Monday, August 27, 2007

Are you ready for this? EMMA IS POTTY TRAINED! Finally finally finally finally finally. I can hardly believe it myself - having just one kid in diapers seems almost too good to be true. On Saturday, we decided that enough was enough and we told her no more diapers. She cried for awhile, but Steve was home to distract her so it actually wasn't too bad. She did refuse to put on any underwear, though. After about seven hours the poor girl was hopping all over the place and still insisting that she didn't have to pee, even though she clearly did. We all spent a long time in the bathroom reading books, playing games, and basically being bored silly while Emma sat on her potty telling us over and over that she couldn't go. Eventually she absolutely couldn't hold it anymore and my sweet girl peed in the potty! With no diaper on! After that she sort of got caught up in the moment and agreed to put on some underwear, and I guess the rest is history. Last night we took her to Target to pick out some more underwear and today she has gone through about six pairs, but not because of any accidents. I am beyond thrilled about this. Today I told her I was really proud of her and she said, "Well, you certainly should be!"

Last night I sewed this needle case for another swap. I'm almost finished with all my swap stuff, and well before the deadline too! I think my next project will be Noah's quilt. I've been accumulating lots of fabric (more in the mail today - woot!) for it so I should probably get busy and actually sew it.

Tonight we rented The Number 23 and watched it after Emma - who didn't have a nap - went to bed. I am such a wimp. I have sworn off scary movies for good but for some reason I thought this one would be okay. Looking back, it really wasn't that scary but I watched the entire thing peeking through my fingers. At one point we had to turn it off for awhile because I was getting too tense and stressed out about the whole thing. That's probably a sign that I need to stick to romantic comedies and kid movies.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yesterday Emma and I made these Peanut Butter Balls. She loved shaping them into balls and rolling them in the wheat germ. They are so delicious, and also dangerous. The trouble with making anything bite-size is that you can eat a whole bunch without even really realizing it. Still, they are fun to make and super tasty.

Here is the recipe.*

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup wheat germ

Mix peanut butter, honey, oatmeal, and dry milk together. Roll out into small balls about the size of a walnut. Roll in wheat germ. Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until set. Freeze if desired or store in the refrigerator.

* I got this from a blog somewhere, but I can't for the life of me find it again. I apologize to whoever it was for not giving that person proper credit.

I made some notecards yesterday with fabric scraps. I only intended to do four of them (for a swap) but they were so much fun that I kept making more. For some reason I am into cupcakes these days. They're just so cute, and who doesn't love a cupcake?

I love thrift stores, but we usually just go to the same one all the time. A couple weeks ago I found this thrift store directory website and now we are hitting a bunch of thrift stores all over the city. Whenever we go somewhere, I check the website and if there is a thrift store nearby, we check it out. Today's best find? Six skeins of dyeable wool yarn and an embroidery hoop for $1.49! Woo-hoo!

This morning Emma dragged all the chairs into the living room and made a big deal about a show she was putting on there. She even made an official invitation for me, and asked me to tape the performance because it was "going to be so fabulous". Well, I'm not sure fabulous is the word, but I'll let you see for yourself. By the way, I have no idea who Johnny is and why she wants him to open the door. (Also, I'm not sure why it's kind of blurry. Weird.)

Emma's Show

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The kids and I have been at my mom's since Sunday, but are back at home now. After Steve left over the Scrabble dispute, I was feeling pretty annoyed about the whole thing. Without telling him, I packed up the kids and drove across the state. Wow, we are really a couple of mature individuals, aren't we?

Alissa tagged me, so even though I did this a few months ago, you're about to find out a few more incredibly exciting random tidbits about me.

Eight Random Things

1. I have not worn any make-up in over six years.

2. The last time I wore any jewelry other than my wedding ring was at my wedding.

3. In first grade I wet my pants while standing up in front of my entire class.

4. Some famous people who I find really annoying are Kevin Spacey, Nicholas Cage, Drew Barrymore, Whoopi Goldberg, Cameron Diaz, and Keanu Reeves.

5. I have a thing for Ewan McGregor (although I have already mentioned that), Jason Bateman, and Hugh Grant.

6. I think the best show ever produced is Arrested Development. We own them all on DVD and watch them all the time. They never get old, and I think it's a tragedy that that show only ran for three seasons.

7. My favorite food is mashed potatoes.

8. Sometimes I Google people I used to know (old boyfriends, etc.) in hopes of finding out what they're doing now. It sort of makes me feel like a stalker, but that doesn't stop me.

Now I'm off because I promised Emma I'd watch her Caillou movie with her before we go to bed. Here is another random fact about me - I can't stand Caillou.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Friday night we got home from dinner to find this in our yard.

