Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How Much Do I Love That This Man Is Our Govenor?

Very much. People, if you're not living in California, you're missing out.

You're missing out big time.
(sorry about the sketchy volume - this was the best one I could find.)

Random Musings

Stuart and I watched some "Aftershock Watch" news this morning (we both woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep, so we got up and watched the news and had breakfast together). I haven't felt any of the aftershocks, but I understand that there have been lots of them. I learned that the "Triangle of Life" is complete crap, at least according to the earthquake expert they were interviewing. The best thing to do is get under a large table - if there isn't any large table, the next best thing is to get down and cover your head. Running is bad - people sprain ankles and trip over things and get hurt. The bottom line seems to be that this was a lucky quake for us - not significant damage, only minor injuries - and a wake up call to be prepaired for "The Big One". Personally, I think "The Big One" is a scare tactic hyped up by the insurance companies, but that's just me. I put "buy bottled water" on my shopping list, but Stuart reminded me that we have a huge tank of water in the back yard (called "our swimming pool") and a small brita pitcher in the kitchen, so we're good. (I'm still buying more bottled water, fyi.) The expert lady also showed this very cool technology they are working on - in case of "The Big One" - which could show the beginnings of a major earthquake and what direction it is headed on the fault and give a 30-60 second warning, which could have elevators stop and open at the closest floor and stop hazordous materials flowing in pipes as a precaution (in case the pipes break), that kind of stuff. Very cool. Also very expensive.

Yesterday I introduced Samuel to the joys of Abba. He likes Mama Mia (but that's probably due to the movie previews), Does Your Mother Know, and Waterloo. (Of course, Waterloo is my favorite, so that could have been a factor there.) It dawned on me that some parents (good parents, I can hear you say) use summer break to teach their kids a language, or a new skill, or something useful, like mummification techniques of the ancient egyptians. Me? I teach my kids movie trivia and music from the 70s and 80s. (Mostly the 80s, but Abba is very necessary.)

I'm out. The kids have dentist appointments this morning. The fun never ends around here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5.8

I was standing in the parking lot of the grocery store when I felt the ground move. I looked down, thinking I had to be standing on a manhole cover or something, I realized that the shaking was getting stronger and I was standing on smooth blacktop and this had to be an earthquake. It lasted several seconds, all the cars were rocking back and forth, and then it was over. About one minute later, people started coming out of the store, every single one of them on the phone.

We are all fine. Sally was at the park with her BFF and she called me to check on me (she's type A, that's for sure) and Stuart called next to say that his entire floor (he's on the fifth, I think) was shaking and he was going to go to lunch. No damage at the house - just a few things knocked off of shelves. I'm pretty sure the dog slept through the whole thing. If there are aftershocks, I'll keep you posted on our status.

Conversations with Samuel

Me: "How did you sleep last night?"
Him: "Good."
Me: "Any good dreams?"
Him: "Yep - a million and a googlen."
Me: "Wow! It's a wonder you wanted to wake up!"
Him: "Yeah. I was hungry."
Me: "Oh. So tell me one of the dreams."
Him: "Well, there was this alligator, and he was going to get us, but a monkey came and landed on his head and bit him."
Me: "A monkey bit the alligator?"
Him: "Yeah. Then a woodpecker came and pecked his head."
Me: "And this is a good dream?"
Him: "Yeah. It was funny."

Laguna Beach

One of the nice things about living in Southern California is that there is lots of stuff to do around here. I like to take the kids to see things, especially if those things are educational and free. That's why we went to the beach last week. (Also, I like walking in Laguna because sometimes you'll see someone famous. I love to watch people.) We don't swim at Laguna - we climb on the rocks and search for tidepools. Our friend, Riley, was hanging out with us, too. (Also, my kids don't have enough of a healthy fear of the ocean for me to feel comfortable swimming with the ratio of one adult to three kids.)
Then we climb up all those stairs and have lunch at Heissler Park. If it wasn't for an unfortunate incident with a junebug and then another with a bumblebee, it would have been a perfect morning.

