Sunday, January 31, 2010

Is It Monday Yet?

I know that's an odd question, but this week was c.r.a.z.y ~ and the weekend wasn't all that much better. I mean, {clearly} this week must've been eventful, otherwise I certainly would've, I don't know, ummm...{blogged} or something?

So what went on this week? Well....In addition to the usual things like taking tiny people to and from schools and bus stops, grocery shopping & erranding, cleaning and doing minimal amounts of laundry while solo-parenting because the Hubband spent an inordinate amount of time sitting on a sheet of ice attemping to catch fish...

I {did} make a menu plan, and I actually stuck to it...which is an absolute {first}.

I {didn't} bake the molasses cookies. Partially out of laziness, and partially out of a desire to avoid eating every last one of them myself, considering no one else in my family likes them.

I {did} bake a batch of peanut butter cookies instead, with the help of the tiny people.

I {didn't} work out. Barely even really thought about it. I {suck}.

I {did} practice crochet on some ugly, boring, normal yarn...

and I {did} switch to some {fancy} yarn once I felt like I had a handle on it...

and I totally {did} crochet myself a pretty but sloppyish scarf, which I promise to post pics of soon.

Can I get a {woot!}

I {did} watch the State of the Union, and I {do} *heart* our President.

I {did} throw something new together for dinner tonight, loosely based on a recipe idea I got from a friend and adapted from a couple of recipes I found online. I might just share that soon, too.

And I {did} finish the book I've been reading, so I can move on to the next one.

Watch out {Godfather}, here I come.

So the next book has been chosen and so has the next {project}. Wanna know more?

I'll give you a hint. My friend {Molly}, who I love and adore, passed on a link to a sweet little blog, wanting to show me a {super cute} little Valentine's Day wreath. While I was there I poked around a bit and here's what {really} caught my eye ~

I'm not big on seasonal decor for non-major holidays ~ not because I don't think it's cool ~ but because I tend to {forget} that I have it until the holiday is over. I'm soooo organized! But there's a lovely little 2-word clue in the original inspiration for the subway art...and those of you who know me will know it immediately. Those 2 words are going to be my jumping off point, and I'm moving forward from there to make my own. I've got a canvas in my basement just {waiting} to be abused. ;)

Today included a family outing to the roller-skating rink. Did you know that people still go roller skating? Shocked the hell outta me! I couldn't {believe} how many people were there ~ and we went during the "family matinee". Oh, the kids...everywhere...the kids. My back is shot and we'll see if I'm able to function in the morning.

And with that, I'm off. The Hubband will be dedicating a good portion of his day tomorrow to ice-related activities ~ first fishing, then hockey ~ and I need to get a good night's sleep so I can deal with the tiny people on my own. I'm ready for {Monday} ~ so, so, so ready!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Setting up playdates for your kids with {new friends} is tricky. First you have to figure out how to contact the parent of the kid your kid can't stop talking about. (I sent a note to school in her folder, addressed to "Other Kid's Mom"...I felt very much like I was back in elementary school myself.) Then you have to determine what their kid thinks of your in "Yeah, she's nice" or "Ewwww...she's the one that eats paste and follows me around all the time!" (See what I'm saying? Does your kid like my kid? Check yes or no.) You hope for the best. Then you have to wait for the other parent to make contact, and see if you can work out a date and time to get together. And then, when the time is set and the day draws near you have to {hope} that the other kid...and the other kid's nice and {normal}. Today we hit the jackpot. {Whew!} The girls played great together, my kid was polite & kind ~ always a plus ~ and didn't throw a fit when it was time to leave. I'm so hoping that other kid had a good time, too, and that the conversation upon our departure didn't include the sentence, "Well...she was...different." ;)

In addition to today's playdate adventure, I also accompanied the tiny people to a birthday party at Pump It Up yesterday. Nothing quite like 30 kids running and bouncing and wearing themselves out to make you really {really} tired. A good time was had by all.

When we got home and the kids went to bed, I busted out one of my pretty new crochet hooks and decided to muscle through yet another online tutorial until I had it figured out. And I {did}! Go me! I didn't even try to make something, I just wanted to make sure I had the stitching down. I'm going to attempt to actually make {something} this week. I'm thinking a scarf...and maybe a hat. We shall see! I'll also be attempting to make my very own batch of {molasses cookies} this week. And I have to get the house under control after a weekend of kid-centered activities that left the homestead more than a little neglected.

