Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I am in the midst of a gardening disaster. Remember how just a mere four days ago I was showing pictures of my potatoes and calling them "healthy" and "lucious"? Not only that, I was down there on Sunday (only two days ago) and they looked perfectly fine. Today I went to check on everything, and somehow in the last 36 hours, my potatoes and green beans have managed to become mostly dead. According to Miracle Max, there is a big difference between mostly dead and all dead, but I'm pretty sure there is no hope for these guys. Every single plant is now filled with wilted brown leaves, and some of the plants have collapsed and are on their way to becoming compost. Those would be the potatoes in the picture on the left and the beans on the right. What on earth could I have done to cause this? I watered them, I did my best to keep them weed-free, I loved them, what more is there? I might as well just hang up my gardening gloves for good. Strangely, the tomatoes and spinach still look great. (Well, as great as the spinach ever looked.)

Emma and I swam in her pool today. There wasn't much swimming going on, due to lack of space, but we still had fun. I want to get a pool like this one, but Steve is reluctant because he's worried about killing the grass. I think his exact words were, "There is no way. Ever." We'll see about that, I suppose.

Tonight we got bought some really good coffee at World Market. We wanted to try it out, so I went ahead and brewed some. I only had one cup, because I was worried about it keeping me awake. When I was younger, caffeine had no effect on me. A few years ago, my brother and I had a bunch of time to waste at a hospital, and, to prove my amazing caffeine tolerance, I promised him I would drink ten cups of coffee in thirty minutes. I did and, to his amazement, was completely unfazed. Apparently I have lost that completely useless skill, because I'm practically bouncing off the walls now. This is unfortunate because it's almost 1:00 now and we're getting up early tomorrow to go pick strawberries. At least I'll have good coffee to drink in the morning!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Last night went really well, considering I'm trying to change what is a lifelong habit for Emma. She woke up when Steve and I came to bed, and of course wanted to nurse. When I wouldn't let her, she cried inconsolably for about five minutes, which was really hard for me (not to mention her!). I felt like, after always teaching her that she can trust me, I turned my back on her and confused her. I didn't really turn my back on her, of course, because I was holding her and trying to soothe her the whole time, but I still felt terrible. Anyway, after crying for a few minutes, she said she was hungry. I went and sliced up an apple for her. She sat in bed and ate it, then laid down, cuddled up to Steve, and went to sleep. This is crazy because, no matter how much she adores Steve during the day, she wants nothing to do with him at night. Ever. I know he was thrilled that she was finally cuddling with him at night, and I know I was thrilled because I had a little space to myself. After that, she woke up four more times during the night. When she couldn't nurse, she cried for a minute the first time. The other times, she asked to nurse, I told her we'd nurse in the morning and just cuddle for now instead, and she just went back to sleep! Amazing! I am so relieved that she's taking it this well!

I finished another sock yesterday. Yeah, that's right - one sock. I'm going to learn the two socks on two circular needles method before I knit anymore socks. I have a bunch of lonely single unmatching socks piling up, and no desire to ever knit matches for any of them. I do like the way this last one turned out. I dyed the yarn myself, and at first I was annoyed that the brown color was so streaky, but I think it turned out okay.

I have some stupid spyware on my computer and it's driving me crazy. Every time I open Firefox, some Internet Explorer pop-up ad comes up. In the past two days I've downloaded SpyBot, ADV, SpyDoctor, AdAware, and Yahoo AntiSpy and none of them have gotten rid of it! ADV found it, and acts like it's getting rid of it, but then it pops up again as soon as I open Firefox. Gah!

It is thundering like crazy here and starting to rain. I love thunderstorms, but I feel sorry for anyone who is trying to have Memorial Day parties or picnics today.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

So I have my blogs I read every day, and I'm always checking my email, plus there are a couple forums I frequent. Those things pretty much take up all my computer time. However, I have just discovered two new things that are going to force me to eke out some more time spent in this chair: cooking blogs and crafting blogs. I am so impressed and inspired by what these people, most of whom are mothers, can accomplish. How could you look at this or this or this or this and not be inspired to go create beautiful things and cook fancy, delectable meals? I can't. Unfortunately I'm too busy using Emma's naptime to look at other people's beautiful creations to go and make some of my own.

