Friday, October 29, 2010

Rubes & Gramma Vi

Rubes & Gramma Vi, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

The baby in the other picture is James.

gramma vi

great gramma vi.jpg, originally uploaded by stephaniekg.

My gramma passed away last night.

My mom said it was peaceful but I haven't heard the full story yet.

We are happy today, in one sense, thinking of her in heaven with Grandpa and her parents and other family members.

I am also very sad today but trying not to let myself think of it too much while I am here with the kids by myself. There will be time tonight to do some more crying. The good kind, the kind that helps you feel better.

Now I really wish I could be there for my mom. We'll probably head home next Thursday as the funeral is on Friday.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

how do they learn this?

Ruby let me braid her hair today so she will look fancy when she puts on her Halloween princess dress for her school party.  She also let me take her picture.  She also stuck this little hip out all on her own. 

She also forgot to make the bed.  ;)

Nicholas has his 6 month appointment this morning.  While grateful for the chance to do these appointments with the smallest number of children along, I AM SO SICK OF APPOINTMENTS.  However, each one makes me thank God for our awesome insurance.

Nicholas knows he is getting shots or something because he is ticked off.  Or maybe it's because I wouldn't give him my cel phone?  Who knows but he's about as prickly as a bag of nails this morning.  More about him later...this kid is going to give me a run for my money.

Bring it on, pickles.  This ain't my first rodeo.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

easy dairy free bechamel sauce

Yesterday I experimented with making a bechamel sauce using soy milk and margarine.  It tasted so good and was really easy!  Patrick, James and myself all loved it.  Oh, and pickles, too!  (he is a little eater, that kid.  don't even think about not sharing your snack with him.  no way!)

I made it in the afternoon and tasting it by itself, the nutmeg flavor was off-putting.  Pairing it with pasta, roasted chicken and asparagus at dinner time made all the difference.  Patrick sprinkled his with a little fresh Parmesan, James and I just added salt and pepper.  A very nice addition to our dinner menu. 

dairy free bechamel sauce

  • 2.5 T dairy free margarine
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 2  C soy milk
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t nutmeg


Begin heating the milk in a small pan.  In a separate medium saucepan, heat the margarine over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth.  Keep stirring and add the hot milk to the margarine mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes over medium high heat, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

(adapted from this Mario Batali recipe)

I halved it and had plenty of sauce for 4 servings, with leftovers.

(Ruby, of course, had bread with sunbutter.  sigh.)


ruby's tuesday

We also carved pumpkins last weekend and I thought Ruby's turned out particularly cute.

Her vision:

Her pumpkin:


Ruby loves to pretend she's a puppy on our walks.  Sometimes she is a girl puppy, sometimes a boy.  She always loves to do tricks (shake a paw, heel, roll over, speak) and will crawl for long periods of time on her hands and knees.  She also does one other puppy thing that totally surprised my mom and I the first time we saw it.  She was crawling along behind us and suddenly stopped, lifted her leg and peed, right there on the sidewalk.  (Luckily she didn't poo as I didn't have any plastic baggies with us.)  What a good puppy!


The other night:

R:  Mom, when me and Brennan are older, like 5, can we go on a date without you guys?  Brennan said he wants to.  Can I?  Can I, Mom?
S:  What is a date, Ruby?
R:  Um...I'm not really sure but Brennan said it's REAL, not pretend like star wars.
S:  We'll see.
R:  Okay!  Thanks, Mom!


Monday, October 25, 2010

milk free egg free baked apple cider donuts

I've been reading about apple cider donuts for years but have never had the pleasure of tasting one.  Each time I've been at an orchard or pumpkin patch where they're selling them, James is with me.  It would take all the fun out of the treat to eat it in front of him.

