Wednesday, November 30, 2005

When I lived at my mom's house, we had this Christmas tree ornament that I absolutely loved. I remember taking it off the tree to gaze at it many times every year. One year when we were taking down the tree, I even "stole" it and hid it in my dresser so that I could gaze at it whenever I pleased throughout the year. The ornament actually belonged to my brother Andy, but that didn't stop me from taking it with me when I moved out. We finished setting up our tree today, and without my pointing it out to her, Emma is obsessed with the ornament. She is carrying it around and telling me about the ni-night baby over and over and over and over. Very cute.

In other less cute news, Emma has been on a hitting and kicking streak the past few days. We'll be sitting around playing nicely, and suddenly she'll giggle, then turn around and smack me in the face. So far I've just been telling her that I don't want to play with someone who hits me, and leaving the room. She'll stop for awhile, but then a little later she'll walk up to one of the dogs and kick him in the ribs. She always laughs but I don't know how to get through to her that hitting/kicking isn't a joke. :(

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You know what I hate? Going to the grocery store and returning home to realize I forgot one very key ingedient.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Steve is going to be working pretty late tonight so to cheer ourselves up, Emma and I are going to put up the tree and the rest of the decorations. Steve said he wouldn't mind missing out on the fun. We had such a great time with him while he was off work last week so I'm feeling a little sad that he's gone again today. He is taking two weeks off at Christmas, so at least I can look forward to that.

We're ordering this for Emma for Christmas. I'm so excited! I want to load her up with nice toy dishes and food, but it's already a pretty big present. Maybe other people who are giving her gifts will get her things like that (hint, hint)! I hope she loves it! I know I will!

Gah! I just checked on my ad amount, and it is up to $10.85. I was hoping to be able to donate $30 to the shelter, $15 of which I made from the ad. While checking, I came across this:

You can expect to be paid in the payment cycle that follows the first month in which you accumulate more than $100 in earnings in accordance with the Google AdSense Online Program Agreement.

WTH!?!?! It will take me ten years to make $100! Scrap the plan, I'm taking down the dumb ad. I apologize to any of you who may have wasted your time clicking. :(
Someone in my local AP group is starting a cooking club. The idea is that everyone cooks a bunch of one type of dish, then meets with other people and trades dishes. In the end everyone goes home with 4-6 other ready-to-freeze dishes. It sounds really cool because you only have to cook once and end up with a week's worth of meals, plus I love the idea of trying so many new things. This Friday we're doing the first switch. I joined a meat group and a veggie group and I'm already agonizing over what to cook. I'm worried whatever I make will turn out terribly, and I'll end up having to run out and buy take-out for everyone!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ems and I are staying at my mom's house this weekend. A boatload of aunts, counsins, grandparents, etc. are here today baking cookies. I've been hiding out in the basement trying to get Emma to sleep, but people keep running up and down the stairs, turning on the lights, or doing anything else they can to sabotage her nap.

Yesterday Emma gave me my first taste of what it'll be like being the mother of a teenager. On the drive here, which is about 3.5 hours, we listened to many, many kiddo tunes. When my personal favorite, Banana Phone, came on, I turned it up and danced in my seat and sang my heart out. I turned around to see if Emma was enjoying it as much as I, but she had this horrible scowl on her face. She looked at me and - I swear she has never done this before - she put her finger up to her lips and said "SHHHHHHH!" She's not even two years old and already I'm getting on her nerves!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Yesterday I found a great pattern that I'm going to use to knit some Christmas presents. Once I found it, I had an overwhelming urge to begin knitting immediately. I called the yarn store to make sure they had the needles I needed (size 11 double pointed). She assured me they did, so I put Emma in the car and we drove all the way downtown, even though I knew I was going to have to battle traffic on the way back. When we arrived at the yarn store, only to find out that there had been only one pair of size 11 DPNs, and since I had called about 30 minutes ago, someone else had come in and BOUGHT THEM!!! Ack!! I asked the women there to help me find the right yarn size that would still work out with a size 10 needle. They helped me, but there is no way what I bought will work for the pattern I had picked. I ended up having to to pick a new pattern. I started last night and it does seem to be working out. Why, oh why, doesn't someone open up a yarn store closer to me?

