Thursday, January 31, 2008

food stuff

  • I ended up using this mustard bbq recipe yesterday and it was pretty good. We ate the ribs with applesauce and it was a nice balance to the tang of the sauce.
  • Patrick has been buying these $3 cowboy cookies at Barriques a few mornings a week. Along with a cup of coffee, this is adding $6 to his daily expenditures. Last night I tried this recipe and they turned out sooooooo good. We were out of milk and it was heartbreaking to be eating them fresh out of the oven with no milk. The recipe makes a double batch so cut it in half if you don't want to be baking for hours. I cut down on the sugar and used 1/2 whole wheat flour with no ill effects. (I didn't cut down on the chocolate chips so that helped.)
  • I love pomegranates. I had never had a fresh pomegranate in my home before I bought the ones in Arizona. They arrived in good shape so I did a little research and removed their seeds in a bowl of water. Oh man, they are delicious. Or, they were delicious. They are long gone. Ruby and I ate all of them. Patrick tried them but wasn't thrilled and James said he'll try them when he's 5. They were particularly good sprinkled over the coconut lime cake I made last weekend.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

they're all grown up


T_Aat_the_zoo.jpg, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

A big congratulations to Thomas & Erin, who closed on their very first home yesterday afternoon! Woo Hoo! I am so happy for you guys and can't wait to come and see it.

Easter, right? xoxo

(p.s. that's Annie & Thomas in the picture, fyi)

happy new year!

(she's a beauty, eh?)


I don't think I told you guys, but my new year has just begun.

Patrick and I were not getting along the best yet on Jan 1st and then once we were, we all got sick and then it was time for my trip. So my new year just started and I am loving it.

I have some goals and such but don't have them organized enough to get them down yet. A few good things that are goal related:

  • Patrick & I have a goal of moving closer to his work by the summer of 2010. We have some financial & current home goals to meet before selling & moving, the financial ones first. They are holding a budget & finance workshop at our church on the 16th of February (all day) and we get to go! Zoe generously said she'd watch J&R but would prefer to do it at her house. (understandable since she has a 6 month old who likes those things called naps.) Kate also said she'd do it and would come over here so we asked her to. Ruby will nap here and that will be nice for all involved. Anyways, Patrick and I have always had a rough budget but tend to freely spend whatever is left. We are doing some things that I am proud of us for but also have some habits that I'm not so thrilled with. I hope doing this together will join us in our efforts to reach that goal of moving.
  • Speaking of spending, I got a new crockpot! Remember my old one that was so hot? Well, Patrick took it apart to fix it and saw that the wiring was BAD. I should have returned that thing after the first time I used it. Thank God we never had a fire. PSA: If a small appliance isn't working please get it checked & fixed before you use it again! (I'm sure everyone knows this already but sometimes there are these little ruts, right?)
I guess I have to go. I am making some ribs for dinner and need to go find a recipe for BBQ sauce.

xo

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I loved it.

I love cowboys. I love the sound of horses trotting. I love westerns. I love Russell Crowe. I love Christian Bale. I love the name Will. I love men and how they are. I love that my husband is one of these great male creatures. I love a good movie. I love 3:10 to Yuma.

not by bread alone, but close

(photo from allrecipes.com)


I like to buy the Alexia Classic French rolls when our budget permits. Last week they had 2 bags of the Pillsbury Whole Wheat dinner rolls for the same price as one bag of the Alexia. I tried them and we love them. They bake up quickly and have a high crust to soft inside ratio that I love. They do have some HFCS in them but sometimes a dietary sacrifice is unavoidable. (okay, not really, but I lie to myself sometimes.) I am slightly disturbed that even the "healthy" brands of whole wheat bread that we buy have HFCS.

I've wanted to bake the no-knead bread ever since last winter and now I want to try the chocolate version. I also think I'm going to try this basic whole wheat recipe, substituting olive oil for the melted butter. Maybe this weekend. Patrick may be ice diving on Sunday and baking bread sounds like a nice, relaxing thing to do with the kids. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Maybe if I was drunk.

Did I just say that out loud? Anyways, we had those rolls for dinner tonight, that's what started this bread rampage. James cut up all the potatos for the sausage & corn chowder that accompanied the rolls. I couldn't tell him they were for a chowder or soup, though, or he wouldn't have eaten it or helped me. I said the water was just used for cooking and then only put the chunks of potato, sausage and corn on his plate. He fell for it! ha! The warm little rolls helped.

stephanie & james


stephanie & james, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

1. me & my brest friend, 2. First Walk Mom, 3. 6 wk appt, 4. me and mom, 5. so tired from caving, 6. home sweet home, 7. xoxoxoxo, 8. Untitled, 9. cambridge park

patrick & james

Monday, January 28, 2008

Increase your log size today!

Um, I'm not sure I want to.

babysitters rock

(random photo of frozen rocks taken up the North Shore in January of 2002)


So, how goes the Monday? Ours is good so far...we went to Elijah's birthday party and had a nice time. Zoe made delicious soup for lunch and some really good cake. She made the crazy cake recipe with no cocoa and just added more vanilla...it was really good. The chocolate crazy cake is so easy and it's good to know that it can be vanilla just as easily.

Last week we were at Heidi's for Odin's birthday and she had some yummy chili and then made 2 cakes, 1 regular and 1 crazy cake. Wasn't that sweet? We do have the best friends. I am sad all these birthday parties are over because I was loving all the lunches. :) We were talking today about how excited we all are for spring...to just go to a park?! That will be so nice. I am actually not chomping at the bit quite yet but will be in another month.

James is in his room with the door closed as a consequence for driving me crazy on the way home. Oh man, he would just not stop talking! Ruby woke up when I moved her to her crib and I was just like, nope, you're going back to sleep little girl. Thank God she did.