One of the good things last weekend was making these donuts.  I used my mini donut pan but you could also use a mini muffin pan (filling only half full) for a donut hole type of treat.  They are so cute and tasty!  We loved them with coffee and they were great for whipping at each other's heads while arguing.  (ha!  kidding.)

apple cider donuts

2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
 1 t cinnamon + 1 t apple pie spice  (or 2 t cinnamon)
1 T powdered soy milk + 1 T cornstarch + 2 T apple cider (or egg replacer of your choice for one egg, or simply an egg if you go that route)
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c applesauce
1/3 c pure maple syrup
1 c apple cider
1/3 c soy yogurt, plain or vanilla
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray mini donut pan with cooking spray

Gently heat apple cider in small saucepan over medium or medium low heat until reduced to 1/3 cup.  (about 20 to 30 mins)

Whisk together dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together egg replacer, brown sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, reduced cider, yogurt, and oil.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined.  Using a spoon or pastry bag (or a ziploc with the corner cut), fill each cavity of the donut pan half-way.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly.  (mine were done at 8 minutes)  Let donuts cool for five minutes before turning them onto a rack.  Clean the donut pan and re-spray it for each batch.  Yields roughly 48 mini donuts.

You can roll these in a mixture of 1 cup granulated sugar and 1.5t cinnamon or glaze them with a simple glaze of 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2 T apple cider.


(recipe adapted from this one)

thank God it's Monday

This was the poopy weekend to beat all poopy weekends, my friends.  It's not often (if ever) that I say that so you have to believe me.

It's Monday, though, and things are looking up.  My husband kissed me goodbye.  (this was not assumed after our weekend, if you get my drift)  My baby is darling.  My daughter and older son are coloring at the table in relative peace.  I am taking James & pickles to James' dentist appointment in a little while and there might be a starbuck's coffee for me on the way home.

It won't be long for my little gramma.  My mom and aunties are staying with her around the clock and my mom said she looks very cozy, like she's in a sweet nest of soft blankets.

I feel exhausted, like I've been through a battle, which I kinda have, but also relieved that it's over.

Here's to a new week, a fresh start for all of us.


Friday, October 22, 2010

it's all good

Right now Nicholas is belly laughing at Ruby yelping into a plastic coffee can.  She occasionally throws it and he loves that too.

Last night Patrick woke me up with a sad pickles in his arms.  Apparently Patrick heard him crying all the way down in the basement while I, a mere 6 feet away, slept right through it.  Let's just say Nicholas was very happy to see me.  It was cute.  (my ego would like to add that this has never happened before.)

My washer and dryer are amazing.  Patrick even asked if there was more laundry he could do last night.  :)  They fit SO much and are pretty and quiet and clean stuff amazingly well.  It makes me feel like we've been wearing dirty clothes for the last however many years.

They seem pretty high tech compared to our old ones.  Patrick is surprised they don't have email and WIFI.  heehee.  It won't be long...

It is almost the weekend and although it looks like a rainy one, I'm ready for it. 

Nicholas is feeling better every day, just a runny nose now, and is starting to fall asleep on his own again and good stuff like that.  I'm sure as soon as tooth number two is imminent that we will have some more hard nights but a little reprieve is very welcome.  It reminds me that the days I feel so tired and the nights that are so hard?  They pass.

James' conference went wonderfully.  His teacher told me the exact same thing that his teacher told me last year so that felt a little deja vu.  They both said that James does his work very easily, could be doing additional harder stuff, but that he A) doesn't seem bored and B) is kind of a perfectionist so he uses the same amount of time as the other kids by checking his own work and correcting it.  (not that he never misses a math problem, he does)  I still feel (and Patrick agrees) that I don't want to rush him or push him at this point.  He is learning some great skills and taking pride in what he does...that is enough for us.  Patrick introduces all sorts of additional concepts to him on the side so I feel he is getting challenged at home.  (he told his class about negative numbers earlier this week.)  heehee. 

I talked to my Dad yesterday afternoon and it made me miss him.  (hi Dad!)  I am ready for a trip home so who knows what will happen in the next few weeks.  I know this weekend and next are out of the question but we will see after that.  I cannot believe Thanksgiving is in a month and Christmas a month after that.  Why does fall seem so short?

It is a beautiful morning and I just hung all of our winter jackets on the lines.  I need to go take a shower now so we can be ready to go in an hour.  Ruby's friend is coming over and we are going to a park for the afternoon. 