We had our carpet professionally cleaned today and it looks great! Woe is the dog who tries to pee in the living room again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm doing another poll because (1) I think they're fun, and (2) I'm curious.

I'm usually pretty darn happy this time of year because there are so many fun events. I love decorating, giving and gettings gifts, yummy food, and time with my family. I keep hearing other people talk about general holiday unpleasantness, and my Natural Health mgazine this month is all about how to avoid the holiday doldrums. So, tell me, how do you feel this time of year?

Today on my way out of Hobby Lobby, the Salvation Army bell ringer nabbed me. She kept talking and talking, telling me all these intimate details about her family. I probably said two words the entire time we were standing there. First I thought she was just a little weird, but then I began to think she was really crazy. She was rambling on and jumping from topic to topic and really not making any sense. Emma was struggling to get down and I wanted to leave, but this woman was not taking any hints. I was slowly making my way towards my car and she just kept following us! At one point she told me that "a woman ain't nuthin without a man" because the Bible says so. ?!?!?! When she told me that she thought teachers in school should still be able to beat children, I instantly just turned and walked briskly to my car. I didn't know how else to escape her! She was still yelling to us across the parking lot as I put Ems in the car! Weird.

Phase One of Project Pie is complete. Tonight Steve baked the first two pies, one with fresh blueberries, and one with fresh cherries. We are going to go ahead and eat the cherry one because some of the crust fell off anyway, and also because we don't have much self control.

Today was a great day. We went shopping for pie ingredients and other random stuff, went out to lunch, came home, went back to the store for everything we forgot the first time, came back home, and played around in the kitchen all night. Here is a picture of Steve and Emma, just because I think it's cute. Well, Emma looks cute. Steve looks rather goofy.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Well, here I am blogging at almost 3:00 a.m. again. Tonight Emma and Steve were both asleep at 10:30 and I had the most pleasant time - get this - cooking and cleaning! First I baked some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, then I started to straighten the kitchen. It was so nice to work without little hands clinging to me and/or creating more messes! Once I began, I got in a groove and I was unstoppable! I completely cleaned our sink and it looks really great. It was dingy and old-looking before so I'm pretty excited about this. I also emptied, washed, and organized our entire refrigerator and pantry. There was some scary science project-type stuff in the back of our fridge. The outide was pretty much covered with pictures, comic strips, and various items and I took down most of those things, specifically some pictures of studly d. Our ktichen looks so much less cluttered now. I also planned to sweep and mop really well, but Emma woke up and insisted on nursing. Now that she's back to sleep, I've lost my motivation. Maybe it'll come back again in about six months or so.

MIL, step-FIL, FIL, BIL, and SIL are coming here for Thanksgiving and Steve has big plans to bake a bunch of pies. He baked a delicious peach pie a few months ago and now apparently thinks he's some pie connoisseur. Today we even watched the National Pie Competition on the Food Network so he could get inspired. He wants me to call him Flaky Crust Steve, but I think I'll wait until he actually produces some pies before I bestow him that title.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

There is one reason why I will never be a really good seamstress: I hate details. The two best parts of any project are devising the project and finishing the project; everything in the middle is just the details. When I'm making something for Emma or myself, I rarely use pins or measure anything. However, when sewing things for someone else, I have to be more meticulous.

Now that I've finished the longies, I'm devoting all my spare time to sewing Christmas presents. I'm making matching pajama pants for everyone in my family (8 pairs) and tonight (at around midnight) I got started on those. Considering I cut out all the pattern pieces for the first pair upside down, I didn't get off to a very good start. I did end up almost finishing the first pair and I think they look pretty darn good. Whew!