I don't have a lot of time to blog right now. I was up early again today but am using most free time for pesky little tasks because I have a lot of them. They are simple as in "write kindergarten testing date on calendar" but there are many. It's nice when they go quick so you can cross them off. Some are longer, like taxes, but I enjoy those so it's no biggie.

We had a really nice weekend. I got to meet Susan on Saturday morning to pick out some fabric and then got groceries, stopped at an antique mall and went home for the rest of the day. I hadn't been to an antique mall forever and it was fun. All it does, though, is make me long for a flea market. I am definitely getting a good flea market in this summer. On Sunday we went to church, came home for naps & playing outside and then Patrick and I had dinner and went to the bookstore last night. The kids love Kelsey and I love how she really plays with them and always has the house clean when we get home. We leave it clean and I know it doesn't stay clean for 3 hours on its' own. Very nice. Patrick wanted to pay her a little more last night, which was a little more than I'd like to set the bar at, but since he doesn't have strong opinions on too many things I try to go with it when he does. She seemed happy and said to call her anytime. She's coming back tonight.

kidding. have a good afternoon. xoxo

sweet dreams


2 little monkeys, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

Ruby is the kind of girl who goes to bed easily, if she is not sick or teething, after showing first signs of tiredness. She will ask to give Daddy a kiss at about 7:15 which means she is ready to go night night. It's all very sweet and I am very grateful, blah blah blah. Luckily we learned this about her when she was a baby after struggling to get her to sleep and realizing that she was way overtired.

Kelsey came over yesterday afternoon to watch the kids for a few hours. James & Ruby had both had long naps so we told her to put Ruby down if she seemed tired but otherwise it was fine for her to stay up. We got home at 8 and by the time we started bedtime it was 8:30. At 9:30 Ruby was still up and hollering for me to come back in and hold her. (for the 4th time)

Patrick was downstairs (he's trying to fix his old lap top for me!) and I didn't want to bother him (I really want a lap top and wireless!) so I got Ruby and asked if she wanted to lay down in James' room. James was still awake and thrilled with this. He scooted over and we all laid down, with Ruby in the middle. By this time they were both pretty tired and a little shocked, I think, that I had done this. James kept leaning over and checking Ruby's eyes to see if she was still awake. Ruby was just laying there twirling her hair with a slightly puzzled look on her face. At one point he asked me permission to tell Ruby the parts of her body. I agreed, as did Ruby, and he began with the femur. "This is your femur, Ruby. It's really strong and doesn't bend even when you bend your leg." (cute & who knew he knew what a femur was?!)

They finally fell asleep at around 10. I eventually dozed off and woke up at 11:30 to go back to our bed. Patrick was just coming upstairs for bed and wasn't really sure what had happened. I saw when I got up this morning that he had done all his little protective measures like shutting the upstairs gate, leaving bathroom light on, lots of pillows on the floor by Ruby's side (even though James' mattresses are on the floor) and propping his door wide open. Sweet.

I've always wanted them to sleep together, it just seems so cozy. I don't want them to badly enough to sleep with them myself, so this is perfect. haha. I'm sure this isn't going to happen regularly but it was really good last night. I loved laying there listening to the sound of both of them breathing. sweet dreams.




*photo from a long time ago. a new charger is on the way from hong kong as I type. yay!

Friday, January 25, 2008

guess what? it's friday!

I have my luggage back! Yay! I love my new shoes, the kids like the puzzles & vintage little people I brought them, and I have a ton of laundry to do. Life is good.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and decided to get out of bed like I used to. The internet wasn't working so my original plan of paying our bills was canceled. Instead I sat down with a bunch of cookbooks, a cup of coffee and a notepad, making my grocery list for this week. Very nice. I am contemplating taking the kids this afternoon but also might just go myself tonight. It's really cold out, I guess.

My SIL just sent me an email saying the hotel we stayed at in Vegas was on fire, and not in a good way. (not funny but the way she put it made me giggle)

I also got a $150.00 fee waived from US Cellular last night and all it took was lots of patience and 45 minutes. I think that's worth it.

I should take a moment to record how fabulous Patrick & the kids were while I was gone. He never once complained to me on the phone or tried to make me feel one bit guilty about going away. I heard they spent their time playing hide & seek (Ruby is covering her eyes and counting 1-2-3 alot) and building super forts.

I came home to a clean house, half of a clean basement (they even washed the floors down there), no laundry or dishes...he worked hard. I tried to get him to admit it's exhausting but all he would say is that 2 is a lot harder than 1. heehee. He did say I can do it again. I want to get away every year...either by myself (with family, just no kids) or just him & I (this summer, mom & dad?).

It felt so good to just be me for 4 days. Of course I am always a mother and all of that but to not have to think of anyone else was so refreshing. I loved it! I felt like so much like my old self....in a way that I just can't seem to get to when I know I am going home at the end of the day. It's hard to explain. Do you know what I mean?

I could go on but miss bubles is stirring and I still have to take a shower. Have a good weekend! xo

decisions, decisions


we made it, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

We started out like this (there were a few missing this baby food making day), roughly 4 years ago.

Today the emails are flying back and forth deciding what to do about the 25 birthdays/parties/gifts ahead of us in 2008. (2 in the ovens now)

How blessed (and fertile!) are we to have to make these decisions.

thunderbird italien (and us) at barrett-jackson





Thursday, January 24, 2008

another post with no pictures but it does have a happy ending

Still no luggage. I bought new mascara today. (that cool kind they are advertising with the orange plastic brush...)