Have a good weekend, folks.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

dinner time conversation

(warning:  more poop talk ahead)  (or should I say behind...hahahhahaha)

Last night at the dinner table:

J:  My tummy hurts.
S:  You probably have to go poo.
J:  How do you know??
S:  Because every time you say your tummy hurts you have to go poo.
J:  (stews)
J:  Have you heard the other name for poop?
S:  (prepares herself for "drop the kids off at the pool")  No, what?
J:  Number Two.  (laughs just like Uncle Thomas)
R:  I know how to draw a number two!!
J&S:  (laugh)
R:  And a number five and a FINGER EIGHT!
J:  What's a finger eight, Ruby?  Oh, you mean...
S:  Leave her James, it's cute.
J:  It's NOT cute.  My tummy hurts.
S:  When you poop, is it hard or soft?
R:  soft!
J:  (looks at me like I'm nuts)  How would I know that?  I normally don't touch it.
S: (hahhahahahaha)

It goes on from here, me explaining how to tell if it's hard or soft and what that means.  I'll spare you.

What did you talk about at dinner last night?


stephanie and barley

sitting in a tree.  
First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes Stephanie with a bag of carrots.


Sometimes I forget how much I love barley.  And then one day I will be digging around in my cupboard and see the small, pale yellow box peeking out from behind some pasta and BOOM, I remember.  

This is a humble recipe found right on the side of the box.  I usually buy the Medium Barley as I've found that the quick cooking stuff gets too soggy too fast.  I under simmer this soup a little as I like my barley nice and chewy but even if you simmer it the whole time and reheat it, it doesn't get soggy.

Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

1/2 lb. lean ground beef (substitute soy crumbles if you're that kind of girl)
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
7 c water
1 14.5oz can of tomatoes (any variety, chopped or diced.  the box says unsalted but dude, this recipe needs some salt so get salted)
1/2 c Quaker Medium Barley, uncooked
1/2 c sliced celery (I love celery in soup so I use more)
1/2 c sliced carrots (ditto)
2 beef bouillon cubes (or veg broth cubes, or just skip it and use veg broth or beef broth instead of water)
1/2 t dried basil, crushed
1 bay leaf  (not necessary.  don't go pay $3.50 for a jar of bay leafs if you don't have one.  trust me.)
1 9oz package of frozen mixed vegetables (or whatever you'd like.  I used a combo of Trader Joes roasted corn and some frozen baby peas this last time and it was gooood)

Brown meat in a large pot or dutch oven.  Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender.  Drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients except frozen veggies.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add frozen veggies and cook about 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add more water if soup gets too thick upon standing.  Ignore your children when they gag at the dinner table and enjoy a big piping hot bowl with some crusty bread. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

this breathing exercise rocks (you gently to sleep)

I read about this simple breathing exercise in one of my recent copies of Whole Living magazine and wanted to share it with you.

(Have you read Whole Living?  It used to be called Body & Soul.  It's another one from the Martha empire and quite good.)

I find this technique to be very relaxing & helpful.  I am usually asleep on contact the first time around but sometimes it's hard to get back to sleep after getting up with Nicholas. I've been practicing this the last week and it's been very helpful.

From the magazine, "Lying in bed, breathe in through the nose for a count of 4, then hold the breath for 7, and slowly exhale through the mouth for 8.  Repeat 3 times."

I usually don't remember the third time.



I was so happy to find this old Halloween banner in my archives.  I also changed my profile picture and am going to use the same one on facebook for the rest of the month.  (cackle, cackle.)

I miss my camera.  Patrick took mine apart last night to try and fix it.  We'll see.  I have a feeling it will stay that way for a while.  (apart, in a bowl, on the counter)  (I think he was mainly curious to see what was inside)  I want to just go buy a new one but it feels like we are bleeding money lately and that feels not so good.  (But I also hate missing the stuff that I normally document daily.)

Pickles is up from a good long nap but he doesn't need me yet...he's just playing a little, it sounds like.  Maybe pooping?  Poop is such a big part of your life when you have a baby.  Babies make everything cute, even poop.  (you know what I mean...the poop itself is not cute.)

I hung my last load of laundry up out of necessity this morning.  I will of course still line dry but will have a glorious new dryer for the underwear and stuff like that.  Yay!  I plan on making lots of high efficiency laundry love tomorrow.  (I got a top loading high efficiency, not a front loader.  The dial lights up!  The lid is glass!  And hydraulic!!)  Be still my homemaking heart.

