? Both online and in person...I got loads of new books for my library hold list. Back tomorrow...good night!

Friday, October 12, 2007

i love them

James is standing on his plastic kitchen shooting a Lightning McQueen car off of the top of it. One particularly powerful blast sends the car clear across the room. Ruby, who is hiding behind the curtains nearby, pounces. She grabs the car and runs to her favorite hiding spot behind the chair where I am sitting, trying to enjoy my coffee.

James freaks out and demands that I get it. No, I tell him, you need to ask Ruby yourself. He crawls behind the chair and asks her nicely to give it back. She squeals. He yells. The chair shakes as they wrestle. The sounds are something like you'd hear at the zoo...I'm thinking shrieking monkeys. James emerges victorious.

A second later Ruby rushes out, red faced, and throws her stuffed chicken at me. NOOOOOOO, she yells.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

things I don't want to forget v. 628

J: I am funny. I am the funniest guy Ruby knows.

J: Mom, can anyone borrow Ruby for a while so I can have a bow and arrow? (we had told him no because Ruby is too small)

J: Do you know you are a living thing, mom?

J: Is that guy in the sleigh Jesus?


Ruby is suddenly saying just anything she wants. Today I've heard: jacket, hat, door, shoe, sock, bye bye, no, baby, bear, apple, off, help, PLEASE (yay!), thank you, light, no, dada, jay, mama, uppa, milk, nurse, all done, train, puppy, no and no.

She is suddenly in love with these 2 naked babies we have laying around here and calls after them all day, "BAYBEE! BAYBEE!" I got her a little plastic (made in the USA) (probably the only one of their toys that is) carriage at D&S today and she is loving it. I think I want to get her all the doll stuff for Christmas. Annie said she can use her old wooden cradle and I would love a wooden high chair. (for a doll)

Okay, that's it for now. I have many, many other very important things to tell you but right now I am making pumpkin cookies. The results aren't final but they are looking to be pretty darn tasty.

a food meme

Darcy at Minnesota Mama tagged me for this fun food meme. You are supposed to take each letter from your blogging name and give a little food fact to go with it:

S is for Spotted Cow beer...a local favorite

T is for Tatertot comfort food, so good (I add ground beef and a can of corn.)

E is for egg-free cookies...I can't wait to try these ones

P is for pumpkin waffles...Oh, how I love them. This recipe will be served this weekend.

H is for hot chocolate. Patrick and I love a cup of hot chocolate on chilly winter evenings.

A is for local Ancora Coffee...d'Oro is my favorite brew of theirs.

N is for Nutella. I found this recipe to try making your own.

I is for ice cream, definitely my favorite treat. mmmmm...turtle sundaes.

E is for fried egg sandwiches. There are so many people in my life who can just whip up a really good fried egg mom, my dad, my sister and my husband. How lucky am I?

Now the rules say I have to tag 8 goes...

Holly at Marathon Bird
Jude at The McJude Blog
Erin at Bluebirdbaby
Sarah at The Misadventures of Mama and Jack
Linda at Ribbon Rock Star
blackbird at Say La Vee
Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker and
Jules at Go Fly a Kite

Like Darcy said, no pressure! I know everyone is busy out there. :)


I have such fond memories of last fall. Ruby was just a squeezable little lump of smiling goodness and James was still napping regularly. Ah, it was a good season.

And, oh yes, I started blogging! One year ago today I wowed blogland with my very first post...all about Magic Erasers. (I had since used that post as a place to store photos so this morning I restored it to its' former glory.) You can see the rest of my first month here, if you're interested. It will probably all be new to you unless you are my mom, my sister or Jules. :)

I don't have time to wax poetic on blogging but I will say that it has become such an important and fun part of my life. I love recording our days here and I love reading about yours. xoxo

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


(photo by roboppy on flickr)

I have had this little dream for a while and let myself wander over it again tonight while I was putting Ruby to bed. I would love to sell dairy/egg/nut free baked goods. My first thought was the Madison Farmer's Market but they have a 3 year waiting list. Actually, I might be ready to give it a good shot with 3 years prep time but, honestly, I'd probably lose interest by then. The Hilldale market goes indoors for the winter and they are always looking for more vendors. The cost is only $30/booth for a Saturday. That would definitely be something I could try BUT, and this is the big catch, I need licenses and such. I guess lots of residential areas aren't zoned for commercial baking...I'll have to make some calls and find out if it's even a possibility.

I know how it feels to not find anything that James can have, bakery wise, at the market and other places. There is something about munching on a fresh baked muffin or cookie that I would love to be able to share with him. (outside of our home) I would love to see restaurants all over with a small selection of allergen & gluten free treats for those who need them. Of course, I have no knowledge in gluten free baking and I think soy free would be very challenging so I would stick to the top 3 allergens, which we happen to deal with, dairy, egg and peanut. I wouldn't use tree nuts either, but would use some sunflower seeds & Sunbutter. These treats would also be Vegan which could be an additional selling point.

My original little dream was to have a truly child friendly coffee shop...with a gated play area...that catered to those with food allergies. That seems daunting right now but maybe this smaller scale baking would be a good place to start. I just love that I have found some really good recipes over the last few years and it would make me really happy to be able to provide them to a child who couldn't otherwise have anything. (except honey and fresh fruit, which is nothing to sneeze at, but you know...) I actually get a little teary thinking about it. It's that same thing...we all want our kids to be able to enjoy the little pleasures in life and to know they are safe at the same time.

Okay, I know this is going all over the place but I wanted to get it all down before I talked myself out of it.

Here are some recipes I know I could make well:

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Applesauce Muffins, PumpkinApple Muffins, Pumpkin Bread, Chocolate Cupcakes. I have some great cookie recipes, too. Vegan/Allergen Free Holiday Cookie Plates...AHHHH! Can you imagine?!


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