Okay, I stopped writing this to go call United call center in India and see about my luggage AGAIN. blah, blah, blah, not sure bag is there but probably is, blah blah blah, airport won't call you most likely, blah blah blah, sorry, blah blah, just go get it. and on and on. I gave up and said okay. (nasty letter to United coming together in my head while I hang up.)asiusi9o7uw98w7uisyy9wwa7210913` (that was James but my sentiments exactly)

I came downstairs to cool off (literally, it's freezing down here) and read a couple other blogs and the phone rings. It's a nice guy named Matt from United/Madison who is having my bags delivered tonight, free. (which is what United/India said would NEVER happen, not in 100,000,000 years) Matt is all like, no problem, they'll be there in a while. ?!? I told him I've been trying for days to get a straight answer and my bags delivered (there is more to this story but it is boring) (unlike this thrilling part, right?) and he asks if I've been talking to India, saying they have no power to make any decisions like this. Argh. I had called Madison/United and left 3 messages but Matt told me they don't return passenger calls unless they get a priority call from India. (which I was told they left on Tues morning.) Anyways, I get all my crap tonight and don't have to drive 45 minutes each way to get it! Yay!

(My Lesson: So, you see, call center can't decide whether United will deliver your bags for free or not so don't listen to them if they tell you no. But, you do need them to call your airport with PRIORITY flag if you want airport to call you themselves, IN MY EXPERIENCE. And, since I was finally put through to a Supervisor at call center today, which I had requested but been denied on my previous 3 calls, I think they are the only ones who can give you the holy PRIORITY flag. So, keep calling until you get a supervisor!)

So, how are you? xoxo

this just in! Ruby still sweet!

My daughter was mostly just horrible while she was sick and her ears were infected. Understandable but still awfully hard to live with.

I had forgotten how sweet she is! Aw, my little Ruby is back. munch munch.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

more barrett-jackson tales

  1. I had the most delicious buckwheat waffle at The Breakfast Club. I must find a recipe for buckwheat pancakes or waffles. Anyone have one?
  2. I was excitedly telling anyone who would listen how my dad sewed the seats for this car by himself. These guys that were hanging out by the car talking to us (restorers themselves) were like, "you should keep that on the down low" I guess it would have been better if they were made in Italy or something but I was so proud of him. :) (they were mostly joking with me) (my dad had this info all over his website, too)
  3. Our room at the Motel 6 was the size of a large cracker box. We did plenty of laughing in that room and didn't realize how un-soundproof the walls were until we heard our neighbor say goodnight to someone, clear as day. oops.
  4. A probable mobster offered to throw Annie's duffle over the railing to us when we were packing the car. Annie noted that he seemed awfully comfortable with this action and had probably done it a few times before.
  5. The day after the auction a couple random people mentioned the Italien in conversation. It was so fun to say it was our dad's!
  6. A girl at the auction asked us which car we were there with. We answered and tried to describe it. As we walked away we realized that each of us had the car on our t-shirts and the sweatshirts over our shoulders. duh.
  7. Barrett used the Italien on their advertising before the auction, their official auction T Shirts, and on some of the parking passes and bidder/seller passes. That was pretty cool...to see so many people walking around with it on them.
  8. Andrea forgot to pack underwear and a few other things for the trip. We walked into Target on Saturday morning and she was like, "Should I get a cart?" Um, no. We are not shopping at Target while we are in Arizona. (we went to goodwill instead) (that's how we roll)
  9. Scottsdale is clean and beautiful. I love the rock/cactus landscaping & mosaics along the highways and how everything is built low profile so as not to disturb the mountain view. It does make it hard to find stuff but it is so pretty. It's not like Madison where you can see the Target sign (&spotlight) from across town. (thanks to Kate for that joke)
  10. My Uncle Larry said Mark, one of my dad's friends (and sometime buyer/seller) who was there, had more balls than a bowling alley. hee, thought that was funny.
  11. The Motel 6 had these bizarre tiny stairs going up to the second floor where our room was. They were spaced very close together which made it really hard to walk up them. It took hours and usually resulted in us peeing ourselves with laughter by the time we made it.
  12. We really, really loved the Tonto National Forest and plan on going back for sure. Here are some flickr pictures from other people.
  13. On Friday night Annie & I were sitting by the car eating some Ben & Jerry's. (I had some coconut kind that had lots of shredded coconut.) (this is important later) I looked over my shoulder and it was JOHN SCHNEIDER with an older gentleman. I had a mouth full of ice cream so I tried to get it down while getting out my (dad's) camera and telling Annie who it was. (she didn't care, I was thrilled!) I got a blurry picture (you'll see it later) and said hi. He looked right at me, said hello, and gave me the nicest smile. He said they had been looking at the car from the VIP area for a long time and had to come and check it out. I told him our Dad had restored it and spit coconut all over. (Annie said this wasn't obvious but she might have been being kind.) He said the gentleman was his Dad and then the Dad came over to Annie & I and said (our) dad's daughters were as beautiful as the car. I said something and coconut came flying out again. Smooth. Really smooth. Anyways, Bo seemed so nice and gave us a genuine smile. I wanted to gush about how much I loved the Dukes but I didn't have to, I'm sure he could see it in my eyes.

**************************

That's it for now. I still don't have my luggage. As of this morning one piece is in Madison at the airport and the other is still in Chicago. I had to take a bus back to Madison on Monday night due to bad weather and canceled flights. I want my stuff! (my shabby chic duvet, that blue's clues puzzle, 5 lbs of limes & oranges, 2 pomegranates (I know, I know), a few rocks, some cactus carcass, clothes for ruby, that cactus cookie cutter, the desert colored candied popcorn, my new Born sandals that I got on sale, some cowboy fabric (I'll make my own souvenir t-shirts, thank you very much), some dessert sauce, adorable party picks and my mascara. We went to Odin's birthday today and I felt so naked without mascara. sigh. It was so fun to see our friends again, though. A good morning.

