Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Today was absolutely the most wonderful day ever, weather-wise. It ended up being a pretty decent day all around as well. We played in the yard, went on a LONG walk, went to the park, had a picnic, and drew all over the patio with sidewalk chalk.

With the weather being so great the past few days, I've been spending a lot of time working in the garden and flower beds. Last year I was a dismal failure at all things green, but this time around I'm envisioning a lush backyard filled with flowers in every color of the rainbow and a weed-free garden teeming with lucious tomatoes, succulent asparagus, mouthwatering green beans, and anything else we may decide to plant this year. For this to happen, I'm going to have to get over the fact that I will encounter snakes and slugs. Sounds easy, but is it? In my case, no.

I've been hesitant to post this, in case maybe it was just a phase, but Emma is totally off the sleeping plan. :( We still do the whole routine, but instead of falling asleep by 8:00, it usually takes until 10:00. Tonight I layed with her for an hour, ignoring her attempts to play house and sing songs and mess with the dogs. Finally I couldn't take it anymore so we got in the car to drive around. Another hour later, she finally fell asleep. I was trying to stay cheerful in the car by telling myself to just enjoy the quiet time and unwind a little after the day. It didn't work. All the while, I was just mad that I was wasting gas and time because the darn kiddo wouldn't fall asleep already.

Emma was exposed to the chicken pox almost three weeks ago. I had about given up on her getting them, but yesterday she slept a lot (amazing!) and was feverish and fussy. I was sure they'd pop out today, but she was completely normal and spot-free all day. Weird. So those of you who were hoping to get them from us, it looks like it's not going to happen. I guess we'll have to try again.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I recently decided to limit myself to no more than three knitting projects at a time. I had too many things going, and it seemed like nothing was ever getting finished. Here's what I've got on the needles right now.

This is on it's way to becoming the Smocked Frock from Little Turtle Knits. At this point, it's just lots of knitting around and around and it's becoming somewhat tedious.
Here is the back of the Easy Peasy Cardigan, also from Little Turtle Knits. I had a lot a trouble getting my gauge right, so I wasted a couple days knitting different swatches with various needle sizes and yarns. It's still not exactly right, but as long as it's too big instead of too small, that's okay with me.Lastly, here are those same old socks I'm knitting for my mom. Once I got the hang of the two circs method, these have been moving along much faster.
Yesterday in the car, I explained to Emma what the red, green, and yellow lights mean. Now every time we are stuck at a red light, she watches it intently, then immediately yells, "Geen! GO!" as soon as it turns. I should probably warn her that backseat driving won't be this cute forever.
I joined a webring called ABC-Along, which you can see over in my sidebar. The point is to take a picture of something every other week that corresponds with a letter of the alphabet. The item in the picture is supposed to be something meaningful or important to me in some way. I'm joining a little late, so I'm starting with "D".

This is not very original, but my dogs are my favorite D things in the world (in spite of my recent post about how they were getting on my nerves). Here they are, slightly annoyed with me for interrupting their nap to make them look at the camera.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The kite we gave Emma for her birthday is the WORST kite ever. All week we've been talking about how, when papa gets home, we're going to the park to fly the kite. She must've said, "Kite? Park? Papa? Fun! Play! Fly kite!!" to me about fifty times a day. Well, today we headed to the park but we couldn't get the kite to fly. We decided to trek over to a nearby bluff, which is probably the highest point around for miles. It was super windy up there, but after an hour of flinging the kite up in the air and running into the wind at breakneck speed, still no luck. By the end poor Emma was huddled under a blanket in the wagon muttering "home...home...home", probably wishing she had never even gotten the stupid kite. Steve eventually hurled the dumb thing into a nearby trash can and we headed home. We're going to buy a different kite and see if we have better luck. Neither Steve nor I have flown a kite for several few years, but we do not remember it being so difficult. We are certain it was the kite's fault, and not user error.

