Friday, October 30, 2009


At least it's been good weather for reading. I've been ignoring the mess around here and have been completely sucked into The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights) by Philip Pullman. So far it's an incredible adventure of the magical sort that I love. And, although deemed quite religiously controversial, I do not think spiritually so. At least, in the sense that it IS fiction after all.

It's also been good knitting weather.

I suppose I shall have to put the book and the needles down today long enough to straighten up for a fun night of carving pumpkins with Aunt Amy and Uncle Andy. And tomorrow Nana and Papa are coming to share Halloween with us. My guess is that I'll still managed to sneak a few rows of stitches and a few rows of words.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Well, today is just gloomy, doomy as can be. Ridiculous amounts of rain are falling. So much so that I have a little river of sorts running down the walkway in front of the house. In some ways, it's really lovely and cozy and if all that needed to be done today was to curl up with a book and a cup of coffee or a movie and warm blanket and some knitting, I would be happy as anything. But having to drag two babes around to preschool and knowing I will have to do it again in just a bit and in the meantime needing to start wash, pick up the kitchen from breakfast, vacuum the cereal bits off the living room carpet and so on, well it makes me feel rather dumpy. So, instead I'll just talk about yesterday.

Yesterday was a glory of a fall day. Warm, rather sunny for most of the day, and deemed a perfect day for a picnic by Tate. (Although, according to one of our recent favorite library books Ernest and Celestine's Picnic by Gabrielle Vincent, today would have been just fine too.) I thought they would be just thrilled to have juice boxes, which is such a rarity around here, but I was wrong as usual and Tate was grumpy until he got his water bottle. Yeesh. Look at that sour puss on his face.

I chose to ignore his grumps and just enjoy the view.

Then some crazy cowboy rake riding was in order while I, once again, raked the front lawn. The leaves are dropping so fast, you can't even tell today that I did a thing!

And, in the end Tate ASKED to have his picture taken so of course I had to comply. He wanted to be right in the middle of our humble decorations and pumpkins. Nana and Papa got those scarecrows for us a few years ago and I never thought they would make it this long! And those three pumpkins on the left? Also from Nana and Papa, from their own garden! I'm convinced a magic garden, as it produced three perfect pumpkins for my little pumpkins and only three.

Boy, I could use some magic right now to get over this weather. I suppose coffee will have to do.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Super Halloween Party

Super, in that one was a superhero, one was just plain super-cute

and two were super brothers.

Super, in that our super-cool neighbors had a super-fun party and because I feel super-grateful to be where I am right now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

A few weeks ago I had some blood tests run. I've been feeling so worn out lately and there is a family history of thyroid problems, so my doctor and I decide to test for that and some possible vitamin deficiencies just in case.

"Trouble" is, everything came back perfectly normal.
It has to be stress.
And here's my theory: I am almost entirely certain that my children have plotted against me. They've managed to have a pow-wow and all agreed. If possible, gang up on her, but otherwise make it a top priority that one shall induce unrelenting stress upon her AT ALL WAKING MOMENTS. Refuse to get dressed. Scream about your dinner. Say no to the shower and all other requests for hygiene. Call her names. Strip at inopportune times. Tell her it's her fault. Spill the milk. Whine. Do not pick up. When asked to pick up, make excuses. Make every possible request, even when eventually fulfilled (so as to avoid losing Game Boy time or a similarly horrifying discipline), take as long as humanly possible. Have a tantrum when you don't get what you want. Find a way to complain about it when you do. Ask her to do something for you only after she sits down. Then, and ONLY then, ask nicely so she feels guilty if she doesn't comply. Confuse her when making requests so as to reduce the chance of her managing the request properly. Spit. Talk simultaneously and VERY loudly. Lose your lovey just before bedtime. Lie. Throw things. Draw on everything except paper. Stick your half eaten lollipop to the couch pillows. Fight about who gets to pray at dinner. When all else fails, cry.

I know this all looks suspiciously like three cases of small children; but I know my kids. They're too smart to succumb to these normal childhood issues. Some would call it childishness, but I call it


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knucklehead Brothers

These pictures were taken at a recent morning wresting match. How these boys wake up ready to spar is beyond me. Best of friends, worst of enemies. Usually the play fighting goes sour at some point when someone really gets hurt. This one stayed pretty silly.

In spite of the regular abuse they dole out, I'm so glad they have each other.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Confession

I joined Ravelry this morning. And, while I do not assume to be remotely in the leagues of most of these knitters and "hookers," I will confess that I am going to find drooling over their gorgeous creations and patterns a major time-suck if I am not careful. SOMEDAY, I am going to be that talented. But first, I have to cut the boys' hair. ;-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Pumpkins

Hello Autumn! It seems when you roll around we can't get enough of pumpkin farm field trips. Tate had his for preschool last week and we had a rare, as of late, warmish and sunny day.

I got to go alone with Tate, thanks to the generosity of a neighbor friend, and it really was good to be able to focus on him for a little while. We have been struggling through a new phase of tantrums recently, making for a lot of stressful days. Watching him play games and smile and want to hold my hand was priceless.

I enjoyed the reminder of what a sweet and funny boy he is.

And, there is a light at the end of our tunnel. I have seen Calvin's ability to reason and control his temper improve over the last year and I am certain this time with Tate is one we will all grow through. I am learning what works with Tate is different than what worked with his brother and we are finding our way.