I have to go defrost a lot of meat so I can make dinner. My kids didn't really love the build your own bowl of oatmeal bar that I set up last night. ha!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

one giant list for mankind

I'm not sure if you've noticed but I have this horrible habit of wanting to post about things, saying I'm going to post about things, and then never posting about them. I could go on and on and on about this trip, because it was THAT perfect, but instead I've prepared a list of things that I wanted to remember because they were A) very important (to me and those involved) or B) very funny or C) some other reason.

So, here goes, in no particular order. (because I was a little drunk when I started this list)

  1. Annie asked for an ice water along with her coffee at Starbucks. The barrista (?) called it out like a coffee, "Iced Grande Iced Water for Andrea." ? I'm like, "Iced grande iced water?" to the guy and he gave me a dirty look. We cracked up.
  2. Dad told us the restaurant was up ahead, the one with the green light. We get up ahead and the sign says MORTUARY. Annie says, "I'm not eating anything from there, Dad."
  3. We LOVED the store Sur La Table. Loved it.
  4. After eating our mexican meal, Andrea said my plate looked like the Arizona landscape, with all the brown (beans and rice) and green (guac). Then she said, pretending she was our server, "Were you sick or can I wrap that up for you?"
  5. Her and I are dumb and dumber. for sure.
  6. she thought LOL meant Lots of Laughs. HAHAHAHA. LOL. ROFLMAO. (figure that one out, seester.)
  7. My uncle Larry said there are 3 types of people in Minnesota. Those that can add and those that can't.
  8. As I started making this list, Andrea kept being funny. I said, "The memories! They just don't stop!" She said, "Yes they do, that's why you have to write them down."
  9. At the airport Dad called. He said, "We're coming down that escalator right now!" I'm like, okaaaaay. (seeing no escalator but whatever) He called back a little while later after discovering he was in a different terminal.
  10. Me & Annie spooned and realized we liked it. Why didn't we spoon sooner?
  11. We took a wrong turn (cough Dad! cough) but ended up in the GORGEOUS Tonto National Forest. We stole some dead cacti parts and hollered for dad to open the trunk as we ran up out of the desert with them. I also peed in the national forest and we were surrounded by snake holes at one point. (I did not pee in a snake hole)
  12. We often liked to wander off totally in the wrong direction when going back to the car. At the swap meet on Sunday morning we were walking out to meet Dad & Mari and heard Dad yelling for us. He was by the car, way on the other side of the lot.
  13. Mari asked my dad, over and over, "Have they always been like this?" *It's important to note here that I only had ONE alcoholic beverage on this trip (a delicious margarita) but often seemed drunk. (It's called HAVING SO MUCH FUN.)
  14. Annie was my co-pilot and caught lots of red lights for me. It was the elevation or the SO MUCH FUN.
  15. Dad is cuckoo for Coco's stuff.
  16. I woke up Sunday morning and couldn't believe we had eaten our last 3 meals at Coco's.
  17. We celebrated his phenomenal sale at Coco's Saturday night. (actually, they have very good steak.)
  18. Annie thought Dad asked us to go walk around Old Towntown when he had really said Old Downtown. She went around asking our other family members if they wanted to join us at Old Towntown and said we would be happy to go see Old Towntown.
  19. Ronan would say something funny while on the phone with Andrea and then pause so she could relay it to me. (how quickly he's learned how we operate)
  20. My friend Vicki DVR'd the auction for me and Jason called to say he had 2 people taping it as well. Very sweet.
  21. My friend Neelone happened to be in Scottsdale this week and came to the auction Saturday night. After we came off stage she fought her way to the front to say hi and congratulate us. That was very cool.
  22. My Dad set a WORLD record for the highest Thunderbird sale EVER.
  23. Even though the Italien did so well, this was kind of a bad year for sellers. Did you notice the auctioneers saying, "COME ON PEOPLE, this is a MILLION dollar car!" Ah, the world of no reserve can be pretty nerve wracking. They really pushed the bidders for every last dollar. No wonder, they get 18% of every final bid price! (10% from buyer, 8% from seller)
  24. We scored front row seats on Friday night. This was so exciting. We were right there to see our Uncle Ray's car sell.
  25. A couple different times Annie and I ended up in places where we totally should not have been. Like, almost on the stage when it wasn't our turn or right next to the car with Patrick Dempsey in it. heehee.
  26. A: Is that Patrick Dempsey?
S: (looking at this kind of chubby guy in an old sweater) No. (like, duh!)
A: (a minute later) Steph. That's Patrick Dempsey.
S: what? (I look to where she is pointing, to the car right in front of us, and we bend over to look in the window.)
A: Hi. Can I take your picture?
PD: Sure. (he smiles, she takes picture, we walk away with our mouths open.)
A: (with tears in her eyes) I can't believe I just talked to Patrick Dempsey.
27. Our uncle's step son almost bought a car on Saturday night when all he meant to do was congratulate the auctioneer assistant on the last high sale he had helped with. (note to self: do not make sudden hand movements at auctions)

28. We open our trunk at the hotel to find it full of wood and fruit. (oh yeah we bought a lot of produce at the swap meet.) Annie yells, "Who put all this wood and fruit in our car?!" I yell, "No, not wooden fruit, that's in the other bag." (I bought the kids some paper mache veggies from Mexico. (did you have to be there for that one?) (for all of these?)
29. I really didn't have to say anything that I felt or needed on this trip. Every time my sister said something it was what I had just been thinking. It was strange. We also sigh/sniff/snort/talk in sync a lot.
30. I had to tell her to stop doing funny stuff because I was sick of writing it down.
31. There were 5 of us in the car when Annie drove it up on the block. We were the Italienettes. And people liked us.
32. People are very serious at auctions, before, during, and even after, the gavel hits. We were not so serious before, during or after. We don't have poker faces, I guess. We were the only ones in the staging area laughing like hyenas, talking to everyone and having a blast. Many, many people stopped and commented on it. We did not act cool on stage AT ALL. As soon as I knew my Dad had broken even I started smiling. And then, with every 25K I would smile at him and rub his shoulder. HAHAHAHA. Lots and lots of smiles. (Our lips were stuck to our teeth so kind of we had no choice for some of them.)



