Friday, February 27, 2009


I finally blew the dust off of my sewing machine and got to work. I've had a little pile of misc. projects cut out for ages and started putting some of them together yesterday. First are the two swaddled baby dolls. I stitched their faces a while ago but just sewed them into their swaddling. I can't seem to get them straight! I think I need to sew in the plain face first and then embroider the features next time. I love the little sad baby but wonder if anyone would want that one?! Here, honey, here's a crying baby...happy birthday! I don't think so.
This is the rest of the loot so far. The hot pads are just like the ones I made for myself and I will probably try to hawk them on etsy. The cookies are for a friend and the crayon holders are just because. I cut 8 of those suckers out before the Craftacular and never finished them. I might put a couple of those on etsy, too, and the rest will be gifts.
It was fun to be making these cookies again. They look so tasty!

I have to go downstairs because I have 2 little robots doing robot art and they really need some supervision. You should see my kitchen table...what a mess! Their stuff & my's frightening. but good. :)

Happy Friday to you!! xoxox

*taking care of business, not teecob.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

good things

  1. let's start with the's thursday!
  2. it's raining and gloomy BUT we are safely tucked at home with a new exercise DVD to try and a pan of rice krispy bars (it's all about balance over here)
  3. get to watch Lost with my husband tonight
  4. dinner is made and in the fridge (black bean soup)
  5. hopefully getting a sitter sometime this weekend
  6. patrick sweetly listening to me whine last night
  7. feeling better after said whining
  8. feeling even better after coffee with friends this morning
  9. did I mention it's raining? that's kind of a cool change of pace. (until it freezes)
  10. thinking about spring: clothesline, morning coffee outside, setting up the poor man's patio, parks
I think I'm going to sew for a little bit while the kids are in their rooms. And, for an extra special treat, make a fresh cup of coffee. xoxo

all our drinkin' is finally paying off

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

welcome to another day of no preschool!

Here are a few pictures from some painting the little darlings did the other day. The first priority was completing some canvases for their auntie. Ruby knocked hers out in record time while James very very carefully painted the whole front red and the whole back pink.

Ruby really likes to get up close and personal with her paint. I think the end results are worth all the mess:

Ruby did the rainbow. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA. kidding.


Okay, enough about them.

(But then I think, what else do I have to talk about this morning?)

Okay, more about them.

J: Let's have a family hug.
R: I hope family hugs DIE!

R: I wanna yogurt! I wanna yogurt!
S: We don't have any more yogurt, Ruby.
R: I WANNA YOGURT! squee! grroaowoernl! eekeekjrlkwjeoifjldkf!!!! YOGURT!!!!!!!!!!
J: (quietly) Why don't you just go get one out of your truck, Ruby?
R: (averts eyes, walks away)

R: Let's play baby & daddy, James
J: I'm not playing with you. (he's learned he has some power here)
R: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease, James?!?! Let's play king and queen!
J: nope.
R: (writhing on floor, pulling hair, hollering) Robot? Baby? King? Camping?
J: (sighing) Okay, I'll play with you. But only for 10 minutes.
S: (mentally kicks self for being poor, neglectful parent)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the moleskine

This is just cracking me up tonight:

"Much like virtually everything else that white people like, these notebooks are considerably more expensive yet provide no additional functionality over regular notebooks that cost a dollar. Thankfully, since white people only keep their most original and creative ideas in the Moleskine, many of them will only be required to purchase one per lifetime."

Read the rest here at Stuff White People Like.

*reading the whole list makes me realize just how white I really am.


Don't worry, I'm not quite as chirpy as I was yesterday. I'm chill today...enjoying this morning with James at school and the relative quiet in the house. I've been reading blogs for the last half hour while ruby is coloring on the floor (on paper on the floor) next to me. happy sigh.

I wanted to write up our menu for the next couple of weeks. It's nothing spectacular but looks pretty good to me. Remember, everything is dairy & egg free. (I did make some egg muffins for Patrick to take to work in the morning and he loves them. Recipe from here, modified slightly.) I love when I do this (makes my life easier at dinnertime) but will sometimes go a couple months planning only week by week because I don't make the time to do it.