(PS~See that first picture? I'm standing on top of a very large rock (more like a hill) that we had to climb over and I slid down the side - probably only three feet, but it felt like six, and landed on the rocky beach. Barefoot. And I was carrying a bag with a blanket inside and a bag with four pairs of shoes inside. This kind of stuff is not included in the stay-at-home-mom job description.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cousins Camp

I bet lots of you (including me!) wonder what really goes on during the week of Cousins Camp. No parents, no rules - only Grandpa and Grandma and fun, right? Well, here are some of the pics I was able to get my hands on. Here's a hike in the wash behind my parents house: Here's fishing on the dock:
Here's posing with the matching shirts:
Here's playing in my parent's back yard:
Here's crafts with melty beads:
Here's falling asleep in the fort in the middle of the living room:
Yep. Lots of fun. I'm pretty sure there were happy meals (note the toy Samuel is sleeping with) and donuts and, if I know my dad, lots of ice cream. Kinda makes you wish you were a kid again, huh?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weekend

I'm taking a break from playing with my facebook page to report that all is well here. I took the kids to Laguna beach on Thursday (summer to do list: go to beach - check!) and my calves are still sore from all the climbing (I'll post pictures later and you'll understand). We had a lovely morning today reconnecting with a friend from college (great to see you, Shelly!) and The Boy got his hair cut and The Girl and I went to Target for a few essentials (a shoe organizer and a HSM* hamper for her room). We are still watching How Clean Is Your House and still loving Aggie and Kim. (And Dad, I'm still watching House, too). I've got a few knitting projects going on and I also finished a book last night. Now I'm off to watch Eli Stone with my hubby. (We missed the first season, so we are catching up with the reruns. Great show. Love the doctor.)

*HSM is High School Musical - if you didn't know that, be thankful.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vegas Pics

The view from our room:

My sister and me:

Sally in the pool:

notice the ball in the air (she's playing catch with a new friend) and my lovely pink toes :)

Samuel:
he's upset because we had to wait to go to the slides, and he didn't want me to take his picture. The three waterfalls in the background flowed into the main pool, and you could swim through them (or stand under them). Very cool.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What happens in Vegas . . . .

I'm back! I've had the best last week and a half of the whole summer. Last week I drove the kids to Barstow and dropped them off with my parents and their cousins for a week of Cousins Camp. Cousins Camp is the great idea of my parents to have all the cousins (four - ages 8, 6, 5, and 5) at their house for a week. This was the second year. They all had fun, but my mom is having second thoughts about a whole week of camp. (hee hee - she's very tired today!)

I had the brainchild of an idea to have a girls weekend with my sister in Vegas before the kid pickup. Then we figured out that since Vegas has the largest airport by my parent's house, they could bring the kids to us. In Vegas. We all thought this was a great idea and my sister made some airline reservations. Sadly (or not), the airline changed her tickets at the last minute, so we started our weekend on Friday instead of Saturday. We had a ball. We joined three frequent players clubs (for the freebies), we played some slots (the penny ones), we played bingo (she won!), we got pedicures, we saw a show (Mystere at Treasure Island), we slept in until 9:00, and we even found time to lay by the pool and people watch. (Our favorite game was "How Drunk Are They?" and "How Drunk Were They Last Night?" Scale of 1 to 10. Super fun game. Best played by the coffee shop around 10:00 am.) All in all, a fantastic time.

The parents and the kids came on Sunday, and we spent the afternoon by the pool. The Flamingo has great pools for kids - three of the pools are connected by water slides, which my kids loved. We tired out the kids, took them to dinner, and put them to bed. Monday we all went home. So fun.

And today is the traditional travel detox day. I've unpacked all the luggage, cleaned out the car (and vaccumed it - it was a mess), started the laundry, and cleaned the pool. I still have to download my pictures, clean out my purse, respond to Sherry's fun blog game, and figure out if any of my library books are overdue. Oh - while the kids were gone, I joined another library. Lovely. Now I'm a member of three. (!!!) (MrsFish, my newest library has the book you recommended, Winter's Tale. When the weather turns colder, I'm going to finally get to read it!) Also Stuart and I were able to go out on a real dinner date, which was very fun.

I'm running out of days of summer. I still haven't taken the kids to the beach. Maybe tomorrow . . . .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Conversations with Samuel

(in the pool)

Sally: "Marco!"

Friend #1: "Polo!"

Friend #2: "Polo!"

Friend #3: "Solo!"

Me: (never one to leave a teachable moment alone) "No no, it's P-Polo, not S-Solo. Marco Polo."

Samuel: (laughing to himself) "That was so funny. She said 'Psycho'!"

