Friday, April 28, 2006

Favorite Fotos Friday

The Easter Pictures - enjoy!

My arm is better now! See? Posted by Picasa

Happy Easter, Grandmas and Grandpas! Posted by Picasa

Yeah - chocolates for breakfast! Posted by Picasa

The dollhouse bathroom. Note the egg in the sink, and there are three in the tub. Posted by Picasa

The Easter Bunny went a little crazy for the dollhouse Posted by Picasa

Finding The Time

Some of my friends wonder where I find the time to blog, knit, and read. These are things I MAKE time for, because if I don't, my brain will turn to mashed bananas. Let me tell you a little secret that, if you didn't know already, you could have guessed: I'm a pretty smart woman, and the stay-at-home-mommy thing doesn't really take a whole lot of thinking. Play with a two year old, take the six year old to school, make breakfast, make lunch, do the dishes, do some laundry, keep the house somewhat clean, nothing about that exercises my brain. (Unless I try to do three or four things at once, which is another post.) So, I make time to do things that make me think. Now, here's another secret that you could guess if you thought about it: my kids are expected to entertain themselves while I do these things for me. Moms of little ones, take notes: they were not born knowing how to do this - I trained them to do it. This is a very lovely skill to teach your kids. You have to start small and you have to help them lots at first. With Samuel, I'd start by playing something with him - trains, puzzles, whatever - and then you leave for five minutes, saying "I got to go do ___ and I'll be back in five minutes." After he starts to get it, you leave for longer and longer periods of time. Finally, you get to the stage that you can say, "I'm going to do my computer work (SSSHHH - he thinks it's my work) so you go play in your room for a while." Samuel can entertain himself for 20-40 minutes at a time now, longer if I let him watch Chicken Little, which I save for emergencies.

My editor is at school, so I can tell you a story about her :) When we were sick, we had to cancel a trip. We were supposed to go visit my folks for a few days, and my sister and her boys were there, too. We were very sad about this. To cheer me up, my mom told me that everything happens for a reason, and perhaps God made us sick to keep us home to avoid something bad that was going to happen on our trip. I told this to Sally, who was very cheered up by the thought. So fast forward to right after my mom calls to tell me that SHE is sick. I find Sally and tell her that now Grandma is sick, and she sighs and says, "Oh good!" Huh? I looked at her funny and she says, "I'm so glad that God made Grandma sick to protect her from bad things, too!" So sweet, isn't she?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Three Things Thursday

As promised, more on the house I used to live in:

(1) The magical three-story house was in Sioux City, Iowa. It was on the outskirts of town, off of RR1 (right, Mom?). The main level was actually the second story - the first story was the basement, which was home to the washer and dryer, the very large garage, and a large room that I don't remember what we used it for other than storage of stuff. The third, or top, story was my sister and my bedroom.

(2) I would lie awake at night and be afraid, especially when it was windy. We had these awmings on the outside of the windows, and one of them made all kinds of noise when the wind blew. My overactive imagination thought that someone was banging on that window, wanting to get in and get me.

(3) When I told my mom the above story of the awnings, she got a funny look on her face and told me she would wake up in the middle of the night and hear someone walking around upstairs. Of course, there was never anyone there and my sister and I were always asleep. Apparantly, the previous owner (ugly wallpaper lady) died in the house. I'm pretty sure that it was haunted.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


During my long sickness, I didn't even have the energy to read or knit. That is very sad, huh? So I watched about forty hours of tbs. That sitcom stuff turns your brain to total mush. One day I think I watched three straight hours of Everybody Loves Raymond. I've had more than enough. So when I started feeling better, I switched to the DIY channel and got caught up on my knitting show, which I really love to skim (TiVo rules!) and I realized something: I don't knit the way that the ladies on the show knit. We purl the same, but I knit different. The end product is the same, though. Strange.

So I went on a little internet search, and discovered that there are several different ways to knit. I am a combination knitter. (If you are interested, this is a combination of Eastern and Western knitting. Here's another good informational site.) I also am a right handed, or an English knitter when it comes to throwing the yarn around the needles. This might make you slip into a boredom coma, but it's quite fascinating to me. So after learning all about how I knit, and having a long chat with my mom, who taught me to knit, who learned from my dad's mom, I sat down to my knitting projects and worked a bit. Then I took a nap, because that flu really got me down.

After making Sally's lunch for a year an a half, I realized last week that I could make two lunches in the time it takes me to make one, and then save time the next day by not having to make a lunch. (duh.) So now I make one or two whole sandwiches, cut them into fourths (triangles, please) and then put two in a bag. One bag goes in the lunch box, the rest into the freezer. Same with any fruits or veggies that I cut up for her. And drinks are easy since I've got her hooked on those cute little bottles of water - good for her and so easy to pack for me. Other moms - any good school lunch tips?

Sherry, you'd be so proud of me. I've had silken tofu in my fridge non-stop for the past few weeks, and we've been having fruit tofu smoothies for breakfasts once or twice a week. (Samuel still calls them "moovies") The kids actually like the tofu in there, because it gives the smoothie a better texture but still goes through the straw very well. Peach banana is my favorite, with a little vanilla and powdered sugar. Also, the peanut butter banana was a big hit.