And now I'm off to bed...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Yes! I finished the longies. Well, almost. I still have to do the cord for the waist, but I was too excited; I couldn't wait for her to try them on. Not too bad for my first pair, I think.
This picture has also made me realize that I desperately need to clean that mirror. Please pay no attention to the little dirty fingerprints all over the glass!
Emma needs to work on her good-byeing skills. She says "buh" in this deep, gravelly voice and it's really adorable, plus she loves to wave. The problem is her timing. Whenever we are out, people always stop and talk to her and usually finish the conversation by saying "bye-bye". At this point I prompt her to say bye, but she just stares at the person silently. We walk away, and soon as we are around the corner or out of earshot, she begins waving frantically and yelling "BUH! BUH! BUH!" Maybe one of these days she'll get it right.

Something has been bothering me lately. I've been hearing a lot of anti-Christian attitude and it makes me really sad. People say that Christians are judgemental and selfish and don't do anything to help the world, only sit and pat themselves on the back. I know exactly one person who fits that description, and she unfortunately happens to be my MIL. BUT I know tons and tons of others who call themselves Christians who are not like this at all. I pretty much grew up in this protective little Catholic box and I seriously didn't know anyone who wasn't Catholic until I got a job in high school. The people around whom I grew up - relatives, family friends, teachers - were so generous and helpful and exactly the opposite of this stereotype I'm seeing. My parents are insanely generous and spend their entire lives making the world a better place for others and it hurts my feelings that there are people out there who talk trash when they really don't have a clue. I am also sad that there are people like my MIL who are giving the real Christians a bad name.

Just had to get that out of my system.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Our new neighbors just came over unannounced and our house was a complete wreck. I am mortified.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thanks for your votes! I'm going to leave the poll up until tomorrow in hopes of eking out a few more votes. (Can you tell I'm losing so far? Maybe go round up your friends and tell them all to vote for Einstein!)

Steve is still at work right now, which is not so good, but... he doesn't have to work late the rest of this week and he's off ALL NEXT WEEK!!! I'm so excited!

Just a heads up - Little Turtle Knits is having a great sale - 30% off and free shipping for anything over $50. I'm not even going to try to resist that one!

Boring day, nothing else to write, so...bye!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Please help resolve a dispute between Steve and me by voting on the poll to the left. Thank you!
Winter has arrived! This morning we had a mix of snow and rain that eventually turned to all snow. It would have been a perfect day to curl up in the house, but I needed another needle size for my...ahem, Emma's longies so we braved the elements in the name of knitting. On the way we stopped at Whole Foods because they were offering Thanksgiving lunch (turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a drink) for $1.00! Mmmmm! It was delicious!

Yesterday for some reason I had an overwhelming urge to get caught up on my scrapbooking. I drug everything out and now every surface in our kitchen is covered with pictures, stickers, stamps, paper, glue, scissors, and markers. Like I need one more project that I didn't really have time for anyway. Will I ever learn?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Last year I managed to get an adorable picture of Emma to send out with our Christmas cards. This year I wanted to do the same thing so I turned the kitchen into a studio and proceeded to take about five hundred pictures of Emma. What I thought was a good idea turned out to be a disaster. Out of all the pictures I took, not a single one is Christmas card-worthy. If there was a previous record for begging "Can you please please please just sit still here for one more minute?" a certain number of times in one hour, I surely broke it today. By the end she was crying and I was on the verge of it. Taking good, posed pictures of a toddler requires much more patience, talent, and sanity than I have available.
I've been bitten by the knitting bug again. I was working on those socks for so long and they were coming along so slowly, that I stopped working on them all together and thought maybe I was at the end of my knitting career. Nope. As it turns out, I am apparently only at the end of (or at least taking a super long break from) my knitting with double pointed needles career. Friday night I started knitting a pair of longies for Emma and they are coming along beautifully. Today Emma and I went to the yarn store and she slept in the Mei Tai while I perused the yarn and, once again, dreamt of all the fabulous things I will create.