Knit Bit: Up for grabs

I've been re-organizing the house (the garage is now a beautiful place) and the knitting stuff. I need some small projects to take to soccer (yep, it's started already) so I've been looking at the stash and the wips (works in progress) and moving things around and making plans. I keep coming back to this:This is a scarf that I started over a year ago. I found the pattern and I had never done cables before and thought it would be a nice place to start. (It was - great pattern.) I used some wool yarn that I had, thinking that I would make a scarf to match some fingerless gloves I had made. There's just one problem with this thing: I know I'll never wear it. The wool is too scratchy for my neck - it makes me itch. I thought about giving it as a present, but I'm hesitant to give something that I know that I wouldn't wear myself. I've stopped working on it because I think I should really rip it out and make something else with the yarn. But I've put alot of time into this and it's more than half-way finished. SO, here's the deal: Does anyone like wool scarves out there? I don't want to give this to someone who doesn't, because it isn't very soft, but it is a nice blue color and it is warm. If you like wool and think you would wear it, leave me a comment and you may get a nice warm scarf for Christmas this year. (If not, I'm ripping it out next week and making something else with the yarn, like some felted slippers or another hat.)

By the by, I should probably mention again that the knitted gifts are given usually on a whim and not according to any logical relationship status. My spouse, who is also my best friend, has still not received a knitted gift from me (mostly because he is usually hot and doesn't wear knitted things). So, while giving a knitted gift is a sign of fondness, not receiving one is not a sign that I'm not fond of you. (wow, that was a triple negative) Does that make sense? Hope so. Disclaimer over.

Anyone want a blue wool scarf?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fourth of July Photos

Samuel helping me in the kitchen. He's cutting up cold cooked potatoes for breakfast. Notice the apron - he wears it all the time when we cook. Sally was delighted with the red, blue, and white layered drink. Of course, she stirred it up until it was purple, which was also good in her book.

Back to Health

We all seem to be over that strange virus, but sadly we had to cancel a trip that was going to be lots of fun and we missed two weddings, too. Sally's virus made her stomach hurt every evening for six days in a row. I don't think she ate anything for dinner those nights (luckily she was able to eat breakfast and lunch). It was no fun, and we had long boring nights at home. Being bored is very underrated, in my opinion. It's a great luxury to have a few hours where you have no plans, have nothing to do, so you sit in the pool with your family and talk. Or watch the Harry Potter marathon on the Family Channel - even though you happen to own the movies. I think every kid should have some days of boredom during the summer. It's good for them.

Today Sally is at a friend's house and Samuel is playing in his room, so it's quiet in the house. A rare thing around here. I'm going to go enjoy it.
(By the way - I'm teaching myself crochet. Can you believe it? Me neither.)

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Purse Organizer

I've seen purse organizers before and thought that it would be a fun project for me. Before heading to the craft store, I did a little internet research. Many thanks to The Giving Flower, Bella Dia, and Craft Apple, for pictures and directions. I took your ideas and came out with this: Here's what I did.

(1) Materials: one yard each of two cotton prints (I used about 1/4 of each); one yard of heavy interfacing (Craft Fuse, found at Walmart); matching thread.

Other things I needed: sewing maching, scissors, measuring tape, iron.

(2) I put out all the stuff I wanted in my organizer (calendar, wallet, phone, etc) and lined it up with about 1/2 inch between. My fabric was about 6-8 inches longer than I needed, which I thought was a good thing. (Longer = more pockets). I cut my fabric and interfacing - two lenths of fabric and two of interfacing. (Mine is approx. 11" by 36")

(3) Iron on the interfacing following directions that came with it. (Thank heaven for those!)

(4) Sew long sides and one short side together, right sides together. Then I trimmed off the excess fabric so that there were 1/2" edge, and trimmed the corners a bit more.

(5) Turn inside out. This process took me longer than I expected and I started to panic a bit, but it turned out all right in the end. I used a capped ball-point pen to push out the corners, then ironed and ironed it.

(6) Turn un-sewn end in and sew seam. I liked the look of the stitches on the outside, so I did the other side, too.
(7) Lay out your stuff and start marking off the pockets. I did mine one at a time, starting with a medium sized item to see if I got the size right. I ended up needing at least 1/2" on each side of the item for it to fit in properly. Mark and sew until you are done! (8) Admire your work. Ask people to look at it and say nice things like "You're so clever!" or "That is great!" Feel happy. Go to your room, take out some bags, and try it out. This is one of the purses I use - it's so organized now.
Love it. Next on my list: checkbook cover to match.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Garden Flowers

One of the things I love about having a garden is waking up in the morning and taking a cup of coffe outside and drinking it while looking at the flowers. I don't know what it is - the colors, the symmetry (math nerd alert), the promise of the fruit to come - it just makes my brain happy.