Well, there you go. Yesterday I made roast carrots just like the barefoot contessa, and I didn't use the recipe book or anything. Tonight, han and mushroom quiche. I'm going for the homemade crust. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We live.

It's Monday morning, and I'm mostly well. I have a few lingering flu symptoms - we'll just leave it at that - but I'm up, I'm dressed, and Sally is safely at school with a healthy, homemade lunch. These are very big accomplishments for me. This flu-cold illness has been a huge bummer. Sally and I were on the couch for literally five days, with this weekend dedicated to recovery, since we were both still very weak and not eating very much. We had to cancel our trip to visit my parents, a fact that Sally nor I wanted to face, and when we did face it, we held each other and cried at the injustice of getting sick during a school holiday. NO FAIR! No fair.

I need to get Samuel out of the house today, because the poor kid has been going stir crazy. He never got sick. Can you believe that? Here we are, with every flu and cold symptom you can have, and he was with us the entire week and never got sick. I had an entire day where I couldn't smell or taste anything. Not one thing. It was particularly sad since it was also the day that the nausia went away, so I could actually eat, but I didn't want to, because everything tasted like nothing.

Well, enough complaining. I'm going to find my purse, remember how to drive, and go to the park. But never fear! I'll leave you with a fun story: Samuel wouldn't stop talking last night, and since Stuart works early, and since I'm a great wife and mother, I took Samuel to his room and slept in his bed so he could talk to me some more. Seriously. I fell asleep to him talking to me. So in the middle of the night, Sally walks in and I tell her to go sleep in my bed. I got up and went to the bathroom, and came back to Samuel's bed and he's awake. No lie - I turned to tell him to go to sleep, and he says to me, "So Mom, let's talk about little elephants now."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

We've had the flu

Alternate title to this post: "If I have to watch another episode of SpongeBob, I'll pluck my eyes out."

Sally and I have been sick since early Monday morning, when she came to wake me up with the news that she needed to throw up. I felt like someone had been beating me up all night and had installed a strong vise on my head. It didn't take long for the fevers to show up, and we're still on the couch, sipping water and sprite and wading through the piles of dishes in the kitchen to find more crackers and bread for toast. Obviously, I'm feeling better, since I'm posting here, but I think I'll need a nap after this.

Samuel is fine. He never got sick. He's been playing playdough, playing barbies, and taking our temperature every hour (at least). We have one of those plastic strip thermometers that you stick on your forehead - he loves it. I've been letting him watch cartoons all day long so that I can rest.

Stuart was sick all weekend, too. On Monday, our house looking like a camp for refugees, we all crawled into our bedroom to watch a movie (for Samuel) and take a nap, and we couldn't believe how bad we all felt.

I can't think straight anymore. I'm going to lay on the couch for an hour or two. I'll be back later this week.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday to you

A blessed Good Friday to you, dear readers.

I'm busy getting ready for Easter here, and I'll leave you with this little story that, since my editor is at school, she will hopefully not read for several years. While I go out and buy lots of goodies for her and her brother for Easter, while I stay up late and hide the little goodies all over the house, I know for certain that she will run up to my parents and profusely thank THEM for sneaking out to our house in the middle of the night and hiding eggs for her and her brother. She has it in her head that my dad is the Easter Bunny (because really, he is) and that they drive five hours each way to come hide eggs at this house for her. As the ultimate act of motherly (and daughterly!) sacrifice, I just smile and tell her that she's too smart for me, that she figured it out, and then I dial their number so she can talk to them.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) When I was younger, we lived in a huge three story house on an acre (?) of land. It was a magical place. My sister and I had the top floor, which had low, sloping ceilings and a tiny bathroom with a sink and a toilet. We once thought we were stuck in that bathroom, and stayed in there for about an hour, yelling out the tiny window to our mom. Turns out that the door was just closed funny and needed a strong strong push.

(2) My favorite room of that house was a room that was between the family room and the downstairs hallway (I think) and it was full of bookshelves. My mom used that room for her crafts and books and other stuff that I, in my youth, didn't know about. (Now that I'm an adult, I realize it must have been bills and files and such, but please don't tell me the truth, and let me keep my idealistic childhood memories.)

(3) When we moved in to that house, it had several layers of very ugly wallpaper on the walls that my parents wanted to remove right away. It was a long process. The dining room alone had three (or was it four?) layers of very difficult to remove paper. (To this day, I have an aversion to wallpaper. I like borders, as they are very easy to remove if you decide you don't like them anymore, but the earth will shift off it's axis on the day I decide I want wallpaper in any room of my house.) My dad, in a stroke of genuis and bravado that my sister and I will never forget, brought the garden hose in the house and hosed down the walls to get the paper really really wet. My grandmother had a serious fit about that.

Stay tuned - I'll do three more things about that house next week!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On Sleep

The past few days I've been dealing with a cold. Monday was a long day, what with the doctor and the normal day-to-day dealings with two kids. I planned on getting to bed early, taking the ever-effective Nyquill and passing out for ten hours.