I am going to night wean Emma. I tried doing it back in January, but after two miserable nights of NO sleep, I figured at least some sleep was better than none, and I gave up. By now, I've gotten to the point where I really can't take it anymore. It's not like she wakes up a lot to nurse, she just never stops nursing. There is no down time. Steve said a few days ago, during the night I told him, "If she starts nursing again, I'm going to gouge out my eyeballs." I don't remember saying that, but it's pretty much how I feel. During the night I feel like my body is no longer my own. Both mama and baby need to be satisfied with the nursing relationship, and this has not been working for me for awhile now. Last night at about 4:30 a.m., I really couldn't stand another minute. I tried to give her her binky and explain that we weren't going to nurse anymore. She almost seemed to panic. I literally haven't seen her that upset since the last time I attempted night weaning. After a few minutes, a drink of water, and two plates of grapes, she seemed to calm down. I explained some more that we could nurse in the morning, but that now it was time to sleep. She said, "Nurse sunny outside?". I said that yes, we could nurse when it got sunny outside. She seemed to accept that, because she took her binky, laid down, and closed her eyes. I was SO thrilled, but doubtful that it was really going to be that easy. It wasn't, in fact, because she never went back to sleep. Consequently, we've been up since 4:30 this morning. Ugggg.

Steve's grandpa and step-grandma are in town and are staying at his aunt and uncle's house. We were invited over there for dinner tonight, which was good news for me because I love going over there. They are incredibly nice and fun, they have great wine, and the food is always fabulous. When we were leaving, Steve's aunt jokingly asked Emma if she wanted to move in with them, and I almost yelled, "I do!"

Today Emma and I made this ooey-gooey, terrible-for-you, absolutely insanely delicious cake. I'm thinking about it in the kitchen now, and trying my very hardest to resist. I think I can, I think I can...

Tonight at the aunt and uncle's house, everyone was amused because Emma ate an entire orange pepper and an entire green one - just taking bites out of them like you would an apple. When she turned down ice cream in favor of cherry tomatoes, they were really shocked. I like to tell myself that Emma is not a picky eater because I offer her a variety of healthy foods, but my next kid will probably not want to eat anything and my whole theory will be trashed.

Speaking of food, I guess I am not as strong as I thought. I'm off to eat some cake!

Friday, May 26, 2006

I am way late on this.

G is for Garden.

Here is the garden that Steve built for me last spring.

Here are my potatoes - right now they are my favorite thing in the garden, just because they look so healthy and lucious. They have a newspaper mulch over them, which is saving me lots of weeding time.

Here are the asparagus plants. They have grown into ferns and are hopefully gearing up to produce some big giant asparagus for us next spring. Yesterday I read that, although they are not producing anymore this year, I still need to be carefully watering them and adding compost to ensure a healthy crop next time around. Oops. I am halfway through the process of newspaper mulching them.

The tomato plants, interspersed with Marigolds to hopefully keep away those nasty tomato hornworms.


A very, very meager spinach crop.

And, lastly, this lovely barren spot where nothing grows but weeds. I planted some spinach here and failed to get a single sprout. Tried again with carrots - nothing. I should get a soil test to see what the problem is, but I'm going to plant broccoli there first to see if it grows. More than likely, it will probably just be more wasted seeds.
Our sleep schedule is all screwed up again. What with having visitors, and then staying at my mom's, Emma's been going to bed well after midnight and we've been waking up around 11:00. Gah! Why do we naturally gravitate to staying up really late and getting up really late? Why can't we go to bed and wake up at a reasonable hour like the rest of the world? The night we got home Emma went to sleep at 10:00. I thought that was a good sign, but it must have just been sheer exhaustion, because last night didn't go so smoothly. I started to put her to sleep at 9:45. At 11:45, she was still awake and was crying and I was snapping at her. At that point I luckily remembered that that was not the parent I'm trying to be, so I just gave in and let her get up. There was no point in making her miserable and getting mad at her, although it did ruin my plans of finishing my current sock. Here she is at 12:30, way after I would have liked her to be asleep.