I am still sad and still unsure of what to do.  I am leaning towards waiting.  :(  Thank you all for your comments and emails yesterday.  It really helps to hear how others have dealt with the same tough situation.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It sounds like my gramma doesn't have much time left.  She has dementia and hasn't been herself for years but still, thinking about her being gone?  Oh, it hurts.

I have to decide if I want to go home and see her or if I just want to wait and go for the funeral. If it was just me, I'd go in a heartbeat.  Making the trip (600 miles, round trip) with Nicholas?  Not so easy.

Just typing that makes me feel like a loser but what if I go this weekend and then she dies next week?  Would I really just turn around and go again?

Okay, just typing that makes me feel even worse. 

How can I not go see her?  sigh.  I will have to keep praying and talk with my mom and husband again tonight.

My sister told me how my cousin reminded my mom that gramma is going to Glory.  Oh, Sarah.  You are so right but it is still so hard.  I can't even think about Sarah without tearing up...she has always had such a strong love for our gramma.  But you know what?  She is going to be with God and what could be better for our little dear one?  It's hardest for me to think about the memories.  She was such a good gramma.  I've missed her for so long and am thinking now that I should have let myself grieve, just a little, long before now.  Maybe it wouldn't feel so crushing now?

I titled my post before I began writing.  I was planning on writing about all the other little life stuff that's been going on but I just don't have it in me right now.

sigh.  my little gramma.  sniff.



I just found out that my feeds weren't fully showing up in blog readers.  Oops.  I was playing around with stuff this weekend, thinking about adding ads, and must have messed some stuff up.  My google reader feed (yes, I subscribe to myself) isn't showing ads and is showing a full feed.  Please let me know if you're not seeing stuff.

I might put ads on my blog someday if I got accepted into the Blogher network.  I know everyone doesn't like that but hey, it's my blog.  :)  I'm not saying you should click on them.  A little extra cash might help me pay for that new washer and dryer.  (I think you get like .01 per click??  hmmmmm...might take a while.)

Also, if you haven't yet, switch your feeds over from bloglines soon.  I still prefer them and am sad that they are shutting down.  I hope you'll take me to your new reader!  :)


our boys

The first time I held Jacob I just couldn't stop laughing.  Everytime I looked down at him it was like I was holding my sister.  He looks exactly like her sometimes and just like Ronan at other times.

He looks a little yellow in this picture but he really has the most beautiful olive skin tone just like his mama and dada.  Mr. Pickles is a pale shade of vanilla.

We can tell they're going to be best friends.


Monday, October 18, 2010

which of these things doesn't belong?

at the dinner table...

R:  Mom, I know all the swear words we shouldn't say.
S:  You do, huh?
R:  Yes.  Should I say them to you so you know?
S:  Sure.
R:  (gravely, she begins to tell me)  hate...stupid...piehole...dumb
S:  (busts out laughing)

Where the heck did she hear piehole???

down down down

no internet today so i am blogging via phone. painfully slow at this. i am thinking an afternoon cup of coffee is in order. my fingers hurt. how do teenagers text so much?? i`ll be back when i can blog the old fashioned way again....xoxo

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I am sitting at the computer researching washers and dryers.  I think we're just going to get a new set, which I feel both good and bad about.  Will a set we buy today last us 15 years like our last set did?  I am thinking of going with an LG set that's on sale this week at Best Buy.  LG brand washers and dryers have the lowest percentage of reported repairs over other brands.

(You know what?  Sometimes I hate consumer reports.  Sometimes I just want to go pick out the prettiest one of something and not worry about how it's rated.)

My baby is sleeping.  My big kids are gone with their Dad and we are all going to meet up when mr. pickles wakes up.  It was so good to have Patrick home last night.  Yesterday was an extremely long day with an extremely cranky & sick baby.  I felt so bad for him and even a bit bad for myself.  (poor me, I know.)  He seems better today and I am, too.  Patrick took over at about 3am (when pickles was up for his 4th time) and let me sleep until 10am.  mmmmmm, sleep.


I am back now, at nearly 10pm, and happy to report we got a new washer and dryer!  It will be here on Thursday and I no longer feel bad about it...just EXCITED! 