BLTs with avocado & tomato soup
Susan's 5 hour beef stew (last night...was so good)
Chicken Enchiladas (use soy sour cream and omit cheese...these are sooooooo good with brown rice on the side)
Pulled pork sandwiches & french fries
Black Bean soup with chicken (use one can of refried black beans and skip the blending step)
Homemade pizza (going to try this crust recipe) (we just leave the cheese off of James' pizza and add extra of other stuff)
Vicki's meatballs with brown rice & gravy
spaghetti with my dad's sauce
meatball soup (with leftover meatballs...recipe from Kari...need to get)
lemon waffles & bacon
cranberry mustard pork loin & mashed potatoes (in the crock pot)
tacos using soy crumbles (I almost got busted here when Patrick was reading my list...he's all, "what is soy crumb?") hahahaha. (I lied.)
hamburger rice with veggies (simple recipe but really good)
Slow cooker chicken soup

I have bread & veggies for lots of these meals but don't plan that out ahead of time. I like the Alexia frozen whole wheat rolls and lots of times will just serve raw veggies because then James can help me clean and cut them and they both like them better. (cukes, cherry tomatoes, pea pods, carrots)

I figured out the menu and grocery list on Saturday and actually did the next 2 weeks, too, because I had all my recipes out. The groceries for these meals plus our lunch & breakfast staples were about $240.00. I'm sure I'll buy milk & fruit next week but think we'll stay under $260 for these 2 weeks. That's good considering I got stuff for Patrick to bring a lunch every day. Oh, I need chocolate chips, too. :) Some month I just want to bite the bullet and buy all organic meat and see how much more I spend. Maybe next month. I was doing that for a while, a long time ago. This is so me. I can start so many good habits but very few of them stay in place. At least I keep coming back to them, right? :)

It's fun to share this and I'd love to hear/see any of your menus. Some of my favorite recipes have come from my friends. xoxo

Monday, February 23, 2009

warning: this post might make you sick (it even makes me a little sick)

I am sickeningly ahead of the game as of now, 2:26pm on Monday. I'm guessing I will keep this lead until about 3pm tomorrow. :) This is my week to be on top of things (it's cyclical for me) and it feels particularly good after the slow torture of last week.

We did have a really nice time at Kari's on Friday. We just talked and had some really good soup while the kids played. I got a little bit done on one of my projects that I hope to finish this afternoon.

The rest of the weekend was just what I needed. Patrick took James out for the day on Saturday and I sat in front of the TV and folded laundry while Ruby slept. And then I sat in front of the TV while Ruby played. And then we sat in front of the TV and had macaroni & cheese. And then we went out and shoveled. Very nice. On Sunday I met my friends for a yummy breakfast and lots (dare I say too much?) of coffee and then went and got lots of groceries. I came home all fired up to cook and did some prep work for the week including making pumpkin apple oat muffins, egg muffins for Patrick, washing and chopping vegetables and baking some chicken. whew. See what I mean? Sometimes (very rarely) I amaze myself. Why can't I be superwoman every day? Oh yeah, because it's freaking exhausting and hard to maintain past 2 or 3 days. (for me, anyways.)


I put James to work this morning, first unloading the dishwasher, and then making our lunch. If I was on the ball more often I think our mornings would go smoother. The kid loves to help...I should take advantage of that daily.

(I interrupt here to say how much I hate getting ready to bring James to preschool most mornings. The kids are like wild animals and I almost always compose posts in my head saying how sick they make me. It's over by the time I come home with Ruby, though, so it never makes it this far.)

Anyways, here are a few pics from our morning. We had felt good to run around and throw stuff.

Ruby is up from her nap now so I better go get her. I did a pilates workout on a stability ball for the first time earlier and found it BORING. It does feel good to roll around on that ball but the DVD I had was soooooo S L O W moving. We are going to do something a bit peppier now. Because dinner is already IN THE OVEN. I know, I'll stop. Please remind me of this next week when I am whining about something not going my way.

(I might come back later and post my 2 week menu plan unless it would make you all just barf.) xoxo

heehaw, it's monday!

I can't even tell you the last time I took any pictures so this bunny will have to do for now. I wanted to let my mother (and my tens of readers) know that we are leaving shortly for the morning so I won't be posting anything of great interest (you know, like I usually do) until later.

James is off of school this morning so I'm taking them to Keva for some running around. I'm kind of looking forward to it...we don't get to go to these places much anymore because of his schedule.