Future pumpkins:

Future zucchini:

Health Update

Sally's feeling better, but I can tell she's still not 100%. She will be fine, then will sit on the couch and not talk at all and not want anyone to talk to her. Then I'll check on her and she'll be laying down with her hand on her stomach. Poor kid.

And now I've got the virus. It's so strange - I'll feel ok, then all of a sudden it feels like I've run into a wall. My head hurts, my back hurts, my stomach hurts, and I just want to lay on the couch and rest. Then, about an hour or two later, I feel better. But I know it will be back.

Stuart is not feeling well, either. (If you are local, don't come over! We don't want to share these germs!) It looks like we'll be quarantined for the weekend.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Crafty Links

It must be that I'm forced to stay at home, but I've been feeling crafty lately. Not just the knitting either (you're shocked, I know - I should have warned you). I've been hopping around blog land and found two neato sites to share:

The Crafty Crow - this is a great site with lots of ideas for interesting children's crafts. Fun, and pretty easy. Stuff my five year old can do. (Totally want to do that red, white, and blue drink.)

greetingarts - found this site from a link from Crafty Crow because I had to check out the darling post-it notebooks. I love post-its (almost as much as I love Q-tips) and these are charming!

Sally's still sick on and off - she thinks she's getting well, but I know better. The new rule: you aren't better until you are symptom-free for 24 hours. We shall see.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

One More Thing

And yes, Sally does have the illness that Samuel has last week. She was grumpy and lethargic on Sunday, had a painful tummy yesterday morning, took a two hour nap (very unlike her), woke up and felt fine, then after a small dinner she felt yucky again. She feels ok now, but doesn't want to leave the house (also very unlike her) so I know she is still sick. It's the strangest thing - no fever, no vomiting, no other symptoms but a painful tummy and lots of resting and sleeping. No results yet on the blood and urine tests from Samuel, but I'll keep you posted.

Garden Update

Lots of fun things happening in the garden. Here's the first beginnings of a zucchini: These zucchini plants are growing like crazy, so I think I'll have a huge crop. I love zucchini, but I don't know how much my family likes it. I'm sure they will all love the zucchini bread.

Next up is the first cucumber:

Last year we had tons of cucumbers, so this year I only did one plant. I should have done two. This little guy is being overrun by the zucchinis. Stuart is planning on making more pickles this summer.

Next, green beans.

They are hard to photograph.

Tomatoes.

And finally, a visitor.

We get lots of lizards around here. They don't bother me at all.

Kids' Rooms

I did a few small projects in the kids' rooms this weekend, as we were stranded at home with nothing much to do. Sally's room got key hooks for her necklaces:and some hooks by her closet.Samuel's room got some decorations:and a re-arrange by his closet. It looks like a mess, but that's his table by his bookshelf - getting ready for all that kindergarten homework :) (BTW, thanks Uncle Dre and Aunt Joy and boys for the legos - he loves them.) He also got a new hook for his backpack (dark purple). He has a new thing about his closet - it is organized by type. Short pants, long pants, short sleeves, long sleeves. All with a little space in between. I got in trouble for pushing everything to one side, and he gave me a lesson in closet organization. (I listened and did not laugh, so I think that redeems my mistake, right?)

Knit Bit: Bag & Top

I've been working on two projects for the past week. First off is the BYOB bag from knitty.com. I'm surprising loyal to knitting this, esp. considering that it's mostly seed stitch. I'm not overly fond of knitting seed stitch, but this is such a great pattern for this yarn (Lion Cotton-Ease, one of my favorite yarns) and the bag is working up so fast. It probably helps that with all of the seed stitch practice, I'm getting faster at it.

This is a top in progress. It's hard to photograph with the needles on it, but the ruffle part is the bottom. (I started this one about a month ago.)I'm stalling on it as I'm planning on changing the pattern to make the straps (a) wider and (b) racerback style, and I am still not sure how I'll proceed. My main concern is where to join the front and back of the straps - at the top of the shoulder, or at the top of the back side. The pattern has them joined at the top of the back, which may be easier to get the fit right. Also easier to make sure my head will fit through the opening! (That would be an important consideration, right?)