Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Dreadful Sickies

Well, Tate's got it now too.  Man, as if these kids haven't been watching too much tv as it is.  I'm soooo lucky with him because he likes to scream when I offer to bring him a bowl.  "DO     NOT      GET     ME    A    BOW-UL!!!!!!!!"  Apparently, if you bring the bowl the vomit will come.  And it's fantastic when these GI bugs are spread out so nicely like this. This way, if the whole family ends up with it, you can be sure to have another two weeks of your life killed in a dreadful, bodily-fluid filled sort of way. 

Not that I'm complaining.  (I NEVER complain ;-)  I know it could be worse.  Two years ago, just before Christmas when I was pregnant with Elle, a rotavirus-like bug blew through this house like a  tornado on crack.  I had just finished 4 months of multiple-barfs-a-day morning sickness like I had never experienced with the boys.  This virus ripped through me in about 12 hours, all during the night and all through which I took care of two boys alternating between losing it at either end every 5 or ten minutes.  We must have gone through every single sheet, blanket, mattress pad, towel and set of pajamas in the house.  I really don't think I slept more than 20 minutes that whole night.  The virus lasted the boys TEN days, left Cal a walking skeleton, started Mike on a month of illness and landed Tate in the hospital for days.  It was more than slightly unpleasant.  

Here is what I've learned in all this:

1.  waterproof crib mattress pads and sheets fit very nicely over two of the cushions on our   couch.  

2.  If you wrap a towel around a pillow...either over or under the pillowcase.... you may save yourself washing pillows

3.  At least children that are really sick are generally not running around being naughty.

4.  No matter how ungreen it may be, bleach smells really good.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm (Not) Whining

Really.  I'm not going to whine this morning.  The sun is out and shining gloriously on all this snow that just keeps coming and I've just had some delicious coffee and so I'm not going to whine.

Not about all the laundry I have from Ellie barfing in the night all over herself and every pillow and animal in her bed.  Then barfing again in my bed, on towels this time, but 4 or 5 more times and choosing to do this on the same night that Tate gets a fantastic bloody nose.

Not about how tired I am because I can't seem to be NOT sick for at least two weeks now...first my throat, then my chest, now my nose.  

Not about how I have become "that" mother.... you know, the one who is perpetually late and forgets to return the library books on time and loses her preschooler's "All About Me" poster for school and has to ask for another because we never did it in the first place, and the one has to pick through the dirty wash for a load of underwear and socks or we could never leave the house.

Not about how I am currently having a panicky identity crisis because I will likely soon be out of a paid job,  (It doesn't pay much, but it puts gas in the cars) which leads me to question what I am going to do to help us out in the short term and then leads me to question what I am going to do eventually when the kids are all in school.... what DO I want to be when I grow up?

Not about how I am incredibly OVER being cold.

Nope.  I'm not going to whine about any of those things.  Instead, I'm going to switch a load of icky laundry, sit with recovering Baby Girl and pop Please Don't Eat the Daisies in the DVD player until it's time to get Tate from school.  I might even make more coffee.  

And, if anyone is still reading after all my non-whining, you can look at some pics from Dad's workshop.  I'll try not to be so chipper next time, I know it can be annoying in the morning ;-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety- Jog

Well, we did make it to Grandma and Grandpa's last week.  I periodically lost my voice and Tate was still coughing in the night, but we managed to have a nice time (save the little-too-intense wrestling matches between the boys....when did we start BITING???) and don't seem to have (knock on wood) spread anything to the Grands.  

Speaking of wood, it's very cool when you have a Gramp that can make stuff like this (you should be able to click on this one and blow it up a bit if you like):

It's even cooler when he lets you mess around (supervised, of course) in his workshop:

Grandma Jean and Ellerie and I made a nice trip to SA 1/2 price Wednesday and I scored a big bag full of stuff (mostly for the kids) for twelve dollars, including a raincoat for Ellerie and shorts for Long Legs McGee (AKA Calvin) who would have looked like he was wearing hot pants in half the stuff I have from last year.  And I finished up my first dishcloth (double seed stitch) in Daddy's sunny recliner.  