We had a good day.  Patrick and the kids went bowling, we all went to Best Buy and then to McKee Farms for some playground time and a walk.  James & Ruby found some streamers that had blown away from a party and played with those strips of paper for ages.  It was a beautiful day/evening and I was so glad to be outside with my family. 


I am going to be trying harder to balance my free time this week.  I get so little of it and don't always want to spend it on the computer.  I did really good last winter and spring using Ruby's preschool hours for project time not screen time.  I think I OD'd a little this week after being off-line while at my sister's but it just felt like too much.  Do you ever do that?  ugh.  It's like that you feeling you get after eating too much Peppridge Farms Coconut cake.  Do you know that feeling?

You don't?

um, okay.  nevermind.



Friday, October 15, 2010

mr. pickles the jet setter

Nicholas was a perfect traveling companion.  He really was so good the entire trip.  The only time he really cried (except for when he knew it was bedtime and he wanted his milk NOW, woman!) was on the trip back home from Milwaukee.  (we flew out of MKE to avoid a layover and I was very pleased with how it all worked out...would do that again.)

He definitely gets crabby and stuff at home so I was analyzing the trip and what was different.  Could it be the non-stop attention from mama, auntie, uncle or grandma?  Yes, I believe that was it.  Even when he was rolling around their floor playing we were all sitting right above him having coffee or eating.  So I guess I just need to shuck all household responsibilities and play with Pickles even more than I already do.  hmmmmm.  Sounds pretty good to me.  :)


Today I am a human kleenex.  My kids all have slight colds but of course the stuffy nose is the worst for the littlest one.  Patrick should be home by dinner time and I honestly cannot wait. 

I wanted to write more but the sharks are circling.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

this post is BORING.

My nephew is ADORABLE.  He is tiny and smooshy and smells soooooo good.

My camera is BROKEN.  It is doing the same thing my last Sony did.  It is soooooo bad.

My mom is LEAVING.  Well, she's leaving tomorrow and we will be sad to see her go.

Patrick is RETURNING.  I missed him so much and he had to go to DC yesterday.  Luckily he will be home tomorrow.

Nicholas is SITTING.  He started sitting up for long periods all on his own.  It is very cute and I'd show you if it wasn't for my darn camera.

My laundry is DRYING.  It's been almost 2 months without a dryer and I'm thinking I need one soon.  The first time someone throws up all over their blankets will be the day I go buy one. (I am actually going to check Craigslist because our washer is fine and I don't want to buy a new dryer and then have my washer break and not have a matching pair.)  (in case you were wondering)

My stomach is GROWLING.  I am hungry but still haven't showered so I'm not sure what to do first.  Probably eat, right?

I wanted to complete this list with tidbits about James and Ruby but I can't think of anything clever.  (or even not so clever)  I think it might have to do with the stomach issue.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

jiggety jig

We are home again, home again but not exactly jiggety jig.  It was pretty hard to leave my seester and her sweet little family. 

Why isn't it a rule that all family members have to live within a 100 mile radius of each other?  If my kids could live near their cousins and I could live near my siblings & parents life would that much sweeter.  So, Thomas, Annie & Cheryl, Mom and can we fix this?? 


As sad as it was to leave, it's always good to be home.

It will be near 80 today but I am hanging up my fall curtains, dang it.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

baby says mum mum

I was thinking of ways to fix our desperate dinnertime dilemma as this only keeps him happy for so long:

(why yes, that is a safety pin within reach of my baby.  huh.  guess I'll take that off of there.)

I remembered mesh feeders last week and bought some on Saturday.  He loved it!

Not.  Can you see it there on the floor?  sigh.

Last night at Target I scanned the teething biscuits and these were the only ones he can have at this point.  He loves them!  Score!

I watched him (and will watch him) carefully as he can bite pieces off but they are really airy and dissolve almost immediately.  He had two this morning while I unloaded the dishwasher.  Warning:  they are veeeeeery sticky to clean up.