The only problem with my rediscovered obsession with knitting is that I have lots of sewing I should be doing instead. I have a huge project, or rather eight medium sized projects, to be finished by Christmas. I'm starting to get slightly nervous about that. I can see myself staying up until four in the morning the entire week before Christmas to finish those. (And Julie, I prmoise I'll get those pants done soon!)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Well, I have a new plan. Remember that ad I was talking about before? I was about to delete it, but I noticed that now it's brought me $4.86 in revenue. Thanks to those of you who've been clicking away! I've decided to leave it up until the end of the year. I'm going to take the money it brings in, match the amount, and donate it to our local no-kill animal shelter. So let's get clicking, people!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

It's 8:09 and Emma is asleep. I'm sure that's too good to be true, so she'll probably wake up at around 11:00, ready to go. Regardless, I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts.

Man, I've been cooking up some CRAP lately. I don't know what my problem is. Three out of the last four dinners I've cooked have turned out terribly and I've had to throw them out. Three out of four! For example, tonight Steve is working late so I made Emma and myself a breakfast casserole. I've made it before and it's been yummy, but tonight for some unexplained reason, the bottom layer - shredded potatoes - turned into gray sludge. Like really nasty looking, can't-stand-to-eat-it, sludge. Why did that happen? I'm baffled. I think it's a sign that I should just give up and eat out every meal for the rest of my life! Ah, if only that could be...

You may have noticed a little ad on my left sidebar. I put it there as an experiment. I'm supposed to get money when people click on it, and I wanted to see how much. I ordered David (some of you know him as studly d) to click on it a bunch of times, and after 30 clicks, I made $0.10. Woo-hoo! I'll be rich in no time! It doesn't count when I click on it, otherwise I could just employ myself to sit here and click on my ad all day long. Anyway, I don't think the few pennies are worth having that ugly ad there, so I'm going to rid of it.

As for my other experiment, my hair feels a little funny today, but looks better than usual! It's more coarse to the touch, but I'll gladly trade that for this newfound fullness. So far this experiment is a success!
My cell phone battery pooped out, so today I went and bought a new battery. Those shysters charged me $37.95 for a simple battery! How do they sleep at night?

I am expecting several packages in the mail, and every day they keep not coming! It's driving me crazy!! Where, oh where, are my packages?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Regular shampoo contains all sorts of questionable ingredients, so for awhile now I've been on a search for a safer alternative. After a couple failed attempts using baking soda and vinegar, I finally settled on a natural brand of shampoo. Not ideal, but better than conventional stuff. Well, now I've found something new. I ordered a couple of these shampoo bars and I tried one for the first time tonight. It says there is usually an adjustment period where your hair looks, well, gross, for a week or so. My aunt is coming to visit tomorrow and I'll probably be looking like some slimeball who hasn't showered in weeks. I'll update on the nastiness of my hair as the week progresses. (I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat, right?)

Along with the shampoo bars, I also got a free sample of some powdery stuff that, when mixed with various things, becomes a face mask. I mixed mine with mashed avocado and some lavender EO. Apparently I didn't mash the avocado well enough because instead of a smooth mixture, I got a clumpy mess. I did my best to smear it on my face and now I'm sitting here like some scary swamp monster. There was a bunch left over and I wanted to put it on Steve but he refused. Well, he'll be sorry when he sees my clear and glowing complexion!
It's 12:53 a.m. and Emma just went to sleep. Steve has been asleep since about 9:30 and awhile ago I took Emma in there, thinking that she'd get bored enough to fall asleep. Not so. The room was completely dark and I pretended to be asleep, but she still managed to prance around the bed, bang on the wall, fake laugh, stick her fingers in my nose and ears, pry open my lips, nurse, and twiddle for over an hour. I didn't acknowledge her once this whole time, but she wasn't deterred. When she finally fell asleep, it was hard for me to sneak away quietly because I really wanted to dance around and leap for joy.