Okay, I have to stop now because I'm cold. Both of my kids are sleeping, how luxurious. I have more for my list and I promise, with God as my witness, that I will finish it. My pictures will come soon from my dad, Annie and my Aunt Marlene.
xoxo

home again, home again

So here I am, back in Wisconsin. yawn, I'm tired. And kinda cold. My little trip was everything it should have been and more. It was incredible to be there with my dad (and sister, and Mari, and Marlene and Larry and Ray and Travis and Jim and Jim and Mark.) Uh, yeah. He had quite an entourage for this event...it was awesome. And $600,000.00!!! cha ching! Way to go, Dad!!!!! (and way to go, Don Williams!) (the high bidder)

I, of course, have boatloads more to say. But right now there is a particular little red head who needs squeezing. (my little brown head, as James calls himself & me, is at preschool.)

But first I just have to say there are some beautiful shots of the car on Autoblog if you're interested.

Also, I talked to BO DUKE (John Schneider for those of you who aren't Dukes of Hazzard fans) and my sister talked to DR MCDREAMY (Patrick Dempsey for those of you who aren't Grey's Anatomy fans.) That was neat.

I'll be back! xoxo

Thursday, January 17, 2008

thunderbird italien auction info & my usual blathering

The Thunderbird Italien Concept Car is auction lot #1306 and will be crossing the block at Barrett-Jackson at around 6pm cst on Saturday, January 19th. This is approximate, any time you check the Speed Channel's coverage it will show you what lot # they are on up in the corner. It doesn't always go exactly in order, as all cars are not televised, but should go pretty much in order.

My sister and I just talked and agreed that even though neither one of us sounds very excited, we both are. I called her earlier today to see what magazines I should get at B&N and she was on her way to B&N to get magazines, too. We'd hate to have 2 copies of the latest US...what a waste of funds.

I can't believe that I get to get off of a plane in Chicago tomorrow morning and she will be waiting at my gate. Then we get to hang out for a while (squeal over the fact that she is engaged and her ring) and fly to Phoenix together. My dad & his girlfriend, Mari, will meet us at the airport in Phoenix. We'll pick up our car, follow them to the hotel, and then head to the auction to watch my uncle Ray's car (Lot #1071, Thunderbird convertible) sell tomorrow night. My aunt & uncle, Marlene & Larry, will be there along with my dad's good friend, Jim.

*********

I decided not to go to the crafty night last night because I was feeling so lousy. Around 5pm James started complaining that his ear hurt. Lots of howling ensued. (how odd to have an older child who can tell you that his ear hurts.) I brought him to a 7:15 appointment at Urgent Care where they found he had an ear infection. sigh.

I'm so tired of this cold! This never ending cold that so many of us in Wisconsin have. Is this anywhere else, this never ending cold? I hope not. I'm glad that all these doctor visits & vomiting & fevers happened while 2 parents were around and really hope that Patrick and the kids will have a good, uneventful weekend. He is going to be alone here with them as we told my mom she didn't have to come all this way for a couple days. Ruby goes to bed for him really well, he has a very sweet system for her, so they'll be fine.

It's the end of the day now and I am super tired and kind of overwhelmed...I haven't even started packing. Eh, who cares? I'd go in my pajamas if it came to that. :) They have Target there.

There have been a few very nice things today. Kate is back from their cruise and I got to talk to her for a long time this morning, Zoe called and offered to let me borrow her camera (so sweet) but I am going to share Annie's, and I do have that stack of new magazines waiting to be broken into tomorrow morning.

I get to get up tomorrow morning, get ready, get in the car and drive to the airport, stopping for a coffee along the way. I get to get out, grab my one bag (& my new tote, of course) and go wait to board. All by myself. insert sigh of happiness here. I do wish Patrick was coming so he didn't have to miss all the auction fun but I am also so excited to just hang out with my sister a little bit, too. And it is warm there! I want to go for a walk for sure.

Okay, done babbling. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Let me know if you see the big auction event...I'm sure I'll be going on and on about it next week. :) xoxo

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

i'm using my noggin today

As in, right now. As in, my kids are watching Noggin on Demand. Can I get a big AMEN for new Blue's Clues on demand this morning?

All right, back to me.

Oh, man, where should I start? I do think a list is in order.
  1. Ruby was 20 months old yesterday and I didn't even do a Ruby's Tuesday. I'd like to list 20 things I love about her right now but it's a struggle to come up with 2. KIDDING. She is on the mend, thank God we got some antibiotics for her poor little ears. She is still grouchy today but she slept ALL NIGHT last night for the first time in a week. Oh, that makes me feel good! 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is nothing to sneeze at. (I am sneezing today, but not at that, never at that.) I just talked to Patrick and asked him if he shut her fan off last night. He was all, "Yeah, it was like a hurricane in there wth the vaporizer, the fan and the furnace all going." HAHAHAHA.
  2. I can taste my coffee today which didn't seem possible until a particularly good nose blowing a little while ago. (I know, so gross!)
  3. I got the bills paid and the thank you's mailed, my appt. is rescheduled.
  4. I think I get to see my friends tonight, I've been missing them. I was exhausted last night so I won't go if I am that tired, but if I'm not, I'm gonna get my craft on.
  5. Ruby dropped her raisins in the doctors office yesterday and said "crap." heehee. It sounded like "bap" so no one knew it but me. heehee.
  6. You know, when I sat down it seemed like I had so much important stuff to share. Now where did it all go?
  7. I have been craving barley, strangely enough. I made a black bean & barley soup a couple nights ago that was really good. It gives me mad gas, though. Not the kind that makes you toot a lot but the kind that makes your back hurt. Do you know what I mean? I haven't had gas like that since I was pregnant. A couple of Rolaids helped. (It's so good I'm going to have it for lunch, too.)
  8. This is one of my favorite posts that I ever wrote. It still cracks me up. From one year ago, yesterday. (man, I was not on the ball yesterday.)
And, that's it for now. xoxo