My suitcase is 46 lbs.  One half is stuffed with baby clothes for little Jacob so I might turn a more discriminating eye to those in case my scale is a little off.  I am just about all packed.  One pair of jeans is drying outside and that will be the last item!  My carry on is a little heavier than I would like but I'm not sure what to take out of there.  Perhaps the pretzel m&ms?  I don't think so!  :)

James is done at 12:30 today.  It is a beautiful day so I'm looking forward to spending some time outside with them.

I hope you have a good week & weekend and I'll see you back here next week.


holy cannoli

I got a lot done yesterday after all that stuck-ness yesterday morning.  I even squeezed in a visit to the doctor (to rule out an ear infection before traveling with pickles) and a trip to the zoo.  I fell into bed exhausted but happy last night and then stayed up for hours reading The Hunger Games.  It is really, really good.

Today I am tired but looking forward to coffee when Ruby leaves in 44 minutes.  (not that I'm counting) 

Time to give the girl a bath.  xoxo

oh wait.  I wanted to show you this goofy picture I took on Sunday.  I loved the idea of combining two looks I had seen and loved on Saturday (plaid scarf + ruffled scarf) but I think it turned out a little TOO much.  It reminds me of A) a complicated bib   B) the ruffled shirts I wore in 5th or 6th grade or C) Little Lord Fauntleroy.  Any opinions?  I can take it...come on, tell me what you think.  (gently)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Finally, a cute hat for pickles.  (no, I didn't make it.)

I am immobilized by my to do list.  My to do list which isn't even out of my head yet.  It would be one thing if I could just do the stuff to get ready to go but NOOOOOO.  My house needs to be cleaned.  AGAIN.  Why don't houses stay clean???  Oh yeah, the five people who live in them?  I won't even get into the laundry, groceries, etc., because I know that most of you?  know the drill.

Cute stuff:

One night last week I pulled up with the kids after Patrick had gotten home from work.  He came right outside to meet us.  Isn't that sweet?  He said the house was too quiet when he got home, he didn't like that.  Last night we went for a walk and were gone longer than I thought.  (a good thing.)  As we were walking the final stretch I saw a guy riding his bike towards us on the sidewalk.  I thought, "I hope that loser moves over, I'm pushing a baby here!"  The next second James says, "Is that Dad?"  Hahahahahhaa.  He was coming out to find us.  I love him. 

I just called him to tell him I love him.  He didn't answer.  Oh well, maybe later.

Yesterday afternoon he called me to tell me this conversation he had with James in the bathroom yesterday morning:

J:  Do you have any girlfriends, Dad?
P:  (pause)
J:  (finishes peeing)  (flushes)  Yeah, me neither.


My baby is doing well.  Growing a tooth and learning to crawl.  Last week he first started going up on his hands and knees and then pushing off with his knees and grinding his face into the carpet.  (not cool.)  Next he tried going up on hands and knees and just rocking.  Then he started pulling himself across the floor with his arms and a butt wiggle (combat crawling?) and now he is going up on his hands and knees and tentatively moving one hand forward and falling, but not nearly as violently as last week.  It is so fun to watch this progression.  He is so flipping cute and lovable and munchable. 

Last night my sister told me she made a horrible and tasteless white bean soup.  That reminded me of the time I did that and wrote about it here.  heehee.  (that post is from November of 2006.  crazy.  #7 on the list is where I talk about the horrible meal I made.)

James is doing well.  The stuff at school seems to be all worked out so that is good.  He had a birthday party to go to on Sunday so the rest of us went for a walk in the Middleton Conservatory.  I mentioned on the walk how James would be happy to be missing this (though we had a wonderful time).  After the party he asked what we did so I told him.  He said, "Ugh.  Glad I wasn't there!"  He claims to hate walks but always enjoys himself after a while.  He is such a big kid now.  Nearly SEVEN.  yikes.  The first thing he wants to do after school is see his baby brother.

I am out of time but Ruby is good, too.  She lies a lot and laughs even more.  She still likes to touch my hair and cuddle up with me in the morning.  She is starting to wear some mildly girly clothes and is having a very hard time giving up her shorts and tank tops.



Monday, October 04, 2010

fall favorite

((Here is another one of my favorite posts. This one is from October 1, 2007. Still cracks me up. Duh!))

(lovely picture found here)

As I drove to the bookstore tonight I felt the chill in the air and smelled apples all around me. What a perfect fall evening, I thought.

