Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Quiet Saturday of Little Joys

This week has been a lot less "busy" than VBS week, but definitely not quiet. I think my boys are in need of more structure and less HERE than I have been up to providing. School is still 5 weeks away for us, so it could be a long August! The good news is that this morning is quiet and peaceful. No waking up to fighting or songs about flatulence or requests of "Can I go out and ride my bike?" at 6:45. Nope, it's just me and The Bird hanging for a bit before we decide what to do with our delicious day. I'm thinking some shopping this morning and some sewing this afternoon. Her doll's need diapers, poor things. Mike has taken the boys out to his parents for a Minor League Baseball game (last night) and just some Nana and Papa time for awhile today. I love them dearly, but it is good to get a break. How did I ever think one was tough? ;-)

Next week, we have plans for a few days of tent camping and some canoeing with my folks up our sleeves. We are all excited and this will be Ellerie's first time camping! I do love the outdoors, but I admit I was never keen on camping with someone in diapers. We are headed to a lake that I lived on with a girlfriend for a summer in college. Beautiful. But as much as I sometimes worry about my kids' lack of ability to just get out into nature on their own because we live in the 'burbs, we have been getting some cool nature lessons lately right here in our backyard.

Baby(ish) deer that hung out for a long time. Likely on a sans-Mama extended learning experience we deduced after my MIL's diligent calls all around to animal rescue type places. We do have woods behind the houses across the street from us, so they probably wandered from there.

A silkworm caterpillar (Antheraea polyphemus) Calvin found on the ground and rescued. He was SO cool. Never seen anything like it. Blow up the picture if you want to see more detail. Tate wanted to keep him to build him something to turn into his moth state, but I was so afraid we wouldn't do it properly and we'd kill him. If anyone knows anything about this process, do tell. We watched him for a long time though once we put him on the tree. First he climbed up for a bit, then back down to the ground and I worried we had done the wrong thing with him. But after he reached the ground and crawled around on it for a minute or two, he found the tree again and then began going up and up and up. I think he must have been orienting himself. Truly amazing.

And, while we're on the subject of lepidoptery, this lovely Monarch decided my sunflowers were nice. We decided butterflies are nice.

My hydrangea is blooming too. Has been for weeks now. This gives me no end of joy because I do not have the greenest thumb. There were no blooms last year when we transplanted it and I just didn't touch it this year and viola! Thank you little plant.

Last night after Ellie went to bed, I managed a little sewing time too. I haven't felt much like sewing lately. I find it hard to craft in any form with constant interruptions, something hard to avoid at this stage of life, but even more so in the summer time. I have tried to teach myself to work in little stages instead of going on a crazy sewing streak where I feel like I cannot leave the machine until it is DONE, well or not. But I often hesitate to begin when I know I won't get very far. And since baseball (done now!!!) has taken four evenings a week of being away from Mike, we have a tendency to hang out in the evening, so I haven't been sewing at night either. At least I tell myself that. Truly I am often not up to speed after 8 pm and probably only managed last night because I drank a Dr. Pepper at 7! This apron, from Amy Butler's In Stitches, is headed to my sister Michelle for her (several weeks belated) birthday.

It's good to sew something and makes me want to tackle something else. Hopefully I can manage the doll diapers this afternoon, but I think up next is some embroidery. Embroideread, in fact, over at Checkout Girl. Go check out the contest... maybe you'd like to join in?

Oh, and did I mention that I WON THIS GORGEOUS quilt over at Dana's? I gotta go get a lottery ticket ;-).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another Award For Sure

This morning, I am just waiting for my Mother of the Year award to arrive. Sure to be nominated and a cinch to win it after my kids woke up at 7 and spent the last hour scarfing down candy from Cal's end-of-baseball-goody-bag and doing what can only be described as

the little kid Pixie Stix version of

a keg stand in my dirty breezeway.

Am I going to feed them breakfast?

yup, MOTY for sure.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Grateful Monday

I'm a bit behind on my life right now, so it's not just the blog. If anyone has stopped by from MOTPG because she passed on the Oh My BLOG! award to me and wondered what on earth she was thinking, usually I am WAY cooler than this. ;-)

I don't have any time right now to do the award justice, so it's being tucked in my blog's back pocket until I have a chance to accept it and pass it on in a proper way but I am grateful for the award because it reminds me of all the cool people I have met in Blogland, including MOTPG. Thanks for the blog love, friend. And the snickering.

I am also thankful right now for VBS. Thankful for what a fab time my kids had while (hopefully) strengthening their spiritual faith and understanding. Thankful for all of the people who worked so hard to put on such a big production. Thankful for my kids' generosity with donating some of their own change for school desks for other kids in Haiti. Thankful for an exhausting chance to hold some cute little babies all week that couldn't mouth off or run away from me. Thankful that it is over.

I am grateful that last week, during a rather severe thunderstorm, this oak tree lost its huge branch between our neighbor's house and our cars, that nothing was damaged aside from the tree and no one was hurt.

I am grateful for my brave little boy who barely made a fuss when I pulled out not one,

but two teeth in one night after we discovered one of the big ones already coming in behind.

Also thankful that he didn't remember that Cal got to use a cute little mama-made tooth pillow when he lost his first tooth because I recently chucked it as the seams were ripping in several places. I thought I'd have time to just make another one. I am, at times, delusional.

Grateful today for my beautiful niece, Kirsten, who came to stay with us for a few days. I got time with her, a girls' night out, and an extra set of hands with the kids out of it. My only regret is that I haven't been able to do this with all my nieces and nephews and do it more often.