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

child health update

  • Ruby does indeed have a double ear infection and will start her first ever (I think) dose of antibiotics this evening
  • James is doing great all around. Dr. Ann had him draw a picture and agreed with me that his style is pretty abstract. HA! I get so excited when he draws a truck or a person, it's not even funny. He's been drawing lots of color patterns lately which I think is pretty cool.
  • They're both asleep & dinner is made. This equals some time for me, me, me.


xoxo

pollyanna rides again (on the Thunderbird Italien)

So, I survived. Patrick got home and we hustled those over-tired kids off to bed so fast they didn't know what hit them. Ruby was up 3x last night with a raging fever and James joined us at some point because he wanted to tuddle. He's got his 4 yr check today and I'm glad I'll be able to have Ruby's ears looked at, too. Who knows, maybe my girl has her first ear infection. (A friend emailed me yesterday saying both of her kids got ear infections at the end of this long, drawn out illness so I'm thinking, maybe?)

A couple things helped me recover yesterday afternoon. First, the thought came to me as I was coming down the stairs: What if my kids were sick, really sick, all the time. What if we had to deal with some long term medical issue? Just a friendly reminder for me to thank God every day for our good health. This 7 day stretch of sick kids has been kind of wearing on me but it's going to pass. Thank you.

(I'm not saying that it's not okay to be tired and frustrated sometimes, as I think it is. But it makes me more tired and frustrated if I continue to stay in that place, you know?)

Moving on. The second thing that helped me feel better was my dad calling. I could hear his huge smile as he told me about what's been going on down there. The camera crew following him and interviewing him is from Barrett-Jackson. They are recording for their show "Life on the Block" that will feature him and air next December, before 2009's auction. He is going to be mic'd during the auction Saturday night, too. I will have to remember not to squeal or snort with excitement if I'm standing next to him. (And I will be standing next to him, this is my one shot, people!) (kidding.) He said he has the best display spot for the car in the whole place and that Barrett is definitely doing their part to sell the car.

I am SO excited that I get to be there for this. I started out being so excited to be there for the auction, then started focusing on the time away for me, and now am just thrilled about both aspects. I will do a post on Thursday with the official lot # of his car and stuff if anyone wants to tune in. I know it will be on the Speed channel, this Saturday night, at around 6pm. We will be the group in the matching white sweatshirts. (not. kidding.) (my dad likes sweatshirts.)

We watched Dreamgirls last night. Well, I did. Patrick lost interest during the 100th song and went downstairs. I did think it was kind of boring and hokey but I loved the singing. Jennifer Hudson & Beyonce are amazing. (I've always liked me some Beyonce.)

While I was watching, I started a simple apron for my sister. Yesterday morning I was looking through this little notebook I used to take with me to Barnes & Noble to record good ideas, recipes, etc. Found on a list of things to try someday: embroidery, make sister an apron. This list was from 2002. Better late than never!

Monday, January 14, 2008

do you hear that?

It might be very faint depending where you are but listen and you'll hear it. It's the sound of me screaming. It's the sound of me shrieking that I can't paint ONE MORE PICTURE or build ONE MORE LEGO BRIDGE. I cannot bear to read ONE MORE STORY or have both of my kids in this house for ONE MORE DAY.

Even a diagnosis of TB would not keep James home from preschool tomorrow.

Remember earlier when I said Ruby had that short little nap this morning (at 9am) and how nice it was? Well, if I had to pick between an hour this morning or her normal 2+ hours this afternoon, which do you think I would have chosen? Yeah.

James and I had out my old stamps this afternoon just to liven things up a little. I had to laugh when I found this one while sifting through the heap:
I feel you, foxy mama.

change of heart

Well, after Patrick and I got a chance to talk some more last night we decided that we probably did want to send James back to the same school. We feel so safe with the allergy issues and know that they really care about James...that means everything. The idea of being allergy anxiety free for one more year sounds really nice to me. (I'm a little nervous about kindergarten.) So, Patrick dropped off a deposit this morning to secure his spot. We can always change later, if we decide on one here in town. I didn't really like the ones here in town...one of them was 5 days a week for 2 hours a morning. (how dumb.) There is a new one being built so maybe we'll love it and feel safe and switch, who knows? Anyways, done.

We've already been to the store and back this morning. Ruby was a horrible mess when she woke up, screaming and crying and begging for fruit snacks. We were out of all fruit and OJ so I decided a quick trip was in order. We live 1.5 miles from the store and she fell asleep in the 3 minutes it takes to get back home. She slept in the van for an hour while James & I played his new Uno game. A nice break and she is in a much better mood. (we got popsicles & raisins so the day should go smoothly.) **I am coming back a little while later to add that she feels pretty rotten today. Slight fever, more coughing and non-stop runny nose. poor bubles. And poor James & I for having to live with her. :) Right now she is pretending James is her baby. This is a new one. They're both happy & that's what matters.

I am feeling kind of cold-ish today but not miserable. Here's hoping my immune system is in touch with my datebook and keeps me free of illness for my big weekend.