In the meantime, I'll take the sweet moments when I can get them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bring It On Down to Pumpkinville

Over the long weekend, we went to a pumpkin farm with Grandma and Grandpa. This time I did not forget my camera! But the battery was dead, so all these pics are courtesy of my parents. It was rainy, chilly, muddy and Tate had a massive bloody nose on the way there, but we still managed a good time

We did not do the corn maze, as we were warned that folks were coming out of it covered in mud up to their knees.

But we fed goats and hung out with some very cute sheep and bunnies, ate pumpkin donuts and went through a spook house my mother assured me was no big deal. I was the only one who screamed. And the boys rode a pony for the first time!

On the way home, we took a detour to see some buffalo. There were SO MANY of them and they are so huge and impressive. Not something you see every day.

Now it's off to another busy week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Nomination and My Usual Slightly Uncooperative Participation

My dear blogging friend, Nicola, over at Which Name, has nominated me for one of these:

And while I am, of course, flattered and appreciative of her nomination, as usual the chain isn't going any further on this strand. I just can't bring myself to nominate that many people! It's not that there aren't any out there, but I hate feeling like I might ask someone to participate that doesn't really want to. So here are my lists for your amusement (or sedation):

5 Things I am Currently Obsessed With:

1. Knitting. There is not enough time in the day to knit all the things I want to knit and to use all the yarn I want to use and to learn all the skills I want to learn.

2. Crochet. I want to learn how to do this like you wouldn't believe. Obsessed with figuring out how I will manage to find time to do so as I already have a problem with #1.

3. Tate's birthday present(s). Tate turns five in November and I find him rather tricky to buy for. There are already a lot of boy's toys in this house, so I feel like I need to be inventive. I want to do something nice, without going overboard and not get just any old thing.

4. TV. Not with watching more of it, but less. I don't want to get rid of it, as I rather like to plop down and rot my brain in front of it occasionally myself and Mike would NOT be on board for that one anyway. Still, I have developed some bad habits of late in an attempt to get things done and retain my sanity. Something needs to change, but I need a bit of a plan I am not sure how many "rules" that plan should involve, or if I should just sneakily reduce their viewing. I'm leaning that way.

5. Dottie Angel. If you don't read that blog, you should. If you do, enough said. And I want her dog.

7 Random Things about Me:

1. My right ear is rather bigger than my left.

2. I am creeped out by long fingernails. I used to grow mine when I was younger and I am not entirely sure what happened. It may have been after I started changing poopie diapers. Anyway, I now DETEST them on myself and keep them "boy short." They wig me out on other people slightly less. Sorry if you grow yours long. No offense meant. We can still be friends.

3. I don't like being told what to do. If you want to suggest something to me that's
fine, only please don't get in my face and try to tell me what I NEED to do. My
natural reflex in that case is to tell you to get lost (at least in my head), even if what you have to say is valid. Unfortunately my kids seem to have inherited that gene.

4. I don't really like to cook. I do because we can't afford me not to and because I REALLY like to eat. But if I could afford some sort of help around the house it would be a chef. That will NEVER happen.

5. My only other friends that are SAHMs don't live near me. I am so excited to have befriended a neighbor who stays home. It's not like we'll be doing coffee every day or anything, but it's really nice that we have that option. She's watching Elle for a little while today while I go on a field trip with Tate. I have only been able to do this before when I had my parents or sister drive all the way here just for that.

6. Over the summer we started going to a new church. It was a tough decision for us, but we are feeling really good about the decision. It is a church that is closer to home, rather than a 20 minute drive, has a lot of great things to offer and has GREAT children's programs and is becoming a real blessing to us.

7. I currently need a new pair of slippers.

Asleep yet? Yeah, me too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In My "Studio"

Please forgive the cheesiness of the blurry edge photo. I was playing. This is my growing little pile of washcloths. I have SO many ideas for them in my head; if only I could manage to not sleep anymore. I could get so much done. Nevertheless, the pile is growing and is surrounded by happy little bits of encouragement so as not to get depressed over not having any of the tails tucked in.

This black one is developing a lovely knobbyish texture that I am sure to use again. Knobbyish, but soft at the same time. I'm thinking baby-blanket perfect.

It really is the texture that does me in, you know.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's Not Always Good in the (mother) Hood: thoughts from a tired mama

This afternoon I was told "no, I no love YOU!" through screaming and tears by this sweet cherub. She has been using the potty on at least a semi-successful basis for several weeks now and has just now decided she does NOT want to sit, does not care if she has accidents and told me today she wanted diapers. Then she did not want to take a nap. Even knowing she was tired and probably a little out of sorts after a flu vaccine yesterday and that she's two didn't completely soften the blow of those words.

Earlier this week, this one stripped down naked in protest to my inability to produce a ham sandwich on command. The naked part was kinda funny but the screaming, out-of-control tantrum involving a substance that we did not even have in the house was not.

In fact, sometimes the tantrums and the whining and the complaining are pretty draining. I hold on to two things:

1. Everyone except us finds them to be well behaved, funny, sweet and smart.
2. My brother-in-law (whose teenage (and up) kids set the bar pretty high if you ask me) tells me that if they don't feel like you are depriving them of something at LEAST once a day, you're not doing your job.

Whew. I must be a FABULOUS mother.

Footnote: Upon re-reading #1, I noticed that it sounds rather like I don't think my children are very nice kids. I do. I think they are the bees-knees! Just trying to point out that the naughty, mouthy disrespect, testing, testing, testing, seems to be reserved for us, ergo we must be teaching them SOMETHING :-)