I am thankful that the sun is out, it's not as humid and there is a whole week ahead to tackle the ridiculous mess that is my house.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And I Thought Last Week Was Exhausting

VBS week, people.
My mornings are filled with other people's crying babies in the nursery.
My afternoons are filled with my own semi-cranky and tired trio.
But the kids are having fun.
All 370 of them, I presume.
So, it's all good.

Plus Ellerie insists SHE is not at VBS, she is at PBS dot org. That girl cracks my can.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2nd Annual Tie-Dye Party

The kids are wearing me out this week. But they do make a rockin' tie dye shirt.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Grateful Friday

Thankful today for:

My new scent of laundry soap.

my little Intex pool that has been keeping us cool in hot, muggy weather.

a dozen years of a happy marriage. Sunday is our anniversary.

FINALLY getting all the pieces cut out for the first quilt and starting to decide how I want them to go.

a good laugh and a husband that gets my sense of humor.

Happy weekend my friends!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We are back from a nice mini-vacation to stay with my cousin. We had a great time and there are so many things I want to remember. Upon our arrival Ellerie took note of the vintage pink toilet in the half-bath and exclaimed with glee "They have a pink POTTY! (pause) It's wonderful being here."

We took the kids bowling for the first time. Hysterical. Ellerie LITERALLY bowled a ball at 1 mph and this picture below is of the ball she actually STOPPED in the lane. Right there. She even managed such a slow ball at one point that, even though she knocked down the head pin, it just rolled to the left and went around all the rest of them. We were all better at Wii bowling. The boys were in heaven with Wii and Xbox and a ton of fun games. And, even though my Wii-fit age was 7 years higher than my actual age, ahem, I really like the Wii. Super fun.

I also saw my first 3D movie "Despicable Me." We don't get out to the movies much. You know, like, ever. Wish it weren't so expensive, but made it more fun to GO to the movies rather than rent.

The video gaming wasn't being limited very much due to the nature of the word "vacation" and Tate had a little trouble disconnecting from his Lego Indiana Jones game on Saturday. All the kids were running on much less sleep than normal. That didn't help either. Tate spent his time at the Cleveland Zoo performing his rendition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: alternately "oohing and ahhing over things, especially the fish,

and sitting down or screaming in protest that he hated the place and just wanted to go home and finish his level.

Ellerie's favorites were the "pink guys."
"What are the pink guys called Ellerie?"

Back at the house, Calvin taught himself to play Mary had a Little Lamb on the piano. This was great because we got to hear it a lot. Played, sang, pounded out. Over and over. One night as I laid down with Elle to get her to sleep, she chatted away about anything and everything to keep herself awake. I kept saying "Last thing Ellie, you need to go to sleep." Finally I just said "Good NIGHT ELLERIE."
E: Mommy, Mommy, one. last. more. thing.
me: yes?
E: Ummmm. I. don't know WHHHYYY Mary had a little lamb.

Sunday was the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. They had so much fun stuff for kids there. And lots of fun ideas for reusing things in an outdoor garden, including old bikes, sinks, toilets, bottles and painted ceiling fans.

I even got to see my dear friend Jennifer. We grew up together and now only manage once a year or so, but I was so pleased to have her meet the kids FINALLY and get to see her for a bit.

We really had an enjoyable time in spite of the moments of whining and overtired mouthiness from the kids. Mostly they were good.

Now today? That's entirely a different story.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence Day

Our holiday weekend was really good. It was splashing in the pool, cookout food with Nana and Papa and Grandma Betty, playing catch with Daddy and sugary drinks. It was Slip-n-Slide at Grandma and Grandpa's, it was lots of candy scored from the town parade. The boys walked in the parade with their baseball teams and that was all pretty fun too. It was also really hot. I got lots of great pictures; I just don't have the energy to upload them and organize my thoughts. My (indoor, mind you) thermostat currently (8:26 pm) says 90. It topped out at 92 a couple hours ago. That's just the first floor. Thank God there's a break from baseball this week and thank God we asked the previous owners to leave those old window air conditioners for upstairs! I think I'll just go sweat myself to sleep now and then head over to my sister's pool tomorrow. It's too hot to think. Thursday we leave for a long weekend in Cleveland, OH to visit some family. Should be good. Should be slightly less hot. I should be able to put together an organized thought of some sort by the time we get back.

Hmmm... four days of "vacation" with my kids. Maybe not. ;-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Grateful Friday

Currently thanking God for:

1. UNO in the breezeway

2. The chance to see my in-laws this weekend and hear about their recent working trip to Costa Rica

3. My hardworking Daddy who helped Mike clear out more of the bad trees and brush in the backyard

4. My generous Mama who treated the kids to McDs and candy bars and me to "new to me" shirts!

5. Making plans for a trip and camping and maybe a show with the family gals in the fall

6. Mike is out early today and LONG WEEKEND! Happy we live where we do even when I feel jaded about the government.

Wishing everyone a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Paint With me Thursday-3 and a Smear

Simply Feather

Trying to get on board again for Paint With Me. I am rushing to go play UNO for the umpteenth time, but here I go with "3":

I thought that appropriate as that is Birdie's age and maybe we are willing to do that at 3 and not at 30.

What I AM willing to get messy, apparently, is my bedroom mirror. Sat up one morning after snuggling with Ellie in bed and saw this:

So I am tagging this one retrospectively for "Smear."