At the bookstore I sat down with my magazines and a pumpkin latte. The woman next to me must be having a caramel apple cider I thought, as the tangy crisp scent floated around me.

I walked out to my car under the moonlight, surrounded by vehicles and the scent of apples. It must be those bins at the grocery store over there, I thought.

Driving down the highway at 70 mph, windows rolled up, there it was again. I wonder if the bed of that truck in front of me is full of apples, I thought.

Arriving home, I put my purse on the table and noticed our kitchen smelled like apples, too. I reached in for my cell phone and found the bruised and leaking Honey Crisp apple on the bottom of my bag.

(If you ever need to get my attention, don't be subtle.)

easy lined wrist warmers from a recycled scarf (or sweater)

I don't usually post tutorials because they take a lot of time and feel like a big responsibility to me.  This weekend, though, I was on a crafty warpath and made a few things which seemed fun, fast & easy so I thought I'd share them here over the course of this week and next.

The first is for a pair of lined wrist warmers.  I've wanted a pair of wrist warmers since last year but could never get past the itch factor.  Warm wool on my hands?  No thank you.  I fixed this with a simple lining cut from an old knit shirt.  (make sure and use a knit, a tshirt is good, so it will stretch with the wool.)

I decided to use this striped scarf I had thrifted and felted*.

It was thin to begin with so the felting process didn't make it too thick.  I found the width of the scarf to be a nearly perfect size.  If you are cutting from an old sweater, cut a piece approximately 8" wide by 10" long.  (you can custom fit the width later and make them shorter if you'd like.  If you want them to go almost up to your elbow, cut them 15" or so.)  Also, if using an old sweater, try and use the bottom hem of the sweater as the top of your wrist warmers to get that nice looking finished edge.

Cut a piece from your knit shirt with the same width, only an inch or so shorter. 

(I cut from the bottom of my shirt to have a finished inner edge at the top of my warmers.  Does that make sense?  )

Sandwich them, wrong sides together, and fold in half.

Start stitching, with a half inch seam allowance, from the top.  I used my hand as a guide for figuring out the thumb hole placement.  (very precise, I know.)

Mark with a pin and sew to that spot.  Take a backstitch or two.  Restart sewing an inch and a half (or so) down from there and sew until the bottom.  Take a backstitch.

Turn inside out and you have a line wrist warmer!  Aren't you amazing?

Oh, wait.  Does it feel a little loose around your fingers?  Mine did.  I turned it back inside out and sewed a new seam, angling it in towards my thumb.  I did this twice before I got it feeling snug enough. 

Now trim the length if you need to.  Since the wool is felted, and knits tend to not unravel, you don't need to anything about the bottom hem.

My knit liner tended to hang out a little so I made a few stitches around the top to keep it in place.

Now, repeat!  And admire.

They sure are cozy!  :)

*To felt:  wash anything wool on hot water & dry it on high heat.  It will shrink and then not unravel when you cut it.  I suggest putting the wool stuff in a tied shut pillowcase before washing or you'll get gobs of wool lint all over your washer and dryer.


Taking a cue from Allison, I'm going to post this tutorial on these other lovely blogs. Check them out for tons of great ideas and inspiration!

The DIY Show Off


Saturday, October 02, 2010

my baby

Mr. Pickles had a surprise for me this morning.

His first tooth!

It is tiny and sharp and I have to admit, I teared up a little.  (I'm fine now.)


I had one crazy week last week.  I was sick and tired and emotional and busy and boy...I'm glad that one's over.  Here's the thing, though.  I think most of my weeks are going to be that way for a while.  As long as I get a couple down days in there somewhere I think I can handle it.  The things that kept me going?  My husband, praying and feeling comforted and forgiven, a phone call from a friend, texting with Cheryl, my kids (at times...hahaha), beautiful weather.  So many good things, too.

This week is another busy one and I leave on Thursday to Massachusetts!  My mom is still there and will be flying back with me and Nicholas the following Monday.  I cannot wait to hold little Jacob.  And let my sister nurse my baby so I can go to Cape Cod for the weekend.


Have a good week if I don't see you, okay?  And never underestimate the power of an honest kind word to someone.  It might be just what they needed.



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