The sun didn't last though.  After all, it IS February around here.  The drive home was mostly in a snowstorm which I found incredibly stressful.  It didn't help listening to Flight of the Bumblebee on the kids' Little Einstein's video (something that was supposed to keep the boys from fighting while I drove in the snow and did not EXACTLY do its job).  Isn't it amazing how music can affect you?  It's snowing again now, rather soft and pretty and grayish-blue, but I still hate it at the moment.  February is flying though and I seem to be breezing through without too much of the gloom and doom that often comes with this month for me.  Too much good is on the horizon:  Cal's birthday, Ellie's birthday, Easter and vacation!  I am letting go of some of my grand sewing plans and trying to keep it simple in that regard, so I don't stress myself out.  Cal and Elle both need their birthday crowns and then I think I am going to leave it at that.  I have ideas for cloth Easter Baskets and homemade bunnies and frogs and, well, I think that it might just be a bit much.  So I am going to try to be low-key, focus on one thing at a time and not make myself crazy.  

At least, that's the plan ;-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, Monday

So, Valentines Day was NOT perfect.  Can you imagine?

I mean, it was good.  It was really good and we all enjoyed each other's company (for the most part) and I am pretty sure the boys were purposefully keeping their "i'm going to kick your face off"s to a minimum just as a gift to me.  But, you know, sometimes reality doesn't live up to what is in my head... often because of my own failures.  I feel really grateful that even when things aren't perfect, which is most of the time, that I have a family that truly loves me.  Scatterbrained, silly, undisciplined, neurotic, little ol' me.  Thanks guys.  I love you too.

On to..... something else that didn't turn out perfect! ;-)

Yesterday afternoon I attended a baby shower for a girlfriend of mine.  Oddly enough, she's having her third girl, so one would think she doesn't need much.  She is due in just a couple of weeks and only a few weeks ago, she discovered that her SIL had given away all the newborn things she had loaned her.  Yikes!  It wasn't done maliciously.  For some reason she had got it in her head that they didn't want them back, but you can imagine my friend was just a tad stressed out thinking that she had no clothes for #3.  Another friend from church decided to just throw her a clothing shower because, well, tiny baby clothes are fun and it's a reason to get together!  We had a nice time with delicious cake and coffee and Korana got some lovely gifts.  

I had decided to sew something for her awhile ago and knew I would make something from the pattern that got me back to sewing in the first place.  But then I came across this tutorial recently and just thought it rocked.  Super cool idea, right?  I didn't have any appropriate t-shirts on hand, but thought I would just use some terry and repurposed material from my bins to see how the pattern turned out.  Let me just say, I don't know what I did when I printed the PDF, but this was the result:

Cute, right?  But GIGANTIC!!!!  As you can see, I ended up just leaving off the bottom elastic and turning it into a nightie for Elle.  Seriously, WHAT did I do?  I thought it looked big, even when I was cutting it, but just kept telling myself that after the seams were in and the elastic and all that it would turn out just fine!  Well, now I have a nightie and t-shirt pattern for Ellerie.  Oops.  If any of you try this, let me know how it goes.  There was also something goofy when I attached the sleeves.  I ended up cutting off a huge bit from the pattern.  I would be curious to know if this happens to anyone else!

Thank goodness for old favorites.  I didn't have a newborn handy, so one of our bears agreed to model.  Stuffed animals are so lovely and cooperative.  

They are both out of some nice soft flannel.  Although it is hard to see, the light one is covered in pink and green polka dots.  I was bummed that I inadvertently bought the wrong width of bias tape for the brown one, but it turned out ok just a little less dainty looking.  It might soften up a bit after it's washed.  I wasn't about to make another trip to the store.  

I hope they come in handy, Kor.  

