Saturday, April 29, 2006

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I just brought the crib mattress up from the basement and put it at the foot of our bed. When Emma wakes from her nap, we're going to talk about her special big girl bed. I'm sure she'll be pretty excited about it, until she actually wakes to find herself alone there in the middle of the night. I always nurse her to sleep while sitting at the computer, so actually putting her there in the first place won't be a problem. I'm curious to see how tonight will go.

Today I was outside weeding one of the flower beds when I heard some leaves rustle. I looked up and there was a big old snake, about ONE foot away from my face, making his slimy way up into the next flower bed. Wherever you are, if you were listening carefully, you probably could have heard me screaming. Poor Emma. I think I really freaked her out.

Speaking of Emma, that kid is getting pretty good at knowing when we're eating unhealthy junk and trying to hide it from her. The other day while she napped, my mom and I were playing Scrabble and eating some delicious brownies from cooking club. I heard Emma call out for me so I stuffed the last bite of brownie in my mouth and went back to get her. She started nursing, then stopped after a minute and looked at me inquisitively, finally asking, "Chocolate?". How does she do that???

I've been feeling guilty lately because I know some people are coming here looking for juicy knitting tidbits, and yet I've had none. I've been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for my mailman to bring me the yarn to complete the swing coat, and in the meantime I've been working on two pairs of socks. I am astoundingly slow at sock knitting. I've been working on these socks for two months now, and I'm just turning the first heel on the first one of one of the pairs. The other pair is in Steve's car, so I only have one in the pic. So, without further ado, here is my obligatory knitting content.

Woo-hoo! Steve's aunt just called me to let me know there is a great garage sale on her street with tons of adorable girl clothes. We are so there!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What is UP with this weather? It has been chilly and dreary for several days with no end in sight. Today Emma and I are holed up inside doing cold-weather things like baking bread and eating soup. Yum!

My mom went back home this morning. Poor Emma was crushed.

Nothing else interesting to write, so I will share this fabulous recipe for Broccoli Soup. Emma and I love it and usually make it once a week.

"Cream" of Broccoli Soup

1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
3 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
3 cups water
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1 tablespoon miso
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil

Place onion, garlic, celery, carrot, broccoli, and water in soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove 8 to 10 small broccoli florets and set aside.

Place cashews in food processor or blender. Grind to powder. Add remaining ingredients to blender along with half of the cooked vegetable/water mixture. Puree until smooth and pour into a pot. Puree remaining vegetables and water, and add it to the soup in the pot. Stir in reserved florets. Reheat if necessary, but do not boil because it will destroy the beneficial enzymes in the miso.

From The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook


Monday, April 24, 2006

Emma and Steve have this weird obsession with writing on each other. I think Emma looks pretty cute all tatted up, and apparently she does too because she's been showing the artwork off proudly.

Remember how Saturday night we were going to that dinner auction thing? Well, we ended up winning three things in the silent auction about which I am pretty excited. The first was a collection of six CDs from a local children's music artist named Jim Cosgrove. His stuff is really cute and we're enjoying it a lot so far. The second thing we (okay, I) got was a certificate for a haircut and color at some swanky salon. My hair has been au natural for years and I've never had it colored profesionally so that should be pretty fun. The third thing we (okay, me again) got was a certificate worth $1000 of chiropractic care, including two hours of massages. I've never been to a chiropractor before but am excited to finally see what all the fuss is about. Yay!

My mom is here visiting and we are having a great time. I want her to stay forever!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I love garage sales! Emma and I hit the jackpot yesterday. We got her a ton of clothes, most of which are from Gymboree, and some of which still even had the tags on. Have I mentioned that I love garage sales?

Last night Emma was alseep by 8:00, which was great, until she started waking up every 15 minutes. I got tired of nursing her back to sleep, so around 10:30 I just let her get up. The three of us ended up staying up until 4:00 a.m.! We were having such a good time together that I never stopped to think, "Why in the heck are we still bloody awake at this hour?"