Our neighbor's car. Or, more accurately, what remains of our neighbor's car. While we were gone, some woman - who I think had to have been drunk - came barreling down the road and crashed into our neighbor's car, which was parked on the street. She pushed the car about 100 feet, then she backed up her own car, and drove away! Who does that? Our neighbor jumped in their other car and followed her. Less than a mile away, she stopped to check out her car, which was apparently smoking pretty badly. Our neighbor got out and said that his wife had called the cops, so the lady jumped back in her car and took off again! Crazy. I don't know if they found her.

I liked the crayon roll I did the other night, so I decided to make one for Emma. I didn't look at the pattern again because I was pretty sure I remembered everything. That turned out to have been a mistake because my memory seems to have been about an inch off.

This was also my first attempt at using rickrack, and I guess I need more practice with that.

Steve and I are having some Scrabble issues. I won't say who has won two of three this weekend (although I will tell you that it wasn't Steve), but I will say that our fourth game was cut short this morning. He keeps trying to use words that technically could be words, but that have never actually been spoken by anyone in the history of the world. Last night he got mad because I wouldn't let him use "hellier". This morning he tried to use "reforks" and when I gave him the deny, he said he wasn't going to play anymore. Fine. He stormed off to work, even though he originally wasn't going in today. I guess all the losing is getting to him. If anyone has any thoughts on whether or not "reforks" is a legitimate word, I'd be interested in hearing them.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Emma didn't have a nap yesterday, so both kids were asleep by 9:00 last night! With all that kid-free time, I was able to get a couple things done for some swaps I have coming up. I completed six napkins, and a crayon roll for a little boy who likes Cars. I guess I've been feeling pretty swappy lately, because I signed up for a whole slew of swaps to be completed by the middle of September. I might possibly have overdone it.

This week hasn't been a very good one for Emma and me. I don't really think she's been any different, but for some reason I've had no patience with her. Poor kid. I feel like I'm apologizing all day long for snapping at her. However, I have decided that Steve and I have made a mistake with her, and I hope it's not too late to rectify it. Since she was a baby, whenever she got hurt, we'd always make a big deal out of it. I remember seeing other kids fall down or bump into things at playgroups and being amazed that their mamas didn't immediately pick them up and soothe them. Fast forward to now. Emma is a huge drama queen. If the teensiest little thing happens to her, she cries and cries and won't let it go. It's starting to wear on me, and now when she starts to cry, I just want to say, "Would you just get over it already?!?"

***Okay, she woke up from her nap while I was typing that last paragraph, and she really is such a little sweetheart, and I feel like a terrible shrew of a mother for thinking that stuff about her. So I guess I'll work on gently trying to toughen her up a bit, but mostly I probably need to work on my own patience.

Here are a couple pictures of my wonderful sweet boy, just because I haven't posted any of him in awhile.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We went to my cousin's house for dinner tonight and had to bring a dessert. I ran across a recipe for S'mores Cupcakes, and thought they looked fabulous so I decided to bring those.

First of all, it was much too hot in my house today for these to work out and really look good. As soon as I piped on the marshmallow stuff, it all melted into a somewhat goopy mess. The chocolate was also mushy and had to be put in the freezer before we could use it. Not only that, I apparently cooked the cupcakes too long because they were pretty dry. Darn it. Here are my own much less fabulous looking cupcakes.

Today wasn't a total cupcake failure, though, because I finished knitting these cupcakes for Emma and I think they are pretty cute.

And, eeeeeeee! More fabric!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Today is Emma's half birthday. The most exciting thing about that, for her, is that now she will get three and a half chocolate chips instead of only three whenever we have a little chocolate chip treat. Attempting to cut a chocolate chip in half sounds like a little too much work, so we may just round up to four from now on. For the little celebration, we made Molten Chocolate Cakes with Sugar Coated Raspberries, except I didn't have any raspberries so we had it with vanilla ice cream instead. It was good. Really, really good.

I'm sort of in the middle of a fabric-obsessed binge. Joann's fabric has always been sufficient for me, but lately I can't stop drooling over the designer fabric online. And the Japanese fabric - I am absolutely enthralled with Japanese fabric. All this fabric is considerably more expensive than fabric at Joann's but finally I couldn't control myself any longer and I bought some. Some of it arrived yesterday and I can't stop looking at it's soft beautiful goodness. I want to make so many things with it, but I don't know how I will be able to force myself to cut into it.

When I'm doing laundry, Emma really likes to clean the lint filter or "scrape the fuzz". Unbeknownst to me, she had been saving a bunch of the "fuzz" in a pile next to the dryer instead of throwing it away. Tonight she presented it all to me as a special present. Woo-hoo. Nothing says "I love you" like a pile of lint. Ever since she brought it upstairs, she's been cooking with it. Here she is, proudly displaying her "fuzz-sticks" and "fuzz-balls".