I've been doing some more sewing too.... whipping up some knit cotton pants for Ellerie-long-legs.  I'm sort of getting the hand of sewing with knits I think.  I definitely feel more comfortable with it the more I do it.  It has been good to get back to doing some more clothing.  The kids are going to need pajamas this spring and summer and I need skirts and tops too..... although I am a little afraid of sewing for myself, being a tad intimidated by "real" patterns.

But the sewing will have to wait this week.  I am going to finish up Tate's scarf and Tate's suitcase applique....long, dragged out, procrastinated project that I will be sure to post pics of when I manage to complete it.  And we are, illness pending, headed to my folks' for a few days this vacation week.  Oh kids, please don't stay sick, please don't stay sick, PLEASE don't stay sick....

*ok.  Everyone seems to be commenting about the bagels, so I feel compelled to give the credit to Panera's asiago cheese bagel.  It seems so obvious to ME that I would never take the time to make heart shaped....oh, probably anything....but I thought you all should be clued in as well.  They were, however, as delicious as they look.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What I'm Loving

In light of tomorrow being the Day of Love, here are some things (people aside, but I DO love my Valentines) that I am currently lovin'.

1.  SUNSHINE.  We are back to cold around here, but sunshine makes all the difference in the world, don't you think?

3.  I am finding with knitting that I really love the look at feel of all over textured patterns.  Right now I am in love with the Daisy Stitch  and SO want to learn to do it.

4.  Ellie's recent development of a hat fetish... which anything can be a hat, including baskets and her brothers' underwear!

5.  g diapers.  I could never have afforded to use them full time, since they are even more than disposables, but I'm glad I decided to try them for the times I want to "cheat" on my cloth ones.  They're great, even overnight!

6.  The reason I decided to try g diapers.... an upcoming FAMILY VACATION to myrtle beach.  Can I just tell you that this will be the first vacation we have ever taken as a family?  And it gets better because my WHOLE family (all 19 of us!) will be there!  I am just a TAD excited.  Just a TAD.

7.  These bike helmets.  I just think they're fun.  I think they are a bit expensive, but Mike tells me... cheaper than a cracked skull.  I'll give you that.

8.  Almay Pure Blends foundation.  I've been looking for a paraben free foundation for awhile.  This one is affordable and doesn't make my skin feel waxy or cakey and still is a real foundation... not just a tinted moisturizer.  I bought it in neutral thinking that would be ok, but I actually think it is just a TINY bit too dark for me.  Apparently in the winter my pallor is something lighter than "neutral" and a little closer to "dead."  ;-)

9.  The kids all making friends with Trailer (cat #2).  We had the cats before we had kids and they've forgiven us, I think, but not the kids.  Roxie, our beautiful and snotty calico, hates them all, but Trailer seems to be warming up.  They all get so excited when he lets them pet him.

10.  Valentines Day.  I don't usually get all sappy about this day or anything, but I love that it is on a Saturday this year and we can just make the whole day about some good ole family love.  

Wishing you all a lovely day with your valentines!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Just In Time for the Heat Wave

I am SOOO glad I finished Cal's scarf last week, since it's going to be practically tropical here soon.  I mean, we're talking 50s, folks!  Confession:  I will probably still be wearing a scarf, but I know I'll see people out and about in tank tops.  It never fails.

But, back to last week when I finished the scarf.  First, let me say.... I FINISHED THE SCARF!!!!  I actually knit something!!  It has a bunch of (visible to me) mistakes, but it is so fun that I made anything out of yarn and needles that I could completely care less!  Calvin is happy too and even asked to WEAR IT TO SCHOOL TO SHOW HIS FRIENDS!!!  Can you believe that? Well, me too, because he's still 5, but you know that isn't going to last long.  He also tested it out in the FRIGID snow and when I asked him if it kept him warm, told me confidently.... (and then laughed).  STINKER.

OK, fine, you want to play that way?  Maybe I'll just steal it for myself.  I wear it indoors though; this short haircut leaves my neck cold.  Brrr....