Sometimes, as a reward for his hard work, Steve is allowed to take Emma and me out to dinner somewhere and KPMG pays for it. We always live it up and go somewhere really classy that we couldn't (or shouldn't) afford on our own. Last night was one of those dinners. I always feel like when we walk in, people are looking at us thinking, "You did not just bring a toddler into this place." Oh, yes, we did. (Last time we did this, we went to this cool restaurant that rotates up in the sky, and after we got there the hostess came and told our server that no one knew where the high chair was. THE high chair. Apparently, not too many babies dine at cool revolving restaurants.) Last night, Emma rotated between her high chair, my lap, Steve's lap, and her own big chair about 50 times, but I don't think she disturbed anyone. She loved the food, which was fabulous. And I'm fairly certain we were the only table there performing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" during our meal.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We have two radio stations that only play Christmas music around the holidays. I adore Christmas music so I have no qualms with this tradition. However, one of the stations is already playing only Christmas music. Can't they at least wait until December? Plus, how on earth are we supposed to be in the Christmas mood when it's 80 degrees outside?
This last weekend was very unusual for us. Steve didn't work at all the whole weekend, and we concluded that Saturday was his first non-working day in over three months. He just wanted to take it easy the whole time, and take it easy he did. I don't think he ever changed out of his pajamas, and he only left the couch to go on a Blockbuster run. I guess he deserved it, though.

Today was a pretty great day. The weather was fabulous! Emma and I spent the morning at the park. It was so beautiful outside and we were having such a good time that I couldn't help but sing many renditions of "Who Will Buy" from the movie version of Oliver Twist. After playing on the playground, we walked around on the trails. Emma had a wonderful time throwing leaves off the little bridge and watching them flutter into the stream. I tried not to think about any snakes that may have been slithering around under the leaves.

This afternoon was kind of exciting. At the library I usually just get board books for Emma because she really just likes to look at the pictures and she is pretty rough with them, anyway. Today I decided to try getting some real little kid books. We brought them home and she actually sat on my lap while I read them to her...and read them again...and read them again! I'm so excited about this because actually reading stories is much more interesting than just pointing out pictures in board books. I'm keeping them up on the shelf though, because I don't want her to tear pages out or color in them or something.

Lately Ems has been sitting on the potty a lot while we read books. She hasn't produced anything yet, but she gets really excited about sitting there. Anyway, Saturday night I was back here in the office and Steve was in the bedroom, so Emma was playing in the living room by herself. I went in there to check on her and she was on the floor reading a book next to this (which might be the cutest thing I've ever seen)...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Emma got a bag of microwave popcorn when she was trick-or-treating and Steve tried to make it today. He says he followed the instructions on the bag, but something went terribly wrong. We ended up with a bag of unrecognizeable black char and now our whole house REEKS like burnt popcorn. We left for awhile and could even smell it while we were out so I think the smell has permeated our clothes and hair. Lovely.

Well, we are back to the cloth diapers. The ease and the trimness were nice for a couple days, but I really just think sposies are gross. First of all, they stink. They are so heavily perfumed that it's all I can smell when she's wearing one. I want my baby to smell like, Plus a dispoable diaper with pee in it smells five times worse than a cloth one with pee. Second, they are ugly. Emma runs around in her cloth diapers all the time, looking completely adorable, but I would never let her just hang out in a sposie. They bring her cuteness level down several notches. So those of you who were berating me for destroying the rain forests and calling me gross (and you know who you are), worry not. :) Emma is back in her cute, soft, economical, and environmentally-friendly dipes.

Here are some funny pictures. This one is of her saying "cheese" for the picture while eating a cracker.

My dad taught her how to "wink" while he was here last weekend. Here she is showing off her new skill.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Last weekend I bought the Annie DVD for myself because I remember liking it as a kid and I wanted to own it again. Emma loves it. She is seriously infatuated with it. I have to hide the case or she will follow me around with it, whining for me to turn it on. When it is on, the minute it ends she runs to the TV and tries to start it over. We've been singing the songs all day, every day. I'm about Annied out.