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Last week we get a book from the library about a little girl who learns to do origami, and in the back of the book there are instructions for folding a butterfly. Steve read the book to Emma, then attempted to fold the butterfly. After he did it, he declared himself an "origamist" and went to Michael's to buy an origami book and paper. He's been folding all weekend, and we now have a zoo of animals inhabiting our house.

I wasn't going to talk about Scrabble here anymore because I think it's probably boring, but you're just going to have to bear with me. This morning I was gloating about winning three of the last five games, and Steve pointed out that he's probably won 97 out of the last 100. Sadly, that is pretty close to being true. However, I won again tonight! I think I must have had some sort of Scrabble enlightenment or something because I am unstoppable!

I sewed this skirt for Emma from this tutorial. She is a sucker for "spinney" things, so of course she loves it. She also picked out the fabric herself, which is always a big selling point with her. She is already asking for a matching shirt, so I'll have to see if I can come up with something.

Three days ago I decided to stop drinking iced coffee. I do love it so, but I'm worried about Noah getting caffeine every day. Since I stopped, every day when 4:00 rolls I feel like I am ready to collapse from exhaustion. That probably means I need to start going to bed earlier, so even though now would be a great time for me to go downstairs and work on a shirt for Emma, I'm going to go to bed. Blah.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I sewed this hamburger for Emma, although she seems to have lost the bottom bun already because I couldn't find it when I took this picture. She is all about play food these days which is probably due to a combination of her excitement about her new play food and her obsession with the Food Network. I can hardly sit down anywhere without her shoving a book/"menu" at me and trying to take my order. She used to just throw all her stuff in a pot and make "soup", but now her cooking has gotten a lot more sophisticated. It's cute to listen to her cook because she'll mumble to herself while she works. "I'll add some some carrot zest...a little cumin to give it a smoky flavor..."

Tonight I was walking in the basement when something on the floor caught my eye. I looked again. Could that be - no, it couldn't be. But, yes, it was. A big, nasty, old slug making his way across our basement floor! Blech! What this means is that I can never take another step in my basement without worrying about the possibility that I might be about to step on a slug. And, if he managed to find his way in somehow, what is to stop the snakes from doing so as well? *shudder*

Awhile after the slug incident, Emma and I were hanging out in the basement, sewing and playing. Out of nowhere, she said, "Mommy? I'm so sorry that I drew polka dots all over the couch." We hadn't been upstairs in awhile, so I'm sure she'd been stewing about that the whole time. We went up and looked at the couch, and sure enough, many, many spots decorated it's cushion (or at least the sheet that, thankfully, covers it). I asked her why she did it and she shook her head sadly and said, "I don't know why I did such a terrible thing. I'm so disappointed in myself." I told her she can't use pens or markers by the couch anymore, but really, how can I be mad at someone who is so adorably remorseful? Of course, it also helps that she didn't draw on the actual couch.

We had Mexican Polenta for dinner tonight - another great recipe from Vegetarian Times. Although not so vegetarian for us, because I added ground beef. There is no picture for dinner last night because, uh, we went out. One night out of four isn't bad!

I am feeling pretty annoyed with the state of Missouri today. For anyone who doesn't know, Missouri is the only state in the country where being a midwife, or "practicing medicine without a license" is illegal. Midwives who attend homebirths here are actually felons, which is an outrage. I don't know what is wrong with these people, and why they think the government has the right to tell a woman how she has to give birth. I find it ironic that the main opposer of legalizing midwifery, Chuck Graham, is very vocally pro-choice. I can't imagine why it's okay for a woman to choose to end someone's life (which I absolutely do not support) but not okay for her to choose where she wants to give birth. He also said that today is a victory for those who value the health and well-being of women giving birth and their newborn children. Not only is he a hypocrite, he's also completely ignorant. Women choose midwives because they value their own health and that of their children! One would only have to do a few minutes of research on the safety of homebirth to know what a joke his statement is. Arrrrgh!

Oh, and one more thing...I won another game of Scrabble tonight! Two in a row, baby!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I finished Emma's quilt! I think it turned out pretty well for my first quilt ever. It's kind of a random size, and I think when I do Noah's I will try to make his to fit a twin bed so we can use it on the bunk beds, should we ever actually get those up. I used a wool/cotton blend batting so it will be warm, and she was already using it today, even though it's like 100 sweltering degrees outside and not exactly quilt weather. The pattern is from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing, my current favorite book, although mine is larger than the book suggests. It was so easy, and fun. I can't wait to start on Noah's!