Tate's scarf has been started now.  Below you can see the lovely plum purple that he chose.  I gave him a choice between that and a multicolored one with purple in it and there was NOTHIN' DOIN' with the other one.  "I want ONLY the purple Mommy.  The other one has green in it and I do NOT like green."     ......hmmm.....      Okey-doke.  Purple it is.

I took it's picture on top of the shelves where I have been keeping it away from the kids, because it shows a little corner of our lives and home that I really love.  I also set my coffee up here, as you can see.  I'd say it is to keep the hot coffee away from the kids, but really it is almost never hot.  It's more to keep the lukewarm coffee from spilling and staining anything.  Cal's library choice from school is there.  They get one book a week and it is so fun to see what he chooses.  One week he brought home a book that we own already :-)  On the left are our public  library due date cards.  I pull them out of all the books to keep them from getting lost and so I know that if a set of cards is left over, we still have a book somewhere in the house.  Lastly, that picture is a very treasured thing.  It's actually of Mike, although it looks SO much like Tate.  Mike's grandmother took that (and, yes, he is crying).  She was quite the photographer in her day and had her own darkroom and everything.  She won a contest with this one:

Hope everyone has a lovely start to the week.  I'll be around.  I've got some sewing to fit in this week.  Some I can't show you, yet.  Some, hopefully, I can.  You know, if I manage to get it done ;-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I've Made My Bed, I'll Lie In It

So, apparently putting herself to bed, is not the norm for Ellerie.  Last weekend she climbed/fell out of her crib, so I sighed and got out the toddler bed.  The thing is, it was only once, so maybe I jumped the gun.  But when Tate was about this age, he threw himself out of his crib one night when he was crying.  He flipped completely over and landed on his back (head toward the crib, if that makes it clear).  He got the wind knocked out of him, and it scared the snot out of me.  Now Baby Girl goes and gets out with a big thump and a little crying and I just can't leave her in there now.  Her room doesn't even have a rug.  

When we got the bed up to her room, she was in it before we could even move it to the corner playing at sleep with her eyes closed.

Everyone just had a grand old time in that tiny little bed.  

Silly siblings, stuffed animals and books everywhere!  Hooray!

Only now, I can't leave her room at night until she's asleep because she won't stay in the bed.  She has a fit when I rock her, but that is what I've been doing because sitting on that cold floor while she flops around like a fish deciding whether or not she is tired enough to stay still is not my idea of a good time.  Nothing like living with the choices you've made;  she loves the bed.  LOVES it.  

And who wouldn't?  I mean, cute, right?

I wish I had a better shot of her quilt, because I just love it.  It has tiny dresses loosely appliqued on several of the squares.  It's really sweet.  And don't you just love her Holly Hobbies?  My mom collects Holly Hobbie stuff and found these embroidered girls somewhere (yard sale, perhaps?) and turned them into pillows.  There is Charlotte Rose, you know her, and Kitty and Pinky.  My sister made Pinky for me when I was a baby. I used to chew on her trunk.  And they all look so at home here

So, it's bye-bye crib, hello big girl bed and it's funny because a part of me feels happy and excited like she does and a part of me is really going to miss that crib.  In more ways than one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CPSIA Delayed

For anyone who has been following the Consumer Products Safety Commission's decision regarding toxin testing in handmade children's items, you may want to check this out.  Looks like someone has been listening.

Almost Wordless Wednesday

(I don't seem to be able to not say ANYTHING lately, do I?  (I think I'll leave this in small font.  It makes me feel like I am saying less.  Next week, I VOW to be wordless....  I think.  Miss Bird decided to nap in Tate's bed last week.  The boys were both at school, I was on the computer (if you can imagine) and when I went to check on my very quiet girl, this is what I found.  So, apparently, this is the other thing that can happen when kids are being quiet.  I never would have guessed, since neither of the boys would have EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER put themselves to bed!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feelin' the Love

Oh guys, you just made my weekend!  I LOVED reading all of your responses.  I love that I had girls stop by from England to the West Coast and Maine to Down South!  It is incredibly fun to me to see a small glimpse into what makes us diverse and what connects us.  I definitely want to do this again at some point, because I love this kind of interaction and wish you all just lived around the corner and could stop in for coffee and we could really just share some of our thoughts about anything and everything.  And I really and truly wish I could have given a bunch of these away or that I had more time to sneak you all a little something because it has been really fun making these connections.  I hope whether you won or not that you'll stick around.  Please?  