Tonight Steve and I are going to a some benefit dinner with some of his co-workers. It was pretty last minute, so the only person we could find to watch Emma is Steve's cousin. He is really nice and Emma likes playing with him, but I'm still pretty nervous about it. He's like a young bachelor-type guy and I'm worried that, while he may have good intentions, he just might not posess the nurturing qualities needed to soothe Emma if she starts to miss me. We are also going to a dinner Tuesday (my mom will be here to watch her then) and I'm feeling pretty darn guilty about leaving Emma twice in one week. I hope she doesn't feel abandoned.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I have this overpowering urge to plant things. Emma and I have been frequenting the local nursery, and while we're there I have that spend-every-ounce-of- money-I-have-on-everything-I-see urge that I usually only get in yarn stores. Yesterday I read about planting strawberries in pots and I couldn't pass that up so, even though I wasn't planning on having them before, we now have strawberries! Well, strawberry plants, anyway. I bought actual plants for the top, and little root systems for the pockets. I'm not sure if the pocket ones will produce fruit this year, but we should have a few berries at least.

Also, my potato plants are starting to sprout!

Tonight we went out to dinner, and then after Emma was in bed Steve and I did Sudoku races and drank coffee and Baileys. heaven in a mug! I did a lot of Sudokus while I was home so, even though I'm pretty bad at them, I'm still better than Steve. That probably won't last long so I'm enjoying it while it does!

Tomorrow morning Emma and I are heading out to hit the garage sales! I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Steve didn't get home until after 2:00 a.m. last night, but the upside is that he will be home for dinner the rest of this week! I am elated! He will also be able to change the oil in the mower and mow the grass, which is sorely overdue.

Emma and I have gotten off our schedule. The last two mornings we slept until 11:00, which I hate. Our day is so messed up now. The Parents as Teachers lady is coming in forty minutes and Emma just went down for her nap about five minutes ago. I'm going to have to wake her up, and she will probably be slightly unpleasant during the visit. Last night she went to sleep at 9:30, so I figured she'd be up earlier, but no. I was awake until Steve got home, so of course I slept as long as Emma allowed me to this morning. Tomorrow we have to bring Joe and Pax to the groomer at 9:00 so that will force us to get out of bed at a reasonable hour.

I'll leave you with a picture of the eggs I knitted for Easter gifts.

Well, okay, here are some more Easter pics. I couldn't resist.
That raccoon, which is not necessarily Easter-related, was chased into a tree by my parents' dog, and Emma is still talking about it. She keeps asking me if the raccoon went home.

That little red umbrella and the kite were Emma's favorite Easter bunny gifts. The kite is already broken, but she has been carrying around the umbrella non-stop, asking when it's going to rain.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Something terrible happened today. A little background - about six months ago a new family moved in across the street. They were really sweet and friendly, and had a little girl and a new baby. About a month ago they bought the cutest little yellow lab puppy, which their daughter named Girl. The problem was that they just always let Girl out their front door and she would run around to all the neighbors' houses. I don't mind her being around, but running around in the street is certainly not safe. Three separate times, I walked her back across the street and rang their bell, making sure to mention that I was worried about her crossing the street. Pretty soon I figured out that they just didn't care (AAAHHHHHH!!) so I stopped bringing her back. Today Emma and I got home from the store, and Girl was there to meet us. She wanted to play but I had groceries to put away, so I literally had to carry her out of our garage so I could close the door and go inside. About five minutes later, through our open windows, we heard some brakes squeal and then the most horrible screaming noise I have ever heard. I knew right away what it was. I went outside and three kids and the driver of the car were standing there, watching Girl in the street. The neighbors ran out, so I went back inside, where I sat on the couch with Emma and cried. This was hours ago and I can't get the picture of her or the terrible noises she was making out of my mind. After a few minutes her crying stopped. I looked out the window and she was dead. I am so, so upset that my daughter had to see that and that our neighbor's carelessness led to this. I'm also mad at myself because every single day I was angry about that dog running loose in the street, and I never did anything about it. The woman who hit her clearly felt terrible, and I feel awful for her too. I don't like our neighbors anymore.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Emma and I are still at my mom's, but are heading back home this afternoon. We had a really great Easter. Emma played so hard yesterday that I thought she would fall asleep really easily. Unfortunately, she was still wide awake last night at 12:25 a.m. when I realized that I had run out of the sposie dipes that we use while at my mom's. I wrapped her bum in a towel and went to the store to get diapers. I bribed my brothers to come with me with promises of milkshakes from Steak N Shake. Thankfully, she finally fell asleep in the car, and was asleep when I ran into Walgreen's and spent a bloody fortune on those dumb diapers. Ugh! I hate buying disposable diapers!