The battle against the fruit flies wages on. We've been using the traps and making sure they are not in the sink drain, but they still linger. Steve is making a sport out of killing them, which I am pretty sure he sort of enjoys. I told him I could go downstairs and let some more in, but I guess he doesn't enjoy it that much.

I'm already getting behind with the weeding in the garden, so today that is my top priority. This morning we're going to a program at the library and then meeting some friends at a park, but this afternoon is all about the weeds. Even if we can't seem to win against the fruit flies, I WILL dominate the weeds!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Our trip home was not the best. I always time the trips so Emma will sleep a good chunk of it, and today's drive started off perfectly. She was out, I had a new CD to listen to, and some cut-up fruit to munch on while I drove. About twenty miles in, my car started doing this weird bumpy wobbling thing. I remembered this story about Steve and his brother taking a trip together during which his brother's car spun a bearing, causing one of the wheels to collapse, and sending them careening off the highway. I was certain this was about to happen to us, and I had visions of Emma and myself slamming into a semi. Stopping somewhere would probably have been a waste of time, so I called Steve to warn him that he might never see us again, then we forged ahead. A little while later, we hit the worst thunderstorm in which I have ever driven. Everyone was creeping along at about 5 mph on the highway. I couldn't see a thing out the window, which was exacerbated by the fact that my windows were fogged up and my defroster didn't seem to be working. If I rolled down the windows, I knew the windshield would clear somewhat, but I also knew that water would come pouring in and wake the baby. I never thought I'd purposely wake her on a long drive, but when faced with that or blindly driving into imminent danger, I chose to open the windows. Of course she woke up, and of course one second later the rain stopped and it was the most beautiful sunny day you ever saw. Argh! Towards the end of the trip when I thought she was going to go crazy from being strapped in her seat and I was going to go crazy from all the whining, we stopped at the Gap Outlet. It's amazing how some new clothes can make any situation look better!

On a better note, I found out that my grandparents have one of those compost tumblers I want, AND - they want to give it to me! Woo-hoo! I have to get my mom and dad to visit me soon so they can bring it up with them.

Monday, May 22, 2006

We've had a busy few days. Some family was in town for the weekend, and my grandma and my little brother Peter stayed at our house. While it was great to have them visit, we gave up our bed to my grandma, and it turns out I do NOT like sleeping on the living room floor. Probably any floor, for that matter. It was wonderful to have our own bed back last night - after the floor, it was like sleeping on clouds.

Last night I decided I wanted to drive to St. Louis today. My mom and dad had been in London and Scotland for the past 10 days, so Emma and I went with my brother David to surprise them at the airport. Now Emma and I are here at my mom's house. Emma loves my family and is having way too much fun to go to sleep, but not for lack of trying on my part!

The fruit fly situation is getting worse. Not so much in the house, but in the bin, which is no longer allowed in the house. It's awful. When I get back home, I'm going to call the worm farm and see if they have any advice. If not, the worms are getting dumped in the garden. :( I've been nagging Steve to get a compost tumbler, but so far he's not going for it. I guess I'll just have to step up the nagging a level or two!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The spinach I planted hasn't done too well, but this morning I finally did get to pick some. It was delicious in our scrambled eggs! It's so cool to eat something that I have actually grown myself. Speaking of gardening, last night I was reading The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, and I discovered how totally clueless I was about gardening last year (not that I am any expert this year). We had zucchini plants last year that produced these absolutely huge zucchini. I was really proud of myself for growing such big zucchini, but last night I read that you have to pick zucchini at a certain time, because if you wait too long they get too big, and therefore stringy and tasteless. Oops.

I'm having some trouble with my worm bin. The book I have says that a few fruit flies are to be expected, but my few fruit flies have turned into a swarm. Suddenly there are hundreds of fruit flies surrounding the bin. Ick. Today I took the bin outside, hoping the fruit flies would follow. Unfortunately, they migrated to the kitchen. Double ick. During dinner I had about five fruit flies drown in my iced tea. Lovely. I hope they will all die soon - I suppose I could just set out some iced tea and they will all eventually commit suicide. But what to do with the worms? I'm worried a raccoon or something will get into the bin if I leave it outside. For now, I brought it back in the basement, but I will take it outside again in the morning. I'm sure this is solving exactly nothing.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to get my hair cut and colored. I really have no desire to have my hair colored, but it's part of a gft certificate. I'm not even sure what color to choose, but I'm sure it will look interesting. Even if it looks awful, the couple hours of free ME time will be worth it!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I am feeling guilty about two things today.
1) This afternoon I was carrying Emma down the hall. I was thinking about something else and I banged her poor little head right into the corner of our bookshelf. She bled for awhile, but took the whole thing like a champ. I still felt terrible.