Hmmmmm. What else? Oh yeah, the thank yous are started and we are listening to the O Brother cd. Patrick has had it at work forever and I am very happy to have it back at home. Haha, last night when I started singing to Ruby at bedtime she started saying, "cd? down? cd?" Nice. I'm happy that she likes Raising Sand as much as me but I have to admit it stung a little. (we had just been listening to it before bed.) (He's kinda hot for an old guy, eh?)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

james saves the day

No, he didn't find my charger, even after I offered him $100 and a pony, but he did remind me that he has a camera now. Oh yeah. It doesn't take the best pictures but it is a camera and just knowing I have one gives me a good, safe feeling. You know, just in case I make a pincushion out of an old coffee cup and have an urgent need to show it off. (Made with fabric from Thomas & Erin, idea from Pretty Little Pincushions.)

I won't bore you with the details of today. It was long and boring but some good stuff came out of it. Our babysitter could have come last night, but we were too pooped, and she couldn't come tonight so we will have to wait until I get home for another date. It sure is fun to look forward to, though.

I have a lot to do this week. Here's a list, for my reference.
  1. James' birthday thank you notes (I know, that was over a month ago!)
  2. Call US Cellular
  3. Deal with the sadness that we aren't sending James back to the same preschool even though we love it and they love him. :( boo hoo. One of his teachers reminded me last week that sign up starts tomorrow and the MWF am class fills up fast. She said it would be full if I waited until Tues to sign him up so I should come in tomorrow if we want a spot. I do want him to go 3 days a week but don't really want to drive to Madison 3 days a week to get him. But we feel so safe with them now. And, his teacher said, "We really love James and want him to be here if you guys decide that so I wanted to let you know." sniffle. Before having kids I didn't realize that if someone loves one of mine that it will make me love them a little, too. so sweet.
  4. pack (woo and a hoo!) (I read/heard that expression somewhere else so I'm not taking credit for it.) (but everything, everything, else on this blog I take complete credit for. HAHAHAHA.)
  5. get the rest of the bills written & sent
  6. James dr. appt. on Tues, Ruby dr. appt. on Thurs.
  7. Cancel my dr. appt. for Thursday & reschedule (what was I thinking??)
  8. First craft group meeting Wed night. My friend Zoe had the great idea to start a craft night. I am really excited.

You cannot see the bottom of my hair here, which is where all the incredible style is, but I liked this photo.
See? Incredible. HAHAHAHAHa!

I'm thinking of taking this camera to Barrett-Jackson. Do you think I will look silly?

Speaking of Barrett, I heard from my dad's girlfriend that his bird is generating LOTS & LOTS of interest and that he's had TV crews taping already. He is already there. I plan on calling him tomorrow. Just in case you were wondering. ??

Patrick switched us over to Linux (that's an operating system, mom.) so I have to learn the new photo stuff. I haven't posted on flickr lately and still have all the Christmas photos to go up. My auntie just emailed me a bunch that she took, too, and they were sooo fun to look at. I love my family so much. I'll try to get them posted this week, if I get the chance.

To all the lovely authors of all my favorite blogs...please forgive my probable absence this week. I'm sure I will be reading but might not find time to comment. xo

sad/happy

I feel really lost without my camera. There was one other instance, right after Ruby was born, where I was without a camera for a couple weeks but other than that I've had a digital with me since Christmas of 1999. (thanks Dad.)

I found chargers on ebay so I'm going to order one. It won't be here in time for my trip so I have to make sure that Annie will have hers. This pity party should end soon, promise.

In other sad, but really very happy, news...Thomas & Erin have bought a house! It's north of Minneapolis and looks amazing. They really wanted this and I am soooo happy for them and so excited to go and stay for a month this summer. (hahahahhahahha! kidding, you guys.) The sad part is that Thomas isn't going to Barrett with us. I understand all too well the financial tug of buying a home but he will be missed.
(Ruby really misses Uncle Muss. She mentions him quite often and now calls all of our Thomas the Tank Engine stuff Uncle Muss trains. :) )

Ruby still has a pretty bad cold. Her cough never got as bad as James but she is pretty miserable overall. She is also fairly sweet & cuddly so it hasn't been too bad. James is pretty fine, as he would say, but is still staying in his jammies all day. This is very telling of his energy level because this boy normally pops out of bed and has his "morning clothes" on before he leaves his room.

I was gone all day yesterday...bookstore, thrift store, Lazy Janes for a scone, and a haircut. Very nice. My hair is cute and I really like my stylist. (I've mentioned her before.) We are friends now and I haven't had that with a stylist since I lived in Eau Claire. I also used my new bag and almost teared up when two girls in line in front of me at Lazy Jane's complimented me on it and asked where I got it.

Isn't it funny how making something can make you feel so happy? It doesn't really matter what...a good meal, a quilt, scrapbook pages, a beautiful picture, a new tote bag...it is just so satisfying. (I know, duh, right? but it is just strikes me sometimes.)

What else can I b&m*/be happy about? Oh, probably nothing right now. Patrick had to work half a day today so my children are wanting me. I got another HUGE stack of good books from the library yesterday, and another long list of ones to put on hold from b&n, so all I want to do is go read. I might make a pincushion. Okay, xoxo to all you sweethearts.


*bitch & moan

Friday, January 11, 2008

i can't find my camera charger

It is driving me mental. Along with that, this is day number 5 of pretty much being in the house. James felt 95% better yesterday, to our glee and astonishment. (thank you for all the well wishes and commiserations, it helped. :) ) He still looked a little peaked so we kept him home and I fed him sausage and ice cream all day. Ruby is coughing more today so I'm guessing we're in for it again. At least Patrick will be home the next 2 days and then, next week, I GO TO HAIRIZONA. No way. 4 days without my kids. No way.