Dinner was stir-fry with brown rice. Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Yesterday we went to a World Breastfeeding Week celebration to benefit La Leche League, and I came away with some good loot from the silent auction. My favorite was this play food that was made by my friend Allison. I'm trying to phase out all our plastic play food, and after seeing this cute stuff I am inspired to start making some myself.

Today I was thinking about how Steve, Emma, Noah, and I seem to have settled into a comfortable four-person-family groove. I didn't realize it so much then, but for a while after Noah was born, our relationships were struggling a little bit. I was feeling stressed out and overwhelmed because Steve was working so much, and I know he was too. Emma was being really whiny and extremely over-sensitive, which I'm sure had a lot to do with adjusting to a new sibling, but probably also because she was missing Steve as well. Now that Steve is working more regular hours and we have all adjusted to a new baby, things are pretty great. Every day I am happy that my family is made up of these three, and that we all get along so well. Steve has talked a little bit about looking for a new job, and I really wish he would because it would be nice to have this much time together all year long.

Tonight for dinner I made sandwiches with shredded chicken, spinach, feta, and hummus. So far, so good on the eating at home thing.

Monday, August 06, 2007

We eat out wayyyy to much and, starting this week, it's going to stop. In the last week we ate out every single night except for two, and both of those nights we ended up going out for ice cream after dinner. That's a little ridiculous. Today I was thinking about why we like to go out all the time, and for me, it's not even the fact that I don't have to mess with cooking anything and then cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. It's just a better time. When we eat at home it seems like it's over in ten minutes, but when we're out we have a nice leisurely time to just sit and chat. Usually at home Steve finishes and gets up while Emma and I are still sitting there, but when we're out we often keep sitting there for awhile after everyone is finished. So, in order for us to make this change, we have to work on a few things. Steve promised to stay at the table until everyone is finished from now on, and I am absolutely positively going to cook dinner every night - a decent enough dinner to deter us from wanting to go out. To hold myself accountable, this week, at least, I am going to post what we have every night. Those are going to be some exciting entries, right? I know you're on the edge of your seat.

Several months ago I sold our reel mower to someone, except I never actually got it to her. Today I found out I was going to be seeing her somewhere, so I needed to get the mower out of the shed and bring it with me. Unfortunately, Steve was at work and I am terrified of the shed because of a bad snake experience I had in there. I actually knocked on the door of our unfriendly neighbor who we never talk to, hoping that he would do get it for me. He wasn't home, and neither were any of our other neighbors. I decided it was time to stop being such a baby and do it myself. Sort of. We went out in the yard, which is already a feat for me. Emma, who says she is brave with snakes, opened the door to the shed. I asked her to go inside and yell to scare away the snakes. She shouted, "Get out of here, snakes! This is not your shed!" Then I stood there for a good ten minutes looking at the stupid reel mower in the corner of the shed - probably no more than 15 feet away - and I couldn't force myself to go in there and get it. Pretty embarrassing. Embarrassing and stupid.

In less humiliating news about myself, after playing Scrabble all week, including three games yesterday alone, I finally beat Steve last night! Bladow!

Friday, August 03, 2007

My parents are coming to visit tonight, and today is my mom's 50th birthday, so Emma and I made brownies and we're planning a little celebration when they get here. They are coming pretty late and Noah is already in bed so he will have to miss the festivities. He's not really into brownies and ice cream anyway, so it shouldn't matter too much. I made these slippers for my mom, and I am not real pleased with them. I didn't know until it was too late that I was supposed to have a walking foot for my machine, and sadly, I do not. Consequently, the stitching around the edge is pretty wonky. They're not fabrics I would have chosen for myself, but I wanted my mom to like them, and I hope she does.

I have more to write, but Emma is begging me to watch cooking shows with her, so I'm off to watch some Food Network and work on that never-ending quilt binding.
Today is Steve's and my fourth anniversary. He has beat me in Scrabble the last two nights, so tonight as an anniversary present I wanted to give him a good Scrabble butt-kicking. Both kids were, amazingly, asleep at 8:30. Steve went out to get us ice cream while I set up the board and got ready for a peaceful evening of winning at Scrabble, eating ice cream, and enjoying some time alone with Steve. Of those three, I did get to eat the ice cream. Both kids woke up around 9:30 and were tired and cranky for the rest of the night. (I do have to give Emma credit, because she handled it pretty well when she realized Steve had gone to get ice cream and we'd eaten it without her.) And, I bloody lost again! DARN IT! I am going to beat that guy if it's the last thing I ever do!

Ugh! This window from Internet Explorer - which we never even use - keeps popping up. I ran SpyBot and cleared out all the nasties, and now the dumb window just popped up again. Stupid virusy stuff.