2) Steve went to the grocery store with us the other night and, consequently, we ended up purchasing a bunch of junky crap that I would never buy otherwise. This morning Emma saw the Lucky Charms on the fridge, and I was too lazy to talk her out of them, so that's what she ate for breakfast. I might as well have just given her a bowl full of sugar, preservatives, and dyes. Normally when she wants a snack, she asks for black beans or some kind of fruit. Ever since she ate those darn Lucky Charms, she's only been asking for more of that "pretty cereal".

I want to learn about photography. Every time I start to read books about it, it just seems like a whole lot of trouble and, honestly, really uninteresting reading material. I've been trying to mess around with shutter speed, aperture, and some other stuff on my own camera to get better pictures, but I really have no clue what I'm doing. That's my goal for the next few months - beefing up my photography skills. It's too bad there probably aren't any classes that are child-friendly.

Hopefully I didn't bore you to tears with this incredibly dull post.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I have been trying hard not to pass my ridiculous irrational snake phobia on to Emma. Sunday morning I saw one next to the house and just shrieked a teeny tiny bit. So much so that I think she hardly noticed, which was good. Feeling proud of my braveness, I patted myself on the back for doing such a good job of showing Emma that snakes are nothing to be afraid of. Later in the afternoon, I ventured into the shed to get some flower pots. I was nervous because I had seen a snake in there before, so I stupidly banged on the side before I went in to scare away any slithery intruders. Emma followed me in and messed around with the gardening tools while I looked through the pots. I picked up a stack of them and flipped them over to pull them apart. A freaking snake fell out and landed ON MY FEET! I screamed enough to make myself hoarse and, in my haste to exit the shed, I knocked over all the rakes and shovels. Still screaming, I stumbled over them and they all crashed to the ground. By this point Emma was crying frantically so I grabbed her and carried her out of the shed by her arm. The rest of the day she refused to stand on the ground by herself, whimpering about a big scary snake. So much for her not being afraid of snakes. She did play outside much of the day Monday, and the incident seems to be forgotten, thankfully. I, however, will never again venture into the shed.

Steve is in the middle of three weeks off work, and the housework is seriously suffering. I normally try to do lots of cleaning and laundry when Emma is napping, but now we are using her naptime for more of our intense Scrabble matches.

We have to go pay an unpaid ticket for which Steve is about to be arrested. More later...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Steve and I just finished a really intense game of Scrabble (Could we be any dorkier?). We played this afternoon and I lost. It was a pretty close game so, feeling hungry for a win, I insisted we play again tonight. Final score - Steve, 312 and me, 313! Yes!! Victory is mine!

Tomorrow should be a good Mother's Day, at least until the late afternoon. At that time we are going over to MIL's house, which should effectively ruin the rest of my day. Blah.

I have to get up and water the garden before church, which means I'll be getting about four hours of sleep. Don't ask me why I'm sitting at the computer instead of snuggling into bed. I think I have some weird disorder that makes it difficult for me to tear myself away from the computer at night. The later it is, the more dumb stuff I find to do. Must. Go. To. Bed.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

This morning I stopped in at only two garage sales, but still ended up buying Emma more clothes than any one little girl could ever need. I'm so excited about everything I bought, but now I've banned myself from going to any more garage sales this year. If I hadn't done it myself, Steve would have anyway. Emma certainly does not need any more clothes. At least, that's what I'm telling myself so I won't be tempted anymore.

We suddenly have ants in our kitchen. Like, armies and armies of ants. For the last week I've been militant about keeping everything wiped down and crumb-free, yet they are still apparently enticed by something. I have washed the walls, scrubbed the floor, and even cleaned out the insides of my cabinets. Still they are here. What to do?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

We had a wonderful time at the Bed and Breakfast. There were a couple fleeting moments when I wished it were just Steve and me, but overall the three of us had lots of fun together.