And with that...I'm off to try to get a chapter of my book read before I fall into a deep and uninterrupted slumber. A girl can dream, right?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bullet Points & Random Thoughts

*Moms don't get sick days. I'm gonna go ahead and say that that {sucks} and I'd like to renegotiate my contract.

*I'm trying to decide on the next project to work on. Aprons for the kids? Or learning to crochet? Or maybe making a pillow to go inside the enormous turtle that I got for the kids from Ikea a couple of Christmases ago. It's {adorable} and they do bring it out to use it, but it's filled with a big plastic inflatable thingy, which makes it not all that comfortable or cushy. Hmmmm... Decisions, decisions.

*So John Edwards finally admitted that he's the baby daddy of the little girl born to his ex?-mistress. All of the reporters I saw on TV today were talking about the {shocking} admission, etc. Dude...REALLY? I for one was not even a little bit surprised. And I'm guessing that about 90% of the general population was with me when I said the words... {"Well, DUH!?!?!"}

*This morning, when I went to pick up the tinier of the tiny people from preschool, I also dropped off a big bag of non-perishables at the church's food pantry. That felt {awesome}. And I plan to do it again in a week or two. I know Haiti is at the front of all of our minds lately, but let's not forget to continue to give {locally}, too.

*I've had at least 3 different FB friends ask for reading recommendations in the last 2 weeks. I've suggested A Prayer for Owen Meany &/or The Cider House Rules (Irving), East of Eden (Steinbeck), Cyrano de Bergarac (Rostand), any of the Scarpetta series (Cornwell), or the Plum series (Evanovich), The Color Purple (Walker), To Kill A Mockingbird (Lee), and Eat,Pray,Love (Gilbert). If someone asked {you}, what books would make your list? No, really! Leave it in a comment ~ I'm always looking for something good. Next on my reading list? The Godfather...a gift from my brother.

*The Hubband is home now from ice fishing ~ I have taken a hefty and {disgusting} dose of Nyquil, and I am now going to go to bed...before midnight.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I can't "do nothing"? What's {wrong} with me!?!?!

First ~ yes, I do realize the grammatical {HORROR} of my title. I tried to save it with the quotation marks. LOL

Second....a story... I walked into my laundry room this morning and found something fascinating. Not only was the washing machine empty ~ but there were 2 stacks of folded & sorted laundry on top of the dryer, and the dryer was running. Hmmmm... Could it be that I, running completely on auto-pilot, had gone down to the basement, switched the load to the dryer and folded the laundry without even remembering it? And then I saw it...a pair of my pants, folded in 3rds...{accordian} style. The HUBBAND! So not only does he kill spiders, open stubborn jars and reach things on high shelves, he also ~ every once in a while ~ does laundry-related tasks...without being asked. Guess I'd better keep him, right?

And now on to the point of the post.... My plan for today was to do nothing. I formulated said plan when I woke up this morning with a sore throat and general {poo-like} feeling. A great big {thank you} to the Hubband, who shared his cootie cold germs with me. (The motive behind the laundry assist is suddenly becoming clear!) Aaaanyway ~ I planned to sit on my can and hang out with the tiny person this afternoon, but the plan was dashed when the big brown truck pulled up in front of the house. Our UPS guy delivered the cable boxes for our "secondary" TVs ~ not sure what the deal is but it's another step in the whole digital transition thingy. So, we had to hook those puppies up, which meant clearing off the top of the dresser so that the Hubband could access the back of the TV in our bedroom, and move the dresser forward to get to the cables, etc. After I'd cleared off the top of the dresser, I thought I should actually clean it and reorganize the crap that had collected there rather than just haphazardly put it all back where it was...ish. So I did that. And then I dusted the {oh-so-grody} ceiling fan, and washed the dresser mirror and the closet doors. I'm not done completely yet ~ and there will be more laundry to put away as soon as I force myself to go back downstairs and switch the load again. So I suppose I should probably get back to it before I forget what I was doing and rediscover the project when I'm dead-tired and want to go to bed, but can't because I have to clear everything off of it first.

Oh, and I have to come up with a plan for dinner. Chicken? Pork Chops? Hmmm..... Decisions, decisions... One thing I know for sure...there {will} be cheesy potatoes. Oooooh, yeah.




Monday, January 18, 2010

TRIUMPH! {or something like it}

It was 3:30am by the time I went to bed on Saturday night ~ okay....Sunday morning. I had decided to start a sewing 11PM. Ummmm, yeah. Trust me ~ I know. After {several} hours spent ironing, cutting, pinning, sewing, swearing, cutting some more, ironing again, sewing some more, swearing and swearing and swearing, etc. I had finished my project. Not only am I thrilled to death with it, but I think everyone who looks at it will actually be able to figure out what it's supposed to be. ;) BONUS!