Today we were coloring and Steve started to get annoyed because Emma was drawing on his page. (Seriously, how old is that guy?) He put her on his shoulders, where she stayed and intently watched him color the rest of his picture. I think this is so cute.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Verdict on the Japanese Cherry: delicious!!! Absolutely yummy! Here is what it looks like after straining...a lot different from the powdery bagged stuff I'm used to.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I have been pretty productive tonight. I sewed some wool shorts for my friend's little boy,

I sewed some pants for myself,

and I sewed these canvas bags for my cousin.

You know, most places will take five cents off your total bill for every bag you bring in yourself. I was thinking about this tonight and every week I split my grocery purchases between Aldi, Price Chopper, and Wild Oats. Let's say - and this is a conservative estimate - that I use my cloth bags eight times total every week. Not only do I save forty cents every week, in thirty years I will have saved $625.20. Even better, I will have saved 12,480 bags from going into the landfills. Here is a great and easy pattern for sewing your own bags. If you don't want to sew them and you know me IRL, if you get the material, I will be happy to sew four canvas bags for you.

The more astute among you might have noticed that none of those items are curtains. Well, you are right. I'm moving the curtains project to next week, and I'm moving the bathroom project to never. I think I'm just going to let Steve do that one.

Emma never took a nap today and has been asleep since 7:00 (hence, all the completed sewing). I hope she does not get up at some ridiculous early hour tomorrow. Now I'm off to knit and enjoy the rest of my peaceful evening.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ahhhhhh. I just finished taking a shower...brace yourself...all ALONE! It was my first solitary shower since the ski trip a few weeks ago. There is something so relaxing about not having to sing "Let's Go Fly a Kite!" and "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" throughout an entire shower.

Today was a great day of mail. I got two FREE books from paperbackswap.com, some circular needles destined for knitting many fabulous socks, and prints from a photo shoot Emma and I attended a few weeks ago. I've been wanting a good nursing picture for a long time now and Stefanie, the wonderful photographer, got one that I really love.
I should probably work on one of my many projects right now, but instead I'm going to brew some tea and sit down to spend some quality time with my friend, the Internet. I will leave you with a picture of Her Cuteness and the shoes she loves dearly and refuses to remove, even for bedtime.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My kid will eat anything. She is the unpickiest kid ever. Last night I was chopping some kale (Nutrition tip: You can chop greens such as kale or swiss chard in a food processor, then freeze in small amounts and add to various items like oatmeal, smoothies, or whatever you want. It's a good way to get those green leafies in.) and Emma asked for some. Plain, raw kale is NOT good, but I handed her a piece. She ate it and asked for more. I handed her a bigger piece and she munched on it for a minute and then asked for more. She ate an entire leaf of kale! I think she is part rabbit.

We had a great day with my cousin Katie. We did go to see Curious George and Emma loved it! She was such a pro, you'd think she's been going to movies for years!

We missed our trash pick-up the last two weeks and it's really been piling up. They are coming tomorrow morning and the last thing I want to do right now is go out in the cold and drag all that trash to the street.

I have so much to do this week. On the list are several sewing projects, plus I need to do some serious cooking. I haven't even started my cooking club meals for next month and I have three meat groups, a veggie group, a dessert group, and an appetizer group. Yikes! The good news about all that is, once it's done, I'll be getting enough food in return that I probably literally won't have to cook again until next month's cooking club meals. Sweet!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Here is the meager beginning of a sweater for Emma. What is notable about it is that the yarn is absolutely the softest yarn I have ever touched. It's so heavenly that it's all I can do to not unwind it and throw myself on the floor and roll around in it. If you knit, you must buy some of this yarn. If you don't knit, you should learn just so you can know the splendor that is this yarn. I got it in a co-op from these people. Mmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I finally finished my cabled scarf. It took awhile because I kept working on other things but a few days ago I decided to buckle down and finish it because I need the needles for another project. It's not as long as I'd like, so I'm probably going to end up ordering more yarn so I can make it longer and add fringe. Eventually.