Ever since Emma's birth, I've felt this all-consuming love for her. From the very first time I saw her sweet little face, my feelings for her have been more intense than any I've felt for another person. Lately, though, she has somehow managed to step it up a bit. She is just SO adorable, and SO sweet, and SO perfect that I feel like I'm going to burst every time I look at her. I've been saying, "Do you want to rock on my shoulder?" a lot lately and she'll come over and cuddle with me for awhile. Today she was pushing her doll around in her little stroller. They went in the kitchen, and a minute later I heard her say in her cute little toddler voice, "Rock on mine shoulder, yittle baby. Rock on mine shoulder." I went to peek at her and she was sitting on the floor, holding the doll to her shoulder and sweetly rocking back and forth. As I watched, she kissed the doll on the top of it's head. When she noticed me watching her, she placed her finger on her lips and said quietly, "Shhhhhhhh. Emma rock yittle baby." Could she possibly be any sweeter? I seriously doubt it. You'd better hope not or you're going to have to deal with more of these sappy, gushing posts.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The three of us have been having so much fun together since Steve's busy season ended. It almost makes me not hate his non-stop working for six months out of the year, because this way we appreciate the time we spend together so much more. Almost, but not quite. Emma adores him and won't leave him alone for a second when he is here. Luckily, he is pretty darn fond of her as well.

She has started calling us by our real names, or "Say-ah" and "Teve". I am amazed at the things she picks up from us. Several weeks ago, I told Steve he had big teeth and jokingly called them horse teeth. It was a 30-second conversation and the whole subject was completely forgotten until last night Emma sat on his lap, pushed up his top lip, and exclaimed, "Horse teeth!".

Another one of her new tricks is unlocking and opening the screen door. This is bad news because I can't leave her alone in the living room for a minute or she's out the door. Today, however, the little escape artist really came through. We were in the backyard and, when we tried to go back inside, I discovered that when had I closed the door, the lock had flipped down, thus locking us out of the house. I was about to call Steve when I realized that (duh) the windows were open. I was able to hoist Emma in through a window, where she then went straight to the screen door and unlocked it!

Tomorrow the three of us are going to stay at a Bed and Breakfast in a nearby town. It should be lots of fun, with hopefully a little romance thrown in! ;)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Remember that old Hungry Hungry Hippos game? I always wanted it when I was a kid, but never got it. When I saw one at a garage sale Friday, I figured I could make my childhood dreams come true, so I bought it. Since then, the three of us have been playing some pretty hard core Hungry Hungry Hippos. Because there is no taking turns (Emma's downfall with other children's games), it works perfectly and hours (and I mean hours) of fun can be had by all. Another good garage sale score - we got a pair of barely-worn Robeez boots for a DOLLAR!

I finally finished the Jaywalker sock! It has the least mistakes of all my knitted socks to date. I can't bring myself to cast on the other one just yet, so who knows when I will actually be showing off a picture of the actual completed pair. Let me just say, don't hold your breath.

Remember how I said I was going to plant all those things this weekend? Well, at this point I have planted exactly zero plants. It's been raining every day for what seems like forever, so our whole garden is a muddy slop hole. Can you plant in saturated soil? I have no idea. I guess I may just have to try it and find out, otherwise my tomatoes, green beans, carrots, sunflowers, pumpkins, and watermelons are going to miss the boat.

I need some knitting advice. You may remember that I'd been knitting a coat for Emma, and I ran out of yarn and ordered some more. I ordered the same colorway, but of course the dye lot was different so I was somewhat concerned that the yarn wouldn't match perfectly. It came on Friday, and was worse than I expected. The yarn in the coat is a light pink, with a few different shades. The yarn I just got is like a solid icky grayish pink color. All I have left to do on the coat is an attached I-Cord all around the edge. I don't really want to use the gray-pink yarn. I could try to find another color (white?) in another yarn, but in the same gauge, and use that, or I already have two other colorways in the same yarn - one pink and peach, one pink with reddish colors (I think I overdid it a little on the pink that day). Any other ideas or advice would be appreciated.