Last night I didn't feel like making the drive home, but today I am so ready to get back - back to my own bed, my own food, my own garden, and my own worms. And, of course, back to my freezer filled with cooking club meals!!

I keep forgetting to do this. Melanie tagged me!

Six Weird Qualities or Habits I Have:
1. I feed my dogs off my fork.
2. When I find an article of clothing I like, I buy it in two or three colors.
3. Sometimes I Google old friends to see if I can find out what they're doing.
4. I stockpile the $1 pregnancy tests just so I can take them for fun (even though I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant) whenever I feel any possible pregnancy symptom.
5. I hate when people turn off their cars when their windshield wipers are still on.
6. I listen to kid's music even when the kid is asleep sometimes just because I like it.

That was hard. I asked two other people to think of some weird things I do, and both immediately said, "You have worms living in your basement!"

I tag:
Only Palaver
Wife Woman Mother
Feed Me Momma!
Vegan Knitting
Growing Warriors

Friday, April 14, 2006

Lately I've been thinking that it would be okay with me if Emma weaned, because I'm a little tired of nursing a kicking, twiddling, flip-flopping toddler. I decided I was going to do the "don't offer, don't refuse" policy to hopefully move things along a little. Well, we've been at my mom's since Wednesday. Both Thursday and Wednesday, she's only nursed when waking up and going to bed. That's twice in the whole day! TWICE! This from a kid who often nurses seriously all day long when we're at home. (Okay, I have to add that she has nursed a LOT during the past two nights, though.) I know most of it is because we've been busy here and our whole schedule is thrown off, but I'm wondering how it will be when we get back home. Half of me is sad, and the other half is jumping for joy that I may be getting close to having my body all to myself again.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Emma is so cute I can hardly stand it. I feel like I should just follow her around with the camcorder all day every day so none of this cuteness will ever be forgotten. Now when she is upset because we won't let her do something, she'll put her face in her hands and make little fake crying noises. After a few moments of that, she'll lift her head and say sadly, "Emma cry," just to make sure we didn't miss it.

I am thinking it's time to get Emma her own bed. There are certain things that are not working out so well anymore, and Steve and I want an hour or two of privacy sometimes. She can come in with us when she wakes up, usually around 1:00 or 2:00, but I'd like her to start out the night elsewhere. She's been cuddled up to me all night, every single night since she was born so this is a pretty big step. The only problem is that we have absolutely nowhere to put a bed for her. Her bedroom is teeny-tiny and her dresser, bookshelf, play kitchen, and toy basket take up every inch of space. We may turn the office into her room, and vice versa, but that would be a huge hassle. I guess we'll see what happens. Steve doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get her a bed, so it may be quite awhile before the big move actually happens.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tonight, after Emma's bath and before her diaper was on, she was standing on a laundry basket playing with the things on my dresser. As she leaned against the dresser, she chose that exact moment to pee. My bottom dresser drawer was conveniently open a little, which means pee ran in and soaked my drawerful of clean clothes. Could she have chosen a worse place to pee?