Now, I will say that some of the seams are...{funky}. And since I wasn't a fan of the ties/waistband on the pattern that I was using, I chucked the pattern and improvised. So there are definitely some spots that are {far} less than perfect. Also, I'm sure I'll look at this one day in the distant future when I've become a bit more proficient with my %#&*ing sewing machine (I say this with oh, so much love) and be absolutely {horrified} at the quality of my workwomanship ~ but right now...I'm not gonna lie...I'm pretty ridiculously proud of myself! So there!

Today, the domesticity continues. I wore the lovely new apron as I baked cupcakes. And I'm still wearing it now as I'm making dinner. Yippeeeeee!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I KNOW! I missed you, too!

I'd love to come on and post about the {fabulousness} that has occurred in my life this week, but alas, I've got nothin'. Unless you count the excitement that I experienced when 2 lovely packages arrived on my porch the other day ~ one holding apron patterns (thank you, Jeanne!) and the other bringing me a very stylish charcoal sweater and some seriously rockin' 4-inch red patent-leather slingbacks. "Helloooo, Sailor!" ;) OH! And the new snowpants the Hubband got me for my birthday. And the trip to JoAnn to pick up coordinating fabric for my apron/s. Yeah, I guess it was a somewhat fabulous week. ;) The fabric I found is a happy apple-y green to coordinate with the "uninhibited citrus" fabric I already have (see camera strap). It's not as festive as I wanted ~ I was really looking for a large polka-dot ~ but it'll work. And if Aunt Wee has taught me anything it's that I should probably avoid polka-dots anyway.

And just so you know....I searched online for the camera strap fabric. I don't suggest googling *anything* that includes the word "uninhibited". Just sayin'.

In other exciting news, our furnace decided the other day that it was tired and wanted to take a break. The Hubband realized on Wednesday morning that it was unusually cold in our house. Now...I should explain that I am always cold. My mom comes up and complains of sweating because we have the thermostat set to a lovely and wonderful 71°. I know, you're thinking we're nuts. But we also have a tiny person in our home who likes to run around in nothing but her underpants ~ often accessorized with fairie wings or a crown or her favorite pair of Hello Kitty rain boots ~ so warmth is important. Anyway, it was 67° when he realized nothing was happening with the furnace. Luckily the repair guy got here quickly, we busted out the space heater and got the living room back up to 69° by the time he left, and the furnace required a simple and relatively inexpensive repair....which we'll take any day over having to shell out the big bucks for a new one. One bullet, dodged.

This weekend will hopefully include a return to some projects. Maybe a little sewing....and I will begin the search for my crochet hooks. I know I have them around here somewhere - just have to find them. Not that I know how to use them, but I can't learn if I don't have them, right? Right. So there you go!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And Now for Your Viewing Pleasure...

I like to call this...."Holy *$(#! I {sewed} something!" I know ~ right!?!?!?!

You're looking at the picture right now trying to figure out *what* I made ~ because for me to be *so* excited, clearly it must be ah-mazing. You just had no idea that someone can be so ridiculously proud of making a slipcover for their camera strap. It's OK ~ you can laugh at me now. I'll understand...because I'm laughing, too. ;)

Actually, what *really* has me laughing is the memory of that episode of {The Cosby Show}...when Denise made the shirt for Theo and it was a total disaster. Bwaaaahaaahaaaa... I know I'll have that in the back of my mind whenever I bring out the sewing machine.

Yep, the first "project" tackled by my brand new shiny sewing machine was a camera strap that took, what, 10 min. total to make. Is it thrilling? Probably not. Is it perfect? Oh, LAWD, no. But I'm excited about it anyway...because my camera is no longer a billboard for Nikon (not that I'm ashamed ~ I do love me some Nikon), my neck won't hurt from using the craptastic strap that came with the camera, a tool I use to produce art now looks like it might actually be owned by an *artist*, and I MADE IT ALL BY MYSELF! ;)

And, thanks to a couple of very sweet and lovely friends, I also have a few patterns for aprons that I'm itching to get started on. So that will be next!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Checkin' Things Off the List

I got an incredible amount of stuff done this week. Try to remain calm and not let the glamour that is my life make you feel at all....I don't know...inferior. ;) I reorganized the two biggest bottom cabinets in my kitchen - which has left me feeling way too good about myself. Now before I get all gloat-y-ish, the truth of the matter is that I *had to* do the first one, because my MIL gave me pretty new serving dishes for Christmas & I had no place to put them! So I did the first one (I actually did that last week, now that I think about it), and then realized that it would make a world of sense to have all of my cooking stuff in one place, and all of my baking stuff in another. So today, I cleaned out the second cabinet, got rid of some stuff, and put all of my cake pans, pie plates, the hand mixer, etc. in one place. Donna would be proud.