Hmmmm. Yup. I guess that's it for now. I'm going to go finish my coffee. xoxo
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

back in the saddle

Thank God I am feeling quite myself again today. Wendy & I had our meeting at the school this morning and it went fairly well, I think. A good start, for sure. I know there will be more meetings in the future (our school is not peanut free and has never (?!) dealt with a student who had contact reactions) but I am hopeful that the final result will be sending James to a kindergarten class that I feel safe with every day.

After preschool we met our friends at this awesome indoor playground ( was mcdonalds) and had a nice couple of hours sitting in the sunshine and chatting. Hooray for friends! Hooray for free refills of diet coke! Long live kid sized gerbil tunnels!

I now have a STY of a house to deal with and also have to pack up some crafty stuff to bring to Kari's tomorrow, where we are spending the day. And possibly sleeping over. (kidding, Kari) (did I just make you choke a little?)

So, anyways. I bet stopping by here this week felt kind of like walking into a dark, humid basement. Sorry about that. And thank you for all the kind words...they really really meant a lot to me. Especially the ones from my mother.


p.s. The title/picture/actual post are in no way related.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

reporting live from my bedroom...

There were a few hours there yesterday where I couldn't see anything on my blog but the header and sidebar stuff...pretty weird. Thankfully, it returned. Thanks for the feedback, you guys. I thought I was (once again) losing my mind.

I am such a slug this week. I am fighting off something or have a mild something that has just worn me down. I will have periods of energy that I am using to do the most important stuff like feeding children & exercising and then periods of tired where I do the other important stuff like napping.

I pretty much had to force myself to take a shower yesterday afternoon and go out for an allergy support meeting last night. I am so glad I did. They had a local pediatric allergist there who told us about the latest research findings and answered any other questions we had. Next year is a big change for us and I have some extra anxiety about the whole allergy aspect to it. (kindergarten) (which I am now very excited for after this loooong week!) ;) I'm so thankful that Wendy invited me last night and took the initiative to set up our meeting tomorrow, it will be so good to have some answers about our local school system. Answers always make me feel better. That and lots of prayer.

I don't let myself dwell on how serious his allergies are very often. I think it's a coping mechanism, for sure. I feel like I've made a couple mistakes or bad judgement calls in the last year and they are right there to haunt me if I think about them. I talked a little about one last night...the uncertainty I experienced in a situation and the hesitancy I had to use the epi pen...and felt a bit judged by some of the women sitting nearby. (their looks) There was a man sitting in the front row who later turned around and told me about a reaction his daughter had and how he waited (and waited) before giving the epi pen. He said, "I am a cardiac surgeon. I deal with acute situations all the time and I hesitated with my daughter. It is so hard to know sometimes." I could have just hugged him. Later I talked to Patrick more about it and he was so sweet to me, too.

All of this left me thinking about how much a word or a look from another person can bring us up or down. I want to make it a daily prayer of mine to be someone who brings others up. I want to have a gentleness with people. I want to remember how thankful I am when someone shows that gentleness to me.


I am now shutting off my emotions. See that large stack of books up there? Have I mentioned how much I love the library? Time to go have another cup of coffee and cuddle up with Rubes and our new books.


Monday, February 16, 2009

don't say convival

I am not quite feeling myself today. James stayed home with a cough that all but disappeared as soon as I called the school and proceeded to drive me mental most of the day. Of course there was that fun round of "post office" but you can only take that so far. Some of me feels mildly achy (as in throat) and other of me, super achy (as in abs.) But the abs part is good. Pain is good...means there's new muscles being made or somethin'.

The weekend with Sarah was so good. I just love her to bits. We talked and talked and talked and talked and laughed and shopped and dug and ate and laughed some more at the STUPIDEST movie I have seen in a loooooooong time. (twilight...don't hate me.)

((okay, about twilight. I was just shocked at what I was watching. It was so badly written. seriously. BUT, I had all but given up hope when the excitement started (at the dance studio) and then I will admit that it had my attention. Some things cannot be forgiven, however. Like the high speed running up hills and all the shots of the lusting half-open mouths. come on.))

So, a great weekend. She also exercised with me on Sunday morning and I loved that. I think I worked harder so as not to look like a slouch and that, coupled with a vigorous routine this morning, has me gasping in pain nearly every time I move. love that.