At quarter to bedtime, I realized that Samuel was not himself. That he was lying on the couch and breathing funny. I touched him and yep, he had a fever. It was 101, so out came the tylenol, the cool compress, opened the windows in my bedroom to cool down the air.

I didn't take any Nyquill. I didn't get to sleep by 8:00.

By the time his fever started going down, I fell into bed. I was so tired that my fingers and toes felt tired. I was too tired to cover myself up even though I was cold. I went to sleep very quickly.

Only to be woken up by the vile dog (love that dog, hate that dog) who was barking in protest. He had thrown up in his kennel (hate that dog) and wanted out. I almost couldn't think of a good solution to this problem, but at the last minute, my weak brain decided to put the whole kennel outside, and gate the dog in the kitchen area. (If he's outside, he'll bark. If he's free in the house, he'll pee in the living room. If he's in the garage, he'll bark and pee. Like I said, hate that dog, love that dog.)

Last night, I was taking no chances. Put the kids - fever free - to bed at 8:00. Went to bed myself with the air purifier on and the earplugs firmly in place. Slept like Sally, who sleeps like the dead.

I feel like a whole new woman today. Sleep = good.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Dis is sticky." (referring to the syrup bottle)
Me: "Yes, I wonder who got it all sticky."
Samuel: "Not me." (pause) "I tink it was Daddy."
Me: "Oh, you think Daddy did this, huh?"
Samuel: "Yeah, it was Daddy. He made that mess."

Author's note: I know for a fact that it wasn't his daddy, because his daddy hates sticky lids on ketchup, mustard, and syrup. Also, his daddy doesn't use syrup very much at all anymore. Just to set the record straight.

Update: Sally's Wrist

Sally got her cast off yesterday with little drama, and her bone is healing very nicely. She got a brace to wear for p.e. and soccer, and she'll go back in a year to have a follow-up x-ray to make sure the growth plate is, well, I'm not sure exactly what it should do, but by then the doctor can see if things are ok or if there is a problem. He didn't sound too worried.

And as to my fears, which were Sally's reaction to the saw, and the smell when they took the cast off, both were unfounded. She was fine with the saw, and I have a terrific head cold and can't smell a thing. Small blessings abound.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Favorite Foto Friday

We colored eggs this week. Samuel was so enthralled that he didn't say a word the entire time. I think we'll have to do this at least once more this month! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Three Things Thursday

~ Three Hobbies ~

(1) My favorite hobby right now is knitting. I am loving knitting. I am working on a pink scarf for me, which I am going to put some beads on one end because I've never done that before. I am also working on a blanket for my bedroom that I am working in squares that I will sew together to make a knitted quilt. Then, this week, I discovered illusion knitting. Fantastic. I need some more yarn.

(2) I love to bake. Samuel is really into baking, too, because he can stir and then lick the spoon/beaters/bowl. Something about taking eggs and sugar and flour and making a batter that turns into muffins or cookies or cake is very satisfying to me. I am starting to love to cook, but that relationship takes work. Cooking is for meals. Baking is for something special.

(3) I love puzzles. My favorite are 1000 piece puzzles with lots of detail, like a picture of a town or a drawing. I do not like landscapes. I do not like trees. I do not like the puzzles where there are only green m&ms, or where half of the puzzle is blue sky. I have two puzzles - both 750 pieces - that I can complete in two hours or less. The length of a movie. When Sally was a baby and I had not found my way on the stay-at-home-mom path, one of my favorite things to do when she slept was to put on You'veGotMail and do one of my two fast puzzles. One of my all-time best gifts was when my Mom and Dad gave me a puzzle keeper - one of these genius products with several trays that enable you to store your puzzle flat and keep dust and little fingers off of your pieces - and a photomosaic puzzle. I did that puzzle once - took forever - but I use the puzzle keeper all the time. My current puzzle is this:

Holiday Sleigh Ride puzzle Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rainy Days

It's yet another rainy day. There are puddles everywhere around our house. Samuel has been playing with Sally's barbie dolls for over two hours, and the dog is quietly napping in his doggie bed.

It is calm and serene, and I keep running around checking to see if someone is getting into trouble. But everyone is being very good.

It's nice, but it's weird.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fun Facts

Hey kids! Here's a fun little tidbit from my folks:

Tomorrow, at two minutes and three seconds past 1:00 (am or pm), the time and date will be . . . .

01:02:03 - 04/05/06.

Pretty cool, huh? Bonus points awarded to the first commenter to come up with the correct answer to this question: what is the next year that this will happen?

Have a numerically ordered day!

Monday, April 03, 2006

My New Editor

Sally is getting much, much better at reading.

This is good news and bad news.

Yesterday, as I was typing a conversation we had where she adorably mispronounced Pablo Picasso, she read it over my shoulder. And told me she didn't like me writing about that on the computer and it sounded like I was making fun of her. All my hugs and kisses and reassurances that she is a wonderful genius child and I just loved the way she said it and I knew her grandmas and grandpas and aunties and uncles would think it was so so cute did not persuade her in any way. So, per her request, I deleted that post.

I have a feeling this is only the beginning of her censorship of my blog.