Yesterday we were reading a book on the couch, and suddenly Emma jumped up and ran to the front door, exclaiming, "Hug door!" Sometimes I wonder about that kid.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Does anyone else have serious problems going to Juffy Lube and spending an exorbitant amount of money every single time? What is the deal with that place? I feel like every time I drive away the employees are high-fiving each other while exclaiming, "Sucka!!" Yesterday I went in there and was happy to see they were running a special for a $19.99 oil change. Sweet. Twenty bucks. No problem, right? Wrong. When I first got there I said no to new wiper blades (even though my wipers have been completely useless for about two years now), but the guy did talk me into the high mileage oil upgrade. When he took me back out to the garage to give me the skinny, he said everything looked good but it was time to change my transmission fluid. This service is usually $39.99, but today he'll give it to me for $29.99, and the way he talks, it really sounds like something I have to get. (Steve told me later that he doesn't even think manual transmissions need new fluid ever. I have no idea.) The guy once again brings up the wiper blades, saying mine are really frayed and offering to take $5 off the price. On this I stand firm, especially because I know you can get them for about $16 less at a store. Actually going to a store and buying them, however, is another story. Anyway, when it was time to pay, he swiped my card and then told me it was $77. $77!?!?! I asked why it was so much and he ran down the list (the dumb oil upgrade was $10 - that's the last time I'm getting that!), listing the transmission fluid as $39.99. I reminded him that he told me $29.99 and he apologized and went to get his manager. The manager came in and said, "I'm so sorry. Since we already ran the card, how about we just give you the wiper blades for free?" I'm thinking, "That's not free, you jackasses!" but I said, "Sure, that would be great." So much for the special. At least now I will be able to not be risking our lives every time I'm driving in the rain.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My baby is two years old today. I can't believe it how fast she has grown and developed, especially recently. Only five months ago, she was wasn't saying a single word, and now she jabbers nonstop all day long, knows tons of animal sounds, over half the letters in the alphabet, and can point out pink, blue, orange, white, black, and yellow. She and I have so much fun together every day, but I am sad that these precious days are passing so quickly.

I think she had a lot of fun tonight at her little party. She loved the kite cake (although she only ate one bite and a teeny tiny bit of icing - thank goodness!) and all her presents. Here she is enjoying her new wagon. We can't wait to take it to the park tomorrow!

Monday, February 13, 2006

As I mentioned before, I am planning to make Emma a kite cake. Steve and I have different ideas as to how to best make this particular cake. To settle it, we are each going to decorate a separate kite cake, then I will post pictures here and you can vote. I am going to make mine tomorrow to use for her actual birthday and Steve is going to do his on Sunday. I think he has an unfair advantage because he will get to see mine first. It probably evens out because, after all, I used to be quite the little cake decorater. He knows I took cake decorating in 4-H and had several cakes go to the state fair and yet he is undaunted. Silly boy.

This morning Emma and I were going to have breakfast with my lovely cousin Katie, when my car suddenly died at a rather busy intersection. I sat there as the light went through two entire rotations, trying frantically to start my car. People were honking and giving me dirty looks as they drove around me. Finally I decided that I had no choice but to suffer the humiliation of getting Emma and myself out of the car in the middle of the intersection and trying to weave through the traffic on foot, completely bereft of dignity. Before getting out, I gave it one more try and, would you believe it, the old girl started right up. Whew! There were no more problems the rest of the day but now I am feeling wary. For good measure, I'm getting my oil changed pronto.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Seven Songs Meme

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your journal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.

1. Sway by Liz Phair
2. The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams
3. I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love with You by Emiliana Torrini
4. Bubble Toes by Jack Johnson
5. In the Belly of the Whale from Veggie Tales
6. Halleujah by KD Lang
7. Sixteen Tons by The Gas House Gang

I'm tagging Katie from Palm Desert, Katie from Kansas City, Abbie, Melanie, Julie, Stephanie, and dad.
If you are not a fan of gross poop stories, do yourself a favor and don't read this post.