How do you teach an only child about sharing? Yesterday we had a playdate here with two other very sweet and darling little boys and Emma was very possessive with her things. I was embarassed but I don't know how she will learn to let others use her things, when there are very rarely others around. We have a pillow that she lays on on my lap to nurse to sleep in the afternoons, and sometimes the dogs will lay on the pillow. She gets really upset when they do, even if she wasn't using it. When that happens, we go get a pillow out of the bedroom for Emma and talk about how it's nice to share because the dogs like the pillow too. Other than that, I don't know what else to do.

I have a confession. Emma has a strange rash around the tops of her legs that won't go away, so two days ago I decided to try using disposable diapers for awhile to see if it helped. When I went to Stitch and Bitch, Steve went to the store to buy some diapers. I told him to just buy a small pack of generic ones, but he returned with this monstrous package of Pampers. I've been using them, ...and now for the confession...and loving it! I feel guilty, but it's so nice to not have diapers to wash and for Emma's clothes to actually fit. I think I'm going to let myself use them for one week, then go back to her regular ones. The rash does seem to be getting better, by the way.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Why do little girl clothes have to be so dang cute? Emma has more than enough clothes for this winter, but I still spend way too much time on ebay drooling over the adorable little clothes I want to buy for her.
I just got to take a shower all by myself. Ahhhhhhhh... Except you know when you're washing your hair and a big drip of water runs right into your eye, but you realize too late that it's actually shampoo? Ouch.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Our mailman used to always come at 12:15. Now he comes around 3:30. I am not pleased about this.

Steve has actually been getting home by 6:30 this week. It's wonderful! He and Emma have been having such a great time playing together. Plus tonight I get to go to Stitch and Bitch for the first time in months!

Today Emma and I stopped at a thrift store. I was so excited to see two entire huge rows of board games. I LOVE board games! I managed to control myself and not buy Boggle Junior and Scrabble Junior, but I did get Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Chutes and Ladders, and Candy Land. I know she is probably still too young for those, but I couldn't help myself. At $1.99 each I couldn't pass them up!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

We had a great Halloween yesterday. Emma, who was a bumblebee, wouldn't say trick or treat but offered a very convincing "buzzzzz" to everyone she encountered. She got TONS of candy, none of which I want her to eat. Last night she got ahold of a Tootsie Roll. I put her in her chair and sliced the Tootsie Roll into a bunch of little pieces, thinking it would take her awhile to eat it. Nope! In one swoop, she grabbed up every single piece and shoved them all into her mouth at once. So much for that.

I recently joined Parents as Teachers and today was our first visit. I was somewhat apprehensive about joining in the past because I was worried the educator might push sleeping in a crib, drinking cow's milk, getting vaccinations, etc. It turns out the lady was really nice and wasn't like that at all. At one point we were talking about nutrition and I mentioned that Ems was still nursing. She asked how long I planned to let her nurse and I said "as long as she needs to" and she just said okay. Then later she asked if Emma ever gets to play with other kids. I told her we belong to a group with lots of other moms and kids, a group that usually has several playdates each week. She asked about the group, then about attachment parenting. I tried my best to explain it, then I got my Attachment Parenting Book off the shelf to show her. She paged through it with interest, then asked me what the book said about getting your children out of the family bed when the time comes. I said that the book doesn't really say anything specific about that; you're just supposed to do what works best for your own family while respecting everyone in involved. She then said that some families have a hard time moving their children into their own rooms and asked what we plan to do about that problem. I had to think for a minute, and then I said something like, "Well, I don't consider a child wanting to be with it's mother a problem. We're planning on getting Emma a bed of her own when we're expecting again, but she'll always be welcome in our bed. Maybe it's hard for some families because they have more rigid rules about the child staying in his or her own bed. Telling a child who could very easily get lonely or scared in the middle of the night that he or she isn't welcome in bed with the parents would be very difficult for the child, I think. I don't ever want Emma to feel like I'm not available to her." She nodded like she thought I was making sense, but I wonder if she was mentally writing me off as some sort of nut job. Either way, I think Emma had fun playing with her so we're looking forward to her next visit in six weeks.