And now, the big announcement:  Mr. Random Numbers has chosen our 8th commenter!

1.  The thing I love most about myself is my devotion to my children.
2.  A place I love and dream of going back to is Valdez, Alaska.
3.  I secretly or not so secretly would love to know how to sew.
4.  I feel most loved when my children want me to "hold" them.

Congrats Lecia!  Just email me your info and I'll be sure Home Studio gets that sweet necklace out to you.  You might want to give your hubby a heads up, in case he'd like to get a few more pendants for V-day ;-)

Whew!  That was fun!
Now, I suppose I have to follow through with my answers.  Brace yourselves, because I imagine this is going to get wordy.  

1.  What I love best about myself is definitely NOT my ability to make decisions.  Man, this one was hard for me.  And it wasn't because there were just SO many things that I love that it was hard to narrow it down.  Nuts.  Chalk "bad self esteem" up on the "what I don't love about myself" list, but what DO I love?  So, I've thought and thought about this over the weekend and changed my mind about 20 times, but what I think I really love most about myself is that I am unpretentious.  There, I said it.  Seems a little oxymoronical (apparently this is not a word, but you get what I'm saying right?), but I LIKE that I don't try to be something I'm not.  I like to think (and maybe those of you who know me in real life can at some point confirm this so as to help me with the self-esteem problem) that, with me, it's pretty much what you see is what you get.  I love Hemingway, but I am not afraid to tell you that a fluff novel by Janet Evanovich will make me just as happy on the right day.  I don't mind admitting that I really like Neil Diamond, even if he's not as hip as Coldplay, but I like them too.  I shop at Target, even sometimes (insert wince) Walmart.  I'm just as happy watching Tommy Boy as I am watching Big Fish.  If we get to hang out, I will not pretend to be smarter, cooler, greener, richer, funnier, more cultured or politically savvy than I am.  I'm just me.  So, I guess even with all the things I don't like about myself, I like myself enough to be who I am.

2.  A place I love and dream of going back to is Costa Rica.  And another place is Mackinac Island, and I could probably list a few more (I TOLD you I have trouble making decisions), but I'll stop at coastal Maine.  A year and a half ago, Mike had to go to Boothbay Harbor, Maine for work.  Baby Girl and I went with him and stayed at this lovely B& B (which is apparently now for sale), visited the Coastal Botanical Gardens (GORGEOUS), made a stop at Portland on the way back.  It was just lovely and I want to take the boys and explore the beaches and the fishing industry and eat lobster and go hiking and just have a grand ol' time.  I really, really loved it.  

3.  I secretly would LOVE to know how to surf.  As a kid I wanted to BE Gidget.  And even though I think I would be terrified of sharks and jellyfish and drowning, there is something about surfing that FASCINATES me.  I want to be that chick with the sunbleached hair and the perpetual tan and the great toned body just from waking up every day and riding a board at the beach.  I find this dream HYSTERICAL since I live in the frigid NE, hours and hours away from any ocean, so I pretty much think it will go on being a dream, but if any of you all give lessons here... let me know ;-)

4.  I absolutely know that I feel the most loved when anyone does something nice for me that I don't expect and sometimes don't even deserve.  I'm guessing I don't have to give any examples, because I'm thinking we all know that feeling.  In some ways I feel a little like that here... because I don't really know why you all keep coming back, but you do. Whether my content deserves it or not, I am totally feelin' the love.