Other accomplishments include being *almost* entirely caught up on laundry. How the heck did that happen!?!?!? Oh, that's right....Mom came to visit. She tried her darndest to get everything done - and I think she thinks she did it - but what she doesn't yet know is that her efforts were undermined by the Hubband's use of a laundry hamper for his dirties, and his seeming inability to empty said hamper into the laundry chute...even though his office is in the basement and he was obviously well aware of the mission at hand. It's the hampers. They're EVIL.

Speaking of hampers - today I managed to put away all of the clean laundry - yes, ALL OF IT. That means that I also added to the 2 garbage bags that were already waiting to go to the Salvation Army. Go me! I then took the EMPTY hampers, and the one hamper that is full of lonely socks in need of of match-making, and removed them from my bedroom. Tomorrow the kids and I will make a game of finding matching pairs of socks. It's sure to be a ton of good old-fashioned family fun.

Oh! Wanna know what else? I cooked this week! On Tues I tried a new recipe and made some super yummy pork chops. I adapted a recipe I found on a little blog I like to read called I'm sure none of you have ever heard of it. ;) And THEN...on Wed... I cooked again! I KNOW! I made a seriously rockin' pot roast. The Hubband isn't a big pot roast fan (I think there's something really wrong with him) and the kids are hit or miss when it comes to meat consumption, but at least one of them had the good sense to eat everything on their plate and ask for more. ;) Success! And now, I give you....

Proof that God intended for us to eat meat... (Sorry, Becky!)

And with that, I'm off to bed. Gotta get some good shut-eye so I can tackle the socks tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You call this a vacation!?!?!

Remember what Christmas Vacation was like when you were a kid? FUN! Playing in the snow, sleeping in and staying up late, watching movies while ingesting way too much buttered popcorn... Aside from not getting to see my friends every day, it was a really great deal. Looking back on it now, I search my memory for hints...clues...brief glimpses into the inner torment my mother must have been feeling - because what is known by kids & teachers as Christmas "vacation" is dreaded by parents everywhere who know it's *really* just two solid weeks of cooking, cleaning, baking, juggling, schedule-rearranging, packing, laundry, unpacking, more laundry, etc. all while trying to occupy and appease kids who are no longer holding to any semblance of a routine. In short, Christmas "vacation" - as a parent - is a special brand of H.E.L.L.

See, the schedule that all of those parenting experts talk about...turns out it's not just good for the kids. It's good for everyone. It's what keeps crazed mommies from staying up until 4am reading because they know they don't "have to" do anything the next day. It's what keeps us washing more than just pajamas and cooking real meals for dinner whether everyone is there to eat it or not. I found myself craving that schedule over the break, and today was day 1 of having it back. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome 2010!

We had a fantastic New Year's Eve - spent with good friends & good food, and the kids wore themselves out. More importantly, the Hubband let me sleep until a ridiculous and slightly embarassing hour this morning. Which is probably why I'm still awake at 3am. Tomorrow won't be pretty!

I promise a *riveting* post detailing the laundry routine sometime soon. But for now, I thought I'd share my latest favorite spot in my house. This is a wall in my kitchen. Yep - it's pretty orange-y. I've had the ledges up for almost a year, and I change out what is displayed on them fairly regularly. What makes me smile is knowing that everything on these ledges (with the exception of the "Keep Calm and Carry On" postcard) was made by me. I took the photographs, I made the "how wonderful life is" thingy, and I made the silhouettes of the kids. I'm proud of that. Not only does it save me a ka-ton of money (as does having the photos printed locally {usually at Costco} and mounting them on firmer backings myself) but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that I have had my hand - literally - in every bit of decoration in my home.

There aren't a lot of things about this house that I can say that I "love", but I'm thankful beyond measure to have a home, and I am doing the best I can with what I have so that my children and my family will feel love and warmth and comfort in this spite of the clutter and the dog slobber on the front window...and the effing hampers.


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