I finished my bag yesterday and I really like it. It's a little slouchy but since I have a great fear of fusible stuff I will have to deal with that. It was intended as a carry on so I made it a little taller to fit magazines. I think with the new Real Simple and US stuffed inside that it will be perfect. Making the inside was pretty cool. I measured the pockets so they fit my phone, camera and pen (epi or otherwise) just right. The fabric was a little treat from Superbuzzy, called Birdseed - Red. I ordered a half yard of it and have most of that left. I realized when I got it that it had this writing on the edges that I was totally in love with and the selvage edge was pretty cool, too. After playing around with lots of different combinations I decided that I liked that writing the best with just one little red bird. (oh little red bird...I love that song on the cd Ellen sent us.) (click on the pics if you want detail.) I roughly sketched a larger bird and cut it out for the other side. The process was a lot of fun...this is the first time I made something just for me since my first sewing attempt last May. I am really drawn to red and brown and linen so I think I have to be careful or everything I make could look the same.

Anyways, I cannot take any more photos because I can't find that darn charger. :(

I will probably be back later because we are going to be here again ALL DAY.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

quickly...

new sewing table from mom
he sounded out CAT all on his own!!!
she must taste each color
I just noticed today that it was the ruby collection
progress...I am loving it and only have the handles left to finish

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

i'll take drama for $500, please

Poor little James is not doing well. Well, he's better now, parked on the chaise with the humidifier parked next to him. We can't see our doc until tomorrow but his lungs checked out clear this morning so that is reassuring.
(but she looked so sweet this morning)

I was desperate to get out of the house today, and really did need a couple things, but it was a small scale nightmare and now I am soooo happy to be back home. James coughed himself into a vomit at Whole Foods. I scanned & bagged the items he hit so the checker wouldn't have to touch them. We were both laughing because it was so awful. (I did wipe them off first but couldn't just hand them over to her in good conscience.) A while later I had to carry Ruby out of the clinic while she was screaming and arching her back trying to get at my neck, for pinching of course, because I dared to try and put her jacket on. I then put her in her car seat and she told me she had pooped. I considered waiting but didn't want to have another bad mom story under my belt over something as insignificant as poop. So that was a lot of fun...changing the tiny tyrant in the back of the van. She promptly fell asleep though, thank GOD.

I have a little movie of James reading to Ruby this morning which I will try to post later. Right now I am going back to work on my bag while they are both asleep. I really can't believe it's only Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

ruby's tuesday


S: Ruby, did you go poopers?
R: No.
S: Ruuuuuby. (said in that mother way.)
R: Baby Doll!
S: Your baby went poopers?
R: Yeah. (reaches down to feel baby) Bum squishy.

I am changing her, after chasing her down.

R: YET GO YEG! (let go leg!)

Her longest sentence so far, I think:

R: Where are you little baby doll?

I love that she calls her smooshy green baby "little baby doll" and all the others are just "baby doll." The doll part is new...I think Kelsey must have taught her that. She is also saying "hedgehog" which sounds an awful lot like hot dog and is so cute.

I am bored, can you tell? Contemplating a new tote for my trip.

i'm dying over here

Okay, laughing out loud at this. I'm going back later to read all of them. This reminds me of a Wondertime article by Jacquelyn Mitchard about her worst parenting moments. (Did you know she has a blog? I didn't. How cool is that?) I kept meaning to post about this article, which made me like her so much, and one of my moments that just horrified me at the time. I've only told 2 people.

Here it is: I got so frustrated with James once, when Ruby was a couple months old, that I threw a hot wheels truck at the wall. It bounced off and hit RUBY, my wee little baby, in the head. I know, I know. It made me sick, too. (she wasn't hurt, just a little red spot) Are you going to leave me now?

Oh yeah, this passage from Looky! Daddy cracked me up earlier this week:

"Dear The Dad,

I have nearly-three-year-old twins, and am growing frustrated with the comment, “Oh, it must be so great to have twins, since they play together!” It is great that my daughters love one another, and yes, they do play together, but no, that does not mean that having two children is way easier than having one (which is often implied or actually said directly). I often launch into a rather long-winded explanation about how, no, two is not easier than one, but find my explanations usually only convince people that I’m a big whiner. Any suggestions on pithy responses, or am I doomed to smile and nod?

Look them in the eye and say, "Well, it's not like the second one is a f*%king Au Pair."


HAHAHA. (editing on the swear word was mine.) (because even if I throw toys at my children this blog is pretty much G rated.)

sigh.




James crawled into our bed at some point last night...maybe around 2:30am. He was thirsty so I went and got him a big glass of OJ and he chugged it down and settled in next to me. I noticed he was pretty warm. Hmmmm. I said a silent prayer of thanks that he had kept the orange juice down and started to slip back under. I heard a thunder-like rumbling and suddenly feel a rain of orange bile splash across my face. Apparently I wasn't thankful enough. haha.

His fever was nearly gone by this morning and he's kept everything down so far. I don't know what caused the fever but I think the puking was just all that OJ in too fast. He's sleeping on the chaise in the living room now. He told Ruby to go away because he was tired. This is definitely a first and she didn't like it much.

Remember how much I said we like blankets? Yeah, well. I don't like them nearly as much when they're all piled up in front of my washing machine.

Monday, January 07, 2008

huh.

Ruby peed on my leg earlier. Well, the leg of my sweats.

I just noticed it was dry.

my life in photos

love these creamy little legs and the robot ones next door
a new favorite plate
"shhhhhhh baby"
it's hard taking care of so many babies
just chillin' at his sister's crib (hahaha!)
clearance wrapping paper has many uses
see that easel box in the corner?


out with most of the old and in with some new old
figuring out his new camera
mini vegan donuts, pretty good, really cute. I used this recipe.
I actually went to bed like this.
my kids like a snack tray
that big hunk of beef I mentioned browning
how a man cleans the glass top stove top
hand sander & dish sponges...it worked really well
they eat better if I give them side dishes
rainy morning, good for staying in bed
I wish I could have. See, we had a little guest on the cot last night.
(poor buddy has a bad cough.) (can you tell we like blankets?)

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