Our weekend was fun. Saturday night we dyed eggs, and that sneaky old Easter Bunny hopped in and hid them during the night. Emma had so much fun hunting for the eggs and other goodies. In addition to the eggs, the E.B. brought her some of her favorite things: pickles, kidney beans, applesauce, and beets. It's a good thing he found the right house because I bet most other kids would be pretty disgusted to find those "treats" on Easter morning.

I'm starting to get concerned about my spinach. I planted two different kinds and one of them, called Strawberry Spinach, should have sprouted by now. I just looked around on the Internet and apparently there are many people who could never get it to sprout. There are also several sources that say to just sprinkle the seeds on the soil because they need light to sprout. My seed packed said to plant them 1/2" deep. Hmmm... I guess I'll give them a few more days, then I'll use that space for something else. Rats.

Steve is gone, Emma is asleep, and I am going to enjoy some tea and knitting. The dirty dishes and laundry are calling me, but I'm ignoring them!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Two bad things -

I have been busily knitting Emma's swing coat in hopes of completing it by Easter. I've been moving right along, and all I have left to do is a couple rows of collar, and an attached I-cord around the edge. It would be completed in plenty of time, EXCEPT - I have run out of yarn!!! AHHHH!!! I can order more, and I will, but the dye lot won't be the same so it probably won't match perfectly. Plus, the yarn is from Uruguay, and there is no way it would get here before we leave town this week. I'll just have to wait until we get back to order it and finish the coat. :(

This morning Emma decided to decorate our entire bedroom with a blue marker. She drew "pretty pictures" all over the newly painted wall, the sheets, the bed frame, the dresser, the door, and even the floor. It will NOT come off. I've been scouring the internet for ways to remove marker from wood, and it seems like we have to buy some toxic, hard-to-find, bad-to-breath-in cleaner stuff. Lovely.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yesterday Emma and I enjoyed more yummy asparagus from the garden. Take a look at those beauties! Today I'm planting more spinach and more potatoes.

Yesterday was a good day for me, snake-wise. At one point I walked outside and there was a snake sitting right there, looking at me. I stopped short, but then I gathered my wits and pointed him out to Emma. We ended up following him (from a small distance, of course) as he slithered slowly across our whole yard. I tried to make it a learning experience for Emma and not let her know that the icky thing gave me the heebie-jeebies. As we were watching him, I started to feel a little more brave. Maybe next time I see one, it won't be so tramautic. And, when Steve got home from the store, Emma ran to him and exclaimed, "Snake eat bugs!"

I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed because I'm leaving town next week to go to my parents' house for Easter, and I have SO much to do before then. This morning I wrote out a to-do list for each day until I leave, and that helped a lot. It's amazing how lists make me feel more productive, when I really haven't accomplished anything at all!

Lastly, here is a picture of Emma at the Royals game the other day. We had great front row seats, given to us by one of Steve's co-workers, so we didn't even care that this Royals season is shaping up to be even worse than the last two. Well, okay maybe we did.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I'm a little late on this, but F is for Family. By family, I mean Steve and Emma of course, but also my parents and my three brothers. I can't find a single picture of the eight of us together, which is larely due to my brother Andy living in Oregon and not being around much. So I can include everyone, here are some random pictures of various members of my Family.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Yesterday was a bad, bad day for my tomato seedlings. They were thriving until then, but now they are completely dead. Every last one. I swear I read somewhere that you can put seedlings in your back car window to get them plenty of heat and light. Maybe I dreamt it, because now I can't find it anywhere. So yesterday morning I went and stuck mine in my car. That afternoon, we were walking up to the neighborhood school to vote, and I glanced in at them on the way. They were not just dead, but so shriveled that they had almost completely disappeared into the dirt. Darn. Darn, darn, darn! I am SO bummed. On a better note, we planted Emama's seedlings outside last week and they seem to be doing great!