So two days ago Emma was pooping some really horrible nasty unnatural stuff. So much so that I decided to use disposable diapers until it got better. Yesterday she didn't poop at all, so today I was bracing myself for an explosion. Tonight we went to Blockbuster, and although I bring my purse (which has a spare diaper and a box of travel wipes) everywhere, for some reason this time I decided to leave it at home. Once there, we're browsing through the aisles and I smell a horrible stench. I reach to pull back Emma's diaper and look inside and suddenly my entire hand is covered in poop. Oh. No. It has gushed out of her diaper and is halfway up her back and all over her shirt, pants, and coat. Steve goes to ask someone to unlock the door to the bathroom while I lead the little stinker over to it. Inside we discover there are TWO paper towels left. TWO. Steve, ever helpful, says, "Okay, well I'm going to check out the movies now," and disappears. About twenty minutes, two paper towels, and an entire roll of toilet paper later, Emma and I emerged from the bathroom. She was wearing her poopy coat and her poopy pants while I carried the rest of her poopy items. We stank terribly on the way home and both got a serious scrubbing in the bath once we got home. Ick ick ick.

Sometimes Steve will take Emma to Blockbuster by himself while I take a shower or something. I am SO sad that this wasn't one of those times. I probably would have died of giddy, hysterical laughter if that had been the case. Steve doesn't handle poop incidents well, so he surely would have been scarred for life.
Today we went shopping for Emma's birthday stuff. I've been wanting to get her this wagon because I figure that when we go on walks it will be more fun for her than the stroller. I also wanted to find her a kite because, due to her recent obsession with Mary Poppins, she talks about kites all day long. When we got to the store and Steve saw the wagon, he tried to veto it in favor of a tricycle. We put Emma on a little tricycle and she couldn't even move it. Steve kept saying he thought the wagon was stupid, but in the end I won and we got the wagon. We also got her a kite, some little musical instruments (including a tambourine to replace the one Jose chewed to smithereens), some more crayons and markers, and two shirts. Everything but the wagon we got at Toys R Us, which happened to be going out of business. By an incredible stroke of luck, everything in the store was 40-70% off.

I unraveled 1.5 sweaters tonight while Steve and I watched a bad movie. Before...After...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Today was much better than yesterday. Emma and I went and got our cooking club meals for this month. I am so excited to once again have a freezer full of food all ready to eat. We had a delicious dinner tonight, courtesy of Angie. Mmmmm!

I'm trying out a new method of sock knitting that involves two circular needles instead of double pointeds. It's supposed to be faster, but so far it's pretty frustrating. I don't feel like I'm knitting any faster at all. See that picture? It looks like a big tangled mess. I really want it to work because I think socks are probably the most useful thing to knit. Really, how many more scarves and hats can people really use?

Luckily for them, the dogs were much less annoying today.

Last year for Valentine's Day, I went out and bought myself a food processor. Although it was a great gift and I use it all the time, this year I decided that I wanted to nix the appliances-for-Valentine's Day-gifts idea. I thought Steve and I should give each other more romantic presents that we pick out for each other, and I gave him several ideas of things I would like. Apparently he was totally not listening because tonight he said, "For Valentine's Day, why don't we get you that mixer you've been wanting?" Oh well. I have been wanting a mixer. I suppose it could be worse. Maybe years down the road, when I own every appliance known to man, then I'll get something romantic.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Today was not a good day. Do you ever have those days where you just feel incredibly grumpy and annoyed for no apparent reason? Well, they are not pleasant. For me they are few and far between but today I got lucky, I guess.

Two things that really got on my nerves...

1. I think it's lame when you see people waiting in their cars for spaces that are about to be (but not quite yet) unoccupied, when there are perfectly good empty spots waiting just four spaces back. God almighty, just park and walk your lazy butt the few extra feet! Today we went to the store and were stuck behind some loser who sat... and sat... and sat in his car, waiting for a lady to unload a huge cart of groceries, just so he could have her spot. He could have parked his car in another spot and walked into the store six times in the time it took him to wait for her! Ugh!