Sorry, no pictures or anything. And now my husband is here and we are going to watch last week's Lost. xoxo

p.s. I know my punctuation and grammar and spelling (although some of that is intentional) is the pits but honestly, it's all I can do to get this out of my head and onto the screen. xoxo

Thursday, February 12, 2009

list of random brain goodies

on my mind:

  • The new Sequoya library. It's not that new anymore but I had never been there until last weekend. I loved it! Really nice atmosphere with lots of new books on the shelf, quiet places to sit, self checkouts (lots of them), and a cool kids area. I'm sure we'll go back there.
  • my eye makeup remover pads are giving me pimples around my eyes. I think I'd rather have smeared mascara.
  • I haven't exercised since last Sunday. Patrick is out of town so I am being lazy. But it's making me sad so I am back at it tomorrow. pinky swear.
  • I love Sober House on vh1. I love Rodney King, Seth...all of them. This show makes me so sad and makes me want to help people. To listen to people?? Maybe might kill me, though. I just want to cuddle them.
  • I am so happy my bunny will be home tomorrow. I really missed him this week. We did have a good week, though, even short a player. James is such a doll when he's not acting all silly and in my face. I'm not so good with the silly...especially in the morning. I did push them around on the bed a little this week, as requested, but am not as good at tossing them around as their dad is. Tomorrow night should be wild. They're gonna attack that man.
  • Things Ruby says that she will stop saying soon and I don't want to forget: wis one & wat one, everything being in her truck (she has a house now, too), got-for instead of forgot (like: I gotfor to get that book!), she'll ask me to tell her a story from my mouth at bedtime (and the stories always have to start like this: once upon a time there was a tiny little girl named ruby who had a tiny little neighbor named brennan OR a tiny little friend named Arjay...and we go on from there. the pair of them normally goes into the woods and sees nice or scary ghosts and ruby usually carries a backpack with a sloth & snacks in it. but this does change, per her requests. she asked patrick for a scary crocodile story last week and got REALLY mad when the croc was kind. she's different.)
  • as mentioned, I am excited to hang with my cuz this wknd AND excited to see Melissa in EC next month and then my family in Duluth. fun stuff!
Okay. Really, what am I doing up? I want to read for a few so I need to sign off of this and facebook NOW. xoxo

the arrival of miss sarah

I am getting awfully excited for my cousintine to come this weekend. Miss Sarah, as she likes to be called, will be arriving by train on Friday for a fun-filled weekend.

I am thinking (so far) breakfast (early) at Lazy Jane's, visit St. Vinnie's across the street, um...not sure here...maybe state street, lunch, the dig...I don't know for sure. This is of course all subject to Miss Sarah's approval.


Okay, I am totally kidding about all that Miss Sarah crap. This one is a real life doll...hilarious and big hearted and so good to talk to. She loves old stuff (see photo above) but doesn't go around looking like that. I'm so excited!!! xoxo

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


dsc03883, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

Today went by so fast. whoosh, and it's gone.

more pics on flickr. I seriously couldn't stop taking was so nice to be outside!

jacked up

Things are all messed up over in my neck of the computer woods. I have a connection again but I moved my mouse over to Patrick's computer which has a GINORMOUS monitor and so I don't have my pics or anything. I will switch back over later but MAN is it going to be hard to go back to my normal monitor.

How does he rate??


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ruby's tuesday

our special bug:
after she moved scurried upstairs, truck still in mouth:
in her lair:
accepting some attention:
has had enough:
the torment continues as nobody likes a mean bug in their house:
even such a cute one:

Ruby put on this ladybug costume last Friday for the first time. She immediately fell into character which for her meant no talking (quite nice), shifty eyes, and lots of darting about into little nooks and crannies. The costume is a little small so it appeared as though she had no neck, making her appearance even more bugish. James and I had a lot of fun following her around and poking at her with sticks. (haha, kidding about the sticks)


It's lovely out today...headed up towards 58, last I heard. It's only a one day mini break but we are going to enjoy every minute of it. xoxo

Monday, February 09, 2009

thank you.

Thank you all for the kind words last Friday. Every comment & email was like a little hug and they really helped me feel better and normal about all that stuff on my mind. So, thank you. xoxoxo

I did color my hair (except above each of my ears. oops. will be remedied soon.) and I really like it. It's an actual color and not mouse-brown anymore. (am not bashing brown hair, love it, but mine with those old highlights was awful and chock full o' grey) It's still brown, just darker, and with a mild red tint. I will try to post a picture sometime soon. I was also berated by my sister for not exfoliating and have started to use the Mary Kay stuff I got for Christmas to cleanse and gently exfoliate nightly. I am also using my eye cream and got some eye makeup remover pads.