We are still undecided about the CSA. I talked to one of the farmers on the phone last night for almost 45 minutes. He was super nice and helpful. He said he would call some of his other customers and have them call me so I can talk to them about it as well.

Today Emma was playing with some little toy animals in the office. She ran into the bedroom to get me and pull me excitedly back into the office. She proudly pointed at her little set-up and said, "Cows nursing!" She wanted me to take a "pickez", which most of us know as picture, so here it is.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Yesterday we had a fun time at the Royals' opening day. I spent a lot of time walking the concourse with Emma, and I miss the days when I could just sit and watch the whole game. We're going to another game tomorrow.

Today we harvested our first vegetables! We picked seven asparagus stalks, but that strange kid ate four of them raw before we even went back in the house. I sauteed the remaining three, and we each ate one to celebrate our first little harvest. Yum! This afternoon I plan on planting our potatoes, as well as some more flower bulbs.

It is SO wonderful having Steve at home. He is going to go to work on Friday, but the rest of this week is going to be great!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Yesterday Emma and I attended a farmer's expo. There were a bunch of local farmers and a lot of CSA info there. I've been wanting to join a CSA for awhile, but Steve doesn't like the idea of spending money and not really being sure what you'll get in return. I talked to a couple farmers who run a CSA that consists of five farms. The CSA, called Generations, runs throughout the entire year. When I brought it up with Steve, I wasn't met with as much resistance as I expected. Now that I'm pretty certain I can talk him into it, I have to make sure it's really something I want to do. Here's the deal: You pay $62.50 per week, and you every week you receive

-a selection of in-season or processed produce (fruit, vegetables, and herbs)
-one half a cut up chicken, 1/2 dozen eggs
-one half gallon of milk, 1/2 pound of butter (3 times a month), and 1/2 gallon of ice cream (once a month)
-a loaf of bread, and a selection of other baked goods such as pizza crusts, buns, rolls, wraps, cookies, or granola
-1.5 lbs of pork and 2 lbs of beef - this will be an assortment of pork chops, fresh ham, sausage, brats, polish sausage, ground beef, roasts, and steaks

My pros:
-The thought of eating all that organic, locally grown food is SO appealing.
-We'd be getting better tasting and healthier food. (Is this redundant?)
-We would probably end up trying a lot of new things.
-It would be fun to come up with ways to use the things we get.
-It would be exciting to get our shipment every week and see what's in it.
-Good for local economy and the environment.

My cons:
-A year is a long time to commit to something like that.
-I might get sick of having to come up with new ways to use everything.
-What if I don't like not being able to pick out my own food each week?
-We'd have to set a certain, rather small amount, that I could spend on other regular food every week and it might be really hard to do that. The CSA sounds like a lot of food, but would it be really?

What do you think?

Oh, and I saw another snake today. *shudder*

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Emma and I have been having so much fun watching the birds at our bird feeder, so yesterday we bought and painted a bird house. We are looking forward to a nice bird family moving in. Today we went to a wild bird store and bought a window-sticking thingey that we are going to use to hang a hummingbird feeder.

I saw another snake yesterday - in our shed! A quick online search for natural ways to deter snakes led me to this site. Bad news. The very first thing it tells you to do is not have any bird feeders close to the house! That is very unfortunate, given Emma's and my recent interest in birds.

Yesterday we transplanted Emma's seedlings outside. I think they were starting to suffer from lack of light, so even with the possible risk of frost, moving them out was in their best interest. Our tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils are all looking beautiful. I bought a couple new vases yesterday because I want to always have fresh flowers in every room all summer.

Here is a picture of some of our asparagus. Note: I am not naive enough to think that you will be interested in pictures of all my sprouts and plants, but you'll just have to bear with me. There will be pictures. Lots of pictures.

Oh, and I finsished my cooking club meals last night. I made myself a Tequila Sunrise (or three) to make the task a little more bearable. Now my freezer is once again full of yummy meals!