2. My dogs. Those guys have been driving me crazy lately. They are always sabotaging my efforts to get Emma to sleep, and occasionally waking her up after I have succeeded. I used to miss them when we were apart for a few days, but before we left for the vacation I was thinking that it would be nice to have a little break from them. I didn't miss them when we were gone, and they are already getting on my nerves again. Today while we were gone, Jose destroyed a tambourine that my grandma just gave Emma for her birthday. Then, when dinner was ready and I was getting Emma a bib, he hopped up on the table and knocked over my drink, most of which poured right into our tamale pie.

We have these friends who also have two dogs, both of which were adored and doted on before the friends had a baby. As soon as the baby was born, the friends weren't very nice to the dogs anymore, forcing them to live mostly outside. Steve and I felt sorry for their dogs and promised our dogs a better fate. After Emma was born, one of the friends said to us, "Now don't you wish you could get rid of your dogs?" We both said, "No way!" Well, I'm sorry to say that day has finally come. Of course, we won't get rid of them. We will probably even let them keep sleeping on the bed with us. Pax will, of course, continue to sleep on my head and fart in my face during the night. Hopefully, this is just a phase and soon I will be back to enjoying their company.

We're back. We got back to my mom's last night and were going to spend the night there, but I was just really ready to come home. Emma was a perfect angel for nine hours in the car yesterday, and for the rest of the trip as well. We had a great time and today I'm finding it difficult to get back into the whole laundry and housecleaning bit.

Emma, the kid who never ever gets sick, apparently had some sort of bug last night. I put her in bed, and when I crawled in next to her awhile later, she rolled over and promptly threw up all over. After changing the sheets and both of our clothes, we got back in bed and she immediately threw up again. We changed the sheets and clothes a second time, then went out to the couch so poor Steve, who had to get up at 4:00 a.m., could get some sleep. We nursed and watched Mary Poppins (over and over and over) for the rest of the night. I kept falling asleep and waking up to Emma's vomiting on me again. We were still up with the sickies when Steve got up for work. She seems better this morning, but now all our towels are dirty and our house smells like sour milk.

There's a Holistic Mom's meeting tonight that I really want to attend regarding different education choices, but I'm not so sure it's going to work out. I'm tempted to ask Steve if he'll come home at 6:30 so I can go, but I'm sure that chances of that actually happening are slim to none. Blah.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Something has thrown a glitch in the new sleeping plan. I'm pretty sure it was the fact that I went to Stitch N Bitch Wednesday (a night out!!) and Steve couldn't get her to sleep until 9:30. Last night it took her two hours to go to sleep. Then I stupidly stayed up way too late after that, and, wouldn't you know it, that darn kid was dropping books on my head this morning at 6:00 a.m., wanting me to read to her. Ugg.

Today we are leaving to go skiing with my family. I probably won't update much in the next few days, but the majority of people who read this are going to be with me anyway. See you soon!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Before we bought this house, two old people lived here. They apparently spent all their time working in the yard because just about every inch of our property is filled with perfectly manicured flowerbeds. Well, they were perfectly manicured before we moved in, anyway. I would like to keep them up, but two things are getting in my way: our snake infestation, and the fact that I just don't have a clue when it comes to taking care of flowers. Well, today the weather was so nice and I figured there wasn't much chance of snakes being out and about yet, so I decided to cut back some of last year's plants. I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be done in the fall, but better late than never, I suppose. I got my clippers and went to town. I worked and worked and snipped and clipped...and I'm pretty sure I murdered every single plant in my backyard. The clematis for sure. Sigh.

On a happier note, I got a glorious package in the mail today. It's like Christmas all over again!! I keep trying to rub the yarn on Steve's face, but he is not appreciating the softness like he should. Tsk tsk.