Before now, for most of my life, my skin care routine has basically been a lack of one. I wash my face in the shower and that's usually it. Not before bed, just in the morning. I do moisturize daily, but in the morning only. And that has worked pretty well until now. I guess it's time for a new routine. It's a little more work but I guess that is part of aging. sigh. (am mom says the REAL aging doesn't start until I'm 50...great. so what is this? the pre-show?) I'm hoping to stick with this for a month and see if my skin feels better. I have also been slacking on the water consumption lately and am going to up that. Okay, losing interest in self care talk, moving on...


Above are some pictures from Saturday. We were on State Street and stopped into Einstein's for an afternoon snack. We were all pretty silent, just people watching. It was so nice.

I'm not sure what this week holds for me. It's going to be a busy one so I might not be around here a whole lot. I do have some hilarious shots of Ruby that I will share tomorrow. She totally got into character last Friday after donning a ladybug costume and had James & I rolling with laughter.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

the one where she is cracking up a bit

(raising his arm when he heard the sound)

(waiting for his shots)
James' appt. went really well yesterday. Except his hearing wasn't so hot (I could have told them that) but they think it's just major wax so we have some flushing to do. It was fun (for a doctor visit) because both kids were really good, even with a long wait, and our doctor asked James a lot of questions this time, instead of asking me all of them. I loved hearing his answers to what he eats for meals (well, it's usually different, he said. score one for mama) (which I quickly lost when he said he'd had chocolate cereal for breakfast) (which I'd like to tell you (meaning my mother) was chocolate shredded mini wheats but didn't tell doc so as not appear obviously insecure with my parenting choices), likes to do at school (build obstacle courses), what games he likes to play (he left out the fact that he is a little cheat/sore loser but don't we all like to look our best for the dr?), etc. He had to get 4 shots and screamed pretty loud but recovered quickly. (oreos) He turned down their offer of a free stuffed monkey and politely asked if they had a prize box that he could look through himself. haha. Ruby was showing off with her best manners (at least I know they're in there) and charming everyone.


This has been a strange week. I'm super emotional and lots of things (good & bad) are making me feel weepy. I think I've just had a lot of little things (and some not so little) on my mind and it's gotten to me a bit. I had to make a big decision about a possible group vacation next year (agreed then declined) which led to some thinking about our family and if we are finished adding to it. (unknown, but probably) I'll be honest and say I'm feeling good body wise (exercising daily and loving that) but looking rough in the face. I took some pictures of myself in bright sunlight last weekend, with no make up, and they were quite startling. I've always thought I was fairly cute (not being vain, just normally good with how I look) (not always including body, mind you) but I saw how I am AGING. For the first real time, I saw that. And it kind of punched me in the gut. I went out the other night and bought eye cream and hair dye. I cried to Patrick that I was old and ugly and he did as he was supposed to and assured me that I am neither and pinched my bum. (although he did ask if I'd be dying my hair today. hmmmm.) See?? What a total mess I am. (cue violins) sigh.

I kind of hated to write all of this but needed to get it out, too. I think most of you understand how sometimes you just have to dump it all out, rifle through it, and see what you've actually got.

In other news, I'm glad it's Friday, glad it's going to be beautiful this afternoon & tomorrow...can't wait to get outside.

Have a good weekend and I'll see you back here next week! with new hair color and rejuvenated eye sockets!


Thursday, February 05, 2009

busy day today

I just wanted to say hey...

I had a couple neighbor women over for coffee this morning and James has his 5 yr check up at 2pm.


(who is pining for summer, big time)
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Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Well, my goodness. I am not into the blog so much this week. I've been really busy trying to catch up on laundry (got behind 2 weeks ago and then it snowballed) and get some stuff off of my pesky little task list. These are some pics from last week when James & I made a dollhouse out of cardboard. He was driving me nuts asking me to make all the stuff in the book we have (furniture, etc) so I finally told him I was done and that he could make what he wanted out of our supplies. He came up with the best stuff...a satellite, double sink, table and chairs. It was pretty neat. Sorry about the blurry pictures. Time for lunch. xoxo
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