Emma and I just made some whole-wheat cinnamon rolls. Mmmm! They should be finished rising now, so I'm off to pop them in the oven and play a few rounds of (what else?) Hungry Hungry Hippos while we wait.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Here is some exciting news: we have a strawberry! It doesn't look like much yet, but it's a good sign of yummy things to come. My potato plants also appear to be doing well as of right now. Everything else, well, I haven't gotten there yet. My goal for this weekend is to plant my tomatoes, beans, carrots, pumpkins, watermelons, and sunflowers. Wow. That seems like a lot more now that I've typed it out. Yikes!

For my birthday, Steve promised to watch Emma for me any time I want to go get my hair cut or go to the chiropractor, and he also got me a $100 giftcard to my favorite yarn store. Well done, Steve. I couldn't have picked out anything better myself.

Tommorrow morning we're hitting the garage sales again! I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm doing a little potty-learning experiment today. Emma hasn't shown interest in using the potty, which is fine, but, after reading an article in LLL's recent magazine about it, I decided maybe I should try to encourage her a little more. This morning we bought another potty - one for the living room, one for the bathroom - and some big girl panties. Emma was so excited. The trouble was she couldn't decide which pair to wear. After about fifteen minutes of "No, BLUE unnerway-er! No, PINK unnerway-er! No, WHITE unnerway-er!", she finally stuck with the blue ones. So far we've had one accident, ending with a couple of drops into the potty. When it came time for her nap, she got me twice by saying, "Emma pee potty!" and running in to go. Seeing that she really had no interest in anything other than avoiding her nap, I finally wised up and put on a diaper. I guess we'll stick with this for a few days and see if she starts showing any interest. If not, we'll pack up the unnerway-er for a later date.

Remember how I said I was knitting two pairs of socks? Well, I've decided to frog one of them. I've been in denial, but I can no longer overlook the fact that these are the ugliest socks ever. They were supposed to be for my dad, but I don't want to insult him by giving him these socks and actually expecting him to wear them. For your veiwing pleasure, here is a picture of the World's Most Hideous Sock.

Today is my birthday - the big 27. Okay, so it's really not that big of a birthday. However, Steve did mention on the phone earlier that he went shopping on his lunch break. Sweet!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Because Steve didn't work all weekend (yay!), we had a great time and did lots of fun stuff. Unfortunately, that fun stuff inlcuded eating about a year's worth of junk, thanks to eating out five times in a single weekend. We took Emma to see The Wild (in which she was not interested) on Saturday and on Sunday we went to the Royals game. We also spent a lot of time watching Arrested Development. After hearing that it was a good show, we decided to rent the first DVD of the first season. Twenty-one episodes and a midnight trip to Blockbuster later, we have finished the first season. Tonight we are going to start the second one. That show is so funny; I think we are rivaling our DVD marathons at the release of each new season of 24.

This morning Emma and I returned to the worm farm and bought another pound of worms. Awhile back, I was worried that they weren't keeping up with the food, so I split them in two separate containers, hoping they would quickly procreate. They weren't doing it quickly enough, I thought, so we just went and got some more. Adding 1,000 members to the family is always a little exciting!

The mattress at the end of the bed is going so-so. Emma loves it and want to spend all day there. She calls it the "cool bed" so all day I'm hearing, "Read in cool bed. Nurse in cool bed. Eat peanut butter in cool bed," etc. However, she only wants to be there with me, and she just doesn't sleep that long without me next to her, so it's not working that well at night. The first night I kept trying to lay here there after she was asleep and she would, amazingly, wake from a dead sleep and cling to my neck, saying "Mommy yay down!" She's gotten a little more accustomed to it, and last night she slept there for an hour by herself. I don't mind her sleeping with us most of the night (and would prefer it, actually), but it was really great to have a whole hour during which I could actually stretch out and sleep in any comfortable position I wanted.

Ever since my mom came here with a suitcase, Emma has been obsessed with suitcases. She'll drag anything with a handle around the house, proudly exclaiming, "Soupcase!" This weekend we went to Target and took Emma to the luggage aisle, where she had a blast rolling around all the little kid-sized soupcases. I'm going to try to find one at a garage sale or thrift store for her. She'll be in absolute heaven with her own little soupcase!